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

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England Somerset Somerset Probate Records


The Archdeaconry was part of the Diocese of Bath and Wells.  Th Archdeaconry court had jurisdiction over most of the eastern half of the county of Somerset, roughly from the River Parrot eastward. The exceptions are some parishes under peculiar court jurisdictions and the area under the jurisdiction of the Archdeaconry of Bath in the north of the county.


Important Note:

The records of the Consistory Court of the Archdeaconry of Wells, all of which were deposited at the Probate Registry at Exeter, were destroyed by enemy action during World War II.  The following is information on the few records that survive.

Surviving Records

The surviving original records are deposited at:

Somerset Record Office
Obridge Road
Taunton TA2 7PU
Tel: (0)1823 278805

These include:

  • Register copy wills 1543-1546, 1554-1556
  • Register of administration acts and tuition bonds 1623-1649, 1671, 1686-1703
  • Act books 1817-1850 (with gaps)

The Family History Library has very few original probate records for Somerset on microfilm.  Most of the what the library has is various volumes of published abstracts.  See the information found in the article on the Court of the Bishop of Bath and Wells (Episcopal Consistory).

The Society of Genealogists in London has copies of published abstracts of wills and other probate documents for Somerset.  To see a list of titles, search their library catalogue for the Subject of "Somerset - General:Wills."