Court of the Bishop of Durham (Episcopal Consistory)

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England Gotoarrow.png  Durham Gotoarrow.png  Durham Probate Records,Cumberland Probate Records

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


Probate is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his or her heirs. The term probate refers to a collection of documents, including wills, administrations (also called admons), inventories, and act books. The Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process until to 1858.


Online Indexes

Printed and Published Indexes

Researching British Probates, 1354-1858: A Guide to the Microfilm Collection of The Family History Library [1]

The Family History Library has film copies of the following.

  • Indexes, 1540-1858.
  • Index of wills, etc., in the Probate registery, Durham, and from other sources, 1540-1599
  • Index to Durham wills in the probate registry 1540-1812
  • Index and complete transcriptions of wills and Inventories pre-1649
  • Personal names in wills proved at Durham 1787-1803
  • Durham Wills [2]
  • Index to Durham wills from 1540 to about 1800
  • Index or extracts from the act books of th Consistory Court of wills and administrations of Durham and Northumberland 1576-1735


Archive Location

Durham County Record Office
County Hall
County Durham DH1 5UL

E-mail: record.​office@​durham.​gov.​uk
Telephone: 0191 ​383 ​3253

Archive Records

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

Family History Library Records

The Family History Library has film copies of original wills, inventories and administrations, 1540-1858. They can be viewed in the library or in one of the family history centers worldwide.


This court had jurisdiction over the entire county.