England, Kent, Wills and Probate (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: England, Kent, Wills and Probate, 1450-1875 .

Record Description

The collection consists of Wills and probate records for the County of Kent. Availability of the records varies by year and locality.

Probate records document the transfer of possessions after a person dies. Wills, in particular, were written to ensure that the property and personal estate of a deceased person would be distributed according to his or her wishes. If the deceased did specifiy an executer, the court would usually assign the next of kin the duty of distributing the goods.

Record Content

The genealogical facts found in probate records may vary from one probate to another. However, they generally include the folowing:

Key genealogical facts found in most Cheshire probate records after 1858 are:

  • Name of individual
  • Location where the deceased lived
  • Names of beneficiaries (usually surviving spouse and children)
  • Name of executor or administrator
  • Names of witnesses
  • Date of will or probate
  • Place of probate
  • Relative or relatives present at the time of death
  • Itemization of household goods and property
  • Amounts of money and goods
  • Location where the deceased lived
  • Listing of any debt or funeral expenses to be paid
  • Property names

How to Use the Records

Use these records to find ancestors’ children and relatives in order to establish relationships that may be more difficult to prove in parish registers, especially before 1813. They are also good to confirm relationships in families where relationship is already established.

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users, however, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. In the case of Kent, Wills and Probate records, each religious entity dictates who may view the records.

Archdeaconry and Diocese of Canterbury:

FamilySearch has rights to publish images online to users from the supporting organization, (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and at FamilySearch Centers.
- Exceptions: Miscellaneous Court Papers and Miscellaneous Court Papers Index (Registered Users, FamilySearch Centers and members of LDS church)

Archdeaconry and Diocese of Rochester:

FamilySearch has rights to publish images online to Registered Users, FamilySearch Centers and members of the supporting organization

Exempt Deanery of Shoreham:
FamilySearch has rights to publish images online to users from the supporting organization, (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and at FamilySearch Centers.

Peculiar of the Rector of Cliffe:
FamilySearch has rights to publish images online to users from the supporting organization, (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and at FamilySearch Centers.

In August 2011, a new agreement was signed restricting access to images older than 100 years. If even one image on a film exceeds the 100 year cutoff, the entire film is restricted. Many older films contained multiple items and year ranges.

FamilySearch, however, has other resources which are available to all researchers. These online records, and many others for this area, are available on microfilm which can be ordered for viewing into the nearest FamilySearch Center.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Kent Archives

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for Records Found in This Collection

"England, Kent, Wills and Probate, 1440-1881:" images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 8 February 2012), John Edwards, late of Deal, 25 November 1739; citing Probate Records, Kent, Diocese of Canterbury, Inventories, 1739-1748, Image 5; Kent archives, Maidstone, England.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"England, Kent, Wills and Probate, 1450-1875." FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org). Kent Archives, Maidstone, England. FHL digital images, 409 digital folders. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.