The wills index comprises about 77,000 entries taken from a manual listing of probate records of the Diocese of Hereford, 1428 - 1700;  the Diocese of Hereford Probate Act Books 1700-1858, and Hereford Deanery Probate Act Books 1660-1858. The early probate listing includes wills (W), letters of administration (A), inventories (I) and other associated documents. Information given includes name of testator, parish, occupation and original document reference. The Act Books contain a summary record of each grant, including: the names of the testator and executor(s), the parish they were from, the value of each estate and the date of the probate grant. In some cases, all of the original documents have been lost and the Act Book holds the only surviving record of a will.

Historically, the Diocese of Hereford included most of the modern county of Herefordshire, southern Shropshire and some bordering parishes in Powys, Monmouthshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. Visit the Diocese of Hereford website for coverage of the Diocese of Hereford and Deanery of Hereford.

You can order copies of wills and letters of administrations for £12 each, or four for the price of three, from the Herefordshire Archive Service's research service. Copies will be sent via email. Alternatively, we can post paper copies for which we will charge postage. To order, complete a research request form - remember to include details on the testator and date of probate on the form. For further information visit the research and copying service page.

Using the wills search

If you are uncertain about a name, you can use wildcards:

  • '*' will match any characters
  • '_' will match any single character

For example, 'J_n' would match Jon but not John, and 'J*n' would match both.

Search for a will