Difference between revisions of "Buckinghamshire Probate Records"

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[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Buckinghamshire]]  
 
[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Buckinghamshire]]  
  
== Description ==
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== Getting Started ==
  
''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 [[W genealogical glossary terms|wills]], [[A genealogical glossary terms|administrations]] (also called admons), [[I genealogical glossary terms|inventories]], and [[A genealogical glossary terms|act books]]. The Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process until to 1858. This article explains about probates and how to get started to search for a will.  
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''Probate'' is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his or her heirs. Probate records include [[W genealogical glossary terms|wills]] and [[A genealogical glossary terms|administrations]]. This article is about probate records in Buckinghamshire. For a general description of England probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].  
  
Beginning in 1858, authority over probate matters was taken from ecclesiastical courts and put under the civil authority of the Principal Probate Registry. The '''Probates After 1857''' section below has a link to an article about probates after 1857.
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=== 1858 to the Present  ===
  
<br>
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Beginning in 1858, the [[Principal Probate Registry|Principal Probate Registry]] had the authority for probating estates. Click on the link to learn more.
 +
 
 +
=== Before 1858  ===
 +
 
 +
Before 1858, Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process. To search for a pre-1858 probate record in Buckinghamshire, follow these steps:
 +
 
 +
==== Step 1. Search Indexes  ====
 +
 
 +
Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Buckinghamshire. Search these indexes first:
 +
 
 +
Between 1483-1858, the [[Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham]] proved over 35,000 wills of ordinary people of Buckinghamshire. The [http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/sites/bcc/archives/Centre_for_Buckinghamshire_Studies.page Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies] has an index to the records in its collection. The index includes wills and some administrations of people who may have died without leaving a will (administrations not complete).<br>
 +
 
 +
Did you find a reference to a probate record?
 +
 
 +
*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.
 +
*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
 +
 
 +
==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ====
 +
 
 +
Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
 +
 
 +
Determine ''where'' your ancestor died. It is easier to find a probate record if you know whether the place where your ancestor lived or died is a [[P genealogical glossary terms|parish]]. To learn whether it is a parish, look it up in a gazetteer. Here is a link to the 1872 ''Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales'' online:
 +
 
 +
*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
 +
 
 +
The gazetteer will either tell you:
 +
 
 +
*A place is a parish, or
 +
*What parish it is a part of, or
 +
*What place it is near.
 +
 
 +
If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.
 +
 
 +
Once you have identified the parish, go to '''Step 3'''.
 +
 
 +
==== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish  ====
 +
 
 +
Once you have identified the parish where your ancestor lived or died, learn which courts had jurisdiction over it then search indexes for those courts.
  
== Getting Started  ==
+
<br>Before 1858, every town and parish in Buckinghamshire was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. Most of Buckinghamshire was under the primary jurisdiction of the [[Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham|Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham]], hence the majority of genealogical searches will be in the records of that court and its superior (or secondary) courts. Click on the court name link in the previous sentence to learn about the records.
  
Follow these steps to look for a probate record before 1858:<br>
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For a list of Buckinghamshire parishes that were ''exceptions'' to the above, and the courts that had jurisdiction over them, click [[Buckinghamshire Probate Jurisdictions|'''here''']]. The list of courts is also listed below in the '''Buckinghamshire Probate Courts.'''
  
#Discover when and where your ancestor died. If you don’t know, use the approximate date and place where they lived. <br>
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Always search indexes first. To see a list of indexes, click on a court name or go to the '''Search Indexes '''section above'''.'''
#Go to the Court Jurisdictions section below.<br>
 
#Click a letter or span of letters for your place. This opens an article showing a table of places and the courts that had jurisdiction over them.<br>
 
#Follow the steps at the top of the table to search for a will.<br><br>
 
  
== Court Jurisdictions by Parish<br> ==
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==== Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record  ====
  
Before 1858, every town and parish in Buckinghamshire was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. Most of Buckinghamshire was under the primary jurisdiction of the Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham, hence the majority of genealogical searches will be in the records of that court and its superior (or secondary) courts.
+
Once you have found an index reference to a probate, obtain a copy of the record. Do so by one of these methods:
  
For a list of Buckinghamshire parishes that were exceptions, click [[Buckinghamshire Probate Jurisdictions|'''here''']].  
+
*Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection.
  
Search the courts in the order given. Search indexes first. To see a list of indexes, click on a court name or go to the '''Probate Indexes''' section below.  
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*Visit the[https://www.familysearch.org/#form=catalog Family History Library ]or a[[Introduction to LDS Family History Centers|family history center]] and obtain a copy of the record on microfilm. For more information, click on a court name below. &lt;br
  
 
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== Buckinghamshire Probate Courts  ==
 
== Buckinghamshire Probate Courts  ==
  
Most of Buckinghamshire was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of the [[Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham]]. The majority of probate searches will be in the records of this court and its superior courts. However, the following courts also had some pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name to learn about records and indexes.  
+
Most of Buckinghamshire was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of the [[Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham]]. However, the following courts also had some pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name to learn about records and indexes.&nbsp;
  
 
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of St. Albans]]  
 
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of St. Albans]]  
 
*[[Court of the Bishop of Lincoln (Episcopal Consistory)]]  
 
*[[Court of the Bishop of Lincoln (Episcopal Consistory)]]  
 
*[[Court of the Bishop of London]] (Episcopal Consistory)  
 
*[[Court of the Bishop of London]] (Episcopal Consistory)  
*[[Courts of the Bishop and Archdeaconry of Oxford]] (Episcopal Consistory)  
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*[[Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Oxford|Courts of the Bishop and Archdeaconry of Oxford (Episcopal Consistory)]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln|Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln]]  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln|Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln]]  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Aylesbury]]  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Aylesbury]]  
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Buckingham]]  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Buckingham]]  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Monks Risborough]]  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Monks Risborough]]  
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Provost of Eton]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Provost of Eton]]  
 
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*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] .
In addition, the [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] had jurisdiction over the whole of England and specifically in the following cases.<br>
 
 
 
*Wealthy individuals<br>
 
*People who owned property in more than one county<br>
 
*Military and naval personnel<br>
 
*People who lived or owned property outside England<br>
 
 
 
=== Appeals Courts  ===
 
 
 
Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the county courts could go to these high appeals courts:
 
 
 
*[[Court of Arches]]  
 
*[[High Court of Delegates]]
 
 
 
The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] could also serve as an appeals court.
 
 
 
== Probate Indexes  ==
 
 
 
Between 1483-1858, the [[Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham]] proved over 35,000 wills of ordinary people of Buckinghamshire. The [http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/sites/bcc/archives/Centre_for_Buckinghamshire_Studies.page Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies] has an index to the records in its collection. The index includes wills and some administrations of people who may have died without leaving a will (administrations not complete).<br>
 
 
 
== Estate Duty Records<br> ==
 
 
 
Starting in 1796, a tax or death duty was payable on estates over a certain value. Estate duty abstracts may add considerable information not found elsewhere. Between 1813-1858 estate duty indexes may help locate a will. For more information, go to [[Estate Duty Records]].<br>
 
 
 
== Probates After 1857  ==
 
  
Beginning in 1858, the government took over the&nbsp;settlement of estates and all&nbsp;wills are now probated through the Principal Probate Registry system. For more information, go to [[Principal Probate Registry]].<br>
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{{Place|Buckinghamshire|Probate}}
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{{England Probate Records}}
  
[[Category:Buckinghamshire]]
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[[Category:Buckinghamshire|Probate]]

Revision as of 17:06, 27 November 2012

England Gotoarrow.png Buckinghamshire

Getting Started

Probate is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his or her heirs. Probate records include wills and administrations. This article is about probate records in Buckinghamshire. For a general description of England probate records, click here.

1858 to the Present

Beginning in 1858, the Principal Probate Registry had the authority for probating estates. Click on the link to learn more.

Before 1858

Before 1858, Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process. To search for a pre-1858 probate record in Buckinghamshire, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Buckinghamshire. Search these indexes first:

Between 1483-1858, the Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham proved over 35,000 wills of ordinary people of Buckinghamshire. The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies has an index to the records in its collection. The index includes wills and some administrations of people who may have died without leaving a will (administrations not complete).

Did you find a reference to a probate record?

  • If yes, go to Step 4 below.
  • If no, go to Step 2 below.

Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died

Determine when your ancestor died. If you aren't sure, use an approximate date. 

Determine where your ancestor died. It is easier to find a probate record if you know whether the place where your ancestor lived or died is a parish. To learn whether it is a parish, look it up in a gazetteer. Here is a link to the 1872 Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales online:

The gazetteer will either tell you:

  • A place is a parish, or
  • What parish it is a part of, or
  • What place it is near.

If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.

Once you have identified the parish, go to Step 3.

Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish

Once you have identified the parish where your ancestor lived or died, learn which courts had jurisdiction over it then search indexes for those courts.


Before 1858, every town and parish in Buckinghamshire was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. Most of Buckinghamshire was under the primary jurisdiction of the Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham, hence the majority of genealogical searches will be in the records of that court and its superior (or secondary) courts. Click on the court name link in the previous sentence to learn about the records.

For a list of Buckinghamshire parishes that were exceptions to the above, and the courts that had jurisdiction over them, click here. The list of courts is also listed below in the Buckinghamshire Probate Courts.

Always search indexes first. To see a list of indexes, click on a court name or go to the Search Indexes section above.

Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record

Once you have found an index reference to a probate, obtain a copy of the record. Do so by one of these methods:

  • Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection.


Buckinghamshire Probate Courts

Most of Buckinghamshire was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of the Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham. However, the following courts also had some pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name to learn about records and indexes.