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

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Step By Step[edit | edit source]

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 "Records" (below) to determine what 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.

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Online Index[edit | edit source]

Here is an online index of Somersetshire wills 1796-1857

Printed and Published Indexes[edit | edit source]

Also try the following indexes at the Family History Library:

Estate Duty Wills 1805-1811

Estate Duty Wills Index 1812-1857

Death Duty Registers of Abstracts of Administrations and Probates of Wills 1796-1811

Records[edit | edit source]

Important Note:[edit | edit source]

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.

Archive Location[edit | edit source]

Archive Records[edit | edit source]

Add information about the manuscript, printed and digital records in this location.

  • 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[edit | edit source]

Jurisdictions[edit | edit source]

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.  The 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.