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England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations - FamilySearch Historical Records

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England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957
This article describes a collection of records at
England and Wales
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Record Description
Record Type Probate records
Collection years 1858-1957
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
The Principal Probate Registry, London

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection is the National Probate Calendar for England and Wales, it is an index to proved wills and administrations from 1858-1957. The calendar was created by the Principal Probate Registry, which was established in London in 1858.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The calendar generally includes the following:

  • Name
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Names of administrators or executors
  • Place of probate

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching, it is best to know the following information:

  • Name of the person
  • Approximate date of death

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • If possible, look at an image of the original record. The original may contain information that was not recorded in the index
  • Use the death date and place to search for death information in church or civil records. Church records are reliable for death information prior to 1837, when civil registration began, but many events were not recorded in civil records until 1874.
  • Use the death place and date to search for the individual in censuses. Census records began in 1801.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Check for other names. An individual might have been listed under a middle name, a nickname, or an abbreviation of their given name
  • Search civil registration and census records using the information you know

Record Finder[edit | edit source]

Consult the England Record Finder and Consult the Wales Record Finder to find other records

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957." Database. FamilySearch. : accessed 2018. The Principal Probate Registry, Somerset House, London.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.