Court of the Peculiar of the Liberty of the Sokens
Return to the Essex Probate Records page.
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 the "Records" (below) to determine what probate records exist for this court.
3. Contact or visit the Essex County 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. 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.
Before looking for a will, you should search the following indexes:
A general will index for Essex County is available online. This single index consolidates just about all Essex county wills of the various probate court jurisdictions, including the Peculiar Court of the Liberty of the Sokens, into one database.
- 1505-1916 - Essex Wills Beneficiaries Index, 1505-1916, online at findmypast. Includes Bishop of London's Commissary Court (Essex & Hertfordshire), Archdeaconry Court of Colchester, Archdeaconry Court of Essex, Archdeaconry Court of Middlesex (Essex & Hertfordshire), Peculiar Court of Deanery of Bocking, Peculiar Court of Good Easter, Peculiar Court of the Sokens, Peculiar Court of Writtle with Roxwell.
Printed and Published Indexes
If the indexes on the Internet do not produce possible wills for your ancestors, look in the published indexes listed here.
The Essex County Record Office compiled and published a complete surname index covering wills and administrations from eight Essex County probate courts including this court. The index is available in three volumns at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City:
- Emmison, F. G., ed. [Index to] Wills at Chelmsford. London: s.n., 1961, by the British Record Society. (see FHL book 942 B4b vols. 78, 79 & 84; also on microfilms 0962739 and 0962740, and on microfiche 6073796, 6073797, and 6073802.)
Probate records of the Peculiar Court of Liberty of the Sokens were once held in the Chelmsford Cathedral Registry. After the setup of civil courts by act of Parliament in 1858, they were removed to Somerset House, London in 1858. In 1958, almost all of Essex wills were transferred back to Chelmsford to the County Hall, where they reside today.
These records date from 1618 to 1857 and cover only the three "Sokens": Kirkby-le-Soken, Thorpe-le-Soken and Walton-le-Soken.
Essex Record Office
Archives & Museums
Chelmsford CM12 6YT
Telephone (01245) 244644
Website: Essex County Record Office
Add information about the manuscript, printed and digital records in this location.
Original Wills 1659-1793
Family History Library Records
Original Wills 1659-1793
History and Background