Court of the Archdeaconry of St. Albans

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England Gotoarrow.png Buckinghamshire Probate Records, Hertfordshire Probate Records


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. This article explains about probates and how to get started to search for a will.

Beginning in 1858, authority over probate matters was taken from ecclesiastical courts and put under the civil authority of the Principal Probate Registry.

Step by Step

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 the "Probate Records Held in This Archive" (below) to determine what probate records exist for this court. Also see "Probate Records of This Court in The Family History Library".
3. Contact or visit Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studiesat Aylesbury or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf. Officials may send a list of record searchers upon request.
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.


Other indexes, available at the Hertfordshire Archives and Family History Library, include:

The original and microfilmed records also include indexes.


Record Locations

The original records are deposited at Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies in Hertford, England. They include:

  • Original wills and administrations, 1545-1857
  • Registered wills, 1415-1636, 1661-1857
  • Administrations bonds and acts, 1540-1665
  • Administration acts, 1557-1857
  • Probate acts, 1674-1857
  • Inventories, 1550-1764

Archive Records

Family History Library Records

Records have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and through family history centers. They include:


This court had jurisdiction over the following places in Hertfordshire:

  • Abbots Langley
  • Bushey
  • Chipping Barnet
  • Codicote
  • East Barnet
  • Elstree
  • Hexton 
  • Newnham 
  • Northaw
  • Norton
  • Redborun
  • Rickmansworth
  • Ridge
  • Sandridge
  • Sarrat
  • Shephall
  • St. Albans
  • St. Michael
  • St. Paul's Walden
  • St. Peter
  • St. Stephen
  • Watford

This court also had jurisdiction over the following places in Buckinghamshire:

  • Ashton Abbots
  • Granborough
  • Little Horwood
  • Winslow