National Probate Calendar 1861 – 1941


National Probate has announced a new addition to their databases

The latest collection on our site is the single most important resource for tracing your ancestors’ wills – and you won’t find it anywhere else online. As well as telling you where and when your ancestors died – and revealing the value of the estate they left – the National Probate Calendar, provides a vital link to wills and probate records created in England and Wales between 1861 and 1941. Find an ancestor in this collection of over 6 million names, and it’s far easier to get a copy of their last testament from the Principal Probate Registry, with all the extra detail that provides.

This is the first time the Calendar has been made available online. Previously, the only way to use it was to visit your nearest district probate registry and comb through the pages manually. Our digitised collection lets you search for a particular name, and by the date and place where probate was granted, so locating your ancestors is a simple process.

This is of great importance to family historians as this calendar hasn’t been available online before. The indexes given quite a bit of information without having to buy the actual will and if you want to purchase the will then this makes it very easy to do.

Technorati Tags: National Probate Calendar,Wills,Genealogy

Lancashire Wills Search



The front page of this website states……..

The purpose of this page is to aid one in finding a will of a person who died in Lancashire, England from the time period of the mid sixteenth century to the early nineteenth century. This resource should only be used as an index and a search of the original probate records should always be done to overcome transcription errors and omissions. A record found in the index does not guarantee that a will can be found since not all wills were microfilmed due to the fact that many were lost or destroyed.

Current Record count: 248660       Transcription for 1720s and 1730s has been completed!

Technorati Tags: Lancashire,Wills,Proabte,Index


Welsh Wills now online


image800,000 wills are now online and free to view all courtesy of the National Library of Wales. The documents are those which were proved in the Welsh Ecclesiastical Courts prior to 1858 when the government took over  the roll of proving of wills. There is an online index and link through to images of the actual wills.

Nottinghamshire Wills

imageOrigins Network announces that they have online on their website Nottinghamshire wills proved in the PCY Courts

Nottinghamshire wills proved in the Exchequer Court of York
Until 1837 Nottinghamshire was part of the diocese of York, and wills were proved at York. Though all original probate records relating to Nottinghamshire proved in the Prerogative Court of York remain at the Borthwick, those proved in the Exchequer Court have now been transferred to Nottinghamshire Archives. Registered copies of these Exchequer Court wills remain at the Borthwick, so you can order hard copies of all wills which relate to Nottinghamshire, whether proved in the Exchequer or Prerogative Court, but not other documents. In the index presently (ie covering May 1731 to Jan 1858) there are references to over 23,000 grants of probate relating to Nottinghamshire, of which 80% were granted by the Exchequer Court; in about 20% of these cases there is no will and so the documents are not available at the Borthwick. However, the Borthwick can supply the administration entries for these grants which, though fairly brief, do give the names of the executors. If ordering documents for grants relating to Nottinghamshire, we recommend you check whether probate was granted in the Exchequer Court, and then whether the will is included in the documents. If you place an order for a "Nottinghamshire" document where there is no will, and where probate was granted by the Exchequer Court, be aware that you will receive only a copy of the administration entry from the probate act book.
Ordering hard copies of original documents
You can order a hard copy of the document(s) referred to in any index record simply by clicking of the "Add to cart" button alongside each record. The cost of each hard copy document, including first class or airmail postage, is £10. (NB If there is more than one document referred to you will receive copies of each.)
Other "York Series" Probate Indexes
All the indexes to probate documents held at the Borthwick Institute will become available online on British Origins. In addition to the present indexes to the Prerogative & Exchequer Courts, indexes to the Medieval probate records of these courts, and to the Peculiar Courts are also online.

Prerogative & Exchequer Court of York Probate Index

imageOrigins Network announces they now have on their website The

Probate Index …………….

The Index gives:

  • testator’s name
  • places associated with person; usually the place of death, but sometimes other places where the testator lived are mentioned
  • date of probate – year & month
  • type(s) of documents (there is often more than one document)
  • court concerned
  • Borthwick Institute reference to the original document(s)
  • Reference to original index

The original documents provide a great deal of valuable information to the family historian and copies of these can be ordered online via British Origins.

The Prerogative & Exchequer Courts of York
Prior to 1858, wills were proved in an ecclesiastical court. Which court dealt with a particular will depended on where property was held.
Parishes of the Church of England were grouped into archdeaconries, and a group of archdeaconries formed a diocese (ie the area of a bishop’s jurisdiction). Each diocese belonged either to the ecclesiastical province of York or of Canterbury. The province of York had jurisdiction in the counties of Cheshire, Cumberland, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Westmorland and Yorkshire; Canterbury had jurisdiction over the rest of England and Wales.
If a person’s property lay wholly within one archdeaconry, the will was generally proved in that archdeacon’s court. But if property worth £5 or more were owned elsewhere the will would be proved in a higher court, that of a bishop or archbishop.
The Prerogative Court of York
If the property were owned in more than one diocese, the will would be proved in one of the two archbishops’ prerogative courts. If the property were all within the province of York, probate would be dealt with by the Prerogative Court of York (PCY), otherwise by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC). So if property were owned in both provinces, probate was dealt with by PCC, the senior court.
The Exchequer Court of York
The Exchequer Court exercised jurisdiction over lay men and unbeneficed clergy (that is who were not rectors or vicars) with goods in the diocese of York only.
The Indexes
Origins Network in association with the Borthwick Institute for Archives are completing the computerisation of the indexes to the Prerogative & Exchequer Court of York probate material; only the Medieval part (1267-1500) of these indexes had previously been computerised. This work is being done in reverse chronological order, starting from 1858. The index records covering 222,000 grants of probate for the period May 1731 to January 1858 are now available online exclusively on British Origins. Though over the whole period over two thirds of grants were made by the Exchequer Court latterly by the mid 19th century (1842-1858) about two thirds of the wills were proved in the Prerogative Court.
All the original documents (with very few exceptions) are held by the Borthwick Institute, see
other "York Series" Probate Indexes.
Index details
The Prerogative & Exchequer Court of York Probate Index contains the following fields:

  • Last name of testator
  • First name of testator
  • Place, usually of death, but sometimes where the testator had at some time been living; this field usually, but not always, contains the parish.
  • County, or country if not England or Wales
  • Court where probate was granted: P = Prerogative Court of York; E = Exchequer Court of York
  • Document type (see table below)
  • Date of probate (year and month)
  • Source document reference (for use of the Borthwick Institute)
  • Index reference (see below)
  • Index note present: if this field contains "Yes" it means that there is a marginal note in the original index entry.

You can search on Last name, First name, County/Country and Year range. County or Country can be selected from a drop-down list.

Although over 80% of the records relate to Yorkshire, people from all over the British Isles and abroad had property in the Province of York, and had their wills proved in the Prerogative or Exchequer Court of York.

Currently the index only holds records for wills proved in the period May 1731 to Jan 1858. The indexes for the period 1500 to Mar 1731 will be provided later.

Each index entry has two buttons on the right, one to allow display of the image of the original index page, the other to allow online ordering of a copy of the source document. We recommend that you view the original index entries, for these often contain extra information which is not in the computerised index and which may help you decide whether to order copies of the documents.