Before 1858 the administration of testamentary papers was regulated by the Church of Ireland. Virtually all original wills probated prior to 1858 were destroyed in Dublin in 1922. In the absence of a will letters of administration were sometimes granted. These were usually issued to close family members.
The original administration bonds were also destroyed in Dublin in 1922, but index volumes for dioceses are available in the Library at PRONI. This database contains nearly 1,700 names of those who died intestate and had letters of administration issued for their estate in the diocese of Dromore and the exempt jurisdiction of Newry and Mourne.
From Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI).