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National Probate Calendar for England and Wales now online at ancestry

Ever wondered whether any of your ancestors left a will? At last you can find out online, as ancestry has made the National Probate Calendar for England and Wales available. For some reason, the first three years of the calendar are not included yet, nor the years after 1941, presumably because those have not been microfilmed yet, so the years covered are 1861 to 1941. There are some pre-1861 deaths included, however, as probate could take some time to go through.

You can search the database on any of the following: name of deceased, location and year of death, registry and year of probate, and keyword. When you view an entry, the information will include some or all of the following: deceased’s full name, residence, occupation, date and place of death, amount of estate, date and place of grant, type of grant (probate or administration), and the names, occupations, and relationship to deceased of the executors or administrators. The later years don’t usually include as much information as the earlier ones.

I was hoping that when this database was digitised, it would be searchable on executor’s name, but unfortunately this is not possible. Still, it will be an invaluable resource for those researchers who don’t have easy access to the National Probate Calendar on microfiche.

If you find that your ancestor left a will, or an estate that went to administration, and you would like a copy of the will or letters of adminstration, you can order them from York or you can go to a probate registry or sub-registry to obtain a copy. The following link will take you to the probate services website which has details of how to order, and the form you need is a PA1S.
Probate Service

And now, the link to the database… happy searching!
National Probate Calendar search

Please join in the discussion on our forum and let us know about your finds.

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