Find your ancestors in British India Office inventories and accounts of deceased estates

The records in the British India Office Collection include an image and a transcript of the original document. The amount of information you can discover can vary, but the British India Office wills and probate records usually include a combination of the following information about your ancestors:

Details of will

  • Name and address of deceased
  • Names of beneficiaries
  • Address of relatives (sometimes)
  • Details of bequests
  • Names of executors (sometimes)

Biographical information

  • Name of deceased and date of death
  • Age at death
  • Rank of military personnel
  • List of possessions at death
  • Value of estate at death

Key facts about the Indian Office wills and probate records

  • Over 185,000 wills and probate records from 1749-1947.
  • The records include wills and administrations, inventories, and accounts of deceased estates.
  • Inventories and accounts of deceased estates give the name of the deceased and a full inventory of their possessions at death.
  • Grants of representation are documents granted under seal by the High Court of the Presidency. They give authority to a named person (or persons) to deal with a deceased person’s estate.
  • Find out more

    The almost 2.5 million British In India records are sourced from the original India Office Records and Private Papers held by the British Library. These records comprise the archives of the East India Company (1600-1858), the Board of Control or Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India (1784 – 1858), the India Office (1858-1947), the Burma Office (1937-1947), and a number of related British agencies.