Explore 2,032 full abstracts of original wills from London and Middlesex, which contain all the information given in the original probate material; such as, the probate date, occupation and beneficiaries. The abstracts include details about your ancestor’s personal property and who received property or belongings after his/her death. Wills are a personal primary source for your family tree. A will can give insight into your relative’s life and reveal who were the most important people in his/her life. Use the full text search option to discover if your relative was named within a will.
Each record includes a transcript of the original will. The amount of detail in each transcript can vary but most will include:
Status or occupation
Place – In most records, this is a residence at the time the will was created
Contents – A full abstract of the original will. Includes the names of beneficiaries and detail of personal property. You will also find the names of witnesses to the will. The abstract will also detail the full value of the estate. Some of the wills even made a note of your ancestor’s state of mind; for example, (s)he may have been sick and weak when the will was created.
A full text search option is available for these records. This is beneficial to use if your ancestor was not the testator, but named within the will. Therefore, if you do not find your ancestor’s will, you might find their name in someone else’s.
Copies of the original wills are held at The London Metropolitan Archives (LMA). Their website is www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/lma . In order to purchase a copy of the original will, you need to contact LMA for an order form. When completing the form, you will need to provide the key information given in the abstract. The key information includes the testator’s name, place or residence and year or date of the will.
This record set contains 2,032 indexed abstracts to London and Middlesex wills from 1700-1704. These abstracts contain a complete summary of all details contained within each will, and include 31 detailed inventories.
Names in the index are according to the spelling used in the documents, usually based on the signature of the testator.
Dates are given in 'Old Style' or Julian calendar.
Wherever there has been a subsequent annotation, usually concerning where and when the testator died, and whether (s)he left more or less than £5 or £20, this has been included after the date of probate in parenthesis.
The abstracts are all taken from original wills (as opposed to register copies) and cover the following courts:
Archdeaconry Court of Middlesex
Archdeaconry Court of London
Commissary Court of London
Consistory Court of London
Peculiar Court of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral
The City of London and county of Middlesex were in the Diocese of London.