Court of the Peculiar of the Deanery of Bocking

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[Return to the Essex Probate Records page.]

Historical Background and Parishes

Probate records of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Peculiar of the Deanery of Bocking were once held in the Chelmsford Cathedral Registry. After the setup of civil courts by act of Parliament in 1858, they were removed to Somerset House, London in 1858. In 1958, the wills of this court were transferred back to Chelmsford to the County Hall, where they reside today.

These records date from 1627 to 1857.

Parishes

The parishes which comprise this probate jurisdiction include the following:

  • Bocking
  • Borley
  • Hamlet of Little Coggeshall
  • Latchingdon
  • Milton in Prittlewell
  • Runsell in Danbury
  • Southchurch
  • Stisted

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 to the "Probate Records of This Court" (below) to determine what original probate records exist for this court.
3. Contact or visit the Essex County Record Office or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf. Officials may send upon request a list of record searchers.
4. Visit The Family History Library, or, one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide and search indexes to probate records; then with the information obtained from the index[es] you can search more quickly the original wills and admons also on microfilm via any centers near you.

Probate Indexes

Online Indexes

A general will index for Essex County is available online.  This single index consolidates Essex county wills of the various probate court jurisdictions, including the various smaller Peculiar Court jurisdictions into one database.

Printed Indexes

If the indexes on the Internet do not produce possible wills for your ancestors, look in the published indexes listed here.

The Essex County Record Office compiled and published a complete surname index covering wills and administrations from eight Essex County probate courts including this court.  The index is available in three volumes at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City:

  • Emmison, F. G., ed.  [Index to] Wills at Chelmsford.  London: s.n., 1961, by the British Record Society.  (FHL book 942 B4b vols. 78, 79 & 84; also on microfilms 0962739 and 0962740, and on microfiche 6073796, 6073797, and 6073802.)

Original Handwritten Indexes

Indexes--including calendars, indexes and act books to probate records of this court exist as follows:

  • Calendar of Wills & Admons:                  1608-1810
  • Index, Registered & Unregistered Wills:   1538-1711
  • Probate & Admon Act Books:                 1660-1857
  • Indexes, Probate & Admons Acts:           1660-1762


Other handwritten indexes are listed below in the "Indexes" section.  Click on the court name links on the"Essex County Probate Records" homepage.

One comprehensive index exists for all Essex County court jurisdictions; see "Online Indexes" above to use it.

Visit the Essex County Archives to determine availability their complete collection of records for this court jurisdiction.

Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library

Original (Unregistered) Wills and Registered Wills as well as extant indexes for this court are available on microfilm at the Family History Library and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers (see Court of the Peculiar of the Deanry of Bocking), or go to Family History Library Catalog entry for this court.

Searching for probates in this court

CALENDARS
1627-1857

REGISTERED COPY WILLS
1771-1857

ORIGINAL WILLS

1627-1857
REGISTERED WILLS

1771-1857

INVENTORIES

1730-1760

ADMINISTRATION BONDS, WARRANTS

1665--1682; 1722-1738; 1756-1853

Indexes

Original Handwritten Indexes

Calendars to the Probate Acts of Wills and Administrations (Admons) exist from 1627-1857. Calendars are a kind of index (first letter of the surname only) to the day to day probate court proceedings in which wills and admons (administrations) are processed.

While there is no apparent index for this probate court, it is a small jurisdiction and thus makes checking for wills quite simple.  Visit the Essex County Archives at Chelmsford, Essex, England. 

Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library

The above records for this Peculiar probate court are available on microfilm at the Family History Library and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers (see Archbishop of Canterbury of the Peculiar Court of the Deanry of Bocking), at this Family History Library Catalog page.

Strategies, Tips, Other?

Always search the other alternative probate courts when a search in this peculiar court proves unsuccessful (see in the alphabetical Parish list on the "Essex County Probate Records" page).