Court of the Chancery of the Archbishop of York

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Return to the Lancashire Probate Records page. 

Return to the England Gotoarrow.png Lancashire page.

Location of These Probate Records

Borthwick Institute for Archives

University of York


York YO10 5DD


Tel. (0)1904 321166




Opening Times: Mon-Fri 9:15am - 4:45pm


Historical Background

The Court of the Chancery of the Archbishop of York diealt with appeals from the lower courts from York, and the dioceses of Lancaster, Chester, Durham and Sodor and Man (Isle of Man). When a search of this courts’ probate records fails to provide the desired probate record, be sure to search the Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of York as well.

Starting Your Search in Indexes

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 then to the "Probate Records of This Court" section (see below) to determine what original probate records exist for this court.

3. Contact or visit the Lancashire Record Office, or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf, citing information obtained from the index[es]. Officials may send upon request a list of record searchers.

4. You can also visit The Family History Library, or, one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide and search indexes (see the Family History Library's cataloged entries providing the microfilms so you can have them circulated to the center near you for searching the wills). The information obtained from the index[es] will help you more quickly search the wills and admons which can also be circulated on microfilm via any family history .

Probate Indexes

Surviving wills and admons to the Court of the Chancery of the Archbishop of York probate records have to some extent been indexed with the following ones:

Printed and Published Indexes

Index of Original Wills for the Court of the Chancery of the Archbishop of York, A.D. 1427-1858 containing original wills, administrations from 1316-1822, in the Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series volume 93.

Online Indexes

Indexes to Yorkshire wills are beginning to come online. Yorkshire will indexes online are only available at britishorigins for the following years:

Medieval Probate Index - 1267- 1500

Peculiar Courts Probate Index - 1383-1883

Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York - 1842-1858

Original Handwritten Indexes

Manuscript indexes exist from 1438-1728 and, 1650-1858.

Index of Original Wills and Administrations 1660-1724; 1731-1745; 1808-1858

Index to Original wills, bonds, inventories 1316-1857

Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library

Indexes to Original wills, bonds, and inventories is on microfilm from 1316-1857

Catalogue of Yorkshire wills at Somerset House 1649-1660

Index of wills and administrations from 1660-1724; 1731-1745; 1808-1858

The indexes as listed in the above are available at The Family History Library and they are on microfilm and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers worldwide.

Searching for probates in this court.

This court's jurisdiction applies to persons with bona notabilia (property and effects) in more than one diocese within the northern Province of York, which includes all of the dioceses of York, Carlisle, Chester, Sodor and Man (Isle of Man),  Durham and Lancaster. If probate records are not found in this court, be certain to search the Court of the Dean and Chapter of York. The records for this court include as follows: 





Strategies, Tips, Other?

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.

To view a list of parishes and their respective probate court jurisdiction, see the "Lancashire Parishes and Their Probate Jurisdictions" on the main page for Lancashire Probate Records.