How Can I Learn More About Scottish Wills and Testaments?

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National Archives of Scotland Web site at
National Archives of Scotland Web site at

Revision as of 21:06, 24 January 2008

Probate records are court records dealing with the distribution of a person’s estate after death. Information recorded may include the death date, names of heirs and guardian, relationships, residences, inventories of the estate (including household goods), and names of witnesses.

In Scotland before 1868, it was not possible to leave land to a person by using a will. It was only possible to give other types of property, known as moveable property, by means of a testament. There are two types of testaments:

  • If a person died leaving a testament that named an executor, the document confirming that executorship and the attached testament is called a testament-testamentar.
  • If a person died without leaving a testament and the court appointed an executor to administer the estate, then the confirming document is called a testament- dative.

To read more about these records, go to:

Scotland’s People Web site at

National Archives of Scotland Web site at