SMITHY'S GENEALOGY WILLS
pages contain abstracts from Wills and Administrations (Admons) taken from
copies of the originals held by me or from copies sent to me by various fellow
researchers in the past. The idea is based on that at the GENUKI
Derbyshire site for
Riding of Yorkshire Wills & Admons
for Yorkshire wills & indexes proved in the Exchequer & Prerogative
Courts of the Archbishop of York (which handled most probate for the West
Riding (see Phillimore's Atlas of Parish Registers for details) are available
through the Church of Latter Day Saints family history libraries (Film
Numbers for probate record indexes 1389-1858).
Another useful source for West Riding wills and admons are the films covering
the Wills and administrations of the Deaneries of the York
Diocese, 1502-1858 (FHL film 99979 onwards). These are the Act
Books which give the name of the date of probate, testator, their place of
abode and who the will or administration was granted to. They are in
Latin up till about 1750 but are a valuable extra resource because the above
mentioned index films are illegible in places.
a name and date of probate are found the film covering that date is
ordered through the FHL. For filmed original wills a film may cover only
3 or 4 months of records, for filmed registered copies of wills a film usually
covers 12 to 18 months of records. Wills and administrations (Admons)
after 12 January 1858 were proved in civil probate registries, copies of which
are lodged with the Principal Registry of the Family Division (Probate
Registry). Microfiche copies of the British national probate indexes
from 1858-1943 are held by most major genealogical societies. Useful
leaflets explaining the whereabouts of wills are provided by the Family
at 1 Myddleton Street, London EC1R 1UW.
& Admons for Cornwall, Leicestershire & Staffordshire
Yorkshire, most wills & admons for Cornwall up till 1858 were processed
through one office (at Bodmin) which makes searching for them much easier.
will take you to an excellent discussion of Cornish probate records.
Leicestershire wills & admons from 1605 up till 1858 have been abstracted
and the surnames appearing in them indexed. This allows researchers to
find the names of their ancestors where they appear in the wills of
people with a different surnames & who often turn out to be related (Film
numbers for Leicestershire probate abstracts 1605-1749).
For pre-1858 wills for Staffordshire the main probate court was the Consistory
Court of Lichfield. The probate records are held by the Lichfield Record
Office which has manuscript indexes to the wills held. As with Yorkshire
there were a number of peculiar courts in this county. My Staffordshire
ancestors came from the parish of St Michael in Lichfield the probate for
which was administered by the Peculiar Court of the Dean of Lichfield.
The index for probate records for this court plus various other peculiars in
Staffordshire, Derbyshire & Warwickshire for the period 1510-1858 is on
FHL Film Number 95287. Phillimore's Atlas will need to be used to
determine which court your Staffordshire ancestor's will was proved at.
Value of Probate Records
can provide information about the relationships, friendships and way of life
of our ancestors that is available
else. They may also provide information on children of a Testator that
was not recorded in parish registers.
in the late 1700s some parents did not baptize all their children and so they
don't appear in the registers but may
in a Will. Precise relationships are sometimes almost impossible to
discover too without help from Wills, especially in the case of common
surnames, or in families where a few firstnames are repeated over and over
Will of Thomas Bullock of Veryan in Cornwall, proved in 1801 and
abstracted on this site, is a gem. Thomas and his wife had no children
of their own, but he remembered and mentioned his brothers and most of his
many nephews and neices in his Will and distributed his wealth amongst them.
The married names and husbands of sisters, as well as friends, and employees
are also often mentioned - and also, sometimes, the names of farms, mines,
tenements etc. In short they can be a genealogical goldmine and it was
not only the wealthy who left them, in the 18th and 19th centuries there were
plenty of husbandmen (small farmers), tradesmen and even labourers who left a
are free to copy these but please observe the conditions of use below. Wills
and Admons are indexed by surname and then by year of probate, or if this is
not available, by the year the document was written.
"Admon" or Letters of Administration
Inventory - a list of the deceased's goods and their value
An asterisk against a name or names indicates the Executor(s) or the
Administrator of an Admon.
The first date in a summary is the date the Will was written. The date
of Probate or when the Will or Admon was
proved is given in square brackets at the end of the summary together with the
Court awarding probate.
Copies of this information may be used freely by individuals pursuing their
own family history research.
2. Copies may NOT be made for sale, either on microfiche, or on shareware (or
similar) collections on CDROM.
3. Any references to, or quotations from this material should give credit to
the original submitter(s).
4. Links to this information from other web pages are welcomed, but please DO
NOT copy this information as a whole
to your own web site.