When a person died, prior to 1858, without a will their affairs had to be settled by their next of kin or his principal creditor in the Diocesan or Prerogative Courts. Before the Bishop granted the administration, the administrator was required to enter into a bond of a specified sum as security that they would justly administer the effects.
This Index includes:
The Clonfert Wills and Administration records cover the period from 1663-1857. They are extremely useful for those researching their Irish family history with ancestors from the east of Co.Galway, parts of Co.Roscommon and a small section of Co. Offaly on the east bank of the River Shannon. The original bonds were destroyed in the Public Record Office fire of 1922, consequently all that survives is the index.
Before the abolishment of ecclesiastical jurisdiction over testamentary matters in 1858, wills were proved either in the Diocesan Court or in the Prerogative Court. The will was proved in the Diocesan Court if the deceased owned property in one Diocese only. This regulation applied to both Catholics and Protestants so a large number of Catholics appear in the Indexes to Wills.