Difference between revisions of "Hertfordshire Probate Records"

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== Getting Started  ==
 
== 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]].  
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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. See [[England Probate Records]] for a general description of probate records in England.  
  
 
=== 1858 to the Present  ===
 
=== 1858 to the Present  ===
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Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Hertfordshire. Search these indexes first:  
 
Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Hertfordshire. Search these indexes first:  
  
*[http://www.familyhistoryonline.net/database/SussexFHGprobate.shtml http://www.familyhistoryonline.net/database/SussexFHGprobate.shtml] -- compiled by the Sussex Family History Group which has transcribed the names of 12,300 individuals found in Sussex wills, including testators, executors, beneficiaries or witnesses. The information recorded includes name, date and place.  
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Before looking for a will, you should search an index.
*The [http://sussexrecordsociety.org/home2.asp?an=&ap= Sussex Record Society] has published four volumes of indexes to Sussex wills, and these can be viewed on their [http://sussexrecordsociety.org/bwills1.asp?an=&ap= website]. They are arranged by parish then by surname.   
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*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/wills.asp?WT.hp=Wills Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384-1858)].
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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.  
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Printed indexes to wills at the Hertfordshire Record Office:  
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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 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].
  
Did you find a reference to a probate record?  
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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.)
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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 ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.  
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==== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish  ====
 
==== 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 Sussex 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.  
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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:  
  
 
[[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with A|A]]   [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes B|B]]   [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes C-G|C-G]]   [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes H-L|H-L]]   [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes M-S|M-S]]   [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes T-Z|T-Z]]     
 
[[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with A|A]]   [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes B|B]]   [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes C-G|C-G]]   [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes H-L|H-L]]   [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes M-S|M-S]]   [[Hertfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes T-Z|T-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.
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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  ==
 
== Hertfordshire Probate Courts  ==
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*[[Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (Essex and Herts div.)]]
 
*[[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.<br>
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*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
 
 
*Wealthy individuals<br>
 
*Interregnum, 1649-1660, because the Prerogative Court was the only court.
 
*Property in more than one diocese in the Province of Canterbury.
 
*Property in both the Province of Canterbury and Province of York.
 
*People who died outside England, including British citizens and others who held property in 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  ==
 
 
 
Before looking for a will, you should search an index.
 
 
 
=== Online Indexes  ===
 
 
 
County-wide general will indexes exist for Hertford&nbsp;County, but there are none&nbsp;available online indexes at this time.
 
 
 
=== Printed and Manuscript Indexes  ===
 
 
 
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&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].
 
 
 
Printed indexes to Hertfordshire wills (a few)&nbsp;held in&nbsp;the Essex County Record Office:
 
 
 
*&nbsp;Emmison, F. G., ed.&nbsp; ''[Index to] Wills at Chelmsford''. London: s.n., 1961, the British Record Society.&nbsp;(FHL book [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=247479&disp=Wills+at+Chelmsford+%28Essex+and+East+He%20%20&columns=*,0,0 942 B4b] vols. 78, 79&nbsp;and 84; also on microfilms 0962739 and 0962740, and on microfiche 6073796, 6073797, and 6073802.)
 
 
 
Other printed indexes may be&nbsp;found listed on the court pages.&nbsp;'''Click on the court name links above.'''
 
  
 
[[Category:Hertfordshire]]
 
[[Category:Hertfordshire]]

Revision as of 15:10, 7 May 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. 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 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.