This updated guide to probate jurisdictions and their records is designed for the newcomer to local and family history. Its purpose is to suggest where to start looking for wills and their associated records.
For this reason, information on location of probate records before the mid-sixteenth century is largely omitted. As this is a guide to records of the nineteenth and earlier centuries, it has been logical to arrange it according to the counties as they existed before local government reorganisation in 1974. For the same reason, local record offices are still maintained, such as Huntingdon, which have been absorbed into larger administrative ares. Sources are included for England and Wales, Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Scotland and Ireland.
The crucial date for testamentary research in England and Wales is 1858, when the present when the present centralised system was introduced. Sources are therefore arranged as 'since 1858' and 'before 1858'. Many URL's are cited for online sources.
The guide includes an introduction to the subject; a useful glossary of terms and outline maps of the pre-1974 administrative counties.