Datá 22 Eanáir 2004
Wills are an important source of genealogical information on the
property-owning class in Ireland.
They contain, the name, address, occupation of the testator, details of
the family network, such as cousins, neices, etc., Some Wills also
include the addresses and occuptations of the beneficiaries, executors
All probated Wills for Northern Ireland, 1900-1994 are in the custody of
the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Balmoral Avenue, Belfast.
The original Wills and their associated papers are available filed in a
separate envelope for each testator after 1900.
If the person did not make a Will there may be Letters of Administration
which contain the name, address of the person appointed to administer
the personal estate of the deceased, as well as the name, residence and
occupation of the deceased.
Bound annual indexes to the Wills covering 1858-1984, may be inspected on the shelves of the Reception Waiting Area. It can be noted that the date of the Will is not the date when it was made or the date of death.
The offical date of a Will is the "date of probate", i.e. the date when it was officially proved in the Probate Registry of the High Court.
This date of probate is usually a few months after a person died, but
can be up to ten years later.When ordering out an original Will
(1900-1984) on a Single docket Request at the PRONI, the name of the deceased, and the place and date of probate should be written as the reference.
Most original Wills in Ireland prior to 1900 were destroyed in Dublin in 1922. But before the originals were sent to Dublin, each local registry copied each Will into books which have been put on microfilm PRONI Ref No MIC 15C. These are useful for genealogical purposes.
Prior to 1858, Wills were probated by the Diocesan Bishops of the
Established Church. Although these Wills were destroyed in 1922, some
copies can be found in other records.