Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Barnstable

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England Gotoarrow.png Devon Gotoarrow.png Devonshire Probate Records

The following article is about probate records in the county of Devon. For an explanation of probate records in England, click here.

Step By Step 

1. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will or administration (admon), writing down each detail cited in the indexed entry.

2. Proceed to the "Probate Records in This Archive" (below) to determine what original probate records exist for this court.

3. Contact or visit the Cornwall County Record Office or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf. Officials may send upon request a list of record searchers.

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.


A few individuals compiled collections and indexes before the records were destroyed. References to them are in Devonshire Probate Records.


Virtually all records for this court were destroyed in 1942, but don't give up until you have searched the manuscript collections and the all other possible courts. These include:

Copies of some post-1796 probates may have been deposited in the Estate Duty Registers.

Archive Locations

The original probate records of this court were transferred prior to WWII, and were therefore destroyed in 1942. Some extracts of the probates of this court exists and can be accessed at the following local studies library:

Westcountry Local Studies Library

Castle Street

Exeter EX4 3PQ


tel: 44 (0)1392-384216.

Archive Records

Wills &


This court has jurisdiction over most of the northern part of Devonshire. All of these records that were deposited in the Probate Registry at Exeter were destroyed in 1942.