Court of the Bishop of Carlisle (Episcopal Consistory)

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England Gotoarrow.png Cumberland Probate Records, Westmorland Probate Records

For a general explanation about probate records in England, click here.


This court covered the northern part of Westmorland and all of Cumberland expect the Deanery of Copeland in the southwest of the county (see the Court of the Archdeaconry of Richmond Western Deaneries - Copeland).


The original records are deposited at the Carlisle Record Office (part of the Cumbria Archive Service).  They include:

  • Original wills, administrations, and inventories, 1558-1644, 1661-1858
  • Register copy wills, 1727-1858
  • Act books, 1661-1858

The records have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library or through one of more than 4,500 family history centers worldwide.  They include:


Comprehensive indexes are available through the Cumbria Archive Services in the Carlisle and the Kendal offices.  The indexes cover from 1617 to 1941, listing the year of probate and the residence of the deceased. This is extraordinarily helpful in distinguishing between many individuals of the same name.

The Family History Library has indexes, 1563-1858, on film. Some indexes are on films containing wills, administrations and inventories.