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]]''  
  
<br>The following article is about probate records in the county of Hertfordshire. For general information about English probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]]. <br>
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== Getting Started  ==
  
<br>
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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 Hertfordshire. For a general description of England probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].
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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  ===
  
== Description  ==
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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 Hertfordshire, follow these steps:
  
''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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==== Step 1. Search Indexes  ====
  
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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Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Hertfordshire. Search these indexes first:
  
<br>
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Before looking for a will, you should search an index.
  
== Getting Started  ==
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County-wide general will indexes exist for Hertford&nbsp;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.
  
<br>''Probate'' is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his or her heirs. The Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process until 1858. 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 section below contains links to additional information about the records of this court.&nbsp;<br>
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Printed indexes to wills at the Hertfordshire Record Office:
  
To look for a probate record before 1858:&lt;br&gt;  
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*The Hertford Record Office hold manuscript indexes and calendars of probate records. Contact their office for further details regarding their collections
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*Beryl Crawley and Cliff Webb, ed. ''Wills at&nbsp;Hertford. ''London 2007, the British Record Society. (FHL&nbsp;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&nbsp;compiled by far the most comprehensive wills index for Hertfordshire; available at the [http://www.britishrecordsociety.org/ British&nbsp;Record Society website].
  
#Discover when and where your ancestor died. If you don’t know, use the approximate date and place where they lived. &lt;br&gt;<br>#Go to [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Somerset_Probate_Records#Court_Jurisdictions Court Jurisdictions] section below.&lt;br&gt;<br>#Click a letter or span of letters for your place name. This opens a jurisdictions table.&lt;br&gt;<br>#Follow the instructions on the jurisdictions table page.&lt;br&gt;<br><br>
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Printed indexes to Hertfordshire wills (a few)&nbsp;held in&nbsp;the Essex County Record Office:
  
== Hertfordshire Probate Courts  ==
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*&nbsp;Emmison, F. G., ed.&nbsp; ''[Index to] Wills at Chelmsford''. London: s.n., 1961, the British Record Society.&nbsp;(FHL book {{FHL|247479|title-id|disp=942 B4b}} vols. 78, 79&nbsp;and 84; also on microfilms 0962739 and 0962740, and on microfiche 6073796, 6073797, and 6073802.)
  
The following ecclesiastical courts had some pre-1858 probate jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name for information about records and indexes.  
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Other printed indexes may be&nbsp;found listed on the court pages.&nbsp;'''Click on the court name links above.''' Did you find a reference to a probate record?
  
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham]]
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*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.  
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of St. Albans]]
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*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex (Essex & Hertfordshire Division)|Court of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex]]
 
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon (Herts div.)|Court of the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon (Herts/Hitchen div.)]]
 
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon (Hunts div.)]]
 
*[[Court of the Bishop of Lincoln (Episcopal Consistory)]]
 
*[[Court of the Bishop of London (Episcopal Consistory)]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's Cathedral]]
 
*[[Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (Essex and Herts div.)]]
 
  
In addition, the [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] had jurisdiction over the whole of England and specifically in the following cases.&lt;br&gt;
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==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ====
  
*Wealthy individuals&lt;br&gt;<br>*People who owned property in more than one county&lt;br&gt;<br>*Military and naval personnel&lt;br&gt;<br>*People who lived or owned property outside England&lt;br&gt;
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;  
  
=== Appeals Courts  ===
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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:
  
Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the county courts could be sent to these higher appeals courts:  
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*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
  
*[[Court of Arches]]
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The gazetteer will either tell you:
*[[High Court of Delegates]]
 
  
The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] also served as an appeals court.  
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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.
  
<br>
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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 by Parish ==
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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.  
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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 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;  
  
<br>
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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:
  
== 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.&nbsp; 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>
  
 
<br>
 
<br>
  
== Probates After 1857 ==
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== 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.
 +
 
 +
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham]]
 +
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of St. Albans]]
 +
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex (Essex & Hertfordshire Division)|Court of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex]]
 +
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon (Herts div.)|Court of the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon (Herts/Hitchen div.)]]
 +
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon (Hunts div.)]]
 +
*[[Court of the Bishop of Lincoln (Episcopal Consistory)]]
 +
*[[Court of the Bishop of London (Episcopal Consistory)]]
 +
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's Cathedral]]
 +
*[[Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (Essex and Herts div.)]]
  
Beginning in 1858, the government took over the settlement of estates and all wills are now probated through the Principal Probate Registry system. For more information, go to Principal Probate Registry.
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*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
  
 
[[Category:Hertfordshire]]
 
[[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.