Wills can provide a lot of interesting details about an individual or a family. Although legal in structure they can be personal in nature. They can also help to clarify distant relationships and identify the names of married daughters.
Wills since 1858 are kept at the Probate Registry in London. Hampshire wills may be found at the County Record office in Winchester.
Wills proved before 1858 can be found in a variety of places. Over a million wills proved between 1398 and 1858 by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC) are available on DocumentsOnline, which is part of the National Archives web site. Local wills from 1398 to 1941 not held at the National Archives are kept at the Hampshire Record office in Winchester.
The Central Library holds two major indexes to wills
The Hampshire Wills Index is an index to Hampshire wills from 1398 to 1941 held at Hampshire Record Office. The index is arranged alphabetically by surname.
National Probate Calendar is an index to all wills proved by the Court of Probate. It covers the years 1858 to 1943 and is arranged by year and surname.