Court of the Bishop of Winchester

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Step By Step[edit | edit source]

1. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will, 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 Hampshire Record Office or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf. Officials may send upon request a list of record searchers.
4. You can 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.

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Online Indexes[edit | edit source]

Online indexes are available at the following two websites:

  • Wills have been created for the "names of all people appearing in the wills of testators residing in the County of Surrey, England (and nine other Counties)."  It is known as The Surrey Plus Wills Index.
  • British Origins has an index of over 500,000 entries for the Surrey and London region from 1470 to 1856 (a subscription website).

Printed and Published Indexes[edit | edit source]

The West Surrey Family History Society (Cliff Webb) has produced a significant number of County Surrey wills and other probates. See their website for further details on their excellent publications.

Click here[low quality link] for a list of printed indexes found in the Family History Library.

Records[edit | edit source]

Archives Location[edit | edit source]

The original records of the Court of the Archdeaconry of Surrey for 1480-1858 are found at:

Hampshire Record Office

Sussex Street

Winchester SO23 8TH


tel 01962 846154

fax 01962 878681
Contact Archives and Local Studies


Archive Records[edit | edit source]

The records include probate and administration original wills and registered wills, as well as indexes.

Will Index 1502-1857

Original Wills & Inventories 1534-1649; 1660-1857

Register Copy Wills 1491-1857

Registered Wills 1541; 1576-1781 (many missing years)

Family History Library Records[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has probate records (with indexes) on microfilm, microfiche and in print.  Those available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City include copies and abstracts of the records for 1484-1821.

Will Index 1502-1857

Original Wills & Inventories 1534-1649; 1660-1857

Register Copy Wills 1491-1857

Registered Wills 1541; 1576-1781 (many missing years)

Jurisdiction[edit | edit source]

This court (which was part of the diocese of Winchester) had pre-1858 jurisdiction over the vast majority of the county of Hampshire, but did, in part, probate wills for many some residing in County Surrey from early to the early 17th Century.  The exceptions are listed in the Surrey probate jurisdiction tables.

Since the Archdeaconry court could not grant probate administrations, this court--the Commissary Court of Winchester processed the administrations (admons).

Also search the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury.