Difference between revisions of "Hertfordshire Probate Records"

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[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Hertfordshire]]  
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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Hertfordshire]]''
  
For an explanation of probate records in England. click [[England Probate Records|here]].  
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== 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 [[W genealogical glossary terms|wills]] and [[A genealogical glossary terms|administrations]]. This article is about probate records in Hertfordshire. For a general description of England probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].
 +
 
 +
=== 1858 to the Present  ===
 +
 
 +
Beginning in 1858, the [[Principal Probate Registry|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 Hertfordshire, follow these steps:
 +
 
 +
==== Step 1. Search Indexes  ====
 +
 
 +
Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Hertfordshire. Search these indexes first:
 +
 
 +
Before looking for a will, you should search an index.
 +
 
 +
County-wide general will indexes exist for Hertford County for the years 1413-1857, please click to the [https://www.hertsdirect.org/ufs/ufsmain?formid=HALS_INDEXES Hertfordshire Names Online Wills] to assess their index.  
  
== Getting Started  ==
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Printed indexes to wills at the Hertfordshire Record Office:
 +
 
 +
*The Hertford Record Office hold manuscript indexes and calendars of probate records. Contact their office for further details regarding their collections
 +
*Beryl Crawley and Cliff Webb, ed. ''Wills at Hertford. ''London 2007, the British Record Society. (FHL book 942 B4b vol. 120. The Hertford County Record Office wills indexing project under the auspices of the above authors on behalf of the Index Library compiled by far the most comprehensive wills index for Hertfordshire; available at the [http://www.britishrecordsociety.org/ British Record Society website].
 +
 
 +
Printed indexes to Hertfordshire wills (a few) held in the Essex County Record Office:
 +
 
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* Emmison, F. G., ed.  ''[Index to] Wills at Chelmsford''. London: s.n., 1961, the British Record Society. (FHL book {{FHL|247479|title-id|disp=942 B4b}} vols. 78, 79 and 84; also on microfilms 0962739 and 0962740, and on microfiche 6073796, 6073797, and 6073802.)
 +
 
 +
Other printed indexes may be found listed on the court pages. '''Click on the court name links above.''' Did you find a reference to a probate record?
 +
 
 +
*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.
 +
*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
  
Probate is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his/her heirs. 
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==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ====
  
In order to find a probate record for your ancestor, you must answer two questions:
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died. If you aren't sure, use an approximate date. 
  
#When did your ancestor die?
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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:
#Where did your ancestor live or own property?
 
  
A key date is 1858, when probate authority was taken from the ecclesiatical courts of the Church of England and given to the civil government. 
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*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
  
*If your ancestor died before 1858, his/her probate would have been proven by an ecclesiatical court and it is important to know where he/she lived, as that will determine which courts had jurisdiction. 
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The gazetteer will either tell you:
*If you know where your ancestor lived before 1858, you should go to the '''Court Jurisdictions''' section below to determine what courts had jurisdiction over your ancestor's place of residence. 
 
*Beginning in 1858, probate authority was vested in the '''Principal Probate Registry''' system.  For more information, scroll to the '''Post-1857 Probate Records''' section at the bottom of the page.
 
  
Once you have answered the two questions and determined the courts, look for indexes. Indexes will be found on the individual court pages (when you click on a court name) or in the '''Probate Indexes''' section below.<br><br>
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*A place is a parish, or
 +
*What parish it is a part of, or  
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*What place it is near.
  
== Hertfordshire Probate Courts  ==
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If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.
  
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Hertfordshire Probate Courts  ==
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Once you have identified the parish, go to '''Step 3'''.
  
== Court Jurisdictions ==
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==== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish ====
  
Before 1858, every town and parish in Hertfordshire was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary ecclesiastical court and one or more secondary ecclesiastical courts.  
+
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 Hertfordshire fell under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. Click on a link below for the letter the parish begins Before 1858, every town and parish in Hertfordshire was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary ecclesiastical court and one or more secondary ecclesiastical courts.  
  
 
To see a list of Hertfordshire places and the pre-1858 courts that had probate jurisdiction over them, click on a letter link:  
 
To see a list of Hertfordshire places and the pre-1858 courts that had probate jurisdiction over them, click on a letter link:  
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[[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with A|A]]&nbsp;&nbsp; [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes B|B]] &nbsp; [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes C-G|C-G]]&nbsp;&nbsp; [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes H-L|H-L]]&nbsp;&nbsp; [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes M-S|M-S]]&nbsp;&nbsp; [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes T-Z|T-Z]]&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;  
 
[[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with A|A]]&nbsp;&nbsp; [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes B|B]] &nbsp; [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes C-G|C-G]]&nbsp;&nbsp; [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes H-L|H-L]]&nbsp;&nbsp; [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes M-S|M-S]]&nbsp;&nbsp; [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes T-Z|T-Z]]&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;  
  
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==== 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:
  
== Estate Duty Records<br> ==
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*Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection.
  
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. Between 1813-1858 estate duty indexes may help locate a will. For more information, go to [[Estate Duty Records]].<br>
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*Visit the [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>
  
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<br>
  
 +
== Hertfordshire Probate Courts  ==
  
== Post-1857 Probate Records  ==
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The following ecclesiastical courts had some pre-1858 probate jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name for information about records and indexes.
  
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.&nbsp; The system consists of 11 district registry offices and&nbsp;18 sub-district registries, located throughout England and Wales, and&nbsp;the principal registry&nbsp;office located in London.&nbsp; The records are available through the office of Her Majesty's Courts Service.&nbsp; To learn more, go to the [http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/infoabout/civil/probate/index.htm HMCS website].
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*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham]]
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*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of St. Albans]]
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*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex (Essex & Hertfordshire Division)|Court of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex]]
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*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon (Herts div.)|Court of the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon (Herts/Hitchen div.)]]
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*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon (Hunts div.)]]
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*[[Court of the Bishop of Lincoln (Episcopal Consistory)]]
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*[[Court of the Bishop of London (Episcopal Consistory)]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's Cathedral]]
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*[[Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (Essex and Herts div.)]]
  
A&nbsp;country-wide surname index to the records is available, so it is much easier to look for post-1857 wills.&nbsp; The [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=208102&disp=Calendar+of+the+grants+of+probate+and+le%20%20&columns=*,0,0 indexes] for 1858-1957 and the [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=authordetails&authorno=301365&name=Great+Britain.+Principal+Probate+Registry&columns=*,0,0 records] for 1858-1925 are available on microfilm at the Family History Library.<br>
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*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
  
[[Category:Hertfordshire|Probate Records]]
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[[Category:Hertfordshire]]

Revision as of 17:47, 21 February 2013

England Gotoarrow.png Hertfordshire

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 Hertfordshire. For a general description of England probate records, click here.

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 Hertfordshire, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Hertfordshire. Search these indexes first:

Before looking for a will, you should search an index.

County-wide general will indexes exist for Hertford County for the years 1413-1857, please click to the Hertfordshire Names Online Wills to assess their index.

Printed indexes to wills at the Hertfordshire Record Office:

  • The Hertford Record Office hold manuscript indexes and calendars of probate records. Contact their office for further details regarding their collections
  • Beryl Crawley and Cliff Webb, ed. Wills at Hertford. London 2007, the British Record Society. (FHL book 942 B4b vol. 120. The Hertford County Record Office wills indexing project under the auspices of the above authors on behalf of the Index Library compiled by far the most comprehensive wills index for Hertfordshire; available at the British Record Society website.

Printed indexes to Hertfordshire wills (a few) held in the Essex County Record Office:

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

Other printed indexes may be found listed on the court pages. Click on the court name links above. 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 Hertfordshire fell under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. Click on a link below for the letter the parish begins Before 1858, every town and parish in Hertfordshire was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary ecclesiastical court and one or more secondary ecclesiastical courts.

To see a list of Hertfordshire places and the pre-1858 courts that had probate jurisdiction over them, click on a letter link:

A   B   C-G   H-L   M-S   T-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.


Hertfordshire Probate Courts

The following ecclesiastical courts had some pre-1858 probate jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name for information about records and indexes.