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Irish: Testamentary Source Records
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Probably no record group is more important to pre-civil registration research in a country than that of wills and estate administrations. The reason is, of course, because they, more than any other record, can provide both ancestral and/or descendancy accounts of family groupings. In Ireland this is no different, though we tend to see less documentation this way than in other countries due to the way personal and moveable property descended over time.

This course will address this record group, both pre-1858 before the system of administration changed, and post-1858 which is consistent to the present date. We will discuss the value of these records during both these time periods, develop some historical background to their development, examine the contents and availability of the records in both periods, as well as comment on some research strategies for using these collections.


Course Content

Module 1
 
Introduction
• Wills
• Defining Wills & Last Testaments & the Types
• Purpose & Importance of Wills & Testamentary Records
 
Common Terms used with Wills & Administrations & their Custody
• Age & Capacity in Regard to Wills
• What Common Elements Exist in Every Will
 

Module 2
 
Information From A Will & Last Testament
• Types of Information To Be Found
• Using These Documents To Extend Your Research
 
Reliability Factor of these Court Records
• Pro-reliability Factors
• Civil Court Records
• Probate Records
• Contra-reliability Factors
• Civil Court Records
• Probate Records
 
Irish Probate Records
Medieval Wills & Inventories
 

Module 3
 
Irish Testamentary Records Before 1858
• Time Period & Historical Background
• The Diocesan Courts
• The Prerogative Court of Armagh
• Availability of Records
 

Module 4
 
Irish Testamentary Tecords After 1857
• Time Period & Historical Background
• Availability of Records
 
Summation
• Wills
• Will Abstracts
• Will Indexes
• Administrations
• Administration Abstracts
• Administration Indexes
 
Concluding Comments
Probate Districts of Ireland
Bibliography
 
 

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