Worcestershire Probate RecordsEdit This Page

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Contents

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 Worcestershire. 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 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:

  • Fry, Edward Alexander. Calendar of Wills and Administrations in the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Worcester 1451-1600. London: The British Record Society, Limited, 1904. Free online version at Google Books
  • Fry, Edward Alexander. A Calendar of Wills and Administrations Registered in the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Worcester, Volume I, Part I: 1451-1642. London: The British Record Society, Limited, 1899. Free online version at Google Books TheGenealogist.co.uk pay website
  • Fry, Edward Alexander. A Calendar of Wills and Administrations Preserved in the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Worcester, Volume II, Part I: 1601-1614. London: The British Record Society, Limited, 1907. Free online version at Google Books
  • Fry, Edward Alexander. A Calendar of Wills and Administrations Preserved in the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Worcester, Volume II, Part II: 1614-1625. London: The British Record Society, Limited, 1907. Free online version at Google Books
  • Worcestershire Peculiars Wills Index to 1840s - created by Worcestershire County Council
  • Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury 1384-1858, which was the highest court in England


Indexes at The Family History Library or through a Family History Center. Episcopal Consistory Court of The Bishop Of Worcester 1661-1858


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 to determine the courts having probate jurisdiction over that parish:

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


Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record

Once you have found an index reference to a probate, obtain a copy of the record. Do so by one of these methods:

  • Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection.
  • Visit the Family History Library or a family history center and obtain a copy of the record on microfilm. For more information, click on a court name 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.



 

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  • This page was last modified on 11 November 2014, at 23:53.
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