Click here to skip to content

Wills and Administrations

These pages provide guidance to family historians on how to use sources from the India Office Records such as occupational descriptions or types of documents (wills, pensions or ecclesiastical records for example). Please note this website does not provide information on individual personal files.

Wills

Name and address of deceased, names of beneficiaries, sometimes addresses of relatives, details of bequests, names of executors. Between c1704 and c1780 wills were recorded in court proceedings (Records class P): Bengal Public Proceedings, 1704-1727; Bengal Mayor's Court Proceedings 1727-1774 and Supreme Court Proceedings 1774-1779; Madras Mayor's Court Proceedings up to 1780; and Bombay Mayor's Court Proceedings up to 1783. A single volume records wills from 1618 to 1725: G/40/23. From 1780 to 1948 wills were recorded in a separate sequence for ease of reference: L/AG/34/29 series. A photocopy of an alphabetical list of wills to 1783 (Z/L/AG/34/1, formerly H/792) is on the Asian & African Studies reading room shelves. For indexes from c1780 to 1909 use the photocopies of Z/L/AG/34/4-10 on the Reading Room shelves. For wills from 1909 onwards, consult the general card index of wills, or the typescript version (in progress), in the Reading Room.

Grants of Administration

1774-1948: L/AG/34/29 series. Mainly in cases of intestacy, with other cases where the executor was not available or was unwilling to act. Name of deceased, date of death, the High Court of the Presidency where the administration was registered, the name and address of the person granted administration of the estate. For indexes to 1909 use the photocopies of Z/L/AG/34/4-10 on the Reading Room shelves. For grants from 1909 onwards, consult the general card index of wills, or the printed. version (in progress), in the Reading Room.

Grants of Probate

  1. Probates and Administrations granted by District Courts in India and by High/Chief Courts established since 1865 (i.e. other than Calcutta, Madras, Bombay), 1865-1938: L/AG/34/31/1-21. Index for 1865-1910 at Z/L/AG/34/12. For grants from 1909 onwards, consult the general card index of wills, or the typescript version (in progress), in the Reading Room.
  2. Registers of Probates and Letters of Administration 1787-1974: L/AG/33/1-11. These are alphabetically arranged and refer to home and overseas servants of the East India Company / India Office or their dependants who died in the UK/Europe while in receipt of salary, leave pay or pension.

Inventories of Deceased Estates copies of Estate Accounts

1780-1938: L/AG/34/27 series. Name of deceased, list of possessions at time of death. For indexes to 1909 use the photocopies of Z/L/AG/34/13-16 on the Reading Room shelves. For grants from 1909 onwards, consult the general card index of wills, or the typescript version (in progress), in the Reading Room.

Military Estate Papers

1849-1937: L/AG/34/40/1-104 comprise estate accounts, inventories and wills for European officers and other ranks of the EIC / Indian Army. There are no indexes per se but they can be approached via the indexes to Treasury Deposits 1849-1919 (see below).

Treasury Deposits

1792-1927: L/AG/34/33 series. Indexes: Z/L/AG/34/17-21. These refer to European officers and other ranks of the EIC / Indian Army. Though less informative than the Military Estate Papers, they give name of deceased, rank and unit, date of death, amount of money left in Indian rupees and sterling equivalent, name and address of next of kin.

Original Indexes to Wills, Administrations and Inventories

Photocopies of many of the indexes in the Z/L/AG/34 index series (Wills, Administrations and Inventories of Deceased Estates to 1909) have been placed in the Reading Room. The original card index, for wills, etc. after 1909, is also available in the Reading Room while the information it contains is being transferred to a printed list. See also the separate 'Guide to Wills, Probates, Administrations and Inventories in the India Office Records', shelved in the Reading Room.