Finding my ancestor's will or record of property

If your ancestor held property, the chances are that it was left to them in a will or otherwise disposed of after they died. At Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre, we hold the probate records, for example wills, administrations and inventories, of people who bequeathed property within the diocese of Hereford before 1858. After this date, wills for the whole of England and Wales were proved. You can view an index to wills proved from 1700 - 1858 in the diocese and deanery of Hereford. After this date, wills for the whole of England and Wales were proved and are held centrally. The index to these documents is available on the Ancestry website.

Probate records can give you the names of other family members. Equally important, they offer an insight into how your ancestor lived by giving you a chance to study personal bequests and inventories of moveable goods submitted in order to obtain probate. For more information visit the National Archives wills and probate page.

Tithe maps are another potentially useful source for tracing property-owning ancestors. Produced around 1840, these maps record every field and building within a given parish and are linked by reference numbers to related apportionments, or lists of owners with property valuations. It is also possible that we hold deeds transferring property that was in the hands of your ancestors.