Calendars of wills proved in the Irish Free State/Eire/Republic of Ireland from 1923-1982 are now available online.
CIGO says on its website: “The National Archives of Ireland has quietly begun to put PDF versions of its Calendars of Wills and Administrations online. This is a great new online resource for Irish genealogy, even though it is still riddled with teething problems. The original Calendars cover all 32 counties of Ireland from 1858 to independence, and the 26 counties of what is now the Republic of Ireland since then.
“However, at the moment, those scanned and online only run from 1923. The index on the National Archives website is completely impenetrable, but for now this index on the CIGO Links page is the best entry point at the moment. The Calendars are PDF files, where P stands for Portable, but are about as portable as the physical books from which they were made, so don’t try using them on a dial-up connection! The PDFs do not appear to be searchable, or even bookmarked, at this stage, so you will have to scroll or page down through the whole book to find the name you seek.
“The calendar has been digital since 1983 and those entries for the years 1983 to 1990 can be found through general searching of the online National Archives catalogue. Within the next few months a new searchable database (compiled by FamilySearch) is to be added to the National Archives website covering the period 1858-1922.
“The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland’s online database covers the years 1858-1943, but relates only to those entries for the six counties of Northern Ireland *. The entries in the database for the years 1858-1919 were abstracted from the all-Ireland Calendars of Wills and Administrations and can be found on the PRONI website. Part of 1921 has still to be added to this database, as does all of 1920. However, the database is complete for the years 1922-1943 for all Northern Ireland grants.
“NB: for the pre-1922 period, the PRONI database does not note grants issued by the Principal Registry based in Dublin, only those grants issued from the District Registries of Armagh, Belfast & Londonderry, which fall within the boundaries of what became Northern Ireland. From 1922, a new Principal Registry was established in Belfast to serve Northern Ireland.”
* I think CIGO has got it wrong here. The PRONI website says: “The District Registries covering what is now Northern Ireland were those for Armagh, Belfast and Londonderry. From 1858 to 1921 (when it was abolished) the Armagh Registry covered testators living in Cos Armagh, Fermanagh, Louth, Monaghan and Tyrone except for the baronies of Strabane and Omagh in Co. Tyrone. Belfast District Registry from 1858-1921 covered Cos Antrim and Down while the Londonderry District Registry covered for the same period covered Cos Donegal, Londonderry and the baronies of Strabane and Omagh in Co Tyrone.” (See the PRONI website.)
I’ve tried searching for wills whose testators lived in Counties Donegal, Louth and Monaghan – and even County Cavan (all now in the Irish Republic) and there are many wills for those four counties in the PRONI database (and not just up to the end of 1921).