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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Staffordshire]]''  
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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Staffordshire]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] Staffordshire Probate Records''  
  
The following article is about probate records in the county of Staffordshire. For general information about English probate records, 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 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|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 [http://www.staffsnameindexes.org.uk/ 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,[http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=4zYEAAAAIAAJ ''Calendars of wills administrations in the consistory court of the bishop of Lichfield'']''.  ''This 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.
 +
*[http://www.historicalresources.myzen.co.uk/ Index to Lichfield Wills to 1546] by Dave Postles
  
== Getting Started ==
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==== Printed Indexes ====
  
''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 Principle Probate Registry.  The Probates After 1857 section below contains links to additional information about the records of this court.  
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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.  
  
To look for a probate record before 1858:<br>
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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.
  
#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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The Smethwick Local history Society has published the&nbsp;''Probate inventories of Smethwick residents, 1647-1747&nbsp;: in the Lichfield Joint Record Office.''<br>  
#Go to [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Cumberland_Probate_Records#Court_Jurisdictions Court Jurisdictions] section below.<br>
 
#Click a letter or span of letters for your place. This opens a jurisdictions table.<br>
 
#Follow the instructions on the jurisdictions table page.<br>
 
  
== Staffordshire Probate Courts ==
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==== Probate Calendars ====
  
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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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>
  
*[[Episcopal Consistory Court of Lichfield]]
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<br>Did you find a reference to a probate record?
*[[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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*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.
 +
*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
  
*Wealthy individuals<br>
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==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ====
*People who owned property in more than one county or diocese of the Church of England<br>
 
*Military and naval personnel<br>
 
*People who lived or owned property outside England<br>
 
  
=== Appeals Courts  ===
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
  
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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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]
  
*[[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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The gazetteer will either tell you:
*[[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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*A place is a parish, or if not--
 +
*What parish it is in
  
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Courts in Staffordshire<br> ==
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&nbsp;
  
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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Once you have identified the parish, go to '''Step 3'''.  
  
== Court Jurisdictions By Parish<br> ==
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==== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish  ====
  
Before 1858, every town and parish in Cumberland was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts.&nbsp; When searching for the will of an ancestor, find the name of the town or parish where he/she lived in the jurisdictions lists. Go to the list of places by clicking on a letter or series of letters below.<br>
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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>  
  
== Probate Indexes ==
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==== Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record ====
  
Before&nbsp;looking for a will, you should search an index. It will save time and give a reference to finding a copy of a will.<br>
+
Once you have found an index reference to a probate, obtain a copy of the record. Do so by one of these methods:
  
<br>
+
*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>
  
==== Online Indexes ====
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== Staffordshire Probate Courts ==
  
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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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):
  
==== Printed Indexes  ====
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*[[Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory)|Court of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry (Episcopal Consistory)]]&nbsp;&nbsp;
 +
*[[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]]
 +
*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
  
See the above online indexes available at Google.books which is copy of a printed will index for Staffordshire.
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<br>
  
The Smethwick Local history Society has published the&nbsp;''Probate inventories of Smethwick residents, 1647-1747&nbsp;: in the Lichfield Joint Record Office.''<br>
+
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Courts in Staffordshire<br> ==
  
==== Probate Calendars  ====
+
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;  
 
 
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. <br>
 
 
 
== Estate Duty Records<br> ==
 
 
 
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.Estate duty indexes may help locate a will. For more information, go to [[Estate Duty Records]].<br>
 
 
 
== Probates After 1857  ==
 
  
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. For more information, go to [[Principal Probate Registry]].<br>
+
<br>  
  
 
[[Category:Staffordshire]]
 
[[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.