There are 3 main series of records, dealing with a deceased person’s ‘estate’ - their money and possessions:

  • wills: written by the deceased (the ‘testator’) before they die
  • administrations (commonly referred to as ‘admons’): documents allowing a named person to act in the absence of a will
  • inventories of goods and chattels: drawn up after a person’s death, listing and valuing their possessions room by room

Dates covered

  • wills and admons: occasionally from the 14th –16th centuries, common from the 17th century, until the present day
  • inventories: from the 16th century to about 1750. (Since then, the deceased person’s estate has still been valued, but without a detailed inventory)

Location of records

Until January 1858

Until 10 January 1858, probate was administered by church courts. After that date, probate became a state function, carried out in special civil courts.

For Sheffield and South Yorkshire, the main series are at the Borthwick Institute in York.

For parts of Sheffield and South Yorkshire formerly in Derbyshire, Lichfield Record Office.

Original wills and copies are occasionally to be found at Sheffield Archives in family and estate collections (see our personal name and subject card indexes).

For testators with estate in the Province of Canterbury: records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC), searchable online at the National Archives' Wills 1384-1858.

From January 1858

Consult the probate registers (a form of index) for 1858-1943 at Sheffield Archives (microfiche), then apply for copies from the Postal Searches and Copies Dept., York Probate Sub-Registry, Castle Chambers, Clifford Street, York YO1 9RG, telephone 01904666777.

For calendars after 1943, visit your nearest Probate Office or request a search by York Probate Sub-Registry as above.

Original wills and copies are occasionally to be found at Sheffield Archives in family and estate collections (see our personal name and subject card indexes).

Disclaimer

The inclusion of any website or link on this page does not mean that they have been vetted or recommended by ourselves. It is important to make sure that you are happy that they are suitable for your own requirements.

Format

Microfiche.

City Archives

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