Index Books for Probates of Wills and Grants of Administration PRE 1858|
These records were drawn up under the diocesan courts of the established church (Church of Ireland since 1870). They are handwritten original books and are available on the shelves in the National Archives of Ireland Reading Room, one for each diocese in Ireland. They date from around 1580. The index entry is all you get. The original wills, probates, administrations and grants in state custody to which the indexes lead, no longer exist. They were destoyed in the 1922 civil war fire at the Public Record Office in Dublin's Four Courts. Reading through the alphabetical indexes can be useful. Information is names of people, sometimes their address and occupation and the year in which they died.
Index Books for Probates of Wills and Grants of Administration 1858 to 1904
These printed books are available on the shelves in National Archives Reading Room, one for each year from 1858 until 1904. They list Probates of Wills and Grants of Administration registered with the state. The surnames in each book are alphabetical. There is a separate overall index book but it only covers 1858 to 1877. Any probate reference you find in one of the annual books may lead to an abstract of the copy Will or Letter of Administration provided that registration of the probate was not in Dublin. Practically all original Wills, Probates & Administrations (dated prior to 1905 and deposited at the Public Record Office) were destroyed in 1922 when the building caught fire during hostilities in the Civil War. Counter stafff will give you a register to check if abstracts exist for wills in particular probates.
Index Books for Probates of Wills and Grants of Administration 1905 to 1982 and thereafter
These printed books are a seamless continuation of ones above, on the shelves in National Archives Reading Room. You note the probate reference and order up the copy of a Will. For deaths from 1924 onwards you can also ask the counter staff to show you the Schedule of Assets reference book. Selecting the appropriate reference for the month and year of the probate, you can then also order up the Schedule of Assets. The copy wills are very informative but I have often found important clues in the Schedule of Assets data.
Wills, Abstracts of Wills, Grants, Administratons and Schedules of Assets referenced in above 1858/1982 sources are official documents in the custody of the state and are stored elsewhere. Having ordered them over the counter at National Archives, allow at least two days before calling to view. I always telephone the day before I go to Dublin, to ensure that the material has arrived in National Archives.
For deaths after 1982
You have to telephone the Probate Office - Dublin 01-8886174. Tell them the name you seek and and they will check their computer to see whether a probate was registered and they give you the date of it. If there is a match you can visit Probate Office at the Four Courts in Dublin to examine copy records. You pay a 5 Euro fee for view the documents plus copying charges if you want photocopies.
Wills deposited by donation
National Archives have an alphabetical card index in their Reading Room. The index reference leads to a copy or extract of an original Will. I found a copy of my great great grandfather's 1875 will in National Archives, the copy being donated by a firm of solicitors in Dublin.
LC Wills, Irish Land Commission
Several volumes listing these documents, which include Wills, are in the Catalogue Room (off the Reading Room) in the National Library. There is no access to these documents for the public and the volumes listing them are nothing but a big tease. Land Commission say only people with a legal interest in these mainly pre 20th century documents may inspect them. This archaic restriction should be lifted by the state.