StCaths Articles

StCaths Articles

Wills Scotland

Searching Wills in Scotland

In Scotland testaments for the years 1514 to 1901 inclusive are now being digitally imaged by the Scottish Archive Network. This is a Heritage Lottery funded project in which NAS and the Genealogical Society of Utah are partners. Copies of most of these images are available for purchase at You can register at this site to receive updates about progress. The site currently contains a full index to these testaments.

From 1901, to search for the will and/or inventory of someone who died in Scotland or, someone with Scottish connections who died outside Scotland, you need to know:


Before 1858 wills were proved and letters of administration were issued either in the Prerogative Court or in the consistorial or diocesan courts of the Church of Ireland (the State Church at the time).

In 1858 testamentary jurisdiction passed to the civil courts to the Principal Probate Registry in Dublin and the 11 District Probate Registries that made up the new Court of Probate. In 1877 the Probate Court and the Court for Matrimonial Causes were merged into the Probate and Matrimonial Division of the High Court. From 1922, the Principal Probate Registry in Belfast and the Londonderry District Probate Registry of Probate and Matrimonial Division of the High Court assumed this responsibility for Northern Ireland.

Published on 2 February 2020

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