Your ancestors came from Wales and you can’t read their wills? No problem! FamilySearch has a great online collection of Welsh wills abstracts to help you determine the names, relationships, and place names found in the wills. Although the wills were written in English, they can, in many instances, be hard to read and understand. These abstracts are beneficial as they bring to light vital information otherwise difficult to decipher.
Currently only two dioceses are available and include the following counties in the database:
- parts of Glamorganshire, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, and Radnorshire
The abstracts are not yet searchable by name on FamilySearch, but the images are available free online to browse, and are arranged by year. Two indexes are contained within each year. The first is an alphabetical listing by the parish/town and includes all who had a will in that particular area. The second is an alphabetical listing by the ancestor’s surname. As each individual year contains its own indexes, it is helpful to know the ancestor’s death information, year, county, etc., in order to narrow the search for the abstract of the will.
Currently there is an error in the title of the database on FamilySearch, but efforts are being made to get that corrected. The title, for example, shows “Wales Probate Abstracts, 1773-1780,” when in actuality the probate abstracts cover, depending on the diocese, the years 1564-1858, a major difference. Click Wales Probate Abstracts to access the images, or for further information see the Wales, Probate Abstracts article in the FamilySearch Wiki.