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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Westmorland|Westmorland]]''  
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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Westmorland]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] Westmorland Probate Records''  
  
The following text has information about probate records in the county of Westmoreland. To read general information English probate records click [[England Probate Records|here]].  
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== Getting Started  ==
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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 Westmorland. See [[England Probate Records]] for a general description of probate records in England.
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=== 1858 to the Present  ===
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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.  
  
== Getting Started ==
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=== Before 1858 ===
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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 Westmorland, follow these steps:
  
''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 Principal Probate Registry. The Post-1857 Probate Records section below contains links to additional information about the records of this court.  
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==== Step 1. Search Indexes  ====
  
To look for a probate record before 1858:<br>
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Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Westmorland. Search these indexes first:  
  
#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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*[http://www.uclan.ac.uk/ahss/education_social_sciences/history/probate_index.php An index of wills and related documents covering Lancashire north of the Ribble, and parts of Cumberland, Westmorland and Yorkshire, 1748-1858]. Specifically, it indexes all surviving probate documents for the Western Deaneries of the Archdeaconry of Richmond, 1748-1858. The deaneries included Kendal&nbsp;which had jurisdiction over roughly the southern half of the old county of Westmorland. An index reference includes name and&nbsp;occupation of the deceased, place of residence, Deanery, date of probate, and type of probate document. (The&nbsp;index, from the Institute of Local and Family&nbsp;History at the University of Central Lancashire, is only available to members and requires membership to view it, which can be obtained by contacting the Institute through an email link.&nbsp; Surname only and place name only lists&nbsp;are available for free but&nbsp;do not give any information&nbsp;to help&nbsp;you locate a will.)&nbsp;
#Go to [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Westmorland_Probate_Records#Court_Jurisdictions Court Jurisdictions] section below.<br>
 
#Click a letter or span of letters for your place name. This opens a jurisdictions table.<br>
 
#Follow the instructions on the jurisdictions table page.<br>
 
  
== Westmorland Probate Courts  ==
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*[http://www.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=5945 Westmorland, England: Parish and Probate Records]. This index, available from Ancestry.com, is a collection of parish and probate records in England and Wales, from the 1500s to the 1800s. It includes extracts of other types of records including wills. To view the index results, you&nbsp;must have a membership to Ancestry.com or have access to it through the Family History Library or an LDS&nbsp;family history center near you.
  
The courts that had jurisdiction over the county were:<br>
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Did you find a reference to a probate record?
  
*[[Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Commissary of the Archdeaconry of Richmond Western Deaneries - Kendal]]
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*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.
*[[Court of the Bishop of Carlisle (Episcopal Consistory)]]
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*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Manor of Ravenstonedale]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Manor of Temple Sowerby]]<br>
 
  
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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==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ====
  
*Wealthier individuals.<br>
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
*People who owned property in more than one county.<br>
 
*Military and naval personnel.<br>
 
*People who lived or owned property outside England.<br>
 
  
==== Appeals Courts  ====
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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:
  
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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*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
  
*[[Court of Arches]]
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The gazetteer will either tell you:
*[[High Court of Delegates]]
 
*[[Prerogative Court of Canterbury]]
 
  
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Westmorland Probate Courts  ==
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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.
  
Westmorland was almost evenly divided between the jurisdiction of the Consistory Court of Carlisle and the jurisdictions of the Archdeaconry Court of Richmond and three manorial courts. Apparently, reference to part of the Westmorland bolongin to the pr-Reformation Discese of LIchfield and cvoentry are unfounded.
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If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.  
  
The Archdeaconry of Richmond was part of the Diocese of York until 1541 and thereafter the Diocese of Chester. Evidently, the Diocese of Chester never exercised superior juridction over Richmond in probate matters. The probate granted by the Archdeaconry Court of Richmond were usually filed under the name of the deanery in which the testator resided.
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Once you have identified the parish, go to '''Step 3'''.  
  
== Court Jurisdictions by Parish ==
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==== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish ====
  
Before 1858, every town and parish in Westmorland was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. When looking for a will of an ancestor in this county, search the courts in the order listed. It's best to search an index first. Indexes are mentioned on the individual court pages. To link to the court page, you need to see the jurisdiction tables. Click on one of the following letters to go to a jurisdiction table.<br>
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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&nbsp;Westmorland 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 and follow the instructions on the next screen.  
  
{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="0" style="width: 454px; height: 30px;"
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{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="454" border="1"
 
|-
 
|-
 
| &nbsp; &nbsp; [[Westmorland Probate Jurisdictions for Places Beginning with A|A]]  
 
| &nbsp; &nbsp; [[Westmorland Probate Jurisdictions for Places Beginning with A|A]]  
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|}
 
|}
  
== Probate Indexes Online ==
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==== Step 4. Find a copy of the probate record ====
  
Before looking for a will, you should search an index.  
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Indexes give information that will&nbsp;enable you to obtain a copy of the probate record.&nbsp; The original records are located at the Westmorland&nbsp;Archive Centre at Kendal, which offers a research service if you are unable to visit the centre.
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*[http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/archives/recordoffices/knrec.asp Cumbria Archive Centre, Kendal]<br>Kendal County Offices<br>Kendal<br>LA9 4RQ<br>Tel:01539 713540 or 713539<br>Fax:01539 773538<br>Email: [mailto:kendal.archives@cumbriacc.gov.uk kendal.archives@cumbriacc.gov.uk] &nbsp;<br>
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The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has records on microfilm. Click on the court links below for more information.
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== Westmorland Probate Courts  ==
 +
 
 +
The pre-1858 courts that had jurisdiction over the county were:<br>
 +
 
 +
*[[Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Commissary of the Archdeaconry of Richmond Western Deaneries - Kendal]]
 +
*[[Court of the Bishop of Carlisle (Episcopal Consistory)]]
 +
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Manor of Ravenstonedale]]
 +
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Manor of Temple Sowerby]]<br>
 +
*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
  
[http://www.uclan.ac.uk/ahss/education_social_sciences/history/probate_index.php Probate Index] is an index of wills and related documents covering Lancashire north of the Ribble, and parts of Cumberland, Westmorland and Yorkshire, 1748-1858. Specifically, it indexes all surviving probate documents for the Western Deaneries of the Archdeaconry of Richmond, 1748-1858. The deaneries included are Amounderness, Copeland, Furness, Kendal and Lonsdale.[http://www.uclan.ac.uk/ahss/education_social_sciences/history/probate_index.php]<br>  
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<br>
  
[http://www.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=5945 Westmorland, England: Parish and Probate Records] is a A collection of parish and probate records in England and Wales, from the 1500s to the 1800s.
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=== Some Explanatory Notes on the Westmorland Probate Courts  ===
  
== Estate Duty Records<br>  ==
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Westmorland was almost evenly divided between the jurisdiction of the Consistory Court of Carlisle and the jurisdictions of the Archdeaconry Court of Richmond and three manorial courts. Apparently, reference to part of the Westmorland belonging to the pre-Reformation Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry are unfounded.
  
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]].<br>
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The Archdeaconry of Richmond was part of the Diocese of York until 1541 and thereafter the Diocese of Chester. Evidently, the Diocese of Chester never exercised superior jurisdiction over Richmond in probate matters. The probates granted by the Archdeaconry Court of Richmond were usually filed under the name of the deanery in which the testator resided.  
  
== Post-1857 Probate Records  ==
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<br>
  
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>
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{{Place|Westmorland}}
  
[[Category:Westmorland]]
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[[Category:Westmorland|Probate]]

Revision as of 15:10, 7 May 2013

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

Step 1. Search Indexes

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

  • An index of wills and related documents covering Lancashire north of the Ribble, and parts of Cumberland, Westmorland and Yorkshire, 1748-1858. Specifically, it indexes all surviving probate documents for the Western Deaneries of the Archdeaconry of Richmond, 1748-1858. The deaneries included Kendal which had jurisdiction over roughly the southern half of the old county of Westmorland. An index reference includes name and occupation of the deceased, place of residence, Deanery, date of probate, and type of probate document. (The index, from the Institute of Local and Family History at the University of Central Lancashire, is only available to members and requires membership to view it, which can be obtained by contacting the Institute through an email link.  Surname only and place name only lists are available for free but do not give any information to help you locate a will.) 
  • Westmorland, England: Parish and Probate Records. This index, available from Ancestry.com, is a collection of parish and probate records in England and Wales, from the 1500s to the 1800s. It includes extracts of other types of records including wills. To view the index results, you must have a membership to Ancestry.com or have access to it through the Family History Library or an LDS family history center near you.

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 Westmorland 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 and follow the instructions on the next screen.

    A   B   C D-G H   K L  M  N-R  S  T-Z

Step 4. Find a copy of the probate record

Indexes give information that will enable you to obtain a copy of the probate record.  The original records are located at the Westmorland Archive Centre at Kendal, which offers a research service if you are unable to visit the centre.

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has records on microfilm. Click on the court links below for more information.

Westmorland Probate Courts

The pre-1858 courts that had jurisdiction over the county were:


Some Explanatory Notes on the Westmorland Probate Courts

Westmorland was almost evenly divided between the jurisdiction of the Consistory Court of Carlisle and the jurisdictions of the Archdeaconry Court of Richmond and three manorial courts. Apparently, reference to part of the Westmorland belonging to the pre-Reformation Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry are unfounded.

The Archdeaconry of Richmond was part of the Diocese of York until 1541 and thereafter the Diocese of Chester. Evidently, the Diocese of Chester never exercised superior jurisdiction over Richmond in probate matters. The probates granted by the Archdeaconry Court of Richmond were usually filed under the name of the deanery in which the testator resided.