British genealogy subscription site Ancestry.co.uk has added a database called the National Probate Calendar, 1861-1941, which has 6 million names and other information from wills and probate records created in England and Wales during those years. (This database also is available on Canadian subscription site Ancestry.ca and on Ancestry.com.)
In England, the Principal Probate Registry has been responsible for the probate process since 1858. Cases were summarized in the registry’s National Probate Calendar.
“There’s an entry for the vast majority of people who died in that period,” says Ancestry.co.uk spokesperson Russell James. The calendar may provide the deceased person’s full name, date and place of death, executor of his or her will (often another family member) and value of the estate.
You can use the information in the database to write the Principal Probate Registry for copies of the deceased’s will and probate records.
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