Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Wills, Administrations and Deeds – Ireland

To find out about Irish Documents and wills can I suggest a visit to “Wills, Administrations and Deeds – Ireland”. Below is just a small part of it. The site can be found at and is well worth a visit.

“From 1636 to 1858 the administration of testamentary affairs in Ireland was under the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts – the Episcopal diocesan courts of the Established (Protestant) or Anglican Church. There was a Consistorial Court in each Diocese and this was responsible for granting probate and conferring on executors the power to administer the estate of the deceased. This court also dealt with those situations in which the deceased had died intestate, and issued letters of administration. Each court was responsible for wills and administrations in its own diocese. However, when the deceased had property valued at more than £5 in another Diocese, then the responsibility for that will passed on to the Prerogative Court (The Supreme Court in Ecclesiastical and Testamentary affairs in Ireland) under the authority of the Bishop of Armagh. The Consistorial Court was also responsible for the granting of Marriage Licence Bonds in the Diocese.

Consistorial Wills and Administrations therefore deal with property and marriages only in one Diocese, perhaps in more than one county.

Prerogative Wills and Administrations deal with property and marriages in more than one Diocese, usually more than one county and were more likely to be those of wealthier individuals.

Two testamentary systems operated in Ireland. The first was ecclesiastical and before 1858. The second was civil from 1858 onwards From 1858 these were under the jurisdiction of the Probate Court, consisting of a Principal Registry and eleven District Registries covering the entire country.”

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