Genuki Devon Wills Index Project

IRW H407

The Devon Wills Indexing Project provides an on-line finding-aid in the form of an index of all known Devon wills, administrations and inventories prior to 1858. Staff in the Devon Heritage Centre have assisted with this project from its inception.

The online index includes index entries, original documents, probate copies, draft copy wills, transcripts and abstracts.

The ultimate aim of the project is to include information taken from all existing published or publicly available sources of information about Devon wills, administrations and inventories, i.e. of all Devon testamentary material, wherever it may be held. The Devon Wills Project is not itself transcribing or collecting transcripts or abstracts of wills, but merely offering information as to where such items may be found.

Each source included on the site is explained in detail.

All of the existing finding aids held in the Devon Heritage Centre at Sowton, Exeter have now been included. Therefore, a search of the Genuki Wills Project’s consolidated index replaces searches of other finding aids, whether on-line, typed, printed or card indexed. Almost all of the Devon wills which we know about, and which did exist, or which still survive in copy form, have been indexed on this site.

However, the Devon Heritage Centre also holds many uncatalogued collections, and a large number of the wills in these collections have not yet been identified and added to the Genuki Devon Wills Index. Many new collections are also deposited in the heritage centre every year, and those from families, solicitors and businesses often include copies of wills. Therefore these wills are not necessarily included in the Genuki Devon Wills Index either. Obviously, additions to the Devon Wills Index from these particular sources will be an ongoing task.

Recently progress in identifying wills in uncatalogued collections has been very slow, and new volunteers are needed for this aspect of the Devon Wills Indexing Project. Volunteers need to be able to visit the Devon Heritage centre at Sowton in person, as the task entails searching through boxes of uncatalogued documents for any wills or testamentary material. Interested volunteers should firstly contact Richard Grylls, who is one of the Project Co-ordinators, on email: .