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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Ancestry adds Phillimore & Thrift's Wills Index

Ancestry has added Phillimore and Thrift's Indexes to Irish Wills 1384–1858 to its database. All five volumes of the work, first published in the early 20th century, are included, providing an index, or calendar to more than 30,000 wills recorded in dioceses across Ireland.

The indexing began in 1909 and was still in progress when the Public Records Office, which housed the wills collection, was destroyed by fire in 1922; the wills for some counties had not been indexed by that time.

Records for Cork, Dublin, Meath, and Ossory begin in the 16th century. Some volumes end with records from the year 1800, while others contain references to wills up to 1858 when jurisdiction for probates moved from ecclesiastical courts to courts of probate.

You can expect to find a name, address (county, parish, etc.), and date of the will or probate. You may also find an indication of whether a woman was a widow and sometimes an occupation.

You can search the collection by name or browse by volume:
  • Vol 1: Ossory, Leighlin, Ferns, Kildare
  • Vol 2: Cork and Ross, Cloyne
  • Vol 3: Cashel and Emly, Waterford and Lismore, Killaloe and Kilfenora, Limerick, Ardfert and Aghadoe
  • Vol 4: Dromore, Newry and Mourne
  • Vol 5: Derry, Raphoe