Difference between revisions of "Worcestershire Probate Records"

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[[England|<span id="fck_dom_range_temp_1260392189447_595" />England]]&nbsp;[[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Worcestershire]]  
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[[England|England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Worcestershire]]  
  
The following article is about probate records in the county of Worcestershire. For general information about 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 Sussex. For a general description of England probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].  
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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.
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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 Worcestershire, follow these steps:
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==== Step 1. Search Indexes  ====
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Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Worcestershire. Search these indexes first:
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*[http://www.familyhistoryonline.net/database/SussexFHGprobate.shtml http://www.familyhistoryonline.net/database/SussexFHGprobate.shtml]&nbsp;-- 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.&nbsp;The information recorded includes name, date&nbsp;and place.
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*The [http://sussexrecordsociety.org/home2.asp?an=&ap= Sussex Record Society] has&nbsp;published four volumes of indexes to Sussex wills, and these&nbsp;can be viewed on&nbsp;their [http://sussexrecordsociety.org/bwills1.asp?an=&ap= website]. They are arranged by parish then by surname.&nbsp;
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*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/wills.asp?WT.hp=Wills Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384-1858)].
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Did you find a reference to a probate record?
  
<br>
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*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.
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*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
  
== Description ==
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==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died ====
  
''Probate'' is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his or her heirs. The term ''probate'' refers to a collection of documents, including [[W genealogical glossary terms|wills]], [[A genealogical glossary terms|administrations]] (also called admons), [[I genealogical glossary terms|inventories]], and [[A genealogical glossary terms|act books]]. The Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process until to 1858. This article explains about probates and how to get started to search for a will.  
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died. If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
  
Beginning in 1858, authority over probate matters was taken from ecclesiastical courts and put under the civil authority of the Principal Probate Registry. The '''Probates After 1857'''&nbsp;section below has a link to an article about probates after 1857.
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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:
  
<br><br>
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*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
  
== Getting Started  ==
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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.
  
Follow these steps to look for a probate record before 1858:<br>
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If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.
  
#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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Once you have identified the parish, go to '''Step 3'''.  
#Go to the Court Jurisdictions section below.<br>
 
#Click a letter or span of letters for your place. This opens an article showing a table of places and the courts that had jurisdiction over them.<br>
 
#Follow the steps at the top of the table to search for a will.<br><br>
 
  
== Court Jurisdictions by Parish ==
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==== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish ====
  
Before 1858, every town and parish in Worcestershire fell under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts.&nbsp; When looking for the will of an ancestor, determine what courts had jurisdiction over the parish where your ancestor died or owned property, and search the courts in&nbsp;order.  
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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 Worcestershire 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.  
  
For a list of Worcestershire parishes&nbsp;and the pre-1858 courts that had probate jurisdiction over them, click on a letter link:  
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For a list of Worcestershire parishes and the pre-1858 courts that had probate jurisdiction over them, click on a letter link:  
  
 
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Revision as of 17:47, 26 May 2010

England Gotoarrow.png Worcestershire

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. For a general description of England probate records, click here.

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 Worcestershire, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Worcestershire. 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 Worcestershire 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.

For a list of Worcestershire parishes and the pre-1858 courts that had probate jurisdiction over them, click on a letter link:

 A   B   C   D-G   H-J   K-N   O-R   S   T-V   W-Z


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.

In addition, the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury had jurisdiction over the whole of England and specifically in the following cases.

  • Wealthy individuals
  • 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

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.


Probate Indexes

In addition of the indexes listed below, court-specific indexes will be found on the court pages.  Click on a court name in the list above.

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.

Peculiar Courts

These records can cover just one parish or many parishes, covering pre-1858 probate records.  The following is an index to these Worcestershire Peculiar Probate Court records. 

  • Index to Wills Proved in Peculiars 1712-1788 [1] 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 unindexed 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. [2]

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. [3]
  • 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. [4]
  • Wills for the Peculiar Court of Ripple, 1663-1771 which covers the parishes of Holdfast, Queenhill and Ripple [5]

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. Estate duty indexes may help locate a will. For more information, go to Estate Duty Records.

Probates After 1857

Beginning in 1858, the government took over the settlement of estates and all wills are now probated through the Principal Probate Registry system. For more information, go to Principal Probate Registry.