These 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
Wills and Admons from that county, for which many thanks.  See: Derbyshire Probate Records.

West Riding of Yorkshire Wills & Admons
Indexes 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.
Once 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 Records Centre at 1 Myddleton Street, London EC1R 1UW.

Wills & Admons for Cornwall, Leicestershire & Staffordshire
Unlike Yorkshire, most wills & admons for Cornwall up till 1858 were processed through one office (at Bodmin) which makes searching for them much easier.  This link 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.

The Value of Probate Records
Wills can provide information about the relationships, friendships and way of life of our ancestors that is available
nowhere else.  They may also provide information on children of a Testator that was not recorded in parish registers.
Even in the late 1700s some parents did not baptize all their children and so they don't appear in the registers but may
appear 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 again.

The 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 Will.

You 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.

Probate extracts

Cornwall A - D E - H I - L M - O P - S T - Z
Leicestershire A - D E - H I - L M - O P - S T - Z
Staffordshire A - D E - H I - L M - O P - S T - Z
Yorkshire A - D E - H I - L M - O P - S T - Z


Extracts from Probate Indexes

People named Smith from Lichfield and nearby
Parish of Bingley from the Peculiar of Crossley, Bingley and Pudsey
West Riding of Yorkshire before 1688
West Riding of Yorkshire after 1688



(Ad)              "Admon" or Letters of Administration
  (I)                 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.

Conditions of Use:

  1. 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.