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Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects, an extremely helpful resource for U.K.I. research, has just made a major addition to the resources for British Origins. Probate records published by the British Records Society are now being added to the site.


The British Record Society was founded in 1889 to take over the Index Library. The Index Library started in 1888 as a private venture to publish indexes to British records. In 1892 an official series of lists and indexes to materials in the Public Record Office began publication, and the BRS turned to records in other repositories.

Slightly more than half of the first fifty volumes were indexes to wills and administrations. From the 1930s to the 1990s the BRS focused almost exclusively on probate materials. Now that almost all pre-1700 probate record indexes have been published, the focus has turned to a two-prong approach. Post-1700 probate records will be indexed. In addition, the BRS is collaborating with the University of Roehampton to produce a series of transcriptions of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Hearth Tax returns. has obtained the exclusive rights to publish these indexes online. Records in nineteen counties, as well as the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC), are currently available. While the PCC wills are available online through The National Archives, the administrations are not currently accessible. This makes the BRS indexes for PCC records very valuable.


Those researching their early British ancestors will find a great deal of information on The addition of these indexes makes the site even more indispensible.

Posted by Michael Leclerc at 02/18/2011 05:44:40 PM | 

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