Author Topic: Link: UK's Probate Service "Find a Will" searchable database  (Read 5767 times)

Offline Westy11

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,770
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from
    • View Profile
Link: UK's Probate Service "Find a Will" searchable database
« on: Tuesday 13 January 15 12:14 GMT (UK) »
This is probably old news for many but new for me so wanted to share.

Was reading a publication from The Genealogist "Discover your ancestors" Issue 20 Dec 2014 to find that the UK's Probate Service has launched the "Find a Will" searchable database on 12 December 2014.

Anyone will be able to search, order and receive copies of Wills etc direct from your computer.

Index searches are free.  Copies downloaded for 10.

I have just located a probate record I was seeking for 1935 however this is the extent of my use of the service to date.



Offline dawnsh

  • Global Moderator
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • ********
  • Posts: 15,530
    • View Profile
Re: Launch of UK's Probate Service "Find a Will" searchable database
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 13 January 15 12:55 GMT (UK) »
Hi Westy11

There are a couple of topics running about this at the moment so I'll reply here and then move your topic back to 'Useful links' where replies can't be made.

I started this one in October as the initial news was launched

At the timne of writing this, HMCTS are recovering from an extremely busy Christmas/New Year period, (at time of the year though when they are historically quiet,) rectifying service & download problems. I'm sure this situation will improve shortly.

There are a couple of current topics here

My 'top tips' are

Use the dataset at Ancestry to find entries 1858-1966 as each name has been indexed. HMCTS have only indexed the 1st 3 letters of the surnames at the top left of each page and don't plan to change this any time soon.

Only order the document if the calendar specifically says that 'probate' has been granted. Letters of Administration have little or no more information than the calendars give.

If you find that you are searching for a common surname and there are multiple pages to look through, you can amend the 'page number' in the URL atr the top of the screen and skip through many pages at a time.

Entries for deaths after 1996 contain the date of death, useful if you have it but can also help with speculative searching.

If anyone else has top tips please can they add then to this


Census information Crown Copyright, from

Sherry-Paddington & Marylebone,
Longhurst-Ealing & Capel, Abinger, Ewhurst & Ockley,