Wills and Probate Records: A Guide for Family Historians

Wills and Probate Records: A Guide for Family Historians

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By (author) Karen Grannum


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  • Publisher: The National Archives
  • Format: Paperback | 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 190mm x 240mm x 14mm | 440g
  • Publication date: 9 July 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Richmond
  • ISBN 10: 1905615418
  • ISBN 13: 9781905615414
  • Edition: 2
  • Edition statement: 2nd
  • Illustrations note: 40 black and white
  • Sales rank: 260,486

Product description

Wills and related records are a valuable source of information for family historians revealing details of ancestors' lives, families, livelihoods and even personalities. This practical and accessible guide shows how to get the most from these seemingly complex records, including those scattered in church courts before central registration was introduced in 1858. Suitable for both those starting out and for more experienced researchers, "Wills and Probate Records" explores documents and institutions, legal terms and Latin phrases, as well as navigating the rapidly expanding digital resources that have transformed family history research. From wills and death duty registers to inventories and litigation, this is an invaluable guide to our ancestor's last documents.

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Author information

Karen Grannum worked at The National Archives for 18 years, developing a specialism in wills and related legal records. Nigel Taylor is Legal Records Specialist at The National Archives.

Table of contents

Introduction; Wills as sources; Church courts and records before 1858; Finding a will before 1858; Administrations before 1858; Wills and administrations from 1858 onwards; Understanding the will; Inventories and accounts; Death duty registers; Litigations; Other probate records; Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands; Glossary of legal terms;; Further reading; Index