Court of the Bishop of Carlisle (Episcopal Consistory)

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Cumberland Probate Records or Westmorland Probate Records

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

Jurisdiction

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).

Records

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 Cumbria Archives Service provides a research service for a fee.
The Family History Library has film copies of these records. Films can be viewed in the library or in a family history center.  

Indexes

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.