The National Library of Wales has made digital images available online of most wills proved in Wales.
At the NLW website you can search the index and view images free of charge. At the moment no digital images are available for Hawarden, Brecon or St Asaph pre 1660. The covering dates of the surviving probate records are:
- Bangor: 1635 – 1858;
- Brecon: 1543 – 1858;
- Chester (Welsh wills): 1557 – 1858;
- Hawarden: 1554 – 1858;
- Llandaf: 1568 – 1857;
- St Asaph: 1565 – 1857;
- St David’s: 1556 – 1858.
For the period after 1858 the Library has custody of register copy wills from 5 registries, covering all but one (Montgomeryshire) of the Welsh counties, and a full set of the annual index of all wills and administrations granted in England and Wales, known as the Calendar of Grants, from 1858 to 1972.
In addition to the official probate records, some wills and inventories and other papers associated with probate can be found in the consistory court papers filed with the diocesan records of the Church in Wales. Thousands of wills occur in the Library’s collections of family, estate and personal papers; some of these may not survive in the official probate records, or may never have been proved, or may have been proved outside Wales. These can be searched through the online Archives and Manuscripts catalogue.