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England:- Probate Records
- Post-1858 wills for England and Wales can be consulted at the Probate Dept of The Principal Registry Family Division: 7th Floor, First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6NP.
- Postal applications for post-1858 wills for England and Wales should now be to Leeds:
Postal Searches and Copies Department
Leeds District Probate Registry
- Indexes (or Calendars) to post-1858 wills for England and Wales can be found at a limited number of places around the country:
- The Principal Registry Family Division - in High Holborn, see above.
- At 11 other Probate Registries around England and Wales.
We have been told that some of these offices may not have complete indexes back to 1858 - check before you visit!
- Here's a list of all 30 probate Registries and Sub-Registries - but do check what facilities they have before visiting!
- At some Record Offices and Local Studies Centres:
- This list is based on information supplied by readers. If you know of another set of indexes, or can complete any of the dates below, please use the link at the bottom of the page to contribute to this information.
- BKM: Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, Aylesbury - 1858-1943 fiche
- BRK: Berkshire Record Office - 1858-1943, fiche
- CAE: Caernarfon Area RO - 1858-1935, printed volumes
- CAM: Cambidgeshire Record Office, Cambridge - 1858-1943 on fiche; 1944-1966, printed volumes
- CGN: National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth - 1858-1972, medium uncertain (from printed leaflet)
- DOR: Dorset History Centre (previously known as the Dorset RO) - 1858-1935, fiche
- CUL: Cumbria Record Office, Carlisle - 1858-1966, printed volumes
- GLA: Glamorgan Archives (Cardiff) - 1858-1943, fiche; 1944-1950 printed volumes
- GLS: Gloucester Record Office, Gloucester - 1858-1943, fiche
- HAM: Hampshire Record Office, Winchester - 1858-1943, fiche; 1944-1952, printed volumes
- HEF: Herefordshire Record Office, Hereford - 1858-1935, fiche
- LAN: Blackpool Central Library - 1858-1943, fiche
- LAN: Central Library Local Studies Unit, Manchester - 1858-1966, online via Ancestry
- LAN: Lancashire Record Office, Preston - 1858-1943 fiche; 1944-1966?, printed volumes
- LIN: Lincoln Archives (previously Record Office) - 1858-1943 fiche
- LND: The National Archives, Kew - 1858-1943, fiche
- LND: Society of Genealogists - 1858-195x?, film?
- NBL: Northumberland & Durham FHS, Newcastle - 1858-1943, fiche
- NOR: Norfolk Heritage Centre 1858-1966, film
- NOT: Nottinghamshire Archives, Wilford rd, Nottingham - 1858-?, fiche; 1945-1968, printed volumes
- OXF: Oxfordshire History Centre, Oxford - 1858-1957, film
- SRY: The National Archives, Kew - 1858-1943, fiche
- SSX: East Sussex Record Office (The Keep), Brighton - 1858-1943, fiche
- WMD: Central Library, Birmingham -1858-1972, printed volumes
- WMD: Probate Office (Central Court, Bul st) Birmingham - 1973-1995(week50), fiche
- WRY: Huddersfield FHS, Meltham - 1858-1943, fiche
- WRY: Huddersfield Local Studies Library are believed to hold a copy ... ?
- WRY: Leeds, Yorkshire Archaeological Society FH Section - 1858-1943, fiche
- WRY: Sheffield Archives 1858-1934, fiche
- WRY: Wakefield, West Yorkshire Archive Service - 1858-1943, fiche
- It is belived the indexes (dates uncertain) can be obtained on film at at LDS Family History Centres
- Those with access to Ancestry.co.uk can search the indexes for 1858-1966
- The National Calendar (i.e. indexes) covering 1858 to 1995 can be browsed (free) online at https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/#wills
- Finding and obtaining copies of earlier wills are much more complicated tasks. A currently-available guide is Probate Jurisdictions - Where to look for wills (5th edn) by Jeremy Gibson and Else Churchill. More detailed guides (currently out of print) are: A.J. Camp. Wills and Their Whereabouts, 1974, and J.S.W. Gibson. Wills and Where to Find Them, Chichester, Phillimore, 1974, 210 p.
- Andrew Millard has a listing of indexes to English, Welsh and Scottish probate indexes which have been produced since the publication of the fifth edition of Probate Jurisdictions: where to look for wills by Jeremy Gibson and Else Churchill.
- Pre-1858 probate records for much of the North of England are held by the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research
- Nick Hidden has provided a collection of about 1000 abstracts of probate documents relating to people residing in the neighbourhood of the towns of Hungerford and Wantage in Berkshire. Since Hungerford is on the County boundary there is some spread into Wiltshire and to a lesser extent into Hampshire and Oxfordshire. The historical period which is covered is from about 1500 up to the establishment of the Probate Registry for England & Wales in 1858.
- TNA Research Guide: Probate Records before 1858.
- Images of 1700-1858 wills proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury can be purchased via The National Archives' online system for downloading digital images of public records. First read the TNA research guide on wills 1384-1858.
- The England Wills Database Exchange provided by Caryl Williams.
- Leslie Mahler has provided will abstracts from:
A place-name index is provided for each listing - there are references to places in all parts England as well as in other countries.
- Peter Ward ran a website that accepted transcripts of wills and made them available at no charge - Will Transcriptions Online (note there may besimilar county-specific web sites too).
This site has disappeared, please use the report link below to let me know if you find it somewhere! Meanwhile, there is a copy in The Wayback Machine
- Tom's Wills - index to British wills from 1933 to 1935