Quaker Family History Society                   for family historians with Quaker ancestors from the British Isles

Where to find Quaker Wills

Quaker Wills Project

For wills prior to 1858:

• Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills.

These are available through The National Archives at Kew:
These wills can also be viewed (on a subscription basis) at Ancestry and The Genealogist.
PCC wills cover all of England and Wales, although more southern wills.
Quakers appear to have preferred to have their wills proved in the PCC.

Wills after 1858:

These wills can be purchased for £1.50 @ from https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/#wills
You will be sent a scan of the will which you can access and download from the site.

To order you will need to:
• Provide the date of probate, date of death and the name of the registry office. This information can
be found on the GOV.UK site by consulting Find a Will which will show you the probate calendar
• The probate calendar can also be consulted at Findmypast.
• The probate calendar will provide you with the probate date, date of death, registry office, name of executor(s), value of the estate.

County Record Offices

Besides the National Archives and GOV.UK, most County Archives also hold wills, which can be viewed at the
archives and often can be ordered by mail. Wills ordered by mail can be fairly expensive (about £10 each).
Some archives have entered into arrangements with one of the genealogical sites Ancestry, Findmypast, The Genealogist (by subscription) or on FamilySearch where these wills can be viewed.
Some County archives have established their own subscription services (Essex Record Office).


A number of university archives also hold wills.
The Borthwick Institute at York University holds half a million wills from Yorkshire and Notts from the Prerogative, Exchequer and Peculiar Courts of York.
Durham University’s Northeast Inheritance Database holds over 78,000 Durham wills.
Many of these wills are available at FamilySearch.

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