Some GOOD NEWS:
The Ministry of Justice in the U.K. has announced that it’s cutting the cost of ordering English and Welsh probate records from £10 to £1.50 for the next 12 months.
That means that if you are looking for an ancestor’s will for persons whose will was granted probate after 1857 you can save yourself a bit of money!
The Find a Will online service (https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/) allows family history researchers to search for UK probate records by surname and year of death, but only from 1857. When you find the probate you can then order a digital copy of the record and that usually takes up to 10 working days to arrive.
Read more at the Who Do You Think You Are Magazine website:
But what about earlier English and Welsh wills? These were administered by the Church and not the State and Probate was issued by Church courts. The country was divided into archdiocese with the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC) and the Prerogative Court of York (PCY) at their head.
For Scottish Wills need you to head over to ScotlandsPeople website: https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/guides/wills-and-testaments
And for Welsh Wills pre 1857 the National Library of Wales is a great resource:
The National Archive’s website (TNA) has some help for those looking for pre-1857 wills including some links at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/wills-or-administrations-before-1858/
But they don’t mention that PCC wills (including images sourced from TNA) are available on the subscription site TheGenealogist *
*Disclosure: Please note this post contains an affiliate link for TheGenealogist. This does not mean that you pay more, just that I make a percentage on any sales of subscriptions made from my links. These payments help me pay for the cost of running this site. You may like to read this explanation here: