Andrew Millard's Genealogy

Recent Indexes to English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Probate Records

Home page  

WARNING: The information here should be read in conjunction with the fifth edition of Probate Jurisdictions: where to look for wills by Jeremy Gibson and Else Churchill (Federation of Family History Societies, Bury, 2002). It is designed to supplement that publication and probably can't be understood fully without it.

This is intended to be a listing of indexes to English, Welsh and Scottish probate indexes which have been produced since the publication of Gibson & Churchill's book. Many other indexes are listed in that volume and should also be consulted by genealogists seeking probate records. I'd be interested to hear of other new indexes, but I do not intend to list those mentioned in Gibson & Churchill unless they appear in a new version, so please check there first before telling me about anything published before 2001.

It should also be noted that Ancestry have scanned and indexed many of the printed volumes of indexes, especially the earlier ones. The volumes covered for a particular county can be found by going to the Parish and Probate Records for that county, but they don't list the publisher, volume number in a series, the editor or publication date, so it is difficult to make comparisons with the statements about accuracy and coverage in Gibson and Churchill, which are mostly by publisher and volume number only. Some of the titles listed on Ancestry do not correspond exactly to those on the BRS list, which further hampers comparisons. Chris Phillips' site Some Notes on Medieval Genealogy provides a list which attempts to correlate the records on Ancestry with the published book titles. They are not listed here.


Contents

Great Britain and Ireland

England
PCC - PCY - Bedfordshire - Berkshire - Buckinghamshire - Cambridgeshire - Cheshire - Cornwall - Cumberland and Westmorland - Derbyshire - Devon - Dorset - Durham and Northumberland - Essex - Gloucestershire and Bristol - Hampshire - Herefordshire - Hertfordshire - Huntingdonshire - Kent - Lancashire - Leicestershire - Lincolnshire - London and Middlesex - Norfolk - Northamptonshire and Rutland - Northumberland - Nottinghamshire - Oxfordshire - Rutland - Shropshire - Somerset - Staffordshire and Derbyshire - Suffolk - Surrey - Sussex - Warwickshire - Westmorland - Wiltshire - Worcestershire - Yorkshire

Wales

Scotland

Ireland

Channel Islands
Jersey - Guernsey


Indexes for the whole of Great Britain and Ireland

Indexes and images of wills of soldiers who died while serving in the British armed forces between 1850 and 1986 are available from the UK government website.

The Origins.net National Wills Index has a series of maps of probate jurisdictions based on those in Gibson & Churchill's book.


National indexes for England and Wales

A partial index to wills and administrations 1796-1811 is provided by the Death Duty Registers. The National Archives provides an index for 1796-1811. This covers courts other than PCC for this period, but liability for duties affected only about 25% of estates coming before the courts from 1796 to 1805 and about 75% from 1805 to 1815. FindMyPast have images of the calendars of the Death Duty Registers for both 'country' courts and PCC 1796- 1858 and for the civil probate courts 1858-1903.

The National Wills Index includes Index to the Probate Accounts of England and Wales, Vols I & II (BRS 112 & 113).

Ancestry have scanned and indexed the National Probate Calendars for England and Wales 1861 to 1941, although there are some gaps for the years 1863, 1868, 1873, 1876, 1877, 1883, 1888, 1899-1903 and 1910-1911.

Prerogative Court of Canterbury

All wills are covered by three independently created indexes to the Act Book wills in class PROB11 at the National Archives. However, these do not cover administrations or other probate documents.

A full transcript of the PCC wills 1479-1486 (in the original English, or Latin with translation) is given in:
Boatwright, L., Habberjam, M., and Hammond, P. (eds), The Logge Register of PCC Wills, 1479 to 1486, 2 volumes ( Richard III Society, Knaphill, 2008).

Some scanned versions of the older printed indexes are available online at FamilySearch's Family History Books (these can be slow to download) and the Internet Archive:

A scan of a typescript index to PCC testators, 1640-1652 is also available from FamilySearch.

FindMyPast includes about 85% of the PCC Wills Index 1750-1800 produced by the Society of Genealogists. The same index is also available through the SoG members area, along with an index to administrations for the same period.

The National Wills Index includes:

High Court of Delegates

The Internet Archive has a scan of The Genealogist volume 12, including pp.97-101 Wills and Administrations in the High Court of Delegates, Offley-Z.

Prerogative Court of York

The National Wills Index includes:

FamilySearch's Family History Books has scans of some of the printed indexes in the Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series:

See also Colin Blanshard Withers' book Yorkshire Probate described below under Yorkshire.

Bedfordshire

The National Wills Index includes Bedfordshire Probate Records, 1484-1858 (BRS 104 & 105), covering the Archdeaconry of Bedford and the two Peculiars of Biggleswade and Leighton Buzzard.

Bedfordshire Family History Society has published Bedfordshire Wills 1531-1539 transcribed by Patricia Bell. This gives transcriptions of the Probate Registers of the Court of the Archdeaconry of Bedford with indexes of people, places and subjects.

Genealogia Bedfordiensis 1538-1700 by F.A. Blaydes is available through the Internet Archive. It includes "abstracts of, and references to, some 800 wills", arranged by parish.

Everton in Bedfordshire fell within the jurisdiction of the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon - see under Huntingdonshire.

The Eureka Partnership have produced an index to all names occurring in wills proved in the Peculiar Court of Leighton Buzzard 1701-1846. Details of the booklet can be found on their website.

Berkshire

The Berkshire Probate Index 1480-1857 is a new and comprehensive index to the probate records held at Berkshire Record Office. It supersedes BRS 8 and 87 mentioned below, and various typescript indexes. Preparation of the new index "has uncovered significant numbers of errors, omissions and inconsistencies in certain sections of those earlier publications." Part of the new index is published as three printed volumes covering 1480-1652 only, with an index to personal names, place-names and occupations. The complete index 1480-1857 is published on a fully-searchable CD. Full details are available from the Berkshire Family History Society website. It is available from Berkshire Record Society, Berkshire Family History Society, Berkshire Record Office and Oxfordshire Family History Society. The CD can also be purchased by mail order or online from the BFHS.

The National Wills Index includes Berkshire Wills & Administrations 1508-1710 (BRS 8 & 87).

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Berkshire Wills & Administrations 1508-1710 (BRS 8).

BRS 8: Index to wills proved and administrations granted in the Court of the Archdeacon of Berks, 1508 to 1652 (also printed as Oxford Historical Society 23) is available as a scanned copies from FamilySearch with a second copy and the Internet Archive (5 copies): one, two, three, four (Oxford Historical Society 23) (this scan seems to have pages missing) and five.

Berkshire Record Office have a probate index for Peculiar of Faringdon (1547-1853).

Buckinghamshire

The National Wills Index includes Buckinghamshire Probate Records, 1483-1660, and Buckinghamshire Peculiars, 1420-1660 (BRS 114).

Archdeaconry of Buckingham wills and some administrations 1483-1858 have been indexed in a project by The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, in partnership with Buckinghamshire Family History Society. The Bucks FHS also have a project to index all names in the Archdeaconry Court of Buckingham. The incomplete database can be searched on request.

The Eureka Partnership have produced indexes to all names occurring in the 164 wills proved in the Peculiar Court of Bierton 1736-1857, and the 369 wills in the Peculiar Court of Thame and Great Milton 1736-1857 (mostly Oxfordshire, but including the parish of Towersey in Buckinghamshire). Details of the booklets can be found on their website.

Cambridgeshire

For the Archdeaconry of Sudbury, in addition to British Record Society volumes 95 and 96 for 1354-1700, there is also now volume 118 for 1801-1858.

The National Wills Index includes:

Cheshire

The Cheshire Archives Wills Database covers all probate documents proved at Chester, 1492-1940. It should therefore cover all areas within the jurisdiction of the Consistory Court of Chester until 1858.

FamilySearch have an index to the same records, with a brief description.

The Origins Cheshire Wills Collection merges the Cheshire Archives database and the FamilySearch index (which are not identical) and some additional records.

The older indexes of wills, administrations and inventories, published by the Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society, are available as scans:

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes the volumes covering 1545-1740 (L&CRS 2, 4, 15, 18, 20 & 22 ).

Cornwall

The Cornwall Record Office catalogue, CROcat indexes all wills in the Record Office by name, but does not include administrations. The CRO holds records of the Archdeaconry of Cornwall and the Peculiar of St Buryan.

The National Wills Index includes:

Some of these volumes are also available as scans:

Cumberland and Westmorland

The National Wills Index includes Index to the Wills proved in the Consistory Court of Carlisle, 1661-1750 (BRS 110).

Diocese of Carlisle wills for 1751-1858 (together with wills for Carlisle Probate Registry 1858-1941) are now indexed in the Cumbria Archive Service online catalogue

Wills and administrations of the Deanery of Copeland in the Archdeaconry of Richmond (Cumberland) have been indexed by the Cumbria Family History Society, and a scan of this index is available from FamilySearch.

For that part of Cumberland falling within the jurisdiction of the Palatine and Consistory Court of Durham, see under Durham.

For those parts of Cumberland and Westmorland within the jurisdiction of the Western Deaneries of Archdeaconry of Richmond see the list of indexes for those Deaneries under Lancashire.

Derbyshire

- see Staffordshire

Devon

The records of the Exeter Probate Registry were destroyed by bombing in the Second World War, so there has been an ongoing process of trying to identify alternative sources. These are well described on the GENUKI Devon page, including online sources. In particular the Devon Wills Project is creating a consolidated index of Devon wills, administrations and inventories.

The Internet Archive has scanned versions of BRS 46: Devon Wills and Administrations Volume II Consistory Court of Exeter 1532-1800, and BRS 35: Exeter Principal Registry 1559-1799 and Archdeaconry of Exeter 1540-1799.

The National Wills Index includes:

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Devonshire Wills 1559-1799 but this appears to actually be Wills & Administrations Exeter Principal Registry 1559-1799 (Devon and Cornwall) and Wills & Administrations Archdeaconry of Exeter (Devon) 1540-1799 (BRS 35), as printed by the Devonshire Association;

Dorset

FamilySearch's Family History Books has scanned BRS 22: Dorset Wills and Administrations 1568-1799.

The National Wills Index includes:

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Dorset Wills 1568 - 1799 and Index of Dorset Wills 1500-1799 (BRS 22 & 53);

Durham and Northumberland

The Palatine and Consistory Court of Durham covered almost all of these two counties, and all probate and administration records are indexed by the North East Inheritance project. Eventually digital images of all the documents will be made freely available on the Genealogical Society of Utah Family Search website. A printed version of the index will be produced by the British Record Society. The manuscript calendars are available on microfilm at the NDFHS Library at Percy House, Newcastle.

A typescipt Calendar to the Episcopal Consistory Court of the Bishop of Durham, 1650-1786 is available as a scanned copy from FamilySearch.

The National Wills Index includes the York Peculiars Probate Index which indexes all the records of the Peculiar of the Archbishop of York in Hexham and Hexhamshire 1593-1602, and the Peculiar of the Prebend of Tockerington 1741-1744. These were the only peculiars in Northumberland, and there were none in Durham.

Essex

The Essex Record Office online service SEAX includes wills from their collection, both from the London Commissary Court (Essex and Hertfordshire Division) and peculiars. The documentation on what is included is minimal, but browsing the catalogue suggests an almost complete run of the wills is indexed and many original wills are available as scans. Whether this index includes register copy wills or just originals is not clear. Grants of administration and other probate documents are not included. To find wills amongst the other documents in the catalogue search on the surname or place and the word 'will': there is guidance some way down the family history guidance page.

The National Wills Index includes Wills at Chelmsford 1400-1858 (BRS 78, 79 & 84).

Gloucestershire and Bristol

Gloucestershire Archives provides an index of all wills proved at Gloucester between 1541 and 1858, with a brief description of coverage. This includes the Consistory Court of Gloucester plus peculiars, except that part of Gloucestershire covered by the Bristol Court (below).

BRS 12: Gloucester Wills 1541-1650 is available from FamilySearch's Family History Books with a second copy and the Internet Archive.

The National Wills Index includes Gloucester Wills 1541-1800 (BRS 12 & 34), plus an additional index coveing 1801-1858, and wills of Cheltenham parish residents 1660-1740 (Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, vol. 12 [1999]).

Ancestry have "Gloucestershire, England, Wills and Inventories, 1541-1858", an index with images. This is described as covering "wills and inventories proved in the Diocese of Gloucestershire" (presumably the Diocese of Gloucester) but there is no indication in the description of which courts this covers. It appears that this index covers the same material as the Gloucestershire Archives index, but it is not clear if it is the same index.

The Bristol Wills Index 1781-1858 is a complete re-indexing of all wills held at the Bristol Record Office, covering all parishes under the jurisdiction of the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Bristol in the Deanery of Bristol. Earlier years are gradually being added.

The Society of Genealogists' Members Area includes the Bristol wills index 1793-1858.

The National Wills Index includes Bristol Consistory Wills 1572-1792, with wills in the Great Orphan Books 1379-1674 (BRS 17).

Bristol probate inventories are covered by three volumes from the Bristol Record Society edited by Edwin and Stella George:

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Bristol Wills 1572-1792 and Gloucestershire Wills 1660 - 1800 (BRS 17 & 34);

Hampshire

The Hampshire Record Office Catalogue includes all wills and administrations proved in the courts of Winchester Diocese to 1858. This therefore covers all Hampshire wills.

Herefordshire

Faraday, Michael A. (editor) Calendar of Probate and Administration Acts 1407-1550 in the Consistory Court of the Bishops of Hereford with an appendix of abstracts of registered copy-wills 1552-1581 (2009. Walton-on-Thames: the editor). This book revises and supplements the British Record Society Microfiche 2.

Bloom, J. H. Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica 5th series, vol. 4, pp.3-11: this gives a list of about 450 wills from 1444-1578, and is superseded by the book above.

An index to wills proved at Hereford is in preparation for publication by the British Record Society, and will also appear in the National Wills Index.

Hertfordshire

British Record Society 120 Wills at Hertford 1415-1858 edited by Beryl Crawley covers all 30,000 wills relating to Hertfordshire held at Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies. Coverage includes the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon (Hitchin Division) wills 1557-1857, registers 1557-1843, inventories, 1568-1789, and administrations 1609-1857, together with the Archdeaconry of St Albans wills and administrations 1518-1857, registers 1415-1857, inventories 1518-1764. This index is available online as the Hertfordshire Will Index 1413-1857 on Hertfordshire Names Online. The National Wills Index has the same material as Hertfordshire Wills Index: 1415-1857.

Huntingdonshire

The National Wills Index includes Huntingdonshire Wills 1479-1652 (BRS 42).

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes 1479-1652 Huntingdon Wills (BRS 42);

Kent

East Kent was under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Canterbury. The East Kent wills and probate records 1396-1858 covers the original wills and registered copies for both the Consistory Court of Canterbury and the Archdeaconry Court of Canterbury 1550-1858.

The National Wills Index includes Wills and Administrations at Canterbury 1396-1558 and 1640-50 (BRS 50) and Wills and Administrations at Canterbury 1558-1577 (BRS 65). These volumes cover both the Consistory and Archdeaconry Courts. It also includes inventories for the Archdeaconry Court 1571-1842 and the Consistory Court 1596-1748 in classes PRC 11 and PRC 27 respectively at the Centre for Kentish Studies, but there are other 16th-17th century inventories in classes PRC 10, PRC 21 and PRC 28, not yet indexed.

Wills and Administrations at Canterbury 1396-1558 and 1640-50 (BRS 50) is also available as a scanned copy from FamilySearch.

West Kent was mostly under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Rochester and the Deanery of Shoreham. Indexes to West Kent wills include:

The Kent Archaeological Society has an online database of over 2100 Medieval and Tudor wills of Kent residents and landowners, based on transcripts and indexes of wills in the Consistory Court of Canterbury and the PCC, compiled by Leland Lewis Duncan (1862-1923).

The Kent Genealogy website's Probate Records section gives links to a variety of other transcripts and resources.

Lancashire

Those parts of Lancashire under the jurisdiction of the Peculiar Court of the Dean and Chapter of York should be indexed by the National Wills Index in its York Peculiars Probate Index 1383-1883.

The northern part of the County was covered by the Western Deaneries of the Archdeaconry of Richmond, and the catalogue of the Lancashire Record Office holdings on Access to Archives (A2A) seems to index the names for wills, administrations and bonds. The National Wills Index in its Lancashire Wills Index includes digital versions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society publications covering 1457-1812. These volumes are also available as scans:

Lancashire Will Search is developing a searchable index for Lancashire for the mid-sixteenth century to 1837. This appears to be largely based on the published indexes (below) with additional information to allow the relevant microfilms to be identified at LDS Family History Centers.

The southern part of the county was in the jurisdiction of the Consistory Court of Chester. Many of the indexes of wills, administrations and inventories, published by the Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society, are available as scans:

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Lancashire Wills 1621-1650, Lancashire Wills 1681-1748, Lancashire Wills 1748-1792, Lancaster Wills 1793-1812, Lancashire and Cheshire Wills 1301-1752, Lancashire and Cheshire Wills 1660-1680, and Lancashire and Cheshire Wills 1681-1700 (L&CRS 4, 13, 23, 66, 30, 15, 18);

Leicestershire

Scanned versions of of BRS 27: Leicestershire Wills and Administrations 1495-1649 are available from FamilySearch, and Internet Archive.

The National Wills Index includes Leicester Wills & Administrations 1495-1649, 1660-1750 (BRS 27 & 51).

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Leicestershire Wills 1495, and Leicestershire Wills 1660 (BRS 27 & 51).

Lincolnshire

British History Online has a transcription of Lincoln Wills (edited by C W Foster): volume 1: 1271-1526 (Lincoln Record Society volume 5, 1914), volume 2: 1505-1530 (Lincoln Record Society volume 10, 1918), and volume 3: 1530-1532 (Lincoln Record Society volume 24, 1930). The Internet Archive also has two copies of volume 1: first, second.

The National Wills Index includes Wills & Administrations at Lincoln 1320-1660 (BRS 28, 41, 52 & 57).

BRS 41 for Consistory Court Wills 1601-1652 is also available as a scan on FamilySearch;

The Lincolnshire Archives have scanned the old typescript index to Lincoln Consistory Court Wills 1701-1800, and published it as a series of pdf files on their website. This complements the index published on CD and microfiche covering Wills 1800-1858 and Administrations 1801-1857 in the Lincoln Consistory Court, together with Archdeaconry of Stow wills and administrations 1700-1834.

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Lincoln Wills 1540 - 1659 which is actually administrations 1540-1659 (BRS 52).

London and Middlesex

Many of the relevant records for London and Middlesex are held at London Metropolitan Archives. They were formerly held at the Guildhall Library whose leaflet on Probate Records provides a useful description of the records.

David Wright's London Probate Index 1750-1858, covering all probate courts in London and Middlesex except PCC is now available through FindmyPast. who also provide a detailed description of the index.

Archdeaconry Court of London.

London Division of the Commissary Court of London

The Consistory Court of London had jurisdiction over much of London and Middlesex as well as parts of Essex and Hertfordshire.

The Archdeaconry Court of Middlesex had jurisdiction over 26 parishes in Middlesex.

The records of the Deanery of the Arches, 1620-1845, and the Peculiar Court of the Deanery of Croydon, 1664-1841, held at Lambeth Palace Library are indexed by their catalogue on Access to Archives (A2A) under reference AA/V/H/97.

Records from the Peculiar Court of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's are covered in Ancestry's London, England, Wills and Probate, 1525-1858 collection.

British History Online has transcribed versions of the Calendar of wills proved and enrolled in the Court of Husting, London: Part 1: 1258-1358 and Part 2: 1358-1688, edited by R R Sharpe (1889/1890). FamilySearch's Family History Books has scanned versions of these volumes: Part 1: 1258-1358 and Part 2: 1358-1688, with a second copy.

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes London Wills 1258-1358, and London Wills 1358-1688 which are actually the Court of Husting wills in the two volumes above.

Norfolk

The Norfolk Record Office catalogue NROCAT contains an index to all pre-1858 probate records.

The National Wills Index includes Wills in the Consistory Court of Norwich 1370-1603 (BRS 69 & 73).

Norfolk Record Society 34 Index of Wills Proved in the Consistory Court of Norwich 1687-1750 is available as a scan from FamilySearch.

Northamptonshire and Rutland

FindMyPast's Probate and Wills records includes the Northamptonshire & Rutland Probate Index 1462-1857. This covers all Northamptonshire and Rutland wills and administrations proved in local courts, wherever the records are held.

The National Wills Index includes Northamptonshire & Rutland Wills 1510-1652 (BRS 1); and Northamptonshire Administrations 1677-1800 (BRS 70 & 92).

The Eureka Partnership have produced indexes to all names occurring in the 783 wills proved in the Peculiar Court of Banbury and Cropredy 1736-1857. Details of the booklets can be found on their website.

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Northamptonshire and Rutland Calendar of Wills 1510-1652 (BRS 70).

Northumberland

- see Durham

Nottinghamshire

The National Wills Index includes:

Oxfordshire

The National Wills Index includes Oxfordshire Wills Index 1516-1857 (BRS 93, 94 & 109) which indexes the probate records of the Bishop and Archdeacon of Oxford 1516 to 1857, and the Oxfordshire Peculiars (except the Court of the Chancellor of the University of Oxford) for 1547-1856.

All records of the Court of the Chancellor of the University of Oxford are indexed in An index to wills proved in the Court of the Chancellor of the University of Oxford available through Google books.

The Oxfordshire FHS have a section on their website which contains donations of transcribed Oxfordshire wills.

The Eureka Partnership have produced indexes to all names occurring in the wills proved in the Archdeaconry Court of Oxford 1743-1800, the 'Diocesan' (i.e. Consistory) Court of Oxford 1762-1800, the 783 wills proved in the Peculiar Court of Banbury and Cropredy 1736-1857, and the 369 wills proved in the Peculiar Court of Thame and Great Milton 1736-1857. Details of the 13 booklets can be found on their website.

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Oxford Wills 1436 - 1814 which covers the Court of the Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Rutland

- see Northamptonshire

Shropshire

Somerset

The National Wills Index includes:

Staffordshire and Derbyshire

Balterley, Staffordshire was within the jurisdiction of the Consistory Court of Chester and is covered by the Cheshire Record Office Wills Database

The Lichfield Wills Database indexes part of British Record Society volume 7, calendars of wills & administrations in the Lichfield Consistory Court 1516-1652, together with records of peculiars deposited at Lichfield (1529-1652), Birmingham (1675-1790) and Derby (1753-1790). Digital images of the pages from this volume are available from Eric Youle's Sheffield Local History site.

FamilySearch's Family History Books has BRS 7: Lichfield wills and administrations, 1516-1652: also "peculiars" at Lichfield, Birmingham and Derby, 1529-1652; 1675-1790; 1753-1790. The Internet Archive also has a scanned version of the calendar (and a second copy).

BRS 125 Consistory Court of Lichfield, 1650-1700 was published in 2010 and is included in the National Wills Index as Lichfield Consistory Court Wills 1650-1700.

The National Wills Index also includes Wills and Administrations at Lichfield and Coventry 1516-1652 (BRS 7).

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Lichfield Wills 1516-1652 (BRS 7).

Suffolk

For the Archdeaconry of Sudbury, in addition to British Record Society volumes 95 and 96 for 1354-1700, there is also now volume 118 for 1801-1858.

The National Wills Index includes:

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Suffolk, Calendar of Wills 1383-1604 (which covers Suffolk wills in PCC), and Suffolk, Bury, Calendar of Prereformation Wills (up to 1535).

Surrey

The Surrey Plus Wills Index "provides an index to names of all people appearing in the wills of testators residing in the County of Surrey", but it is not (yet) an index to all Surrey wills.

It appears that the following resources between them do provide an index to all Surrey wills:

Wills from those parishes falling under the jurisdiction of the Peculiar of the Deanery of Croydon, 1664-1841, held at Lambeth Palace Library are indexed by testator in their catalogue on Access to Archives (A2A) under reference AA/V/H/97.

The National Wills Index includes:

Records from the Archdeaconry Court of Surrey and the Commissary Court of Bishop of Winchester are also covered in Ancestry's London, England, Wills and Probate, 1525-1858 collection.

In addition the National Wills Index includes: Surrey PCC Will Abstracts 1736-1794.

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Surrey wills (covering 1595-1608), and Surrey Wills 1484-1490 (SRS 4 & 5).

Surrey Record Society 5 Surrey Wills (Archdeaconry court, Spage register) (covering the Archdeaconry Court 1484-1490) is available as a scanned copy from the Internet Archive.

Sussex

Not mentioned in Gibson & Churchill are the four volumes of Transcript of Sussex Wills by R. Garraway Rice, edited by Walter H. Godfrey, (Sussex Record Society vols. 41, 42, 43, and 45, 1935-1940). These volumes include all wills from before 1560 in all local jurisdictions, but only transcribe those parts relevant to ecclesiology. However as an index, they may nevertheless be useful genealogically.

The Society of Genealogists' Members Area includes the West Sussex Probate Inventory Index covering surviving probate inventories for West Sussex with a few from East Sussex and Hampshire.

The National Wills Index includes:

A scanned version of BRS 24 is available from FamilySearch.

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Chichester Calendar of Wills 1482-1800 (BRS 49).

Warwickshire

For the 72 parishes under the jurisdiction of the Consistory Court of Worcester, see Worcestershire.

Westmorland

- see Cumberland.

Wiltshire

The Wiltshire and Swindon Archive Catalogue includes an index to all Salisbury Diocese probate records 1540-1858, and digital images are gradually being added. A printed version of the index has been produced by the British Record Society as volumes 122, 123 & 123A Wills at Salisbury 1464-1858.

The National Wills Index includes Wills at Salisbury 1464-1858 (BRS 122 & 123).

The Society of Genealogists' Members Area includes the Wiltshire Wills Beneficiaries Index covering 21 peculiars in Wiltshire with some Dorset and Berkshire wills.

The parishes of Kingswood and Marston Meysey in Wiltshire were under the jurisdiction of the Consistory Court of Gloucester and are included in the Gloucestershire Archives index of wills proved at Gloucester between 1541 and 1858

The parishes of Whitsbury and West Wellow in Wiltshire were under the jurisdiction of the Consistory Court of Winchester are included in the Hampshire Record Office Catalogue, which includes all wills proved in the courts of Winchester diocese to 1858.

Worcestershire

The National Wills Index includes Worcester Wills 1451-1652 (BRS 31 & 39).

The Internet Archive has scanned versions of BRS: Calendar of Wills and Administrations in the Consistory Court of Worcester:

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Worcestershire Wills 1451 - 1600, and Worcestershire Wills 1601 - 1652 (BRS 31 & 39).

Yorkshire

Yorkshire Probate by Colin Blanshard Withers is a book and CD with descriptions of the legal processes for probate as they operated in over 30 different Yorkshire probate jurisdictions, an account of the surviving records, and descriptions of all known indexes to them, as well as new indexes for many previously unindexed records, which are so extensive that they are listed separately. The book and CD are available to buy from Yorkshire Ancestors. The same author has produced a list of all previous calendars and indexes to Yorkshire probates, which are available from GENUKI Yorkshire.

The National Wills Index includes:

FamilySearch's Family History Books has some of the printed indexes in the Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series (see also under PCY above):

TheGenealogist.co.uk wills collection includes Yorks Wills 1389 - 1514, Yorks Wills 1514 - 1553, Yorks Wills 1554 - 1568, Yorks Wills 1568 - 1585, Yorks Wills 1585 - 1594, Yorks Wills 1594 - 1602, Yorks Wills 1603 - 1611, Yorks Wills 1612 - 1619, Yorks Wills 1620 - 1627, Yorks Wills 1627 - 1636, and Yorks Wills 1636 - 1652 (YASRS 6, 11, 14, 19, 22, 24, 26, 28, 32, 35 & 4).

Early Swaledale wills are indexed in:
Berry, E.K. (ed.) Swaledale Wills and Inventories 1522-1600, Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Record Series, 152, Leeds, 1998.

An index to Marsden Peculiar Court Wills 1654-1855 was published in the Northern Genealogist volume 2, and scans of these are available on Steve Whitwam's site.

For that part of Yorkshire falling within the jurisdiction of the Palatine and Consistory Court of Durham, see under Durham.


Wales

All Welsh probate records 1521-1858 held at the National Library of Wales seem to be indexed by name in Access to Archives (A2A). Confine the search to the National Library of Wales and enter a keyword such as 'probate' or 'will' to limit the number of hits, as well entering the surname or place-name of interest as a keyword.

FamilySearch has scans of typescript abstracts and indexes (by name and place) for wills in the Consistory Court of St Asaph:
1738, 1739, 1740, 1741, 1742, 1743,
1750, 1751, 1752, 1753, 1754, 1755, 1756, 1757, 1758, 1759, 1760,
1761, 1762, 1763,
1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, 1780,
1781, 1782, 1783, 1784, 1785, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789, 1790.

Those parts of Flintshire and Denbighshire falling in the jurisdiction of the Consistory Court of Chester are indexed in the Cheshire Record Office Wills Database.


Scotland

All Scottish probate records 1513-1901 are indexed and images are available online via Scotland's People.

Some of the older indexes are also available as scans online:


Ireland

Sir Arthur Vicars' Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810 provides an index to over 40,000 wills, most of which were destroyed in the 1922 fire at the Public Record Office in Dublin. Vicars' index was based upon Betham's Abstracts of the original wills which now form the only record of many of these wills. These are summaries that were made by Sir William Betham of PCI wills and administrations to c.1800, including genealogical information and sketch pedigrees. Microfilm copies of Betham's notebooks are available in the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin, and microfilms of the pedigrees are in the Genealogical Office in Dublin, and PRONI in Belfast. A supplement created by Frank Marsh in 1914 corrected errors and omissions in Vicars' index. Vicars' Index is available from:

The Phillimore & Thrift Indexes to Irish Wills 1536-1858 provide an index to over 30,000 wills for many of the diocesan consistorial courts of Ireland up to 1800, and some up to 1858. Coverage of the diocesan courts is not complete because the records in Dublin were destroyed in 1922, before they had all been indexed. The coverage is:

These indexes are available from Irish Origins and Ancestry. FamilySearch Family History Books has scanned versions of some of these indexes:

Irish Origins has a series of other indexes to Irish probate material:

The Society of Genealogists' Members Area includes a collection of about 4000 Irish will abstracts.

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland has placed online an index to the will calendar entries for the District Probate Registries of Armagh, Belfast and Londonderry, 1858-1965. Images of copy wills covering the period from 1858 to 1909 for Belfast, 1918 for Armagh and 1899 for Londonderry are available.

The National Archives of Ireland has a full index to testators and executors 1858-1920 on its website. Up to 1917 this covers the whole island.

Soldiers wills 1899-1917, with 1918-1922 to follow, are on the National Archives of Ireland website.

The Calendar of Irish Wills & Admons since 1922 is published online in various places:


Jersey

Jersey Archive holds all wills and testaments of movable property 1660-1985. For 1660-1971 they are indexed under name on the OPAC. Use the advanced search and specify a reference of D/Y/A for wills 1666-1949 or D/Y/B for 1949-70.

Guernsey

Alderney, Sark, Herm and Jethou fell within the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

Probate records, including indexes, are held at the Priaulx Library.


Last updated 08 April 2014.

Home page
This genealogy website is copyright © Andrew Millard 2004-14