Wills, probate & tax records

Probate and tax records let you find your family’s money. While tax records tell you the value of your ancestors’ homes, land and businesses while they were alive, wills and probate records reveal what they left behind.

Latest wills, probate & tax releases

Gloucestershire Wills 1541-1858

This fascinating collection contains images of wills and inventories proved in the Diocese of Gloucestershire from 1541 to 1858. During this time, wills in England and Wales were proved in church courts.

If you have ancestors from Gloucestershire, you could find the value of your ancestors’ estates, plus learn unique details about their lives and relationships. These wills are mainly for men or unmarried or widowed women, because a woman’s property was the property of her husband until 1882.

Pre-1858 Wills1384-1858

The Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills is the most important collection of pre-1858 wills for England and Wales. Dating back to King Henry IV's reign, it’s packed with wills from members of the old middle and upper classes. You’ll also find wills from some of the nation’s most famous sons and daughters – Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Wordsworth and Cromwell, to name just a few.

You can search the index to find an ancestor's will and then view the original image for a fascinating look at their life, dearest possessions and family relationships.

West Yorkshire Tax1910

Like so many records, the West Yorkshire Tax Valuation 1910 was created so the Government could work out how much to tax people. In this case, the tax was on the increase in each property's value over time.

Find extra details on the properties along with names of owners and occupiers, street location, and the value of the land.

Recommended probate & tax records

National Probate Calendar1858-1966

The National Probate Calendar is the single most important resource for tracing your ancestors’ wills — and you won’t find it anywhere else online.

First, it tells you where and when your ancestors died, and reveals the value of the estate they left behind. Second, it makes it far easier to order copies of their wills, with all the extra information they provide, from the Principal Probate Registry.

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Ireland Griffith’s Valuation1847-1864

Griffith’s Valuation is the most useful of the ‘census substitutes’ that fill the gap in 19th-century Irish research. It was created to work out how much tax the country’s inhabitants should be paying.

Sir Richard Griffith’s assessors worked out the value of all of Ireland’s privately owned property. The resulting records cover the vast majority of households, and while they don’t list every family member, they do let you pinpoint where your relatives were living.

London Wills & Probate1507-1858

This huge collection of thousands of probate records helps you follow your family’s fortunes through 300 years of London life. More than that, though, it lets you pinpoint property owners from outside the capital — and even overseas.

Early wills were proved in various courts around the country, depending not on where someone lived, but where they had assets. Thousands of people from other parts of the country — and all over the British Empire — owned houses or land in London, so you may find their wills here.

All our probate & tax collections

Probate: England, national

Probate: England, regional

Probate: Rest of UK & Ireland

Tax

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