Ireland—Calendar of Wills and Administrations, 1858–1920


Project Instructions



Please Read the Instructions

  • Please read these project instructions carefully before indexing any batches.
  • Review this page and the field helps frequently for updates to these instructions.
  • Click here for a summary of project updates.

Account for Every Record on the Image

  • The data entry area is set at one record per image. Most images have more than one record, so you will usually need to add records in the data entry area to match the number of records on the image. To add records:
    1. On the menu bar, click Tools.
    2. Click Records per Image.
    3. Click in the Number of records box, and type the number of records on the image.
    4. Click OK.
  • In addition to the name of the deceased, these calendar entries include the names of other people, such as family members, beneficiaries, executors of the will, or administrators of the estate. As you index a calendar entry, follow this process:
    1. Index the name of the deceased in the proper Given Name and Surname fields.
    2. Index all other names of individuals found in the calendar entry in the order they appear.
    3. If more than three additional names are included in the calendar entry, add a record in the data entry area, index the name of the deceased again, along with death date and residence county information, and then index the additional names in the available name fields, beginning with the name fields for the first listed person and continuing, if necessary, to the fields for the second listed person (and so on).
  • Be sure to examine the entire image for records. Many images in this project include two facing pages, and each page usually has several calendar entries. Make sure you index all the entries on both pages and not just the first page or even just the first entry on the first page.
  • Do not index entries that are just cross-references. Click here for examples.

How to Index Given Names and Surnames

  • Do not include titles or terms, such as Widow, Baron, Reverend, Lord, Esq, Jr, or Mr, in the Given Names or Surname fields.
  • If a woman's maiden name and married surname were both recorded, index all surnames in the Surname field, with the maiden name first. The maiden name was often shown following the word "otherwise." For example, if the name was listed as "Margaret Anderson otherwise Payton," you would index Margaret in the Given Names field and Payton Anderson in the Surname field. Click here for an example.
  • Do not expand abbreviated names. For example, do not change "Thos" to Thomas or "Wm" to William. Type the name or the abbreviation as it was written in the record.
  • Do not assume a name for an individual when the document only says "and son" (or something similar). If an individual was not named on the document, do not index a record for the individual.
  • If an entry gives a list of surnames, such as "Moore, Connor, and Co," index each surname as a separate record, and if no given name was listed for a surname, mark the Given Names field as blank.
  • If an entry lists a title of nobility without any given names or surnames, such as Earl of Shaftesbury, index the entire title in the Surname field, and mark the Given Names fields as blank.

Indexing the Residence County

  • Type the name of the county recorded as the place of residence. Do not include the word "county" when indexing the name of the county.
  • Calendar entries often included former places of residence in addition to the county of residence when the person died. Former places of residence were often shown following the phrase "formerly of…." The place of residence at the time of death was often shown with the phrase "late of…." In the Residence County field, you should index only the county of residence when the person died. Click here for an example.
  • If more than one county was listed as the place of residence when the person died, index the name of the first county only.
  • If no county was recorded, type the name of the townland, town, city, or other place of residence that was recorded.
  • If an individual resided outside of Ireland at the time of death, index what was shown in the calendar entry as the place of residence. If multiple levels of locality were recorded, index all levels, except street addresses, in the order they were recorded, separating each level of locality with a space. Click here for an example.
  • Do not index street addresses in the Residence County field.

Indexing Dates

  • Index the date of death in the date fields. Do not confuse the date of death with the calendar entry date or the date on which the will was proven or letters of administration were granted. Click here for an example.
  • If no death date was recorded, then index the entry date or proof date in the death date fields.

What to Do When Records Span Two Images

  • If the first record on an image begins on a previous image, don't index it. The record will be indexed as part of the previous image. Start indexing at the first complete record.
  • If the last record on an image continues to the next image, index the entire record, including what continues to the next image. To access the information on the next image:
    1. On the menu at the top of the screen, click View.
    2. Click Show Previous or Next Image.
    3. In the window that appears, click the Next Image button.
    4. Index the record while viewing both images at the same time. (In this case, ignore the "Do not index from this image" warning.)
  • Click here to see an example.

Handwriting Helps

  • Some of these records may be handwritten. The handwriting resource on the data entry screen may help you decipher the handwriting.
  • To access this resource, click on the Handwriting Help icon (which looks like an inkwell with an orange feather quill).

Additional Information