Source Information Ireland, Indexes to Wills, Probate Administration, Marriage Bonds and Licences, 1591-1866 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2021.
Original data: Indexes of Wills, Administration and Marriage Licence Bonds. Dublin, Ireland: Microfilm of original records at the National Archives.

About Ireland, Indexes to Wills, Probate Administration, Marriage Bonds and Licences, 1591-1866

This collection includes indexes to wills, probate administration as well as marriage bonds and licences relating to individuals in Ireland for the years 1591-1866. Wills before 1858 were generally proved in church courts, of which there was a hierarchy extending from an individual parish upward. The archdeaconry courts would normally grant probate for persons with property in their area of jurisdiction. The bishop's court (or consistory court) would grant probate for any person having property in more than one archdeaconry within the diocese. The Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Armagh, latterly established at Henrietta Street, in Dublin, proved the wills of testators dying with assets of value greater than £5 ("bona notabilia") in at least two Irish dioceses. This court was also abolished by the Court of Probate Act 1857.

Wills could be written for males beginning at age 14 and females at age 12. In 1837 the age was changed to 21 for both men and women, although in the case of women, these were primarily unmarried or widowed women, since a woman’s property by law was the property of her husband until 1882.

A Marriage Licence Bond was entered into before a Bishop, prior to the granting of the Marriage Licence, with the purpose of ensuring that the impending Marriage was legally sound. Two solvent individuals (one of which was usually the bridegroom) entered into the bond for a stated sum.

This Collection

Details available vary but users may find:

  • Name
  • Name of relative(s)
  • Occupation
  • Relationship
  • Place and date of will, probate or marriage bond