Death Duty Registers

If you are uncertain in which court a particular will was proved you may be able to locate it in the annual indexes to death duty registers, 1796-1903. Microfilm copies of the indexes to 1903 and registers up to 1857 are held at the Family Records Centre and The National Archives,
IR27 and IR 26.

The later registers (1858-1903) are off-site and three days' notice is required to inspect these at The National Archives. The registers complement wills and administration grants, because they were kept open by the Inland Revenue for fifty years. Each numbered entry gives the deceased's address, occupation and date of death, as well as probate details. Information about beneficiaries on whose legacies duty was payable include their names, relationship to the deceased, subsequent marriages, migration overseas, and deaths, how much they were to receive, the conditions of each gift, when and what duty was paid. Not every will or administration is mentioned, certainly in the early years, because duty was only payable on legacies over a certain value, but nonetheless it forms a unique centralised list embracing every probate court in England and Wales. You can also search copies of the filmed indexes to 1903 and registers to 1857 in Family History Centres. You may have to pay a small fee to hire them.

See also The National Archives research guide Death Duty Records from 1796 for further information.


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Last Updated. 11-October-2016 By admin