Information Given.

Testamentary Authority before 1857.

Consistorial Wills and Administrations.

Prerogative Wills and Administrations.

Prerogative Wills: Betham Abstracts.

Testamentary Authority after 1857.

Calendars of Wills and Administrations.

Abstracts and Transcripts.

Will Abstracts: Inland Revenue Records.

Will Abstracts: Land Commission Records.

Wills in the Registry of Deeds.

Will Abstracts in the Genealogical Office.

Will Abstracts and Transcripts: Other Sources.

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Consistorial Wills and Administrations

The wills and administration records of the Consistorial Courts were held locally in each diocese up to the abolition of the testamentary authority of the Church of Ireland in 1857. After that date, the Public Record Office began the slow process of collecting the original records, and transcribing them into Will and Grant Books. The Office then indexed the wills and Administration Bonds, the sureties which the administrators had to produce as a guarantee that the estate would be properly administered. None of the Consistorial Courts had records of all of the wills or administrations they had dealt with. Very little earlier than the seventeenth century emerged, and the majority of the Courts appear to have had serious gaps before the mid eighteenth century.

All of the original wills and administrations in the Public Record Office were destroyed in 1922, along with almost all of the Will and Grant Books into which they had been transcribed. The only exceptions are the Will Books for Down (1850-1858) and Connor (1818-20, 1853-58), and the Grant Books for Cashel (1840-45), Derry and Raphoe (1818-21), and Ossory (1848-58).

Cork and Ross Diocesan Wills Index

[Click for larger image]
The indexes to wills and administration bonds were not destroyed, although a number were badly damaged. These are available in the reading room of the National Archives. The wills indexes are alphabetical, and normally give the testator's address and the year of probate, as well as occasionally specifying his occupation. The administration bonds indexes are not fully alphabetical, being arranged year by year under the initial letter of the surname of the deceased person. They give the year of the bond, the full name and usually the address of the deceased, and sometimes his occupation. Some of the wills indexes have been published, and details of these will be found in Ancestor search.

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