Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Wells
Return to the Staffordshire Probate Records page.
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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 original probate records exist for this court. Also see "Probate Records of This Court in The Family History Library".
3. Contact or visit the Somersetshire 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.
Surviving wills and admons to the Court of the Peculiar of Alrewas and Weeford have to some extent been indexed with the following ones:
Printed and Published Indexes
Here is an online printed (scanned images) from 1516-1652. This is not a complete listing of all wills for this time period, but, it might be helpful to those searching during this time.
Original Handwritten Indexes
There is an index (manuscript) from 1516 to 1857 covering most if not all wills in Staffordshire including both the Consistory Court of Lichfield and also the smaller or peculiar courts.
Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library
The indexes as listed in the above are also available in the collection of The Family History Library and they are on microfilm and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers worldwide.
The records of the Consistory Court of the Archdeaconry of Taunton, 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. They survive because they were not deposited at the Exeter Registry.
The surviving original records are deposited at:
Probate Records of This Court Held in This Archive
- Register Copy Wills 1543-1546; 1554-1556
- Inventories 1610-1754 (few before 1634)
- Administration Acts & Tuition Bonds 1623-1649; 1671; 1686-1703
- Act Books 1817-1850
Family History Library Records
[Estate Duty Wills 1805-1811]
Wells Wills (arranged by Parish; no years given)
Also try searching the following records:
Inventories 1581-1741 (Bath & Wells)
See the above Indexes or those available through the Family History Library or its many family history centers worldwide for an index to this court.
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.