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.  
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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.  
  
Beginning in 1858, the [[Principal Probate Registry|Principal Probate Registry]] had the authority for probating estates (click on the link to learn more).
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=== 1858 to the Present  ===
  
For a general description of England probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].  
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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.  
  
'''Follow these steps to search for a pre-1858 probate record in Sussex:'''
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=== Before 1858 ===
  
=== Step 1. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ===
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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:
  
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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==== Step 1. Search Indexes  ====
  
=== Step 2. Search Indexes  ===
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Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Sussex. Search these indexes first:
  
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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*[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)].
  
*[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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Did you find a reference to a probate record?  
*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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*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.  
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*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
  
=== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish  ===
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==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died ====
  
Before 1858, every town and parish in Sussex fell under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary or superior courts.  If you do not find reference to a probate record for your ancestor in the above indexes, you should search a court-specific index, but to do that you must identify the courts that had jurisdiction over the place where your ancestor lived. Click on the letter the name of your place begins with, then follow the steps found there.  
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died. If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.   
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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>
 
<br>
  
== Sussex Probate Courts ==
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==== Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record ====
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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:
  
Here&nbsp;is a comprehensive list of the courts that had pre-1858 jurisdiction in Sussex with links to information about their records and indexes.  
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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.
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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>
  
*West Sussex: [[Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Chichester]]
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== Sussex Probate Courts  ==
*East Sussex: [[Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Lewes]].
 
  
The majority of probate searches will be in the records of the above&nbsp;courts and their superior courts. However, the following courts also had some pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county.  
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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.  
  
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Exempt Jurisdiction of the Deanery of Battle]]  
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*[[Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Chichester]]
*[[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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*[[Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Lewes]]  
*[[Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Winchester]]  
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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 the Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Exempt Deanery of South Malling]]  
 
*[[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]]
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*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
 
 
In addition, the [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] had jurisdiction over the whole of 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>
 
 
 
== 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>
 
  
 
{{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.