Thursday 5 April 2018

Ancestry adds Index to Prerogative Wills of Ireland, 1536-1810

Ancestry has added Sir Arthur Vicars' Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland, 1536-1810.

The Index, originally published in 1897, can be browsed or searched by name and holds more than 38,000 entries, each providing the name of the testator, their address and rank or occupation, and the year in which probate was granted. See the sample extract below.

Up to 1858, all wills and administrations were handled by the Church of Ireland, and most were proved in their diocese or even parish. But if the value of the  deceased's assets exceeded £5 in more than one single diocese, the will had to be sent to the Prerogative Court in Dublin. It is these wills that were indexed by Vicars, a genealogist and heraldic expert. The original wills were, unfortunately, almost all lost in the 1922 fire at the Public Record Office in Dublin.

To search the Index, click the link or image above.

(Vicars' Index can also be downloaded free from The Internet Archive.)