Difference between revisions of "Sussex Probate Records"

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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Sussex]]''  
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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Sussex]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] Sussex Probate Records''  
  
 
== 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. Before 1858, Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process. Beginning in 1858, the [[Principal Probate Registry|Principal Probate Registry]] had the authority for the process (click on the link to learn more about it). For general information about 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 Sussex. See [[England Probate Records]] for a general description of probate records in England.  
  
Follow these steps to search for a pre-1858 probate record in Sussex.
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=== 1858 to the Present  ===
  
=== Step 1. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ===
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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.  
  
If you know when and where your ancestor died, use that date and place to find a probate record. If you do not know, use an approximate date and the place where they lived.
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=== Before 1858  ===
  
=== Step 2. Search Indexes  ===
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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 Sussex, follow these steps:
  
Indexes to probate records, created at the time the probates were filed, exist for every Church of England court. These indexes will be listed in the Wiki articles for each court (see list of courts below). However, in more recent years, indexes have been created which have a broader or unique coverage that is not court specific. Here are indexes for Sussex:
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==== Step 1. Search Indexes ====
  
*[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 and place.
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Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Sussex. Search these indexes first:  
*The [http://sussexrecordsociety.org/home2.asp?an=&ap= Sussex Record Society] has published four volumes of Sussex wills, and these can be viewed directly on their [http://sussexrecordsociety.org/bwills1.asp?an=&ap= website]. They are arranged by parish then by surname. 
 
  
In addition, an index to the Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384 - 1858) is available on the National Archives [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/wills.asp?WT.hp=Wills website].
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*[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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*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)].
  
== Court Jurisdictions by Parish  ==
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Did you find a reference to a probate record?
  
Before 1858, every town and parish in Sussex&nbsp;fell under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts.&nbsp; When looking for the will of an ancestor, you should search the courts in the order given.&nbsp;Search indexes first.&nbsp; For indexes, click on the court name links above [soon to be constructed]. <br>
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*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.  
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*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
  
Here&nbsp;are links to&nbsp;an alphabetical&nbsp;list of Sussex parishes containing a prioritized list of courts with pre-1858 jurisdiction over each.&nbsp; To see which courts to search for probates of persons living in or owning property in particular parish, click on the letter the parish name begins with.  
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==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ====
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;  
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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. Here is a link to the 1872 ''Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales'' online:
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*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
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The gazetteer will either tell you:
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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.
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If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.
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Once you have identified the parish, go to '''Step 3'''.
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==== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish  ====
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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 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 with.  
  
 
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<br>For&nbsp;an authoritative treatise on&nbsp;each Sussex probate courts pre-1858, see Anthony J. Camp's publication, ''Wills and Their Whereabouts''; also available at&nbsp;the Family History Library, book [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]. <br>
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<br>
  
== Sussex Probate Courts ==
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==== Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record ====
  
Most of West Sussex was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of the [[Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Chichester]] and East Sussex under the jurisdiction of the [[Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Lewes]]. The majority of probate searches will be in the records of these courts and their superior courts. However, the following courts also had some pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name to learn about records and indexes.
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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:
  
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Exempt Jurisdiction of the Deanery of Battle]]
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*Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection. Sussex has two record offices, the [http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/leisureandtourism/localandfamilyhistory/esro/default.htm East Sussex Record Office] and the [http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/libraries-and-archives/record-office/ West Sussex Record Office]. If you are unable to visit a record office, they both provide a research service for a fee.
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Exempt Deaneries of Pagham and Tarring|Court of the Peculiar of the&nbsp;Archbishop of Canterbury for the Exempt Deaneries of Pagham and Tarring]]  
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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>
*[[Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Winchester]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Exempt Deanery of South Malling]]  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean of Chichester]]
 
  
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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== Sussex Probate Courts  ==
  
*Wealthy individuals<br>
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Here is a list of all of the pre-1858 ecclesiastical courts that had probate jurisdiction over Sussex. For more information, click on a court name.  
*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  ===
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*[[Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Chichester]]
 
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*[[Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Lewes]]  
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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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean of Chichester]]  
 
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Exempt Deaneries of Pagham and Tarring]]  
*[[Court of Arches]]  
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Exempt Deanery of South Malling]]
*[[High Court of Delegates]]
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*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
 
 
The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] also served as an appeals court.
 
 
 
<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><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>
 
  
 
{{Place|Sussex}}  
 
{{Place|Sussex}}  
  
[[Category:Sussex]]
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[[Category:Sussex|Probate]]

Revision as of 15:10, 7 May 2013

England Gotoarrow.png Sussex Gotoarrow.png Sussex 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 Sussex. 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 Sussex, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

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

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 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 with.

 A    B    C    D-F    G    H-K    L-M    N-P    Q-R    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:

Sussex Probate Courts

Here is a list of all of the pre-1858 ecclesiastical courts that had probate jurisdiction over Sussex. For more information, click on a court name.