The indexes to wills and administrations (admons) proved since 1858 in England and Wales can be viewed at the search rooms at the Principal Registry of the Family Division, First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London WC1V 6NP
Probate indexes are no longer held at Somerset House.
Prior to 1858, the proving of wills 'probate' was handled by ecclesiastical courts, with jurisdiction in archdeaconries, dioceses of bishops (consistory courts) and provinces of the archbishops of Canterbury and York (prerogative courts, usually abbreviated to PCC and PCY). There were also areas which were exempt from archidiaconal and episcopal jurisdiction, known as 'peculiars'.
Copyright © 2005 John Hitchcock. All rights reserved.