American Source Records in England, 1600s-1800s



Span the Atlantic with this essential collection of English will abstracts, church records, and passenger lists. Largely comprised of English will summaries, this resource can tie your American ancestors to their English roots. You will find 141,000 individuals.

English source records can help you research an American settler’s English legacy, closing the gap between generations and continents. Significantly, several volumes found here, as a group, make up a comprehensive resource for American wills proved in London from the early 1600s to the late 1700s. English wills can be an important genealogical resource tool, often providing names and locations of relatives, names of relatives who emigrated to the colonies, address information, and data about the deceased’s life and characteristics. The facts provided by such records can help you establish family connections and determine the economic status of your ancestors.

Increasingly common starting in the mid-1500s, wills initially were validated by the established English church, usually through local courts. In more complex cases, the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC) had ultimate jurisdiction. For example, the PCC proved all wills for individuals who died outside of the country while holding property in England. Thus, PCC records are particularly critical for those hoping to make connections between England and America. This resource includes exceptional coverage of PCC documents relating to American wills.