"Due to a significant increase in the volume of search requests there is currently a delay in the processing of search applications at York Probate Sub Registry. We are taking steps to rectify this and apologise for any inconvenience this delay may cause."This notice on the website www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/1226.htm should dispel any doubt about the value that genealogists see in probate records. It appeared after Ancestry.co.uk recently placed online
the dataset "England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations),1861-1941". Word is that turn-around time in York for people ordering full copies of wills has gone from days to weeks.
The indexing Ancestry has completed on these records is extracting less than half the names they contain. Here's an example from a distant part of my family tree. Ancestry's indexing gives only the deceased name, probate date, death date and place.
There are two other names in the item, Charles Thomas Northwood and Elizabeth Mallaber, both of which strike more of a chord for me than Hannah Northwood.
While indexing these records again manually would be costly, given the decent quality of the text making the whole thing searchable through automated optical character recognition would be a relatively inexpensive and quick means of making these records even more valuable than they have proven to be already.