Court of the Archdeaconry of St. Albans
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 "Records" (below) to determine what probate records exist for this court. Also see "Family History Library Records."
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.
Printed and Published Indexes
Other indexes, available at the Hertfordshire Archives and Family History Library, include:
- Wills at Hertford, 1415-1858 (Worldcat OCLC 188871218)
- Index to wills of the Archdeaconries of St. Albans and Huntingdon (Hitchin), 1415-1857
The original and microfilmed records also include indexes.
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
Add information about the manuscript, printed and digital records in this location.
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:
- Probate records, 1514-1857 (a collection of the records listed above)
This court had jurisdiction over the following places in Hertfordshire:
This court also had jurisdiction over the following places in Buckinghamshire: