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== Worcestershire Probate Courts ==
== Worcestershire Probate Courts ==
=== Appeals Courts ===
=== Appeals Courts ===
Revision as of 20:01, 18 September 2009
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/her heirs.
In order to find a probate record for your ancestor, you must answer two questions:
- When did your ancestor die?
- Where did your ancestor live or own property?
A key date is 1858, when probate authority was taken from the ecclesiatical courts of the Church of England and given to the civil government.
- If your ancestor died before 1858, his/her probate would have been proven by an ecclesiatical court and it is important to know where he/she lived, as that will determine which courts had jurisdiction.
- If you know where your ancestor lived before 1858, you should go to the Court Jurisdictions section below to determine what courts had jurisdiction over your ancestor's place of residence.
- Beginning in 1858, probate authority was vested in the Principal Probate Registry system. For more information, scroll to the Post-1857 Probate Records section at the bottom of the page.
Once you have answered the two questions and determined the courts, look for indexes. Indexes will be found on the individual court pages (when you click on a court name) or in the Probate Indexes section below.
Worcestershire Probate Courts
Most of Worcestershire 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 Hereford (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 Dean and Chapter of Worcester
- Court of the Peculiar of Evesham
- Court of the Peculiar of the Rector of Alvechurch or Allchurch
- Court ot the Peculiar of the Rector of Bredon with Norton and Cutsdean
- Court of the Peculiar of the Rector of Fladbury
- Court of the Peculiar of the Rector of Hartlebury
- Court of the Peculiar of the Rector of Ripple with Queenhill and Holdfast
- Court of the Peculiar of the Rector of Tredington with Shipston upon Stour
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.
Some Explanatory Notes on the Worcestershire Probate Courts
Before 1858, every town and parish in Worcestershire fell under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. When looking for the will of an ancester, you should search the courts in the order given. Search indexes first. For indexes, click on the court name links above.
Here is a list of Worcestershire parishes beginning with the letter A and the pre-1858 courts that had probate jurisdiction over them. For other parishes, click on a letter link: B, C, D-G, H-J, K-N, O-R, S, T-V, W-Z.
1. In the first column, find the place where your ancestor lived.
2. In the second column, click on the court name to learn where to find the records and indexes.
3. If the record isn't found in the primary court, search the records for the secondary courts in the order listed.
4. The last court to search is the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
If no will is found, your ancestor may not have left one.
Episcopal Consistory Court of the Bishop of Worcester Calendar of wills administrations, 1661-1858 Family History Library Books 942.47 P2e Contents : v. 1. 1661-1699 -- v. 2. 1700-1749 -- v. 3. 1750-1799 -- v. 4. 1800-1858.
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 online at 
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) 
Episcopal Consistory Court of Hereford covers these parishes in Worcestershire: Abberley, Bayton, Bewdley, Bockleton, Burford, Clifton Upton Teme, Dowles, Eastham, Edvin Loach, Great Kyre, Hanley Child, Hanley William, Knighton on Teme, Lindridge, Mamble, Orelton, Pensax, Ribbesford, Rochford, Rock, Lower Sapey, Shelsey Walsh, Stanford on Teme, Stockton on Teme, Tenbury 
Many Counties have peculiar court records. These records can cover just one parish or many parishes. They cover pre-1858 probate records. The following is an index to these Worcestershire Peculiar Probate Court records.
Index to Wills Proved in Peculiars 1712-1788 
Contents: Fladbury, 1721-1775 -- Ripple, 1721-1729 -- Hanbury, 1720-1769 -- Bredon, 1717-1772 -- Tredington with Shipston (upon Stour), 1717-1788 -- Hartlebury, 1720-1784 -- Allchurch [i.e., Alvechurch], 1718-1773 -- Stratford, 1718-1773 -- Hampton, 1712-1760.
Some of the Peculiar Courts have indexed and undexed portions of the records. The following follows this:
Wills and administrations, 1441-1788 of the Court of the Dean and Chapter of Worcester which covers Berrow, Kempsey, Norton near Kempsey, St Michael In Bedwardine and College Precincts, Stoulton, and Tibberton. 
Not all the peculiar court records are indexed and need to be located differently. The following links can help in finding these unindexed peculiar probate records
Wills for the Peculiar Court of Bredon, 1668-1791 which covers the parishes of Bredon, Norton (Bredons Norton) and Cutsdean. 
Wills and administrations for the Peculiar Court of Fladbury, 1662-1795 This covers the parish of Fladbury and its chapelries of Stock and Bradley, Throckmorton and Wyre Piddle. 
Wills for the Peculiar Court of Ripple, 1663-1771 which covers the parishes of Holdfast, Queenhill and Ripple 
Index of Probate from January-March 1660 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 1660|
|Anne Jennings||Moseley||21 Mar|
|Robert Knight||Charlecott, Warwickshire||20 Mar 1660|
|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|
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.
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 the records for 1858-1925 are available on microfilm at the Family History Library.