Difference between revisions of "Surrey 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. This article is about probate records in the county of Sussex. For general information about English probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].<br>
+
''Probate'' is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his or her heirs. This article is about probate records in the county of Surrey. For general information about English probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].<br>  
  
 
=== 1858 to the Present  ===
 
=== 1858 to the Present  ===
  
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.  
+
Beginning in 1858, the [[Principal Probate Registry|Principal Probate Registry]] had the authority&nbsp;for probating estates. Click on the link to learn more.  
  
 
=== Before 1858  ===
 
=== Before 1858  ===
  
Before 1858, Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process. To search for a pre-1858 probate record in Sussex, follow these steps;
+
Before 1858, Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process. To search for a pre-1858 probate record in Surrey, follow these steps;  
  
Step 1. Search indexes
+
==== Step 1. Search indexes ====
  
Discover when and where your ancestor died. If you don’t know, use the approximate date and place where they lived. <br>
+
Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Surrey. Search these indexes first:
  
#Go to the Court Jurisdictions section below.<br>
+
*[http://www.originsnetwork.com/help/popup-aboutbo-surrwills.htm Surrey &amp; South London Will Abstracts 1470-1856]. This collection, on the British Origins website, contains fully indexed abstracts of every Surrey will known to still exist, over 28,000 of them, dating from the 15th to 19th centuries. This is a subscription website.  
#Click a letter or span of letters for your place. This opens an article showing a table of places and the courts that had jurisdiction over them.<br>
+
*[http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~engsurry/ The Surrey Plus Wills Index]. This website provides an index to names of all people appearing in the wills of testators residing in the county of Surrey (and nine other neighbouring counties). Links are provided to transcripts of wills, where available.
#Follow the steps at the top of the table to search for a will.<br><br>
+
*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/browse-refine.asp?CatID=6&searchType=browserefine&pagenumber=1&query=*&queryType=1 Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384 - 1858)]
  
== Court Jurisdictions by Parish  ==
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Did you find a reference to a probate records?
  
Before 1858, every town and parish in Surrey was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary eccelsiastical court and one or more secondary courts.&nbsp; In order to find the will of a deceased person, you need to know what courts had jurisdiction over the place where he/she lived. <br>
+
*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.  
 +
*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
  
To see a list of Surrey places and the courts that had jurisdiction over them, click on a letter link:
+
==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ====
  
{| style="width: 348px; height: 24px" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="1"
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
 +
 
 +
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:
 +
 
 +
*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
 +
 
 +
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.
 +
 
 +
<br>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 Surrey was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and one or more secondary courts. Click on a link below for the letter the parish begins with:  
 +
 
 +
{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="1" style="width: 348px; height: 24px"
 
|-
 
|-
 
| &nbsp; [[Surrey Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes A|A]]  
 
| &nbsp; [[Surrey Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes A|A]]  
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|}
 
|}
  
<br>Search the courts in the order given.&nbsp; Search indexes first.&nbsp; For indexes covering more than one court, see below.&nbsp; For court-specific indexes, click on the name of a court above. <br>
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==== 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:
  
If you do not know where your ancestor lived or owned property, search the indexes to&nbsp;each court if necessary.&nbsp; Lastly, search the index to the [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury|Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]. <br><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.
  
 
== Surrey Probate Courts  ==
 
== Surrey Probate Courts  ==
  
These courts had some probate jurisdiction over Surrey before 1858.&nbsp; Click on a court name to learn more about records and indexes.<br>
+
These courts had some probate jurisdiction over Surrey before 1858.&nbsp; For more information, click on a court name.  
  
 
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Surrey]]  
 
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Surrey]]  
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*[[Court of the Bishop of Canterbury]] (Episcopal Consistory)  
 
*[[Court of the Bishop of Canterbury]] (Episcopal Consistory)  
 
*[[Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Winchester]]  
 
*[[Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Winchester]]  
*[[Court of the Deanery of the Arches of London, Croydon, Shoreham (Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury)]]
+
*[[Court of the Deanery of the Arches of London, Croydon, Shoreham (Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury)]]  
 
+
*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
In addition, the [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] had jurisdiction over the whole of England and specifically in the following cases.<br>
 
 
 
*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><br>
 
 
 
<br>
 
 
 
== Probate Indexes Online  ==
 
 
 
Before looking for a will, you should search an index.
 
 
 
'''Surrey &amp; South London Will Abstracts 1470-1856:'''&nbsp; [http://www.originsnetwork.com/help/popup-aboutbo-surrwills.htm http://www.originsnetwork.com/help/popup-aboutbo-surrwills.htm]<br>
 
 
 
*This collection, on the British Origins website, contains fully indexed abstracts of every Surrey will known to still exist, over 28,000 of them, dating from the 15th to 19th centuries.&nbsp; This is a subscription website.<br>
 
 
 
'''The Surrey Plus Wills Index:'''&nbsp; [http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~engsurry/ http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~engsurry/]
 
 
 
*This website provides an index to names of all people appearing in the wills of testators residing in the county of Surrey (and nine other neighboring counties).&nbsp; Links are provided to transcripts of wills, where available.&nbsp; <br>
 
 
 
For other indexes, click on a court name in the list above. <br><br>
 
 
 
Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384 - 1858) [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/browse-refine.asp?CatID=6&searchType=browserefine&pagenumber=1&query=*&queryType=1]
 
 
 
== Probate Indexes  ==
 
 
 
Surrey administrations in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1760-1781 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=711647&disp=Surrey+administrations+in+the+Prerogativ%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Commissary Court of Surrey, 1660-1751&nbsp;: index to the original wills at London Metropolitan Archives [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=684812&disp=Commissary+Court+of+Surrey%2C+1660%2D175%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Commissary Court of the Bishop of Winchester in the archdeaconry of Surrey&nbsp;: index to the original wills (collated with the act books and will registers) and original administration bonds, etc., also Peculiar Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Deanery of Croydon, index to the wills, 1752-1858 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=342310&disp=Commissary+Court+of+the+Bishop+of+Winche%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Peculiar Court (Arches, Croydon and Shoreham) Probate records, 1602-1841 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=299577&disp=Probate+records%2C+1602%2D1841%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Surrey administrations in the prerogative court of Canterbury 1782-1790 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=979402&disp=Surrey+administrations+in+the+prerogativ%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Index to Surrey wills proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1650-1700 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=615980&disp=Index+to+Surrey+wills+proved+in+the+Prer%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Surrey wills&nbsp;: Archdeaconry court, Herringman register [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=393553&disp=Surrey+wills%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Surrey wills&nbsp;: Archdeaconry court, Spage register [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=393691&disp=Surrey+wills%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Surrey wills (P. C. C.) 1600-1608 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=301293&disp=Surrey+wills+%28P%2E+C%2E+S%2E%29+1600%2%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Diocese of Winchester. Commissary Court. Wills, administrations, and act books, 1662-1858 (include indexes) [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=37156&disp=Wills%2C+administrations%2C+and+act+book%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Diocese of London. Consistory Court Wills and administrations, 1362-1857 Index to registers, 1514-1641 FHL Film 94171 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=263013&disp=Wills+and+administrations%2C+1362%2D1857%20%20&columns=*,0,0]
 
 
 
== 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>
 
  
 
<br>
 
<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>
 
  
 
[[Category:Surrey|Probate]]
 
[[Category:Surrey|Probate]]

Revision as of 22:17, 13 December 2011

England Gotoarrow.png Surrey


Getting Started

Probate is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his or her heirs. This article is about probate records in the county of Surrey. For general information about English 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 Surrey, follow these steps;

Step 1. Search indexes

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

Did you find a reference to a probate records?

  • 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 Surrey was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and one or more secondary courts. Click on a link below for the letter the parish begins with:

  A   B   C   D-F   G-K   L-N   O-R   S-U   V-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:

Surrey Probate Courts

These courts had some probate jurisdiction over Surrey before 1858.  For more information, click on a court name.