An index to over 132,540 Devon wills and other testamentary documents has been made available online.
This index – on the National Wills Index website – has been created as a combined project by Origins.net and the Devon Wills Project (a collaborative project involving the Devon Family History Society, the Devon Record Office, GENUKI/Devon, and the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office) to compile a consolidated index of pre-1858 Devon wills, administrations, inventories, etc.
Many Devon probate records were lost when the Probate Registry was destroyed by enemy action in 1942. Thus the aim of this index is to create a finding-aid to enable the researcher to determine what probate materials were originally recorded and – most importantly – what documents have survived and where they can be located.
The current index includes over 132,540 records of probate documents compiled from the following sources. Updates to this collection will follow soon.
- Archdeaconry Court of Barnstaple Devon Wills and Administrations Index 1563-1858;
- Calendar of Devon and Cornwall Wills and Administrations, proved in the court of the Principal Registry of the Bishop of Exeter, 1559-1799, and of Devon only, proved in the Court of the Archdeaconry of Exeter, 1540-1799 (BRS Vol. 35);
- Calendar of Devon and Cornwall Wills and Administrations, proved in the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Exeter, 1532-1800 (BRS Vol. 46).