12 January 2023
Almost five centuries of Hampshire wills and probates are now available on Ancestry, thanks for a collaboration with Hampshire County Council.
Ancestry and the County Council have worked together to make these historic documents accessible on Ancestry.
Featured in the records are fascinating examples of everyday Hampshire residents including:
- Thomas Hancock of Hawley, Yateley died of the plague in 1604. The records show that his will was handed to Alexander Read on a nine-foot pole because Hancock was afraid of passing on the infection to his witnesses
- Frances Dillington of West Cowes, who illustrated her will with pictures of Father Time and the scene of Jesus Christ in Judgement. Her will was read in 1704
The collection covers the years 1398-1858. Wills and probate records can offer details about your ancestor's life, such as names of family members and the value of an estate. The index is designed to help people find their ancestor's original records.
The index may include the following information:
- Date of will
- Date of probate
- Place of probate
- Place of death
- Date of death
- Case number
These records may reveal whether your ancestor owned property and if they were wealthy, however, filing a will with a church was a common practice even for people who didn’t own property.
As well exploring the records at Ancestry from wherever in the world you live, you can access the site free of charge at Hampshire public libraries and record office.