Before 1858, wills for the Doncaster area were admitted to probate by the church courts for the archdiocese of York. These original wills and the copies made for the court register are now to be to be found at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, York, YO10 5DD. Wills could also be registered with the prerogative court of the archdiocese of Canterbury. These records are now held at The National Archives.
From January 1858, a network of civil probate registries was established throughout England and Wales. The probate registry for the West Riding of Yorkshire was located at Wakefield. The records of this probate registry are now to be found at the Headquarters, West Yorkshire Archive Service, Registry of Deeds, Newstead Road, Wakefield, WF1 2DE. They include copy wills and annual indexes (called 'calendars'). The original wills from Wakefield are now at the York district probate registry.
Sheffield Archives holds a series of the probate calendars from 1858 to 1934.
Wills earlier than 1858 for Austerfield, Bawtry and Finningley are to be found at Nottinghamshire Archives.
The Principal Registry of the Family Division is the national registry for wills. Its address is 1st Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6NP. Telephone: 020 7947 7133.
Doncaster Archives holds draft and copies of wills, mainly amongst its archives of solicitors, but these form only a minute fraction of the wills to be found at York or Wakefield. They are indexed on the Doncaster Archives general index of surnames.