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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Staffordshire]]''  
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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Staffordshire]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] Staffordshire Probate Records''  
  
For an explanation of probate records in England, click [[England Probate Records|here.]]
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== Getting Started  ==
  
== Step By Step  ==
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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 Staffordshire. See [[England Probate Records]] for a general description of probate records in England.
  
1. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will, writing down each detail cited in the indexed entry.<br>2. Proceed to the "Probate Records Held in This Archive" (below) to determine what original probate records exist for this court. Also see "Probate Records of This Court in The Family History Library".<br>3. Contact or visit the Essex County Record Office or,&nbsp;hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf. Officials may send upon request a list of record searchers.<br>4. Visit The Family History Library, or, one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide and search indexes to probate records;&nbsp;then with the information obtained from the index[es] you can search more quickly the&nbsp;original wills and admons also&nbsp;on microfilm via any&nbsp;[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/FHC/frameset_fhc.asp centers]&nbsp;near you.
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=== 1858 to the Present  ===
  
<br>If no will is found, your ancestor may not have left one.&nbsp;
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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.  
  
== Staffordshire Probate Courts ==
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=== Before 1858 ===
  
The following probate courts&nbsp;had some jurisdiction over the county of Staffordshire prior to 1858; note that most of Staffordshire was covered by&nbsp;its largest court jurisdiction, called--the Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory), but&nbsp;the county also had numerous concurrent smaller&nbsp;jurisdictions called "peculiars" courts as well (see the "Staffordshire Parishes and Their Probate Jurisdictions" section below to determine the correct court jurisdiction for the parish in which you may be searching):  
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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 Staffordshire, follow these steps:  
 
 
*[[Episcopal Consistory Court of Lichfield]]
 
*[[Court of the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean of Lichfield]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Alrewas and Weeford]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Burton on Trent]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Colwich]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Eccleshall]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Manor of Gnosall]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Hansacre and Armitage]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of High Offley and Flixton]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Longdon]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Manor of Pattingham]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Penkridge]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Prebend of Prees or Pipe Minor]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Manor of Sedgely]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Tettenhall]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Manor of Tyrley]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Whittington and Baswich]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Wolverhampton]]
 
  
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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==== Step 1. Search Indexes  ====
  
*Wealthy individuals<br>
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Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Staffordshire. Search these indexes first:
*People who owned property in more than one county<br>
 
*Military and naval personnel<br>
 
*People who lived or owned property outside England<br>
 
  
=== Appeals Courts  ===
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*An index for 1650-1750 for Staffordshire covering&nbsp;23000 plus probate documents&nbsp;can be found&nbsp;at&nbsp;[http://www.staffsnameindexes.org.uk/ Will and administrations]
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*A general will index for the Diocese of Lichfield, a scanned edition of P.W. Phillimore's publication by the British Record Society in 1892,[http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=4zYEAAAAIAAJ ''Calendars of wills administrations in the consistory court of the bishop of Lichfield'']''.&nbsp; ''This single index consolidates most&nbsp;Staffordshire&nbsp;wills of the various probate court jurisdictions&nbsp;from 1514-1652 for the Diocese of Lichfield and to 1790 for Staffordshire smaller peculiar courts.
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*The Manor of Sedgley has online indexes listed under the Court of the Peculiar of the Manor of Sedgley below.
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*[http://www.historicalresources.myzen.co.uk/ Index to Lichfield Wills to 1546] by Dave Postles
  
There were two appeals courts within the Prerogative Court of Canterbury which heard disputes over the administration or probate of an estate. They were the:
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==== Printed Indexes  ====
  
*[[Court of Arches]] which held jurisdiction&nbsp;over 13 parishes in the City of London and concurrent jurisdiction over the whole of the&nbsp;provinces of York and Canterbury&nbsp;(records are at Lambeth Palace Library, London).&nbsp;  
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Lichfield wills and administrations, 1516-1652&nbsp;: also "peculiars" at Lichfield, Birmingham and Derby, 1529-1652; 1675-1790; 1753-1790, found in Index Library(see above for online copy of book) volume 7.&nbsp; FHL British book 942 B4b vol. 7.  
*[[High Court of Delegates|High Court of Delegates]] or sometimes known as the Court of Delegates, also heard appeals cases regarding probates and administrations.
 
  
The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] also served as an appeals court.  
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Wills in the Consistory Court of Lichfield&nbsp;: 1650-1700 editor Cliff Webb found in&nbsp;Index Library vol. 125. FHL British book 942 B4b vol. 125.  
  
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Courts in Staffordshire<br> ==
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The Smethwick Local history Society has published the&nbsp;''Probate inventories of Smethwick residents, 1647-1747&nbsp;: in the Lichfield Joint Record Office.''<br>  
  
Records and indexes for each court are also available in the collection of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.&nbsp; Search the [http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp Family History Library Catalog] for the title of the court or the court as&nbsp;an author.&nbsp;
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==== Probate Calendars  ====
  
== Probate Indexes  ==
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Registered wills and original wills, administrations and inventories, 1494-1860, and, act books, 1532-1638 for Diocese of Lichfield Episcopal Consistory Court. {{FHL|309060|title-id|disp=}} These are calendars.&nbsp; They cover most of the county of Stafford. <br>
  
Before&nbsp;looking for a will, you should search an index.
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<br>Did you find a reference to a probate record?
  
==== Online Indexes  ====
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*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.
 +
*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
  
A general will index for the Diocese of Lichfield exists online, a scanned edition of P.W. Phillimore's publicationby the British Record Society in 1892,[http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=4zYEAAAAIAAJ ''Calendars of wills administrations in the Consistory court of the bishop of Lichfield'']''.&nbsp; ''This single index consolidates most&nbsp;Staffordshire&nbsp;wills of the various probate court jurisdictions&nbsp;from 1514-1652 for the Diocese of Lichfield and to 1790 for Staffordshire smaller peculiar courts.''&nbsp;''
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==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ====
  
==== Printed Indexes  ====
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
  
See the above online indexes available at Google.books which is copy of a printed will index for Staffordshire.  
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Determine ''where'' your ancestor died. It is easier to find a probate record if you know&nbsp;the parish where your ancestor lived or died. To learn the parish for the place where your ancestor died, look&nbsp;the place&nbsp;up in a gazetteer (topographical dictionary). Here is a link to the 1872 ''Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales'' online:&nbsp;&nbsp; [http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
  
The Smethwick Local history Society has published the&nbsp;''Probate inventories of Smethwick residents, 1647-1747&nbsp;: in the Lichfield Joint Record Office.''<br>
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The gazetteer will either tell you:  
  
==== Probate Calendars  ====
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*A place is a parish, or if not--
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*What parish it is in
  
Registered wills and original wills, administrations and inventories, 1494-1860, and, act books, 1532-1638 for Diocese of Lichfield Episcopal Consistory Court. [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=309060&disp=Registered+wills+and+original+wills%2C+a%20%20&columns=*,0,0] These are calendars.&nbsp; They cover most of the county of Stafford.
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&nbsp;  
  
== Probate Court Jurisdictions <br> ==
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Once you have identified the parish, go to '''Step 3'''.
  
Before 1858, most Staffordshire parishes came under the major probate court jurisdiction of the Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory). A few parishes came under the&nbsp;jurisdiction of a smaller secondary or peculiar court.&nbsp; When looking for the will of an ancestor, you should search the courts in the order given.&nbsp;For&nbsp;an authoritative treatise on&nbsp;each Staffordshire probate court and the parishes&nbsp;comprising them in pre-1858, see Anthony J. Camp's publication,&nbsp;''Wills and Their Whereabouts''; also available at&nbsp;the Family History Library, FHL&nbsp;book call [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=413992&disp=Wills+and+their+whereabouts%20%20&columns=*,0,0 #942 S2wa].&nbsp;
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==== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish  ====
  
The links below pertain to an alphabetical list of Staffordshire parishes and each's&nbsp;respective&nbsp;probate court to which it was attached.&nbsp;When looking for the will of an ancestor, you should search the courts in the order given. In addition, always search indexes ''first''.&nbsp; For indexes, either click on the court name links above or in the alphabetical list of parishes indicated below in the alphabetical list.&nbsp;
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Once you have identified the parish where your ancestor lived or died, learn which courts had jurisdiction over it by clicking on a link below for the letter the parish begins with.&nbsp; Once&nbsp;you find the parish you want in the list, you can click on the court listed to go to a page that will help you find the records for that court.  
  
To view each parish and to learn which&nbsp;court[s] to search first for probates of persons living in or owning property in that&nbsp; parish, click on the letter the parish name begins with
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&nbsp;  
  
{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="200" border="1"
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{| width="306" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="1" style="width: 306px; height: 25px"
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Staffordshire Probate Jurisdictions for Parishes Beginning with A|A]] &nbsp;  
 
| [[Staffordshire Probate Jurisdictions for Parishes Beginning with A|A]] &nbsp;  
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|}
 
|}
  
<br>
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<br>  
  
== Estate Duty Records<br> ==
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==== Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record  ====
  
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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Once you have found an index reference to a probate, obtain a copy of the record. Do so by one of these methods:
  
== Post-1857 Probate Records  ==
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*Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection.
 +
*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>
  
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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== Staffordshire Probate Courts ==
  
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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The following probate courts&nbsp;had some jurisdiction over the county of Staffordshire prior to 1858; note that most of Staffordshire was covered by&nbsp;its largest court jurisdiction, called--the [[Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory)|Court of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry&nbsp;(Episcopal Consistory)]], but&nbsp;the county also had numerous concurrent smaller&nbsp;jurisdictions called "peculiars"&nbsp;(see the "Staffordshire Court Jurisdictions By Parish" section&nbsp;above to determine the correct court jurisdiction for the parish in which you may be searching for a will):
 +
 
 +
*[[Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory)|Court of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry (Episcopal Consistory)]]&nbsp;&nbsp;  
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*[[Court of the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean of Lichfield]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Alrewas and Weeford]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Burton on Trent]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Colwich]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Eccleshall]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Manor of Gnosall]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Hansacre and Armitage]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of High Offley and Flixton]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Longdon]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Manor of Pattingham]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Penkridge]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Prebend of Prees or Pipe Minor]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Manor of Sedgely]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Tettenhall]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Manor of Tyrley]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Whittington and Baswich]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Wolverhampton]]
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*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
 +
 
 +
<br>
 +
 
 +
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Courts in Staffordshire<br>  ==
 +
 
 +
Records and indexes for each court are also available in the collection of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.&nbsp; Search the [http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp Family History Library Catalog] for the title of the court or the court as&nbsp;an author.&nbsp;
  
{{Place|Staffordshire}}
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<br>
  
[[Category:Staffordshire]] [[Category:Probate_records_in_England]]
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[[Category:Staffordshire]]

Revision as of 15:10, 7 May 2013

England Gotoarrow.png Staffordshire Gotoarrow.png Staffordshire Probate Records

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 Staffordshire. 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 Staffordshire, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

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

  • An index for 1650-1750 for Staffordshire covering 23000 plus probate documents can be found at Will and administrations
  • A general will index for the Diocese of Lichfield, a scanned edition of P.W. Phillimore's publication by the British Record Society in 1892,Calendars of wills administrations in the consistory court of the bishop of LichfieldThis single index consolidates most Staffordshire wills of the various probate court jurisdictions from 1514-1652 for the Diocese of Lichfield and to 1790 for Staffordshire smaller peculiar courts.
  • The Manor of Sedgley has online indexes listed under the Court of the Peculiar of the Manor of Sedgley below.
  • Index to Lichfield Wills to 1546 by Dave Postles

Printed Indexes

Lichfield wills and administrations, 1516-1652 : also "peculiars" at Lichfield, Birmingham and Derby, 1529-1652; 1675-1790; 1753-1790, found in Index Library(see above for online copy of book) volume 7.  FHL British book 942 B4b vol. 7.

Wills in the Consistory Court of Lichfield : 1650-1700 editor Cliff Webb found in Index Library vol. 125. FHL British book 942 B4b vol. 125.

The Smethwick Local history Society has published the Probate inventories of Smethwick residents, 1647-1747 : in the Lichfield Joint Record Office.

Probate Calendars

Registered wills and original wills, administrations and inventories, 1494-1860, and, act books, 1532-1638 for Diocese of Lichfield Episcopal Consistory Court. [1] These are calendars.  They cover most of the county of Stafford.


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 the parish where your ancestor lived or died. To learn the parish for the place where your ancestor died, look the place up in a gazetteer (topographical dictionary). Here is a link to the 1872 Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales online:   Vision of Britain

The gazetteer will either tell you:

  • A place is a parish, or if not--
  • What parish it is in

 

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 by clicking on a link below for the letter the parish begins with.  Once you find the parish you want in the list, you can click on the court listed to go to a page that will help you find the records for that court.

 

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.
  • Visit theFamily History Library or a family history center and obtain a copy of the record on microfilm. For more information, click on a court name below.

Staffordshire Probate Courts

The following probate courts had some jurisdiction over the county of Staffordshire prior to 1858; note that most of Staffordshire was covered by its largest court jurisdiction, called--the Court of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry (Episcopal Consistory), but the county also had numerous concurrent smaller jurisdictions called "peculiars" (see the "Staffordshire Court Jurisdictions By Parish" section above to determine the correct court jurisdiction for the parish in which you may be searching for a will):


Some Explanatory Notes on the Courts in Staffordshire

Records and indexes for each court are also available in the collection of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Search the Family History Library Catalog for the title of the court or the court as an author.