Difference between revisions of "Lancashire Probate Records"

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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Lancashire]]''  
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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Lancashire]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Lancashire Parishes|Lancashire Probate]]''  
  
For an explanation of probate records in England, click [[England Probate Records|here]].  
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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 Lancashire. For a general description of England probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].  
  
== Getting Started ==
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=== 1858 to the Present ===
  
''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 to 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 Post-1857 Probate Records section below contains links to additional information about the records of this court.  
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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.  
  
To look for a probate record before 1858:<br>
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=== Before 1858 ===
  
#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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Before 1858, Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process. To search for a pre-1858 probate record in Lancashire, follow these steps:
#Go to [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Lancashire_Probate_Records#Court_Jurisdictions Court Jurisdictions] section below.<br>
 
#Click a letter or span of letters for your place name. This opens a jurisdictions table.<br>
 
#Follow the instructions on the jurisdictions table page.<br>
 
  
== Historical Background ==
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==== Step 1. Search Indexes ====
  
Probate records of Lancashire commence from as early as 1321&nbsp;to&nbsp;1857.&nbsp;The&nbsp;probate court&nbsp;jurisdictions&nbsp;listed below hold extensive probate record coverage&nbsp;not only for Lancashire but for Yorkshire,&nbsp;Cheshire, Durham, and Cumberland.&nbsp;There is only one&nbsp;peculiar or smaller court jurisdictions which&nbsp;pertain to&nbsp;Lancashire parishes.  
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'''Online Indexes''' Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Lancashire. Search these indexes first:
  
If you&nbsp;know&nbsp;in which parish your ancestor may have died or lived,&nbsp;go to the "Lancashire&nbsp;Parishes and Their Probate Jurisdictions" section&nbsp;(below--or under&nbsp;whatever county you are searching) and search by parish name&nbsp;in order to determine&nbsp;the&nbsp;correct or most likely&nbsp;probate court&nbsp;to search, first.
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*[http://www.xmission.com/~nelsonb/lws.htm Lancashire Will Search - 1541-1837]
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*[http://www.uclan.ac.uk/ahss/education_social_sciences/history/probate_index.php North Lancashire Will index] - partial
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*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=5895 Ancestry.com] - 1301-1752; some later years for various probate courts are included
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*[http://www.findmypast.co.uk/DeathDutyStartSearchServlet Estate Duty Registers]&nbsp;(wills) - indexes&nbsp;from 1796 to 1903
  
Next, see the&nbsp;links (below) to each Lancashire probate court jurisdictions in order to obtain further information for researching in records of the prime probate court&nbsp;for a will.  
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For published indexes see each court jurisdiction (listed below). The latest years of these indexes go only to the year 1807.  
  
If a search in the most likely&nbsp;probate court jurisidiction proves unsuccessful, then search the next court as&nbsp;listed in ranked order, i.e. "no. 2", and etc. <br>
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For later than 1807, see the Estate Duty Registers' indexes&nbsp;(see above link or, order microfilms available at the Family History Library or 4600 family history centers worldwide). These original indexes were created by the Estate Duty Office (Inland Revenue) for all wills and administrations, which exacted&nbsp;Death Duties (from all&nbsp;probate courts in the country).  
  
== Lancashire Probate Courts  ==
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<br>Did you find a reference to a probate record?
  
*[[Court of the Bishop of Chester (Episcopal Consistory)]]
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*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.
*[[Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Commissary of the Archdeaconry of Richmond Western Deaneries]]
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*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of York]]
 
*[[Court of the Chancery of the Archbishop of York]]
 
*[[Peculiar Court of Halton Manor]]
 
*[[Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York]]
 
  
In addition, the [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] had jurisdiction over the whole of England. Wealthy individuals, people who owned property in more than one county or lower court's jurisdiction, people who died outside of the country but had property in England, and&nbsp;military personnel often had their estates proven through the Archbishop's court.
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Indexes at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City. [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog-search-api%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F1031217 Archdeaconry Court of Richmond, Index of Probate Records 1748-1858]  
  
=== Appeals Courts  ===
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Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society Series.
  
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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Vol 2 (1545-1620), Vol 4 (1621-1650), 1651-1659 see Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Vol 15 (1660-1680), Vol 18 (1681-1700), Vol 20 (1701-1720), Vol 22 (1721-1740), Vol 25 (1741-1760) Vol
  
*[[Court of Arches]]
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==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ====
*[[High Court of Delegates]]
 
  
The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] also served as an appeals court.  
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
  
<br>There were two&nbsp;appeals courts within the&nbsp;Prerogative Court of Canterbury which heard&nbsp;disputes over&nbsp;the administration or probate of an estate.&nbsp;They were the:  
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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. Or use [http://maps.familysearch.org England Jurisdictions, 1851 ]to find it&nbsp;on a map, along with information about it.&nbsp;Here is a link to the 1872 ''Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales'' online:  
  
*[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=379246&disp=Records+of+the+Court+of+Arches%2C+1660%2%20%20&columns=*,0,0 Court of Arches]&nbsp;&nbsp;(records are at Lambeth Palace Library, London; an index from 1660-1857 was compiled by the British Record Society, vol. 85)
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*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
*The Court of Delegates was also a court of appeal for the provinces of Canterbury and York, including their peculiars, royal peculiars, and the Irish probate courts. This court is sometimes also referred to&nbsp;as the High Court of Delegates (records are held at The National archives); records are on [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=379246&disp=Records+of+the+Court+of+Arches%2C+1660%2%20%20&columns=*,0,0 microfilm] (from 1662-1837) and [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=379246&disp=Records+of+the+Court+of+Arches%2C+1660%2%20%20&columns=*,0,0 microfiche] with an index, which are available at The Family History Library; ''The Genealogist'' has compiled an [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titlefilmnotes&columns=*%2C0%2C0&titleno=14199&disp=The+Genealogist+%28England%29++ index] in vols. 11 and 12 covering the years from 1651-1857)
 
  
== Court Jurisdictions  ==
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The gazetteer will either tell you:
  
Before 1858, every town and parish in Lancashire was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and one or more secondary courts.&nbsp; To see a list of parishes (and chapelries)&nbsp;in Lancashire and the pre-1858 courts that had probate jurisdiction over them, click on a letter link:
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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.
  
{| style="width: 508px; height: 22px" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="1"
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If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.
|-
 
| &nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with A|A]]
 
| &nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with B|B]]
 
| &nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes C|C]]
 
| &nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes D and E|D-E]]
 
| &nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes F through G|F-G]]
 
| &nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with H|H]]
 
| &nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes I through L|I-L]]
 
| &nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with M and N|M-N]]
 
| &nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes O through R|O-R]]
 
| &nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with S|S]]
 
| &nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with T and U|T-U]]
 
| &nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with Wal-Wav|Wal-Wav]]
 
| &nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with We-Z|We-Z]]
 
|}
 
  
<br>
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Once you have identified the parish, go to '''Step 3'''.
  
== Indexes ==
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==== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish ====
  
B. Nelson is creating an online index to Lancashire wills. This is an on-going project and the database will grow and become more complete with time. To access the index, go to: [http://www.xmission.com/~nelsonb/lws.htm Lancashire Will Search].
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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. Before 1858 every town and parish in Lancashire came&nbsp;under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. Click on a link below for the letter the parish begins with&nbsp;to identify&nbsp;which&nbsp;pre-1858 courts&nbsp;had probate jurisdiction over it''':'''&nbsp;
  
<br>The Prerogative Court of Canterbury (also known as the PCC) has an [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/wills.asp online index of wills] and if a will is found it can be ordered online. Those from Lancashire have already been indexed in the Lancashire Will Search site mentione above. The advantage of the PCC site is that you can order the will directly for a small fee.
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{| style="width: 508px; height: 22px" border="1" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1"
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|-
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with A|A]]
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with B|B]]
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes C|C]]
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes D and E|D-E]]
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes F through G|F-G]]
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with H|H]]
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes I through L|I-L]]
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with M and N|M-N]]
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes O through R|O-R]]
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with S|S]]  
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with T and U|T-U]]
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with Wal-Wav|Wal-Wav]]
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Lancashire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with We-Z|We-Z]]
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|}
  
<br>An [http://www.uclan.ac.uk/ahss/education_social_sciences/history/probate_index.php index] of wills and related documents for 1748-1858 has been prepared and covers Lancashire north of the Ribble River, and parts of Cumberland, Westmorland and Yorkshire.&nbsp; It indexes all surviving probate documents for the Western Deaneries of the Archdeaconry of Richmond, which include the deaneries of Amounderness, Copeland, Furness, Kendal and Lonsdale:
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==== Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record  ====
  
<br><br><br>
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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:
  
== Starting Your Search in Indexes  ==
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*Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection.
  
1. First search each index&nbsp;which you will find listed under the name of&nbsp;the particular probate court jurisdiction (see the "London Probate Courts" listed above) to help you more quickly find the will, writing down all&nbsp;details cited in the indexed entry.  
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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>
  
2. Once you have found the name of an ancestor and the probate jurisdiction in which a will or administration (admon) was probated, next proceed to the&nbsp;"Probate Records of This Court" (appears below this section) to determine what original probate records exist for this court and years appertaining.
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<br>
  
3. You can also contact or visit the&nbsp;particualr London archives where the original records are held, or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf. Officials may send upon written request a list of record searchers.
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== Lancashire Probate Courts  ==
  
4. Visit The Family History Library, or, one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide and search indexes to probate records. Then with the information obtained from the index[es] you can&nbsp;more quickly locate the original wills and admons which are&nbsp;on microfilm, via any family history [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/FHC/frameset_fhc.asp centers]&nbsp;near you.
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*[[Court of the Bishop of Chester (Episcopal Consistory)]]
 +
*[[Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Commissary of the Archdeaconry of Richmond Western Deaneries]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of York]]
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*[[Court of the Chancery of the Archbishop of York]]
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*[[Peculiar Court of Halton Manor]]
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*[[Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York]]
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*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
  
 
== Probate Records of Lancashire Courts  ==
 
== Probate Records of Lancashire Courts  ==
  
*MISCELLANEOUS WILLS 1695-1855 Diocese of Chester. Consistory Court]]
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*MISCELLANEOUS WILLS 1695-1855 Diocese of Chester. Consistory Court  
 
*PROBATE RECORDS 1558-1858, Consistory Court of the Diocese of Chester, 1558-1858 Diocese of Chester. Consistory Court  
 
*PROBATE RECORDS 1558-1858, Consistory Court of the Diocese of Chester, 1558-1858 Diocese of Chester. Consistory Court  
 
*PROBATE RECORDS 1466-1860 Archdeaconry of Richmond. Consistory Court (Western Deaneries)  
 
*PROBATE RECORDS 1466-1860 Archdeaconry of Richmond. Consistory Court (Western Deaneries)  
Line 103: Line 107:
 
*PROBATE RECORDS, Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of York
 
*PROBATE RECORDS, Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of York
  
== Estate or Death Duty Wills and Administrations  ==
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== Explanatory Notes<br> ==
  
Beginning in 1796 a tax was levied on probates of estates valued over £10. Copies of the probate documents were filed with the Estate Duty Office in London when the tax was paid.&nbsp; These records are especially helpful for research in counties&nbsp; where local probate records have been destroyed.
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Probate records of Lancashire commence from as early as 1321&nbsp;to&nbsp;1857.&nbsp;The&nbsp;probate court&nbsp;jurisdictions&nbsp;listed below hold extensive probate record coverage&nbsp;not only for Lancashire but for Yorkshire,&nbsp;Cheshire, Durham, and Cumberland.&nbsp;There is only one&nbsp;peculiar or smaller court jurisdictions which&nbsp;pertain to&nbsp;Lancashire parishes.  
 
 
For more information, see [[England Probate Records|England Probate Records]].<br><br>
 
 
 
<br>
 
 
 
<br>
 
 
 
== Post-1857 Probate Records  ==
 
 
 
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].  
 
  
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 records for 1858-1925 are available on microfilm at the Family History Library.<br>
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=== Useful Resources  ===
  
{{Place|Lancashire}}
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Raymond, Stuart A. ''Lancashire: a genealogical bibliography'', vol. 2. ''Registers, inscriptions and wills''. Birmingham [England]: Federation of Family History Societies, c 1996-1997.
  
[[Category:Lancashire|Probate Records]] [[Category:Probate_records_in_England]]
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[[Category:Lancashire]] [[Category:Probate_records_in_Lancashire]]

Revision as of 20:46, 26 March 2012

England Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Probate

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 Lancashire. 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 Lancashire, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

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

For published indexes see each court jurisdiction (listed below). The latest years of these indexes go only to the year 1807.

For later than 1807, see the Estate Duty Registers' indexes (see above link or, order microfilms available at the Family History Library or 4600 family history centers worldwide). These original indexes were created by the Estate Duty Office (Inland Revenue) for all wills and administrations, which exacted Death Duties (from all probate courts in the country).


Did you find a reference to a probate record?

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

Indexes at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City. Archdeaconry Court of Richmond, Index of Probate Records 1748-1858

Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society Series.

Vol 2 (1545-1620), Vol 4 (1621-1650), 1651-1659 see Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Vol 15 (1660-1680), Vol 18 (1681-1700), Vol 20 (1701-1720), Vol 22 (1721-1740), Vol 25 (1741-1760) Vol

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. Or use England Jurisdictions, 1851 to find it on a map, along with information about it. 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. Before 1858 every town and parish in Lancashire came under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. Click on a link below for the letter the parish begins with to identify which pre-1858 courts had probate jurisdiction over it: 

  A   B   C   D-E   F-G   H   I-L   M-N   O-R   S   T-U   Wal-Wav   We-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.


Lancashire Probate Courts

Probate Records of Lancashire Courts

  • MISCELLANEOUS WILLS 1695-1855 Diocese of Chester. Consistory Court
  • PROBATE RECORDS 1558-1858, Consistory Court of the Diocese of Chester, 1558-1858 Diocese of Chester. Consistory Court
  • PROBATE RECORDS 1466-1860 Archdeaconry of Richmond. Consistory Court (Western Deaneries)
  • PROBATE RECORDS, 1521-1858 Church of England. Diocese of Chester. Consistory Court
  • PROBATE RECORDS, 1852 Church of England. Prebendal Court (Fordington and Writhlington)
  • PROBATE RECORDS, 1374 to 1858 Court of the Exchquer of the Archbishop of York
  • PROBATE RECORDS, early to 1858 Court of the Chancery of the Archbishop of York
  • PROBATE RECORDS, Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of York

Explanatory Notes

Probate records of Lancashire commence from as early as 1321 to 1857. The probate court jurisdictions listed below hold extensive probate record coverage not only for Lancashire but for Yorkshire, Cheshire, Durham, and Cumberland. There is only one peculiar or smaller court jurisdictions which pertain to Lancashire parishes.

Useful Resources

Raymond, Stuart A. Lancashire: a genealogical bibliography, vol. 2. Registers, inscriptions and wills. Birmingham [England]: Federation of Family History Societies, c 1996-1997.