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This record set comprises transcriptions of 9000 wills of Irish men who served in WWI. This collection of wills represents approximately a quarter of the Irishmen who died in that war.

The wills are of those of privates and non-commissioned officers. The wills were written on pre-printed pages that were included in the soldiers’ service book. Most of the wills were not witnessed and are considered informal wills. Where there was no will there was a special form for a Missing or Nuncupative Will. Letters to the family could be used as evidence of the soldier’s intentions for his effects. Most of the men were young and single and left everything to their mothers. Very few of the original wills give details of the bequests, usually the directions indicate that the named beneficiary is to receive everything.

A small number of soldiers made more than one will. Each of these wills were processed by the War Office (WO) separately and are included in the record set.

Searching the Irish Wills Transcriptions
Our search function allows you to search for most of the information contained in the transcription.

Normal searches by name can be augmented using the ‘What Else’ box. Searches can be made for:


  • Regiment
  • Place-names: searches can be made for place of death e.g. Ypres and towns and counties in Ireland where the solider has recorded that information.
  • Beneficiary: both by first or surname and by relationship to the soldier.


The original documents are held by the National Archives of Ireland.