Derbyshire Wills

Abstracts of Derbyshire Probate Records

Select a letter below to go directly to entries starting with that letter
Or use the search box below to search all Wills in this collection.

Many thanks to the kind people who have provided details of their ancestors' Wills for this project.
Please respect our Terms and Conditions of Use.

See also Other Derbyshire Probate Record Collections on the GENUKI website.

Additional Information

The idea for this, and other Wills collections I maintain came originally from a gentleman named Leslie Mahler, who emailed me its very first entry, in the hope that it would be useful to someone.

One of its purposes could be to assist in locating those hard-to-find female lines. Perhaps a father's Will may be the ONLY indication of parentage for a married daughter, when a baptism, or even her marriage, goes unrecorded. Or else you may be interested simply in extending your Family History, in the broadest sense, in learning which families were related, or how far some people travelled.

An example of the former is the Will of William BROOMHEAD, dated 1813 in which he names his married daughter Sarah, wife of William WILD. I had been unable to trace any recorded baptism for Sarah, so if it weren't for her father's Will, I would never have known her parents.

An example of the latter is in Jacob BAGSHAW's Will, dated 1785. He was a bachelor, but his Will names a lot of relatives, some of whom moved to London. If you were researching BAGSHAW from the London end, the Will may provide the very information you are looking for - telling you where the family you are researching came from!

The format I've adopted for the Wills collection as a whole, is :-

SURNAME, forename - residence and occupation, date the Will was WRITTEN (when known) followed by date of DEATH, again if known. Following this is a list of benefactors, and those mentioned in the Will, with Witnesses, Appraisers of Inventory, &c. The date of PROBATE comes at the end.

In probably 99% of cases in our collection, the Will has been written just a short while before death and probate. There is one case however, where it was 20+ years before, and plenty of examples where the Will has been made and a benefactor, or executor has died before the Will has been proved. So whilst on the fact of it a date of when a Will was written would appear to be meaningless, it could help pinpoint dates between which other events could have taken place.

Our Virtual “Bouquets”
What our contributors have said about this project,
and other useful snippets.

"I noticed you already have the wills I sent in your compilation. They look great! Thanks for the service you provide."
[AP, Texas, August 2000]

"I am pleased to report that I have had my first, a serious bite from "my Wills" listing."
[AS, France, February 2001]

"Thanks for all you do Rosemary..."
[KP, USA, July 2002]

"Thanks thanks thanks for your brilliant will site. It's helped me with my family search in CELF so immensely."
[JB, New Zealand, February 2003]

"Thankyou for the great work you do with the Dby GENUKI site, and all the best for the festive season."
BC, New Zealand, December 2003]

"Thanks for all your efforts. Fellow hunter..."
[GB, US, May 2004]

"You probably know that only an estimated 20% of the population left wills."
[LW, USA, September 2005]

"You're *most* welcome... Gratitude needs to be shared with the folks who deserve it..."
['Teena', Canada, March 2006]

"Please find below the details of a Derbyshire will... I hope this is of use for your excellent website."
[SN, June 2006]

[In relation to my (Rosemary's) implementation of Paul Jones's 'Lichfield Wills' database, elsewhere online]
"You should be delighted as the Wills info works brilliantly :-)"
[AA, UK, March 2009]

"I am most grateful, and thank you for all your help on the research pages. Just reading the pages is so interesting."
[SR, Australia, April 2009]

"Thank you for creating the Derbyshire Wills site. None of my family seems to be there now, but perhaps some will turn up."
[DH, UK, December 2009]

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