Devon Wills Project 1312-1891
About the Devon Wills Project 1312-1891
This index has been created as a combined project by Origins.net and the Devon Wills Project (DWP). DWP is a co-operation involving the Devon Family History Society, Devon Heritage Services, GENUKI/Devon, and the Plymouth and West Devon RO to compile an index of Devon wills, administrations, etc. The index shows where copies, transcripts, abstracts or extracts of such original testamentary documents may be found, and in many cases the whereabouts of the original documents themselves.
The majority of wills and administrations of Devon people were proved or granted in either in Devon itself or in London. The originals of those wills proved in London (very nearly all at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, "PCC") have survived. However many probate records for the county of Devon and Diocese of Exeter including the Exeter Principal Registry were destroyed by enemy action in 1942, when the Probate Registry was destroyed in the bombing during the Exeter Blitz of WWII. Thus the overall 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 (original document, copy or abstract) and where they can be located.
Sources currently online
The current index includes over 132,540 records of probate documents compiled form the following sources:
More details on current sources and upcoming sources
- Index of the Wills and Administrations relating to the County of Devon proved in the Court of the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, 1563-1858
- Calendar of Wills and Administrations relating to the counties of Devon and Cornwall, 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. British Record Society Vol 35 (1908)
- Calendar of Wills and Administrations relating to the counties of Devon and Cornwall, proved in the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Exeter, 1532-1800. British Record Society Vol 46 (1914)
For more on the Devon Wills Project and how to use it in your research see About Devon Wills Project 1312-1891