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Source Information

Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.
Original data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England © Crown copyright.

About England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966

This collection contains summaries of the vast majority of probate cases in England and Wales between 1858-1966. It effectively forms an index to wills and probate records for this period.


The records were created by the Probate Registry, which took control of proving wills and administrations in 1858. Before this, four different types of ecclesiastical (church) courts dealt with these cases. A Principal Probate Registry was established in London in January 1858, and several district probate registries were created around the country. From then on, the registries oversaw all grants of probate and letters of administration. This collection is the Calendar of these grants.


The Calendar is separated into a different volume for each year. The entries in each volume are then alphabetised by surname. Information varies across different entries, but each typically includes:

  • Probate date
  • Full name of the deceased
  • Death date
  • Death place
  • Registry where issued


Ordering wills:

Unfortunately it is not currently possible to order a copy of the will from us. If you wish to order a copy of a will or grant mentioned in this collection, you can do so for a fee from the Principal Probate Registry at First Avenue House or any district probate registry. You’ll need to provide the full name of the deceased, the date of the grant and the registry where it was issued.


For more information, please visit the Probate Registry’s website.

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