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Wills

Wills can often provide vital information for genealogical research. We can assist with searches of the various Will sources as explained below.

Post-1905

Irish Wills are available to search for the period from 1905 forward. The minimum information to be found in these Wills are: name , address and occupation of the testator;name(s) of the executor(s);names of the witnesses;date the will was made;and the date of probate of the will.

Much of the Will information for the period pre-1905 was lost in fire at the Public Records Office in 1922. It is thus necessary to resort to Will abstracts, substitutes or even index entries in researching Wills in the period before 1905 as set out below.

Pre-1905 Sources

Betham’s Abstracts - In 1810 Sir William Betham, Ulster King of Arms, on behalf of the Record Commissioners, superintended the construction of an alphabetical index of testators. He also wrote out, in his own hand, brief genealogical abstracts of almost all those wills that pre-dated 1800, and later constructed sketch pedigrees from his notes. When the Prerogative Wills were destroyed by fire at the Public Record Office in 1922, this work became a very important tool for genealogical research.

Inland Revenue Will Registers and Administration Registers - The Inland Revenue in London kept a series of annual Indexes to Irish Will Registers and Indexes to Irish Administration Registers from 1828-1879, which are now in the National Archives. As well as the indexes, the Archives also hold a set of the actual Inland Revenue Irish Will Registers and Irish Administration Registers for the years 1828-1839, complete apart from the Wills Register covering January to June 1834.

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