The information available in these calendars varies. Generally, you can discover all of some of the following details:
Place of death
Next of kin
Next of kin’s occupation
Type of record available – administration, probate,
Value of effects
Registry - The district probate registry where the estate was administered.
The England & Wales Probate Calendars was created by the Probate Service. In 1858, the responsibility for proving wills and granting letters of administration was passed to the Probate Registry by the Church of England. Probate was under the jurisdiction of the Church of England before 1858. At this time, a Principal Probate Registry was established in London and numerous district probate registries. Any estate can be administered in the Principal Probate Registry, regardless of its location.
Probate is the legal right to deal with a deceased person’s estates; such as property, money and possessions. The index will explain what type of record is available. You will find ‘will’ if the individual created a will with his or her wishes for the estate. If a will was not created, you will find ‘administration’. A probate record was not created for every person who died.
After the Married Women’s Property Act was passed in 1882, married women were allowed to retain ownership and control of their property. This meant that women could also create wills regarding the property they owned. Before 1882, a married woman could only create a will with her husband’s permission.
You can order a copy of the original documents from the probate service. The link to the service is available in the Useful links and resources section.
You can search by year and surname letter.
Use the previous and next arrows or the image counter in the image viewer to navigate through a given calendar.
If you wish to search transcripts of these records, which will allow you to search by names, follow the links in the Useful links and resources section.