Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

14/8/2010

Find out with the new National Probate Calendar at Ancestry.co.uk

Did your family live in luxury or squalor? Now you can find out, with an exclusive new collection at Ancestry.co.uk.

The National Probate Calendar (http://www.ancestrystage.co.uk/probate) is the most important family history release this year. As well as revealing your ancestors’ wealth and social standing, it lets you build a detailed picture of their daily lives.

The original documents were made by the Principal Probate Registry, which is responsible for the distribution of people’s property after they die across England and Wales. This means the Calendar contains summaries of your ancestors’ wills and probate records from all over the country.

Until now, the only way to search the Calendar was to visit a probate registry in person and scour the entries manually. Now it has gone online for the first time, at Ancestry.co.uk.

The new collection is a fully-searchable version of the Calendar for the vast majority of years between 1861 and 1941. Find an ancestor’s entry (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=1904), and you’ll discover their full name, their date and place of death, and the executor of their will – often another family member. Crucially, you’ll also find the value of their estate, revealing whether your forebear was a prince or a pauper.

That’s not all. Once you’ve pinpointed a member of your family in the Calendar, you can use its information to order copies of all their other probate records, usually including a will.

This will list all the possessions they left, giving you a fascinating insight into their hobbies, interests and possibly even their job. It will also tell you who inherited these belongings, providing you with a host of new relatives to explore. Find out how to order the full records in Ancestry.co.uk’s step-by-step guide (http://www.ancestrystage.co.uk/probate).

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