Court of the Bishop of Carlisle (Episcopal Consistory)

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Cumberland Probate Records
Court of the Bishop of Carlisle (Episcopal Consistory)
Westmorland Probate Records
Court of the Bishop of Carlisle (Episcopal Consistory)

A general explanation of probate records in England, is given in the article England Probate Records.


Probate is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his or her heirs. The term probate refers to a collection of documents, including wills, administrations (also called admons), inventories, and act books. The Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process until 1858.

Step By Step

1. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will or administration (admon), writing down each detail cited in the indexed entry.
2. Proceed to "Records" (below) to determine what probate records exist for this court.
3. Contact or visit the Record Office or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf. 
4. Visit The Family History Library or, one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide and search indexes to probate records; then with the information obtained from the index[es] you can search more quickly the original wills and admons also on microfilm via any centers near you.


Online Indexes

Printed and Published Indexes

Comprehensive indexes are available through the Cumbria Archive Services which includes the Carlisle and the Kendal offices.  The indexes cover from 1617 to 1941, listing the year of probate and the residence of the deceased. This is extraordinarily helpful in distinguishing between many individuals of the same name.

The Family History Library has indexes, 1563-1858, on film. Some indexes are on films containing wills, administrations and inventories.


Archive Location

The original records are deposited at the Carlisle Record Office (part of the Cumbria Archive Service). The Cumbria Archives Service provides a research service for a fee.

Archive Records

Add information about the manuscript, printed and digital records in this location.

  • Original wills, administrations, and inventories, 1558-1644, 1661-1858
  • Register copy wills, 1727-1858
  • Act books, 1661-1858

Family History Library Records

The Family History Library has film copies of these records. Films can be viewed in the library or in a family history center.  


This court covered the northern part of Westmorland and all of Cumberland except the Deanery of Copeland in the southwest of the county (see the Court of the Archdeaconry of Richmond Western Deaneries - Copeland).