Beneficiaries and Executors Database

Welcome to the home of the Beneficiaries and Executors Index. 

What is it?

It is an Index that lists the Beneficiaries and Executors named in the Wills of individuals who have died during the past 300 years; it also lists the names of individuals who died without leaving a Will and the names of the people that administered their estate.

It has been compiled from probate and newspaper records, that is Wills that have required a Grant of Probate and the Administrations of persons who have died Intestate without leaving a Will.

The testator (the individual who left the Will) may have named Beneficiaries and Executors who are entitled to property, money or valuables from their Estate, the Index lists these Beneficiaries and Executors. It is not a complete index, but part of an ongoing project; if your name is not included in the index, it does not mean that you are not a Beneficiary of someone’s Will.

It is not a complete index.

Searching the Index – Tips:

The names of the Beneficiaries and Executors found in the index have been entered in full, i.e. John William Smith, according to the manner in which they were written in the Will or Administration of the Testator. This information may not be accurate and it may be the case that the Beneficiary or Executor are known by different names to family and friends familiar with them e.g. Lily for Lilian or Rose for Rosina etc. This should be taken into consideration when searching.

I have noted that there are many mistakes in the original official records. Place names have been recorded incorrectly and names of individuals appear to have been misspelt, I have tried to index words exactly how they appear in the official records with the exception of place names. As with any historical index, proceed with caution.


For those individuals who died and were Probated before 1858 the date of death is not included in the Will and so I have used the date of Probate as a guideline in place of a date of death. This of course may not be an accurate guide to the date of death because Probate would often occur many years after death.


The broad geographical area where the Testator lived at the time of his or her death is given. The format that we have employed is to display town followed by ceremonial county, i.e. Liverpool, Merseyside etc. For London areas we have used an area or metropolitan town and qualified it with the ceremonial county name of ‘Greater London’, for example Kennington, Greater London; Barnet, Greater London etc.

A note on Executors

I have included all Executors named in the Will and on the Grant of Probate irrespective of whether they eventually administered the Will.

In the Search Field “Designation” = the role of either Executor or Beneficiary.