Court of the Bishop of Chester (Episcopal Consistory)Edit This Page

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Return to the Cheshire Probate Records page. 

Contents

Step By Step

1. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will, writing down each detail cited in the indexed entry.

2. Proceed then to the "Probate Records In This Archive" section (see below) to determine what original probate records exist for this court.

3. Contact or visit the Lancashire Record Office to hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf, citing information obtained from the index[es]. Officials may send upon request a list of record searchers.

4. You can also visit The Family History Library, or, one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide and search indexes (see the Family History Library's cataloged entries providing the microfilms so you can have them circulated to the center near you for searching the wills). The information obtained from the index[es] will help you more quickly search the wills and admons which can also be circulated on microfilm via any family history .

Probate Indexes

Surviving wills and admons to the Court of the Bishop of Chester (Episcopal Consistory) probate records have to a very considerable extent been indexed with the following ones:

Online Indexes

Most of the wills in the Court of the Bishop of Chester which include many Lancashire wills, have been indexed and are now available online. This index contains the names of the deceased as well the placename at the time of the will or admon probate action. When the will or admon has been found via the index, a scanned copy of the will may also be purchased  for £3 per copy made, at this website. 


Printed and Published Indexes

Original will indexes 1545-1858 are available in print by both the Lancashire & Cheshire Record Society and the Chetham Society. These two  voluminous series contain numerous and extensive indexes to the records of wills and administrations for this major probate court jurisdiction for Lancashire. These volume series are often available at many major archives in the United Kingdom such as at the British Library, and Guildhall Library, London, and other like institutions. The Family History Library likewise has most all of these volumed indexes in these series available in book and on microfilm (the last three volumes below are available in book form only) as follows:

The Lancashire & Cheshire Record Society--

The following volumes of indexes to wills have been published in the Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society: 

Volume 2: 1545-1620

Volume 4: 1621-1650

Volume 15: 1660-1680

Volume 18: 1681-1700

Volume 20: 1701-1720

Volume 22: 1721-1740

Volume 25: 1741-1760

Volume 37: 1761-1780

Volume 38: 1761-1780

Volume 44: 1781-1790

Volume 45: 1791-1800

Volume 62: 1801-1810

Volume 63: 1801-1810

Volume 78: 1811-1820

Volume 79: 1811-1820

Volume 107: 1821-1825

Volume 113: 1826-1830

Volume 118: 1831-1833

Volume 120: 1834-1837


Also:

Volume 2: Index of Enrollment Book Wills 1512-1635

Volume 4: Wills and Administrations for Lancashire and Cheshire during Interrugnum, 1650-1660

Volume 30: Abstracts of Wills not found in any Probate Registry 1301-1752

Volume 33: Probates formerly found in diocesan office registry, 1487-1620

Volume 43: Probates formerly found in diocesan office registry, 1621-1700

Volume 52: Probates formerly found in diocesan office registry, 1701-1800

Volume 52: Infra (Inferior court) Wills 1590-1665

Volume 63: Wills and Administrations (Admons) for the years 1670 and 1693

The Chetham Society--

Volume 37: Lancashire and Cheshire wills and inventories, 1563 to 1807, now preserved at Chester

Volume 3: Lancashire and Cheshire wills and inventories at Chester : with an appendix of abstracts of wills now lost or destroyed

Volume 33: List of Miscellaneous wills 1487-1800

Volume 51: List of Miscellaneous wills 1487-1800

Volume 54: List of Miscellaneous wills 1487-1800

Original Handwritten Indexes

Alphabetical Indexes to Supra wills 1816-1858 and Infra wills from 1819-1858.

Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library

The indexes as listed in the above are also available covering the years 1541-1858 at The Family History Library and they are on microfilm and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers worldwide.

The Lancashire & Cheshire Record Society


The Lancashire & Cheshire Record Society--

Volume 2: 1545-1620 - on FHL film #823501; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 2

Volume 4: 1621-1650  - on FHL film #823502; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 4

Volume 15: 1660-1680 - on FHL film #82354; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 15

Volume 18: 1681-1700 - on FHL film #823505; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 18

Volume 20: 1701-1720  - on FHL film #823505; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 20

Volume 22: 1721-1740  - on FHL film #823506; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 22

Volume 25: 1741-1760  - on FHL film #823506; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 25

Volume 37: 1761-1780 (A-M) - on FHL film #823509; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 37

Volume 38: 1761-1780 (N-Z) - on FHL film #823509; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 38

Volume 44: 1781-1790 - on FHL film #823511; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 44

Volume 45: 1791-1800 - on FHL film #823511; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 45

Volume 62: 1801-1810 (A-L) - on FHL film #823515; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 62

Volume 63: 1801-1810 (M-Z) - on FHL film #823515; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 63

Volume 78: 1811-1820 (A-L) - on FHL film #823519; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 78

Volume 79: 1811-1820 (M-Z) - on FHL film #823519; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v.79

Volume 107: 1821-1825 - on FHL film #823525; also FHL book call #942.7 B4Lc v. 107

Volume 113: 1826-1830 - in FHL book call no. 942.7 B4Lc v. 113 only

Volume 118: 1831-1833 - in FHL book call no. 942.7 B4Lc v. 118 only

Volume 120: 1834-1837 - in FHL book call no. 942.7 B4Lc v. 120 only


Also:

Volume 2: Index of Enrollment Book Wills 1512-1635

Volume 4: Wills and Administrations for Lancashire and Cheshire during Interrugnum, 1650-1660

Volume 30: Abstracts of Wills not found in any Probate Registry 1301-1752

Volume 33: Probates formerly found in diocesan office registry, 1487-1620

Volume 43: Probates formerly found in diocesan office registry, 1621-1700

Volume 52: Probates formerly found in diocesan office registry, 1701-1800

Volume 52: Infra (Inferior court) Wills 1590-1665

Volume 63: Wills and Administrations (Admons) for the years 1670 and 1693

The Chetham Society--

Volume 37: Lancashire and Cheshire wills and inventories, 1563 to 1807, now preserved at Chester

Volume 3: Lancashire and Cheshire wills and inventories at Chester : with an appendix of abstracts of wills now lost or destroyed

Volume 54: Lancashire and Cheshire wills and inventories from the Ecclesiastical Court, Chester

The Records

Archives Location

Lancashire Record Office

Bow Lane

Preston

Lancashire PR1 2REUK

Tel: +44(0)1772 533039 Fax: +44(0) 1772 533050 Email: record.office@ed.lancscc.gov.uk

Their Website

Opening Times:

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 8.30pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5 pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm

Saturdays 2009 opening dates:
10 January 8 August
14 February 12 September
14 March 10 October
18 April 14 November
9 May 12 December
13 June 11 July

Probate Records In This Archive

Original Wills & Administrations (Admons) (Supra & Infra Wills) 1492-1858

Original Wills (Supra) 1547-1838

Original Wills (Infra) 1600-1858

Register Copy Wills 1838-1858

Act Books 1596-1858

Supra Original & Registered Wills 1815-1858

Infra & Supra Wills (Mixed) 1821-1827

Infra Wills 1693; 1819-1858

Supra Original Wills 1558-1837

Supra Registered Wills 1838-1858 

Infra Original Wills 1590-1858

Miscellaneous Infra Wills 1791-1855

Micellaneous Supra Wills 1696-1839

Wills & Related Documents in Lancashire Testamentary Suits 1545-1800

Wills, Inventories, & Other Documents 1425-1800

Limited Admons (Administrations) 1824-1857

Act Books - Supra 1596-1858

Act Books - Infra 1660-1858

Probate & Admon Acts 1582-1592

Account Books 1701-1826

Will Books 1831-1876; 1924-1939

Probate Fee Books 1723-1782

Wills Transcripts 1301-1746

Caveats 1587-1602

Abstracts of Wills no Longer in Existence 1354-1700

Probate Records of This Court In The Family History Library

Original Wills, Bonds & Inventories 1492-1857

Original Wills (Supra) 1547-1837

Original Wills (Infra) 1600-1858

Register Copy Wills 1838-1858

Act Books 1596-1858

Supra Original & Registered Wills 1816-1858

Infra & Supra Wills (Mixed) 1821-1827

Infra Wills 1693; 1819-1858

Supra Original Wills 1558-1837

Supra Registered Wills 1838-1858 

Infra Original Wills 1590-1858 (Indexed)

Miscellaneous Infra Wills 1791-1855

Micellaneous Supra Wills 1696-1855

Wills & Related Documents in Lancashire Testamentary Suits 1545-1800

Wills, Inventories, & Other Documents 1425-1800 

Act Books Supra 1596-1858

Act Books Infra 1660-1858

Probate & Admon Acts 1582-1592

Account Books 1701-1826

Will Books 1831-1876; 1924-1939

Probate Fee Books 1723-1782

Wills Transcripts 1301-1746

Caveats 1587-1602

Abstracts of Wills no Longer in Existence 1354-1700

Abstracts of Lancashire and Cheshire Wills 1600-1700

Administrations (Admon) Books 1824-1857

Historical Background

Return to the Cheshire Probate Records page.

The whole of the county of Cheshire lay in the Diocese of Chester. The Court of the Bishop of Chester (Episcopal Consistory) held jurisdiction over all parishes in the county.

When a search of this courts’ probate records fails to provide the desired probate record, be sure to search the Prerogative Court of the Exchequer of the Archbishop of York as well.

[Note:  These probate records as above-listed are on microfilm at the Family History Library and were filmed at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston, Lancashire.]

Strategies, Tips, Other?

See the above Indexes or those available through the Family History Library or its many family history centers worldwide for indexes to this court.


 

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