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This series of five volumes was compiled from the existing finding aids at the Public Record Office in Dublin, and published between 1909 and 1920. They contain entries for over 30,000 wills for most of the diocesan consistorial courts of Ireland up to 1800, and many up to 1858 when the administration of wills and probate was removed from church control to the state. Each entry records the testator's name, address and year of probate, as well as frequent reference to social status or occupation. The first two volumes were compiled by William Phillimore Watts. After his death in 1913 the tireless Irish genealogist Gertrude Thrift continued the work. The series was cut short by the destruction of the PRO in 1922.
But given that the vast majority of the original wills were destroyed in 1922, this index is an essential resource for research. While the books were republished some years ago, they have been out of print for some time. The set reproduced here comes from the Library at Trinity College Dublin, and the publication contains high quality images of all 868 pages, which are fully searchable.
The following is a list of diocese covered by these volumes, with the covering dates. We have also listed the counties which are covered by these diocese, with the principal county or counties listed first.
* Ossory, 1536-1800, Cos. Kilkenny, Laois (Queen's)
* Leighlin, 1652-1800, Cos. Carlow, Laois (Queen's), Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow
* Ferns, 1601-1800, Cos. Wexford, Carlow, Wicklow
* Kildare, 1661-1800, Cos. Kildare, Laois (Queen's), Offaly (King's), Wicklow
* Cork & Ross, 1548-1800, Cos. Cork, Kerry
* Cloyne, 1621-1800, Cos. Cork, Limerick, Waterford
* Cashel & Emly, 1618-1800, Cos. Tipperary, Kilkenny, Limerick
* Waterford & Lismore, 1645-1800, Cos. Waterford, Cork, Tipperary
* Killaloe & Kilfenora, 1653-1800, Cos. Clare, Tipperary, Laois (Queen's), Limerick
* Limerick, 1615-1800, Cos. Limerick, Clare, Cork, Kerry
* Ardfert & Aghadoe, 1690-1800, Cos. Kerry, Cork
* Dromore, 1678-1858, Cos. Down, Antrim, Armagh
* Exempt Jurisdictions of Newry & Mourne, 1727-1858, Cos. Down, Armagh
* Derry, 1612-1858, Cos. Derry, Antrim, Donegal, Tyrone
* Rahoe, 1684-1858, Cos. Donegal
Summary by Archive CD Books Ireland
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