Explore an index of more than 257,000 Norfolk wills and probate records from the thirteenth century to 1858. The index will give you details about the type of material available, the probate year, and your ancestor’s occupation and residence.
The records in this collection are from an index created by Norfolk Record Office from the original records held by Norfolk Record Office (NRO). Each record includes a link which will take you to the NRO site so that you can order a copy of the original document. Most indexes contain the following information:
Wills and administrations are dated according to the year probate or administration was granted, not according to the year a will might have been written. Sometimes, wills were proved, or letters of administration were granted, many years after the decease of the person in question. Inventories were usually compiled soon after the death.
This index covers the period from the 13th century to 1858 and copies of the originals can be ordered directly from NRO.
Probate records contain a wealth of information about people, their families, property and possessions.
Wills vary in length and detail, but often contain information about family and friends, property and goods. They may prove the relationships between two or more people as they usually mention the names of relatives. They also give an idea of the wealth and possessions of an individual and may also mention bequests to local churches, charities and servants. Sometimes wills also give personal opinions, arrangements for children’s education, etc.
The person making the will is called the testator (or testatrix, if female). The testator’s wishes are carried out by an appointed person, or persons, known as the executor(s) (or executrix, if female). The executor(s) had to attend a probate court to have the will proved before they could carry out the testator’s wishes.