Formerly published by GlobalGazette.ca
New UK Wills and Probate beta website is a must-visit - UPDATED
Posted February 11, 2015, Updated March 6, 2015
By Rick Roberts, GlobalGenealogy.com
The National Archives in the United Kingdom has a new online resource for those searching for Wills and Probate processed in England and Wales from 1858-present for non-military persons (soldiers 1850-1986). This online resource is new enough that the site mentions that it is 'beta' testing. They provide a method for beta users to provide feedback on their experience using the site and asks for recommendations for improvements.
I used it for the first time this morning in my ongoing search to find more proof that one George Bowman (1799-1875) of Leeds is the father of my wife's second great grandmother, Maria Bowman (1832-1881).
Here is list of what/who is included in the Wills and Probate database as described on the National Archives website:
Here is a screen snippet of the search result. George Bowman's record is at the top of the page. The information that is filled out on the right hand side of the page was taken from the provided index information and entered by me to order the complete Wills and Probate file:
Here's a better look at the information that was provided in the free index search for George Bowman:
There is a fee if you decide to order scans of all of the documents pertaining to the Will and probate from the National Library. The charge for scans of George Bowman's documents was £10. Access to the documentary file is not immediate. Each request is handled manually after an order is placed. It takes up to 10 working days for the complete file to be retrieved, scanned, and notification that the documents are ready to downloaded.
Here is a screen snippet of the page that confirms my order and where the documents will be available after they are scanned. You will be asked for your email address and to choose a password during the ordering process. National Archives will include a link in the email notification so you can easily access your records:
I'll update this article with some observations once I've been notified that my document set for George Bowman is ready to download.
Here are the links to the Wills and Probate search pages on the UK National Archives website:
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