Difference between revisions of "Buckinghamshire Probate Records"

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(Buckinghamshire Probate Courts)
(Buckinghamshire Probate Courts)
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*[[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)|Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Oxford]]
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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]]  

Revision as of 21:46, 5 June 2010

England Gotoarrow.png Buckinghamshire

Description

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. This article explains how to get started to search for a probate record.

Beginning in 1858, authority over probate matters was taken from the ecclesiastical courts and put under the civil authority of the Principal Probate Registry. For more information, see the Probates After 1857 section below.


Getting Started

To look for a probate record before 1858:

  1. Discover when and where your ancestor died. If you do not know, use an approximate date and the place where they lived.
  2. Go to the Court Jurisdictions by Parish section below and follow the instructions there.
     

Court Jurisdictions by Parish

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 above 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 Probate Indexes section below.


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.

In addition, as the highest court in the country, the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury had jurisdiction over the whole of England. To learn more, click on the court name link.

Appeals Courts

Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the county courts could go to these high appeals courts:

The Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury could also serve as an appeals court.

If you do not find a probate record in the primary or secondary courts, try the Appeals Courts.

Probate Indexes

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).


Estate Duty Records

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.


Probates After 1857

Beginning in 1858, the government took over the settlement of estates and all wills are now probated through the Principal Probate Registry system. For more information, go to Principal Probate Registry.