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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Devon]] [[Cornwall Probate Records]]''  
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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Devon]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] Devon Probate Records''  
  
The following article is about probate records in the county of Devon, also called Devonshire. For general information about probate records in England, click [[England Probate Records|here]]. <br>
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<br>
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== Getting Started  ==
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''Probate'' is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his or her heirs. Probate records include [[W genealogical glossary terms|wills]] and [[A genealogical glossary terms|administrations]]. This article is about probate records in Devon. See [[England Probate Records]] for a general description of probate records in England.
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=== 1858 to the Present  ===
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Beginning in 1858, the [[Principal Probate Registry|Principal Probate Registry]] had the authority for probating estates. Click on the link to learn more.
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=== Before 1858  ===
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Before 1858, Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process. To search for a pre-1858 probate record in Devon, follow these steps:
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==== Step 1. Search Indexes  ====
 +
 
 +
The majority of the records of Devonshire courts were destroyed during World War II when the Exeter Registry was bombed. Because of this loss, dozens of projects have attempted to gather, abstract, transcribe and index any wills which could be located from any source, including solicitors' offices. Copies were obtained of any abstracts or transcripts made before the destruction of the records. Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Devon. Search these indexes first:
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*[http://genuki.cs.ncl.ac.uk/DEV/DevonWillsProject/ Devon Wills Project] -- provides an online consolidated index of Devon wills, administrations and inventories, covering (and distinguishing between) original documents, probate copies, transcripts and abstracts. The project involves systematically transcribing information obtained from various "sources", i.e. numerous private publications of abstracts or transcripts, and various indexes, calendars, catalogues, etc. The period covered is up to 1858, and wills, etc., are taken as related to Devon if the testator is identified to be or can be assumed as being of Devon, even if the will was proved elsewhere. The index covers only testators, not other named individuals, and efforts to create a consolidated index which covers all individual sources is not yet complete.) Individual sources are linked to from the Devon Wills Project page.
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*The [http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php Wiltshire online will index] includes Pre-1858 for CHARDSTOCK and UFFCULME parishes, and a few wills from other parishes from the diocese of Salisbury that used to cover not only Wiltshire but also part of Berkshire, Dorset and Devon.
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*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/browse-refine.asp?CatID=6&searchType=browserefine&pagenumber=1&query=*&queryType=1 Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384 - 1858)]&nbsp; This was the highest court in England which generally probated the estates of more wealthy individuals. These wills are fully indexed and copies of wills are available online for a fee.
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Published indexes exist (except for the Archdeaconry Court of Totnes) as well as collections of abstract of some records. Most, if not all, of these sources are included in the online Devon Wills Project. Here is a list of published indexes available through the [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/FHL/frameset_library.asp Family History Library]:
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*{{FHL|235196|title-id|disp=Calendars of wills and administrations relating to the counties of Devon and Cornwall&nbsp;: proved in the Court of the principal registry of the Bishop of Exeter, 1559-1799; and of Devon only, proved in the Court of the Archdeaconry of Exeter,1540-1799.}}
  
== Description  ==
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*{{FHL|251593|title-id|disp=Calendars of wills and administrations relating to the counties of Devon and Cornwall: 1532-1800}}
  
''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 [[W genealogical glossary terms|wills]], [[A genealogical glossary terms|administrations]] (also called admons), [[I genealogical glossary terms|inventories]], and [[A genealogical glossary terms|act books]]. The Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process until to 1858. This article explains about probates and how to get started to search for a will.
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*{{FHL|251598|title-id|disp=Index of testamentary material in records of the principal registry of Bishop of Exeter}}
  
Beginning in 1858, authority over probate matters was taken from ecclesiastical courts and put under the civil authority of the Principal Probate Registry. The '''Probates After 1857'''&nbsp;section below has a link to an article about probates after 1857.
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*{{FHL|289964|title-id|disp=Transcripts of Devonshire wills, 1600-1800}}
  
<br>
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*{{FHL|351796|title-id|disp=Oswyn Murray collection of wills, abt. 1600-1800}}
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*{{FHL|575287|title-id|disp=Index to wills, copies and related papers, 1200-1900's}}
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 +
*{{FHL|264158|title-id|disp=Devonshire wills...}}
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*{{FHL|246385|title-id|disp=A calendar of inquisitiones post mortem for Cornwall and Devon, from Henry III to Charles I (1216-1649)}}
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*{{FHL|278481|title-id|disp=An alphabetical register of divers persons, who by their last wills &amp; grants have given towards the relief of the poor of the county of Devon}}
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*{{FHL|279949|title-id|disp=Abstracts of wills of the Drew Family, proved in the Court of the Archdeacon of Exeter and other courts, 1550-1891}}
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*{{FHL|15644|title-id|disp=Death duty registers, Exeter, 1796-1811}}
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*{{FHL|573927|title-id|disp=Wills for the Diocese of Exeter (County of Devon), 1812-1857}} The copies were made for the Legacy Duty Department of the Stamp Duty Office, and from 1848 on to its successor, The Estate Duty Office of the Inland Revenue Office. They consist of wills proved in the Principal Registry and Consistory Court of the Bishop of Exeter, and in the various Archdeaconry Courts.
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Uffculme is a Peculiar Court and has indexes as follows: See Film 97429 18th court listed and 97430 17th court listed using following link. Wills, original and registered of the peculiar court of the Dean and parish of Sarum, Wiltshire, {{FHL|300055|title-id|disp=1560-1857}}
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Did you find a reference to a probate record?
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*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.
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*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
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==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ====
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
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Determine ''where'' your ancestor died. It is easier to find a probate record if you know whether the place where your ancestor lived or died is a [[P genealogical glossary terms|parish]]. To learn whether it is a parish, look it up in a gazetteer. Here is a link to the 1872 ''Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales'' online:
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*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
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The gazetteer will either tell you:
  
== Getting Started  ==
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*A place is a parish, or
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*What parish it is a part of, or
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*What place it is near.
  
Follow these steps to look for a probate record before 1858:<br>
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If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.
  
#Discover when and where your ancestor died. If you don’t know, use the approximate date and place where they lived. <br>
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Once you have identified the parish, go to '''Step 3'''.  
#Go to the Court Jurisdictions section below.<br>
 
#Click a letter or span of letters for your place. This opens an article showing a table of places and the courts that had jurisdiction over them.<br>
 
#Follow the steps at the top of the table to search for a will.<br><br>
 
  
== Court Jurisdictions by Parish ==
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==== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish ====
  
Before 1858, every town and parish in&nbsp;Devon was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. When searching for the will of an ancestor, find the name of the town or parish where he/she lived in the jurisdictions lists below. Go to the jurisdiction tables by clicking a letter or series of letters below.<br>
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Once you have identified the parish where your ancestor lived or died, learn which courts had jurisdiction over it then search indexes for those courts. Every town and parish in&nbsp;Devon fell under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. Click on a link below for the letter the parish begins with.  
  
{| class="FCK__ShowTableBorders" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="535" border="0"
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{| border="1" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="372"
 
|-
 
|-
 
| &nbsp;&nbsp; [[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes A|A]]  
 
| &nbsp;&nbsp; [[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes A|A]]  
| [[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes B|B]]  
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| &nbsp;[[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes B|B]]  
| [[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes C|C]]  
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| &nbsp;[[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes C|C]]  
| [[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes D & E|D-E]]  
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| &nbsp;[[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes D & E|D-E]]  
| [[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes F through H|F-H]]  
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| &nbsp;[[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes F through H|F-H]]  
| [[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes I through K|I-K]]  
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| &nbsp;[[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes I through K|I-K]]  
| [[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes L & M|L-M]]  
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| &nbsp;[[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes L & M|L-M]]  
| [[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes N & O|N-O]]  
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| &nbsp;[[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes N & O|N-O]]  
| [[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes P through R|P-R]]  
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| &nbsp;[[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes P through R|P-R]]  
| &nbsp; [[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes S|S]]  
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| &nbsp;[[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes S|S]]  
| [[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes T through V|T-V]]  
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| &nbsp;[[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes T through V|T-V]]  
| [[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes W through Z|W-Z]]
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| &nbsp;[[Devonshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes W through Z|W-Z]]
 
|}
 
|}
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==== Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record  ====
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Once you have found an index reference to a probate, obtain a copy of the record. Do so by one of these methods:
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*Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection. *Visit the&nbsp; [https://www.familysearch.org/#form=catalog Family History Library] or a [[Introduction to LDS Family History Centers|family history center]] and obtain a copy of the record on microfilm. For more information, click on a court name below. <br>
  
 
<br>
 
<br>
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*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Dorset]]  
 
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Dorset]]  
 
*[[Episcopal Principal Registry of Exeter]]<br>
 
*[[Episcopal Principal Registry of Exeter]]<br>
 
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*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
==== Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury  ====
 
 
 
In addition, the [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] had jurisdiction over the whole of England and specifically in the following cases.
 
 
 
*Wealthier individuals
 
*People who owned property in more than one county
 
*Military and naval personnel
 
*People who lived or owned property outside England
 
 
 
==== Appeals Courts  ====
 
 
 
Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the county courts could be sent to these higher appeals courts:
 
 
 
*[[Court of Arches]]
 
*[[High Court of Delegates]]
 
 
 
The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] also served as an appeals court.
 
 
 
<br>
 
 
 
== Probate Indexes Online  ==
 
 
 
Before looking for a will, you should search an index.&nbsp;<br>
 
 
 
*[http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php Pre-1858 for CHARDSTOCK and UFFCULME parishes], and a few other wills from other parishes for the diocese of Salisbury that used to cover not only Wiltshire but also part of Berkshire, Dorset and Devon.
 
 
 
*[http://genuki.cs.ncl.ac.uk/DEV/DevonWills/index.html Devon Names in the Calendars of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills 1383-1700]
 
  
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
The aim of the Devon Wills Project is to provide a consolidated index of Devon wills, administrations and inventories, covering (and distinguishing between) original documents, probate copies, transcripts and abstracts. The project involves systematically transcribing information obtained from various "sources", i.e. indexes, calendars, catalogues, etc. The period covered is up to 1857, and wills, etc., are taken as related to Devon if the testator is identified to be or can be assumed as being of Devon, even if the will was proved elsewhere. (The index covers only testators, not other named individuals, and is initially just provided separately for each source.)*[http://genuki.cs.ncl.ac.uk/DEV/DevonWillsProject/]
 
 
Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384 - 1858) [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/browse-refine.asp?CatID=6&searchType=browserefine&pagenumber=1&query=*&queryType=1]
 
 
== Probate Indexes  ==
 
 
The majority of the local records in Devonshire courts were destroyed during World War II.&nbsp; However, the indexes do exist!
 
 
Calendars of wills and administrations relating to the counties of Devon and Cornwall&nbsp;: proved in the Court of the principal registry of the Bishop of Exeter, 1559-1799. And of Devon only, proved in the Court of the Archdeaconry of Exeter, 1540-1799. [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=235196&disp=Calendars+of+wills+and+administrations+r%20%20&columns=*,0,0]
 
 
Calendars of wills and administrations relating to the counties of Devon and Cornwall&nbsp;: 1532-1800 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=251593&disp=Calendars+of+wills+and+administrations+r%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Index of testamentary material in records of the principal registry of Bishop of Exeter [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=251598&disp=Index+of+testamentary+material+in+record%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Transcript of Devonshire wills, 1600-1800 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=289964&disp=Transcript+of+Devonshire+wills%2C+1600%2%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Oswyn Murray collection of wills, abt. 1600-1800 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=351796&disp=Oswyn+Murray+collection+of+wills%2C+abt%%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Index to wills, copies and related papers [of the County of Devon], 1200-1900's [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=575287&disp=Index+to+wills%2C+copies+and+related+pap%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Devonshire wills... [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=264158&disp=Devonshire+wills%2E%2E%2E%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>A calendar of inquisitiones post mortem for Cornwall and Devon, from Henry III to Charles I (1216-1649) [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=246385&disp=A+calendar+of+inquisitiones+post+mortem+%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>An alphabetical register of divers persons, who by their last wills &amp; grants have given towards the relief of the poor of the county of Devon [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=278481&disp=An+alphabetical+register+of+divers+perso%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Abstracts of wills of the Drew Family, proved in the Court of the Archdeacon of Exeter and other courts, 1550-1891 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=279949&disp=Abstracts+of+wills+of+the+Drew+Family%2C%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Death duty registers, Exeter, 1796-1811 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=15644&disp=Death+duty+registers%2C+Exeter%2C+1796%2%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Wills for the Diocese of Exeter (County of Devon), 1812-1857 The copies were made for the Legacy Duty Department of the Stamp Duty Office, and from 1848 on to its successor, The Estate Duty Office of the Inland Revenue Office. They consist of wills proved in the Principal Registry and Consistory Court of the Bishop of Exeter, and in the various Archdeaconry Courts. [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=573927&disp=Wills+for+the+Diocese+of+Exeter+%28Count%20%20&columns=*,0,0]
 
 
Uffculme is a Peculiar Court and has indexes as follows: See Film 97429 18th court listed and 97430 17th court listed using following link. Wills, original and registered of the peculiar court of the Dean and parish of Sarum, Wiltshire, 1560-1857 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titlefilmnotes&columns=*%2C0%2C0&titleno=300055&disp=Wills%2C+original+and+registered+of+the+++]
 
  
 
== Manuscript Records<br> ==
 
== Manuscript Records<br> ==
  
The Family History Library has [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=235196&disp=Calendars+of+wills+and+administrations+r%20%20&columns=*,0,0 ''Calendars of wills and administrations relating to the counties of Devon and Cornwall&amp;nbsp;: proved in the Court of the principal registry of the Bishop of Exeter, 1559-1799. And of Devon only, proved in the Court of the Archdeaconry of Exeter, 1540-1799'']
+
The Family History Library has {{FHL|235196|title-id|disp=''Calendars of wills and administrations relating to the counties of Devon and Cornwall&amp;nbsp;: proved in the Court of the principal registry of the Bishop of Exeter, 1559-1799. And of Devon only, proved in the Court of the Archdeaconry of Exeter, 1540-1799''}}
  
 
==== Olive Moger Collection  ====
 
==== Olive Moger Collection  ====
  
A professional genealogist, she abstracted many probate records from most of the Devon courts prior to World War II. The Family History Library has [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=289964&disp=Transcript+of+Devonshire+wills%2C+1600%2%20%20&columns=*,0,0 Transcript of Devonshire wills, 1600-1800].  
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A professional genealogist, she abstracted many probate records from most of the Devon courts prior to World War II. The Family History Library has {{FHL|289964|title-id|disp=Transcript of Devonshire wills, 1600-1800}}.  
  
 
==== Oswyn Murray's collection  ====
 
==== Oswyn Murray's collection  ====
  
Includes abstracts of probate records from various courts about testators from Devon before the destruction in World War II. The Family History Library has [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=351796&disp=Oswyn+Murray+collection+of+wills%2C+abt%%20%20&columns=*,0,0 Oswyn Murray collection of wills, abt. 1600-1800]
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Includes abstracts of probate records from various courts about testators from Devon before the destruction in World War II. The Family History Library has {{FHL|351796|title-id|disp=Oswyn Murray collection of wills, abt. 1600-1800}}
  
 
==== Other collections in the Family History Library<br> ====
 
==== Other collections in the Family History Library<br> ====
  
*[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=575287&disp=Index+to+wills%2C+copies+and+related+pap%20%20&columns=*,0,0 Index to wills, copies and related pape][http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=575287&disp=Index+to+wills%2C+copies+and+related+pap%20%20&columns=*,0,0 rs [of the County of Devon, 1200-1900's]
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*{{FHL|575287|title-id|disp=Index to wills, copies and related papers (of the County of Devon), 1200-1900's}}
*[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=264158&disp=Devonshire+wills...%20%20&columns=*,0,0} Devonshire wills, by Charles Worthy]
+
*{{FHL|264158|title-id|disp=Devonshire wills, by Charles Worthy}}
*[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=246385&disp=A+calendar+of+inquisitiones+post+mortem+%20%20&columns=*,0,0 A calendar of inquisitiones post mortem for Cornwall and Devon, from Henry III to Charles I (1216-1649)]<br>
+
*{{FHL|246385|title-id|disp=A calendar of inquisitiones post mortem for Cornwall and Devon, from Henry III to Charles I (1216-1649)}}<br>
*[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=278481&disp=An+alphabetical+register+of+divers+perso%20%20&columns=*,0,0 An alphabetical register of divers persons, who by their last wills &amp; grants have given towards the relief of the poor of the county of Devon]<br>
+
*{{FHL|278481|title-id|disp=An alphabetical register of divers persons, who by their last wills &amp; grants have given towards the relief of the poor of the county of Devon}}<br>
*[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=279949&disp=Abstracts+of+wills+of+the+Drew+Family%2C%20%20&columns=*,0,0 Abstracts of wills of the Drew Family, proved in the Court of the Archdeacon of Exeter and other courts, 1550-1891]<br>
+
*{{FHL|279949|title-id|disp=Abstracts of wills of the Drew Family, proved in the Court of the Archdeacon of Exeter and other courts, 1550-1891}}<br>
 
 
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Devonshire Courts  ==
 
 
 
Many of the records of the courts in this county were destroyed during during World War II. [http://www.devon.gov.uk/index/councildemocracy/neighbourhoods-villages/record_office/family_history_3/wills_records.htm Devon Wills and Probate Records] contains information about probates and where they are located. The manuscript collections mentioned below and the [[Estate Duty Registers]] should be searched as an alternative to the original records.
 
 
 
== Estate Duty Records<br> ==
 
 
 
Starting in 1796, a tax or death duty was payable on estates over a certain value. Estate duty abstracts may add considerable information not found elsewhere. Estate duty indexes may help locate a will. For more information, go to [[Estate Duty Records]].<br>
 
 
 
== Probates After 1857  ==
 
  
Beginning in 1858, the government took over the&nbsp;settlement of estates and all&nbsp;wills are now probated through the Principal Probate Registry system. For more information, go to [[Principal Probate Registry]].<br>
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{{Place|Devon|Probate Records}}
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{{England Probate Records}}
  
[[Category:Devon]]
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[[Category:Devon|Probate]] [[Category:Probate_records_in_Devonshire]]

Revision as of 15:10, 7 May 2013

England Gotoarrow.png Devon Gotoarrow.png Devon Probate Records


Getting Started

Probate is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his or her heirs. Probate records include wills and administrations. This article is about probate records in Devon. See England Probate Records for a general description of probate records in England.

1858 to the Present

Beginning in 1858, the Principal Probate Registry had the authority for probating estates. Click on the link to learn more.

Before 1858

Before 1858, Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process. To search for a pre-1858 probate record in Devon, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

The majority of the records of Devonshire courts were destroyed during World War II when the Exeter Registry was bombed. Because of this loss, dozens of projects have attempted to gather, abstract, transcribe and index any wills which could be located from any source, including solicitors' offices. Copies were obtained of any abstracts or transcripts made before the destruction of the records. Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Devon. Search these indexes first:

  • Devon Wills Project -- provides an online consolidated index of Devon wills, administrations and inventories, covering (and distinguishing between) original documents, probate copies, transcripts and abstracts. The project involves systematically transcribing information obtained from various "sources", i.e. numerous private publications of abstracts or transcripts, and various indexes, calendars, catalogues, etc. The period covered is up to 1858, and wills, etc., are taken as related to Devon if the testator is identified to be or can be assumed as being of Devon, even if the will was proved elsewhere. The index covers only testators, not other named individuals, and efforts to create a consolidated index which covers all individual sources is not yet complete.) Individual sources are linked to from the Devon Wills Project page.
  • The Wiltshire online will index includes Pre-1858 for CHARDSTOCK and UFFCULME parishes, and a few wills from other parishes from the diocese of Salisbury that used to cover not only Wiltshire but also part of Berkshire, Dorset and Devon.

Published indexes exist (except for the Archdeaconry Court of Totnes) as well as collections of abstract of some records. Most, if not all, of these sources are included in the online Devon Wills Project. Here is a list of published indexes available through the Family History Library:

  • Wills for the Diocese of Exeter (County of Devon), 1812-1857 The copies were made for the Legacy Duty Department of the Stamp Duty Office, and from 1848 on to its successor, The Estate Duty Office of the Inland Revenue Office. They consist of wills proved in the Principal Registry and Consistory Court of the Bishop of Exeter, and in the various Archdeaconry Courts.

Uffculme is a Peculiar Court and has indexes as follows: See Film 97429 18th court listed and 97430 17th court listed using following link. Wills, original and registered of the peculiar court of the Dean and parish of Sarum, Wiltshire, 1560-1857

Did you find a reference to a probate record?

  • If yes, go to Step 4 below.
  • If no, go to Step 2 below.

Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died

Determine when your ancestor died. If you aren't sure, use an approximate date. 

Determine where your ancestor died. It is easier to find a probate record if you know whether the place where your ancestor lived or died is a parish. To learn whether it is a parish, look it up in a gazetteer. Here is a link to the 1872 Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales online:

The gazetteer will either tell you:

  • A place is a parish, or
  • What parish it is a part of, or
  • What place it is near.

If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.

Once you have identified the parish, go to Step 3.

Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish

Once you have identified the parish where your ancestor lived or died, learn which courts had jurisdiction over it then search indexes for those courts. Every town and parish in Devon fell under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. Click on a link below for the letter the parish begins with.

   A  B  C  D-E  F-H  I-K  L-M  N-O  P-R  S  T-V  W-Z

Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record

Once you have found an index reference to a probate, obtain a copy of the record. Do so by one of these methods:

  • Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection. *Visit the  Family History Library or a family history center and obtain a copy of the record on microfilm. For more information, click on a court name below.


Devonshire Probate Courts


Manuscript Records

The Family History Library has Calendars of wills and administrations relating to the counties of Devon and Cornwall&nbsp;: proved in the Court of the principal registry of the Bishop of Exeter, 1559-1799. And of Devon only, proved in the Court of the Archdeaconry of Exeter, 1540-1799

Olive Moger Collection

A professional genealogist, she abstracted many probate records from most of the Devon courts prior to World War II. The Family History Library has Transcript of Devonshire wills, 1600-1800.

Oswyn Murray's collection

Includes abstracts of probate records from various courts about testators from Devon before the destruction in World War II. The Family History Library has Oswyn Murray collection of wills, abt. 1600-1800

Other collections in the Family History Library