Genealogy Part 9 – Wills and Probate Records

Wills can provide a lot of useful information about a person, including information about property they owned and relationships with others mentioned in the will.

For a will to be legally acted upon, it has to be “proved” – a judge has to rule that it contains the last wishes of the deceased. This process is called probate.


If someone died intestate (without leaving a will) the next of kin could apply for a grant of administration to gain control of the estate.

9.1    Useful Links

There are useful leaflets produced by the National Archives on wills before 1858 and probate records:

A guide to obtaining probate records:

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