Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Barnstable
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 "Records" (below) to determine what probate records exist for this court.
3. Contact or visit the Westcountry Local Studies Library or, the Devonshire 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.
Printed and Published Indexes
A few individuals compiled collections and indexes before the records were destroyed. References to them are in Devonshire Probate Records.
Devonshire Record Office has a series of 39 volumes containing abstracts of selected wills and administrations, compiled by Miss Olive Moger before the second World War. Miss Moger abstracted wills and administrations for some Devonshire families, so the series is not complete. The record office will search Miss Moger's volumes for relevant surnames through postal/email enquiry service, and provide photocopies of the pages. Their address is:
Devon Record Office
Great Moor House
Enquiry form +44 (0)1392 384253
+44 (0)1392 384256
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:
- Court of the Bishop of Exeter (Episcopal Consistory)
- Episcopal Principal Registry of Exeter
- Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Copies of some post-1796 probates may have been deposited in the Estate Duty Registers.
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 exist and may be accessed at the following local studies library:
Westcountry Local Studies Library
Exeter EX4 3PQ
tel: 44 (0)1392-384216.
Wills & Administrations (were destroyed) but with some transcripts available at the above local studies library.
Family History Library Records
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.