Court of the Bishop of Hereford (Episcopal Consistory)

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England Gotoarrow.png Herefordshire Gotoarrow.png Herefordshire Probate Records, Worcestershire Probate Records ,Gloucestershire Probate Records

Step By Step

1. If you have not yet found an index reference for the probate record of your ancestor, start by searching each index listed below.  If you find a reference, write down each detail cited in the index entry.
2. Proceed to "Records" (below) to determine what probate records exist for this court.
3. Contact or visit the Herefordshire Record Office, or hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf. Officials may be able to send a list of record searchers upon request. OR...
4. Visit The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, or one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide, and search indexes to the probate records.  With the information obtained from an index, you can more quickly find the original records on microfilm and view or order the film.

Indexes

Online Indexes

Here are some indexes to this courts' wills online.

Printed and Published Indexes

Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, Series 5,vol. 4 Index to Wills Proved in the Court of the Bishop of Hereford 1444-1578

Index to wills proved in the Bishop's Court of Hereford 1442-1579, by Stephen J. Kelsey

Index to wills proved in the Bishop's Court of Hereford Before the Commonwealth Period 1601-1656 by Stephen J. Kelsey

Indexes available at the Family History Library:

The original and microfilmed records include indexes. The Family History Library has film copies of the following indexes:

If you find an index reference to the probate records of your ancestor, proceed to the 'Records' section below and follow the instructions.

Records

To obtain a copy of the probate record of your ancestor, either visit or contact the archive which holds the original records or visit the Family History Library or a family history center and view the record on microfilm, as indicated below.

Archive Location

The original records are deposited at:

Herefordshire Archive Service
Herefordshire Record Office
Harold Street
Hereford HR1 2QX
Office Tel No: 44 (0) 1432 260750
Email: archives@herefordshire.gov.uk
Herefordshire Archives Website 

Archive Records

They include:

  • Original wills, administrations, and inventories, 1520-1539 (with a few earlier), 1540-1858
  • Register copy wills, 1663-1858
  • Various act books, 1445-1835, 1587-1686, 1662/3-1858
  • Tuition bonds, 1673-1792 

Family History Library Records

Records of this court have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and through the many family history centers world-wide. Click on a link below to find a film number: 

Jurisdiction

This court had jurisdiction over all of Herefordshire except the following:

Before 1541, when the Diocese of Gloucester was formed, the western portion of Gloucestershire beyond the rivers Severn and Leaden was in the Court_of_the_Bishop_of_Hereford_(Episcopal_Consistory) and there are consequently a few Gloucestershire wills in this court prior to 1541.

This court also had jurisdiction over these parishes in Worcestershire:

  • Abberley
  • Bayton
  • Bewdley
  • Bockleton
  • Burford
  • Clifton upon Teme
  • Dowles
  • Eastham
  • Edvin Loach
  • Great Kyre
  • Hanley Childe
  • Hanley William
  • Knighton on Teme
  • Lindridge
  • Lower Sapey
  • Mamble
  • Orelton
  • Pensax
  • Ribbesford
  • Rochford
  • Rock
  • Shelsey Walsh
  • Stanford on Teme
  • Stockton on Teme
  • Tenbury