Ireland Calendar of Wills and Administrations (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Ireland, Calendar of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1920 .
This article describes a collection of records at
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Record Description
Record Type Calendar of Wills & Administrations
Collection years 1858-1920
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Principal Probate Registry, Dublin

What is in the Collection?

The collection covers the years 1858 to 1920. Each record contains a summary of the will and probate information.

This project is part of an agreement with the National Archives of Ireland. FamilySearch is responsible for creating an index to these records.

The records were created by the Probate Registry, which took control of proving wills and administrations in 1858. Before this, four different types of ecclesiastical (church) courts dealt with these cases. A Principal Probate Registry was established in London in January 1858, and several district probate registries were created around the country. From then on, the registries oversaw all grants of probate and letters of administration. This collection is the Calendar of these grants.

Collection Contents

Calendar records usually include the following:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Address
  • Occupation
  • Administrators
  • Date of death
  • Value of the estate
  • Birth information

Sample Images

How Do I Search the Collection?

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, the approximate death or probate date, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

To search this collection by name:
Fill in the requested information in the search page. Using this search will give you a list of possible matches for your ancestor. Compare the information about the ancestors in the record list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

To browse by image:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "Record Type" category
⇒Select the “Year" category which takes you to the images

Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the wiki article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

For example:

  • Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records since the probates exist for an earlier time period.
  • Use the birth date along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census and church records.
  • Use the occupations listed to find other types of records such as employment records or military records.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the deceased or the testator.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1900.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Search the records of nearby towns.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Ireland Calendar of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1920." Database with Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Principal Probate Registry, Dublin.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Ireland, Calendar of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1920.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Ireland, Calendar of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1920.