Gloucestershire Wills

Abstracts of Gloucestershire 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 Gloucestershire 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.

"So glad 'my' wills have stopped yours feeling lonely!"
[AB, UK, November 2000]

"Heres another will for you... Happy Holidays!"
[LM, USA, December 2000]

"Congratulations on the Site. It's a great idea and a very useful tool. Good Luck."
[UD, UK, February 2001]

"Hope this information will be useful."
[SF, UK, May 2001]

"... I do hope this collection of wills really takes off."
[NM, New Zealand, July 2001]

"Thanks for the brilliant service you provide to us researchers."
[RW, UK, August 2001]

"I found your Glos. wills site today. a great idea. I'll certainly help with a contribution."
[RW, UK, November 2001]

"Thanks for all the work you do on GENUKI. The wills database is going to be a wonderful resource."
SK, UK, February 2002]

"The attached file contains abstacts of a number of Gloucester wills which I would be pleased to add to your excellent collection."
[KH, UK, June 2002]

"Have you thought about placing a search engine on [this] page... This would be a great addition to the site. keep up the good work."
[SP, USA, January 2003]
[Ed: we added the ability to search the collection of Gloucestershire Wills Abstracts later in 2003]

"... land, property etc could be worth under £200! Wish I'd inherited it - would be worth a fortune now!!"
JT, UK, March 2003]

"Aren't you wonderful! I hope this proves helpful to many people! Thank you for doing this."
[FT, California, May 2003]

"Here's another will. And thanks for all your good work. "
[JW, USA, March 2004]

"Here's another PCC probate for Gloucestershire... Let me know if you have trouble opening it. I work on a Macintosh and if you have a PC ..."
[JW, USA, April 2004]
Ed: I had no trouble opening the document - the only documents I can't read are those produced by Microsoft Works!

"We've finished doing all the wills from Westerleigh and Winterbourne and most of the neighboring parishes from 1610 to 1640 ... hope they will be of use to somebody - your site is a great idea."
[PG, USA, August 2004]

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

"I was so pleased to find your site the other day - such a boon to quite newbie family history seekers such as me. Keep up the good work!"
[PH, Cyprus, October 2005]

"Please find attached some summaries of family wills for the probate database... The first is the longest, but I was reluctant to sacrifice "local colour". Nevertheless, please feel free to edit as you see fit."
[DS, UK, March 2007]

"I admire your efforts in publishing and maintaining web pages. It's a very valuable service, and quite a commitment of your time. Thankyou."
MS, USA, December 2008]

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