Welcome to the Wiltshire and Swindon Archives, Wiltshire Wills on-line catalogue!
This catalogue gives access to wills and other probate records of the diocese of Salisbury which used to cover not only Wiltshire but also Berkshire (under certain circumstances) and parts of Dorset and Devon. You can search for people by name, place, occupation and date. The collection covers 1540-1858. Searching the catalogue is FREE. In addition there are digital images for some of the documents (just over 25%) which can be viewed following on-line payment or free of charge by people visiting the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. Wills and inventories give useful information about peopleís financial status and property, and also their family relationships and friendships, which make them a wonderful resource for family and local history.
Search the catalogue by filling in the fields in the left-hand menu bar, by name, place, occupation and date then click on the grey SEARCH button (you may need to scroll down to see this). You can sort how you want the results to appear using the List data by... field. Searching the catalogue is FREE of charge. You may need to search using different spellings as spelling was not standardised until the 18th century. For example: you could try SMYTH as well as SMITH. See the help pages for more information about searching.
With effect from 26th January a new pay to view service is being launched for the on-line images part of the Wiltshire Wills. An extra set of images has recently been uploaded (completing the whole of P5) and there will be monthly additions of new images.
You will need to register for our e-shop first. Once you have registered, check the catalogue for the will you require. There will be an image of the scanner to the right of it if an on-line image is available. Click on the basket to the right of this to add the images for this catalogue entry to the basket. Please note that the number of images for each testator will vary - it could be as few as one or as many as 60. A standard charge of £5 per catalogue entry is applicable in all cases.
When you have added all the people you require to your basket then please proceed to check out. You will log in to the e-shop system, make your on-line payment (please have your credit or debit card details to hand) and then the system will generate an e-mail with a link to the images for you to view. . This link will be live for 60 days. Alternately, you can access the wills you have paid to view by logging into the system on any of the wills pages - this will take you directly to the 'Your Wills' page. You are welcome to print out the images at home or copy them onto your hard drive or onto removable media once you have viewed them, so that the £5 is a one-off payment which you do not need to make again.
Please Note: Some records are more useful than others. An administration bond is less detailed than a will, and normally only gives the name of the person (who will usually be the next of kin) responsible for administering the estate, rather than lots of family members.
Please also note that some records are duplicated and there can be two catalogue entries for the same testator, because of the way the records were kept. There may be a registered copy of the will as well as the original. You need to check the details carefully to make sure you donít pay for the same information twice. It is recommended that you read our on-line help information before you start adding items to your basket.
Where an image is available on-line, the easiest way of getting a copy is to use the pay to view system to view it and copy it however you wish. However, where an image is not yet available we may still be able to send you either print-outs of digital images or photocopies as appropriate. There is a minimum charge of £5.00 for orders by post, excluding postage and packing. Orders under £20.00 will be posted together with an invoice. For orders of £20.00 and over you will be asked for payment in advance. We are now able to take payment by credit card - please telephone or write to us if you would like to use this facility but please do NOT send your credit card details by e-mail.