Court of the Peculiar of the Prebend of Masham

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A general explanation of probate records in England, is given in the article England Probate Records.Click to read definitions of the words peculiar and prebend.

Description[edit | edit source]

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 to 1858.

Step By Step[edit | edit source]

1. Search indexes to help you more quickly find the will, writing down each detail given in the index.

2. Go to "Records" (below) to determine what probate records exist for this court.

3. Obtain the records to search. Use one of these methods to find indexes and records.

  • Contact or visit the Archive (see below) or hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf.
  • Microfilm can no longer be ordered.

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Online Indexes[edit | edit source]

Indexes for 54 peculiar courts, 1383-1883, are available online on BritishOrigins. This is a subscription site. Masham is not currently included.

Printed and Published Indexes[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has a calendar from a manuscript volume, 1572-1858 on film number 98918 items 1-2. The index to the wills is on pages 1-67 for 1572-1849; pages 69-90 to admons for 1710-1856; and pages 95-98 to wills for 1850-1858. Item 2 adds the index to the admons for 1614-1709. Another filmed calendar for 1609-1707 is on page 66 of item 4 of film 98916. See also the printed indexes and film 99929 above.
Also in book form Masham Peculier Court: an indexed calendar of wills and administrations 942.74 P2m

A partial index for this court is printed in The Northern Genealogist for what appears to be 1549-1751, but only names A-Row. Names A-B are on pages 132-136 of volume IV (item 11 of film 994073). Volume V adds names B-C on pages 30-32; C-F on pages 103-105; and F-H on pages 153-156. Volume VI gives H-M on pages 16-22; and M-R on pages 86-89.

Records[edit | edit source]

Archive Location[edit | edit source]

The records for this court are held at the West Yorkshire Archive Service (Leeds).

Archive Records[edit | edit source]

Add information.

Family History Library Records[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has original wills, admons and inventories, 1609-1707, on film number 99929 item 2. Films can be view in the library or in a family history center. There is no break between the records of the first court on this film and Masham. The first court ends with a will for the parish of Mappelton dated 1822, and Masham begins with a bond dated 1694.  The film ends with two manuscript calendars for this same time coverage. There is no order to the first calendar but the second is in chronological. The originals of some of the register copy wills have apparently been lost.

The library has copies of the registered copy wills,1576-1654, on film number 98918 items 3-5. Item 3 is an index to Register Book No. 1 1576-1654. Item 4 is an index to Register Book No 2, 1634-1699, that was not filmed. Item 5 is Register Book No. 1. The register appears to be a combination of act entries and copy wills. The first will is recorded on page 62. The act book entries take up pages 1-61 and then are scattered throughout the register. They may cover 1583-1604.

Jurisdiction[edit | edit source]

Parishes of Kirkby Malzeard and Masham with chapelries of Hartwith, Winsley and Middlesmoor. A prebend of York until 1546, then lay fee belonging to Trinity College, Cambridge.