Worcestershire Probate Records

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England Gotoarrow.png Worcestershire

For an explanation  of probate records in England, click here.

Getting Started

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:

  1. When did your ancestor die?
  2. 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.

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.

Some Explanatory Notes on the Worcestershire Probate Courts

Courts Jurisdictions

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.

Abberley Court of the Bishop of Hereford (Episcopal Consistory) 2 - Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Abberton Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory) 2 - Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Abbots Morton Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory) 2 - Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Acton Beauchamp Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory) 2 - Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Alderminster Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory) 2 - Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Alfrick Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory) 2 - Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Alvechurch Court of the Peculiar of the Rector of Alvechurch or Allchurch 2 - Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory)
Areley Kings Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory) 2 - Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Astley Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory) 2 - Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Aston Magna Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory) 2 - Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury

Probate Indexes

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 [1]
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 [2]

Family History Library

A calendar of wills and administrations preserved in the consistory court of the bishop of Worcester, l45l-(l652) [3]


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  [4]


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 [5]

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. [6]

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. [7]

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. [8]

Wills for the Peculiar Court of Ripple, 1663-1771 which covers the parishes of Holdfast, Queenhill and Ripple [9]

Index of Probate from January-March 1660 for the Bishop of Worcester Original Wills

Name Place Date
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.