Warwickshire Probate Records
For an explanation of probate records in England, click here.
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 1858. Beginning in 1858, authority over probate matters was taken from ecclesiastical courts and put under the civil authority of the Principal Probate Registry. The Post-1857 Probate Records section below contains links to additional information about the records of this court.
To look for a probate record before 1858:
- Discover when and where your ancestor died. If you don’t know, use the approximate date and place where they lived.
- Go to Court Jurisdictions section below.
- Click a letter or span of letters for your place name. This opens a jurisdictions table.
- Follow the instructions on the jurisdictions table page.
In addition, the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury had jurisdiction over the whole of England, particularly in cases of wealthy individuals, people who owned property in more than one county or court's jurisdiction, people who lived or owned property outside of England, and military and Naval personnel.
Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the county courts could be sent to these higher appeals courts:
The Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury also served as an appeals court.
Warwickshire Probate Courts
Most of Warwickshire was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of either the Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory) or the Court of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry (Episcopal Consistory). The majority of probate searches will be in the records of these two courts and their superior courts. However, the following smaller courts also had some pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name to learn about records and indexes.
- Court of the Bishop of Gloucester (Episcopal Consistory)
- Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield
- Peculiar Court of the Manor of Baddesley-Clinton
- Peculiar Court of the Manor of Barston
- Peculiar Court of the Manor of Bishop's Ichington, Chadshunt and Gaydon
- Peculiar Court of the Prebendal of Hampton-Lucy with Alveston Parish and its chapelry, Charlcote, and Wasperton Parish
- Peculiar Court of the Manor of Knowle
- Peculiar Court of the Manor of Merevale
- Peculiar Court of the Manor of Packwood
- Peculiar Court of the Manor of Tachbrook
- Peculiar Court of the Manor of Temple Balsall; also see Baddesley-Clinton
- Peculiar Court of the Prebend of Ufton
- Court of the Peculiar of Stratford-upon-Avon
Some Explanatory Notes on Warwickshire Probate Courts
- From 1837, the whole of the Warwickshire's parishes came under the probate court jurisdiction of the Bishop of Worcester
- In pre-1837 only north, east and northwestern Warwickshire parishes came under the authority and jurisdiction of the Bishop of Lichfield.
- The rest of the of Warwickshire (south-west portion) in pre-1837 came under the Diocese of the Bishop of Worcester.
Here's the List of Warwickshire Parishes which in pre-1837, came under the court jurisdiction of the Diocese of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory).
Before 1858, every town and parish in Warwickshire came under the jurisdiction of a primary probate court and one or more secondary courts. When looking for the pre-1858 will of an ancestor in Warwickshire, you need to determine what courts had jurisdiction over the place where your ancestor died or had property. Click on a link below for the letter your parish of interest begins with and follow the instructions given on the next page.
If you do not know a parish, start with the largest courts listed above.
Estate Duty Records
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.
Registered wills and original wills, administrations and inventories, 1494-1860, and, act books, 1532-1638 for Diocese of Lichfield Episcopal Consistory Court  These are calendars This diocese covers the northern and eastern parts of county Warwick.
A general will index for the Diocese of Lichfield exists online, 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 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 Warwickshire's smaller peculiar courts.
The Episcopal Consistory Court of The Bishop of Worcester Covers the southwestern third of this county.
Episcopal Consistory Court of the Bishop of Worcester Calendar of wills and administrations, 1661-1858 is a typscript and is available at The Family History Library, (FHL) book call no. 942.47 P2e vols 1-4. Contents : v. 1. 1661-1699 -- v. 2. 1700-1749 -- v. 3. 1750-1799 -- v. 4. 1800-1858; or, it is available via microfilm at its 4,600 Family History Centers worldwide. 
Worcestershire wills index, 1858-1928
"The index is arranged in alphabetical order of surname followed by the forename. Then the date of probate is cited, thus leading one to the register concerned, together with the relevant page number. It will be noted that there is some slight variation in style of the date of probate quoted. This is because this index was compiled from the existing indexes in each register and the amount of detail in each varied slightly, particularly in the first few volumes." -- from foreword.
CD-ROM no. 1671 at The Family History Library<br 
Calendar of wills and administrations in the Consistory court of the Bishop of Worcester, 1451-1652 : also marriage licenses and sequestrations now deposited in the Probate registry at Worcester
The Index library (British Record Society) : v. 31, 39
Family History Library Call Numbers
942 B4b v. 31 1968 942 B4b v. 39 1968
Contents: v. 31. 1451-1600 -- v. 39. 1601-1652. 
Also available 942.47 S2c 
Family History Library
A calendar of wills and administrations preserved in the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Worcester, l45l-(l652) 
Index of Probate from January-March 1660-1 for the Bishop of Worcester Original Wills
|John Allen||Wixelsford||6 Mar|
|William Averill||Broadway||20 Mar|
|Thomas Baker||Juichfieh?||28 Feb|
|Roger Barnard||Stratford Upon Avon||16 Mar|
|William Beaver||Combrook, Warwickshire||8 Mar|
|Ferdinand Bentley||Wick by Pershore||27 Feb|
|Thomas Bonnar||Alderminster||13 Feb|
|Francis Buck||Oddingley||28 Feb|
|John Butler||Swale||6 Feb|
|William Butler||Cateshill, Bromsgrove||28 Feb|
|Robert Caldecote||Hunington||28 Feb|
|Thomas Clarke||City of Worcester||21 Feb|
|William Climer||Shenston in Stone||23 Feb|
|Robert Coldecott or Colicoal||Hunington||28 Feb|
|Mathew Collet||Alderminster or Aldermarston||7 Mar|
|John Cooke||St Peter, Worcester||8 Feb|
|John Cookes||Stoke Prior||25 Feb|
|Symon Corbett||Defford||6 Feb|
|Thomas Crowe||Chadwich, Bromsgrove||16 Feb|
|Richard Dannce||Wick by Pershore||20 Feb|
|Mary Dawks or Dawlks||Himbleton||23 Feb|
|Henry Day||Pinvin||27 Feb|
|Margaret Desmastres||Pershore||20 Feb|
|Thomas Edgcock||Kinerton, Warwickshire||16 Mar|
|Frances Elcoxe||St Martins, Worcester||22 Mar|
|Elizabeth George||Eckington||8 Mar|
|Thomas George the Elder||Naunton in Severn Stoke||2 Mar|
|Gyles Gilbert||Longdon||18 Mar|
|William Griffin||Clifton in Severn Stoke||16 Mar|
|Thomas Gyles||Powick||7 Feb|
|George Hall||Broadway||7 Mar|
|John Hall||Tarbecke||10 Mar|
|Ellinor Hay||Eckington||13 Mar|
|John Hay||Alchurch||28 Feb|
|William Hopkins||Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire||16 Mar|
|Anne Horsham||Wicke in Pershore||27 Feb|
|Richard Hurlston||Ilmington, Warwickshire||28 Feb|
|Katherine Inones or Jnones||? Mathon||28 Feb|
|Anne Jennings||Moseley||21 Mar|
|Robert Knight||Charlecott, Warwickshire||20 Mar|
|Cicilia Lee||Alveston||6 Feb|
|Edmond Ligon||12 Mar|
|Richard Marshall||Inkberrow||27 Feb|
|Anthony Morrice||Icomb||14 Mar|
|John Moseley||Northwich, Blockley||14 Mar|
|William Moseley||Puddington or Huddington?||27 Feb|
|Thomas Munsloe||Tibberton||9 Feb|
|Edward Nicholls||Hunnington||8 Mar|
|John Oldmole or Oldnall||Chaddestly Corbett||7 Feb|
|Thomas Ordway||Bengworth||12 Mar|
|John Pearsall||Whitley Barne, Halesowen, Salop||1 Mar|
|William Phillips||Church Lench||28 Feb|
|Maria or Mary Phipps||Aldermarston or Alderminster||10 Feb|
|Alice Pratt||Wick near Pershore||6 Feb|
|William Quinton||Hunnington, Warwickshire||27 Feb|
|John Rainolds or Reynolds||Kidderminster||27 Feb|
|John Richardson||Shottery in Stratford on Avon Warwickshire||20 Mar|
|Julie Shawe||Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire||16 Feb|
|Stephen Sitch||Shefferie, Warwickshire||13 Mar|
|Mary Smith||Eckington (Eskington)||11 Mar|
|Thomas Smith||Vifford||9 Mar|
|Margery Symonds||Elmley Castle||14 Mar|
|William Taverner||Pinvin or Pembry||27 Feb|
|Mary Tonerton or Towerton||Holt||6 Mar|
|Richard Walker||Ridmington||8 Mar|
|Michael Warne||Alvechurch or Alchurch||28 Feb|
|William Washborne||Tibberton||23 Feb|
|Henry Whatley||Tanworth, Warwickshire||9 Mar|
|Thomas Whopper||Tibberton||23 Feb|
Post-1857 Probate Records
Beginning in 1858, the government took over the settlement of estates and all wills are now probated through the Principal Probate Registry system. The system consists of 11 district registry offices and 18 sub-district registries, located throughout England and Wales, and the principal registry office located in London. The records are available through the office of Her Majesty's Courts Service. To learn more, go to the HMCS website.
A country-wide surname index to the records is available, so it is much easier to look for post-1857 wills. The indexes for 1858-1957, and many of the original probate records themselves for the date range 1858-1925 are available on microfilm at the Family History Library or through its 4,600 satellite Family History Centres worldwide.