Dorset Probate Records

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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Dorset]]''  
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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Dorset]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Dorset Probate Records|Probate Records]]''  
  
<br>The following article is about probate records in the county of Dorset. For general information about English probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].
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== Getting Started  ==
  
<br>
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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 Dorset. See [[England Probate Records]] for a general description of probate records in England.
  
== Description ==
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=== 1858 to the Present ===
  
''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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Beginning in 1858, the [[Principal Probate Registry|Principal Probate Registry]] had the authority for probating estates. Click on the link to learn more.  
  
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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=== Before 1858 ===
  
<br><br>
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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 Dorset, follow these steps:
  
== Getting Started ==
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==== Step 1. Search Indexes ====
  
''Probate'' is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his or her heirs. The Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process until 1858. 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 contains links to additional information about the records of this court.  
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Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Dorset. Search these indexes first:
  
To look for a probate record before 1858:<br>
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'''Online Records'''
  
#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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The place to start online searches is '''Ancestry.com'''. They have digitized and indexed [http://search.ancestryinstitution.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2119 Dorset's wills and administrations (1565-1858)] ($). (Includes Bristol Consistory, Canford and Poole Peculiars, Corfe Castle Peculiar, Archdeaconry of Dorset, Milton Abbas Peculiar, Sturminster Marshall Peculiar, and Wimborne Peculiar).<br>  
#Go to [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/County_Probate_Records#Court_Jurisdictions Court Jurisdictions] section below.<br>
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#Click a letter or span of letters for your place name. This opens a jurisdictions table.<br>
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#Follow the instructions on the jurisdictions table page.<br>
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== Dorset Probate Courts ==
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*[http://www.origins.net/help/aboutNWI-procoll.aspx Dorset Wills and Administrations 1568-1799]. Part of the National Wills Index.
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*[http://www.origins.net/help/aboutNWI-procoll.aspx Dorset Wills and Administrations in the Peculiar Courts 1500-1801]. Part of the National Wills Index.<br>
  
Most of Dorset was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of the [[Court of the Archdeaconry of Dorset]]. The majority of probate searches will be in the records of this court and its superior courts. However, the following 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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Additional records are included in the '''Wiltshire probate index''', [http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/ 1540-1858].  
  
*[[Court of the Bishop of Bristol (Episcopal Consistory Court of Bristol, Dorset Division)|Court of the Bishop of Bristol (Episcopal Consistory, Dorset Division)]]
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:This catalogue gives access to wills and other probate records of the diocese of Salisbury which used to cover not only Wiltshire but also Berkshire (under certain circumstances) and parts of Dorset and Devon. You can search for people by name, place, occupation and date. Searching the catalogue is FREE. In addition, there are digital images for some of the documents (just over 25%) which can be viewed following on-line payment or free of charge by people visiting the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. Wills and inventories give useful information about people’s financial status and property, and also their family relationships and friendships, which make them a wonderful resource for family and local history. The [http://members.iinet.net.au/~suegar/ Mills website] includes records from this collection for Swanage, Langton Matravers, Worth Matravers, Studland, and Church Knowle parishes.<br>
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Canford Magna and Poole|Court of the Peculiar of Canford Magna and Poole]]
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*[[Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Chardstock and Wambrook|Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Chardstock and Wambrook]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Corfe Castle|Court of the Peculiar of Corfe Castle]]
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*[[Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Fordington|Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Fordington]]
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*[[Court of the Manor and Liberty of Frampton|Court of the Manor and Liberty of Frampton]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Gillingham|Court of the Peculiar of Gillingham]]
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*[[Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Lyme Regis and Halstock|Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Lyme Regis and Halstock]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Milton Abbas|Court of the Peculiar of Milton Abbas]]
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*[[Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Netherbury|Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Netherbury]]
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*[[Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Preston and Sutton Poyntz|Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Preston and Sutton Poyntz]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean of Salisbury|Court of the Peculiar of the Dean of Salisbury]]
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*[[Court of the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury|Court of the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury]]
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*[[Court of the Bishop of Salisbury (Episcopal Consistory)|Court of the Bishop of Salisbury (Episcopal Consistory)]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Sturminster Marshall|Court of the Peculiar of Sturminster Marshall]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Wimborne Minster|Court of the Peculiar of Wimborne Minster]]
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*[[Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Yetminster|Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Yetminster]]
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In addition, the [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] had jurisdiction over the whole of England and specifically in the following cases.<br>
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'''Prerogative Court of Canterbury''' wills [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/browse-refine.asp?CatID=6&searchType=browserefine&pagenumber=1&query=*&queryType=1 (1384 - 1858)] are available online for a fee.  
  
*Wealthy individuals
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{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="0"
*People who owned property in more than one county
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|-
*Military and naval personnel
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| bgcolor="#cc99ff" align="center" colspan="20" | <center><font size="+1">'''Online Dorset Administrations Proved in the PCC Index 1559-1725 - free'''<ref>George S. Fry, 'Dorset Administrations,' ''Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries,'' Vols. 2-6 (1891-1899). Digitised by Internet Archive and Google Books.</ref></font></center>
*People who lived or owned property outside England<br>
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|-
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor04unkngoog#page/n24/mode/2up 1559-1571]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor09unkngoog#page/n128/mode/2up 1621-1625]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor10unkngoog#page/n269/mode/2up 1653-1654] (G-O surnames)
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| [http://books.google.com/books?id=L0EJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA301 1685-1690]
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|-
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor04unkngoog#page/n62/mode/2up 1572-1581] (1583)
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor09unkngoog#page/n182/mode/2up 1626-1628]
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| [http://books.google.com/books?id=gEAJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA250 1653-1654] (P-W surnames)
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| [http://books.google.com/books?id=L0EJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA339 1691-1693]
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|-
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor04unkngoog#page/n96/mode/2up 1581-1586]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor09unkngoog#page/n200/mode/2up 1629-1631] (1633)
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor10unkngoog#page/n373/mode/2up 1655-1656]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor06unkngoog#page/n44/mode/2up 1694-1696]
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|-
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor04unkngoog#page/n144/mode/2up 1587-1590]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor09unkngoog#page/n248/mode/2up 1631-1636] (1638)
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| [http://books.google.com/books?id=gEAJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA361 1657-1658]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor06unkngoog#page/n76/mode/2up 1697-1700]
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|-
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor04unkngoog#page/n200/mode/2up 1591-1595]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor09unkngoog#page/n308/mode/2up 1636-1640]
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| [http://books.google.com/books?id=L0EJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA23 1658-1659]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor06unkngoog#page/n134/mode/2up 1701-1704]
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|-
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor04unkngoog#page/n240/mode/2up 1596-1599]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor09unkngoog#page/n374/mode/2up 1641-1646]
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| [http://books.google.com/books?id=L0EJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA65 1660-1666]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor06unkngoog#page/n182/mode/2up 1705-1708]
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|-
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor04unkngoog#page/n284/mode/2up 1600-1604]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor10unkngoog#page/n61/mode/2up 1646-1647]
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| [http://books.google.com/books?id=L0EJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA116 1667-1670]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor06unkngoog#page/n244/mode/2up 1709-1711]
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|-
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor04unkngoog#page/n310/mode/2up 1605-1610]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor10unkngoog#page/n99/mode/2up 1648-1650]
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| [http://books.google.com/books?id=L0EJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA158 1671-1674]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor06unkngoog#page/n282/mode/2up 1712-1715]
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|-
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor09unkngoog#page/n48/mode/2up 1611-1614]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor10unkngoog#page/n149/mode/2up 1651-1652]
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| [http://books.google.com/books?id=L0EJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA206 1675-1679]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor06unkngoog#page/n368/mode/2up 1716-1720]
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|-
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor09unkngoog#page/n84/mode/2up 1615-1620]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor10unkngoog#page/n199/mode/2up 1653-1654] (A-F surnames)
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| [http://books.google.com/books?id=L0EJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA257 1680-1684]
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| [http://archive.org/stream/notesqueriesfor06unkngoog#page/n404/mode/2up 1721-1725]
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|}
  
=== Appeals Courts  ===
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'''Books and Microfilm'''
  
Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the county courts could be sent to these higher appeals courts:  
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*A calendar of wills and administrations relating to the county of Dorset&nbsp;: proved in the Consistory court (Dorsetshire division) of the late diocese of Bristol, 1681-1792, and in the Archdeaconry court of Dorset, 1568-1792, and in the several peculiars, 1660-1799, all now preserved at the probate registry, Blandford. Digital versions at [https://books.familysearch.org/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?vid=FHD_PUBLIC Family History Books]; [http://books.google.com/books?id=VMRCAAAAYAAJ Google Books]; {{FHL|211433|title-id|disp=FHL Book}}.
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*Church of England. Archdeaconry of Dorset. Court Probate records, 1568-1857 {{FHL|236036|title-id|disp=}}
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*Indexes to Sarum peculiar courts 1462-1800 which cover Chardstock 1639-1799, Fordington 1660-1799, Lyne Regis and Halstock 1664-1799, Netherbury and Beaminster 1608-1799, Preston and Sutton Pointz 1761-1799, Yatminster and Grimston 1654-1799, and Gillingham 1658-1799 FHL Film 97430 Indexes to Sarum peculiar courts early to 1857 FHL Film {{FHL|300055|title-id|disp=97429}}
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*Peculiar Court of Great Canford and Poole Probate records, {{FHL|300731|title-id|disp=1650-1857}}
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*Peculiar Court Corfe Castle Probate records,{{FHL|300683|title-id|disp=1576-1846}} Includes the Chapelry of Kingston
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*Peculiar Court of Sturminister Marshall Probate records, {{FHL|300661|title-id|disp=1641-1857}} Jurisdiction: Sturminister Marshall, Corfe Mullen, Hamworth and Lytchet Minister
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*Peculiar Court Wimborne Minster Probate records, {{FHL|300911|title-id|disp=1603-1857}}
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*Wills at Salisbury 1464-1858 Contents: {{FHL|1647597|title-id|disp=v. 122. A-K -- v. 123. K-Z.}}
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*{{FHL|473422|title-id|disp=Calendars of wills and administrations}} relating to the county of Dorset
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*The Genealogists' magazine - v. 5 (1929-1931) {{FHL|1188872|title-id|disp=Miscellaneous Dorset Wills}} from the Episcopal Consistory Court of Sarum: A-B, 1550-1737 pages 140-141; C-F, 1550-1737, pages 172-173; F-Loc, 1555-1810, pages 209-210; Lon-RE, 1560-1805, Pages 248-249; Ri-W, 1556-1731, pages 278-280
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*Notes and queries for Somerset and Dorset - v. 27 (1955-1960) pages 229-233
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*Manorial Court of Frampton {{FHL|1182592|title-id|disp=1678-1755}}
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*Court books for the manor and liberty of Frampton, {{FHL|446522|title-id|disp=1670-1881}}
  
*[[Court of Arches]]
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Did you find a reference to a probate record?
*[[High Court of Delegates]]
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The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] also acted as an appeals court.
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*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.
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*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
  
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Dorset Probate Courts ==
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==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died ====
  
In 1836, the parish of Stockland and the Chapelry of Dalwood were transferred from the Court of the Archdeacon of Dorset to the&nbsp; Court of the Archdeacon of Exeter and were united with Devon. At the same time, the parish of Thornecombe and part of the parish of Axminster were transferred from Devonshire to Dorset with a corresponding change in ecclesiastical jurisdiction.  
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
  
The Salisbury prebends were inhibited triennually for six months by the Court of the Peculiar of the Dean of Salisbury.
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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:
  
It is known that probate records were kept for Fampton, 1678-1755, and evidently none were proved after this date; however, probates of people in this area may well be found in surrounding courts throughout the period, as well as after 1755.  
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*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
  
It is said that Burton Bradstock was independent in probate matters, in which case there may be probate information in the Manorial Records which are still in the custody of the Lord of the Manor.
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The gazetteer will either tell you:
  
== Court Jurisdictions by Parish  ==
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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.
  
Before 1858, every town and parish in Dorset fell under the jurisdiction of a primary probate court and several secondary courts.&nbsp; When looking for the probate of the estate of an ancestor, you should search the primary court first then move on to the secondary courts in the order given. Search indexes first. Indexes are found by clicking on the court name above.
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If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.  
  
To see a list of parishes and the pre-1858 courts that had jurisdiction over them, click on the letter that begins the parish name.  
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Once you have identified the parish, go to '''Step 3'''.  
  
[[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes A|A]], [[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes B|B]], [[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes C & D|C-D]], [[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes E Through G|E-G]], [[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes H Through K|H-K]], [[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes L & M|L-M]], [[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes N Through R|N-R]], [[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes S Through U|S-U]], [[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes W Through Y|W-Y]]
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==== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish  ====
  
<br>
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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 Dorset 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.
  
== Probate Indexes Online  ==
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<br>
  
Before looking for a will, you should search an index. <br>
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{| width="200" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="0" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
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|-
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes A|A]]&nbsp;&nbsp;
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes B|B]]&nbsp;&nbsp;
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes C & D|C-D]]&nbsp;
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes E Through G|E-G]]&nbsp;
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes H Through K|H-K]]&nbsp;
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes L & M|L-M]]&nbsp;
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes N Through R|N-R]]&nbsp;
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes S Through U|S-U]]&nbsp;
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| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes W Through Y|W-Y]]&nbsp;
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|}
  
[http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php]
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==== Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record  ====
  
'''This covers&nbsp;many parishes and places'''.&nbsp;
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Once you have found an index reference to a probate, obtain a copy of the record. Do so by one of these methods:
  
This catalogue gives access to wills and other probate records of the diocese of Salisbury which used to cover not only Wiltshire but also Berkshire (under certain circumstances) and parts of Dorset and Devon. You can search for people by name, place, occupation and date. The collection covers 1540-1858. Searching the catalogue is FREE. In addition there are digital images for some of the documents (just over 25%) which can be viewed following on-line payment or free of charge by people visiting the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. Wills and inventories give useful information about people’s financial status and property, and also their family relationships and friendships, which make them a wonderful resource for family and local history.  
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*Download the record from Ancestry.com
  
[http://members.iinet.net.au/~suegar/ http://members.iinet.net.au/~suegar/]
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*Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection.
  
FOR RECORDS FROM <br>SWANAGE - LANGTON MATRAVERS - WORTH MATRAVERS - STUDLAND - CHURCH KNOWLE<br>
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*Visit the[https://www.familysearch.org/#form=catalog Family History Library ]or a [[Introduction to LDS Family History Centers|family history center]] and obtain a copy of the record on microfilm. For more information, click on a court name below. <br>
  
A calendar of wills and administrations relating to the county of Dorset&nbsp;: proved in the Consistory court (Dorsetshire division) of the late diocese of Bristol, 1681-1792, and in the Archdeaconry court of Dorset, 1568-1792, and in the several peculiars, 1660-1799, all now preserved at the probate registry, Blandford [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=211008&disp=A+calendar+of+wills+and+administrations+%20%20&columns=*,0,0]
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<br><br>
  
Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384 - 1858) [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/browse-refine.asp?CatID=6&searchType=browserefine&pagenumber=1&query=*&queryType=1]
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== Dorset Probate Courts  ==
  
== Probate Indexes  ==
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Most of Dorset was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of the [[Court of the Archdeaconry of Dorset]]. The majority of probate searches will be in the records of this court and its superior courts. However, the following courts also had some pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name to learn about records and indexes.
  
A calendar of wills and administrations relating to the county of Dorset&nbsp;: proved in the Consistory court (Dorsetshire division) of the late diocese of Bristol, 1681-1792, and in the Archdeaconry court of Dorset, 1568-1792, and in the several peculiars, 1660-1799, all now preserved at the probate registry, Blandford [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=211433&disp=A+calendar+of+wills+and+administrations+%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Church of England. Archdeaconry of Dorset. Court Probate records, 1568-1857 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titlefilmnotes&columns=*%2C0%2C0&titleno=236036&disp=Probate+records++]<br>Indexes to Sarum peculiar courts 1462-1800 which cover Chardstock 1639-1799, Fordington 1660-1799, Lyne Regis and Halstock 1664-1799, Netherbury and Beaminster 1608-1799, Preston and Sutton Pointz 1761-1799, Yatminster and Grimston 1654-1799, and Gillingham 1658-1799 FHL Film 97430 Indexes to Sarum peculiar courts early to 1857 FHL Film 97429[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titlefilmnotes&columns=*%2C0%2C0&titleno=300055&disp=Wills%2C+original+and+registered+of+the+++]<br>Peculiar Court of Great Canford and Poole Probate records, 1650-1857[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=300731&disp=Probate+records%2C+1650%2D1857%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Peculiar Court Corfe Castle Probate records, 1576-1846 Includes the Chapelry of Kingston[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=300683&disp=Probate+records%2C+1576%2D1846%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Peculiar Court of Sturminister Marshall Probate records, 1641-1857 Jurisdiction: Sturminister Marshall, Corfe Mullen, Hamworth and Lytchet Minister [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=300661&disp=Probate+records%2C+1641%2D1857%20%20&columns=*,0,0]&nbsp;
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*[[Court of the Bishop of Bristol (Episcopal Consistory Court of Bristol, Dorset Division)|Court of the Bishop of Bristol (Episcopal Consistory, Dorset Division)]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Canford Magna and Poole|Court of the Peculiar of Canford Magna and Poole]]
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*[[Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Chardstock and Wambrook|Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Chardstock and Wambrook]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Corfe Castle|Court of the Peculiar of Corfe Castle]]
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*[[Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Fordington|Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Fordington]]
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*[[Court of the Manor and Liberty of Frampton|Court of the Manor and Liberty of Frampton]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Gillingham|Court of the Peculiar of Gillingham]]
 +
*[[Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Lyme Regis and Halstock|Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Lyme Regis and Halstock]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Milton Abbas|Court of the Peculiar of Milton Abbas]]
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*[[Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Netherbury|Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Netherbury]]
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*[[Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Preston and Sutton Poyntz|Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Preston and Sutton Poyntz]]
 +
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean of Salisbury|Court of the Peculiar of the Dean of Salisbury]]
 +
*[[Court of the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury|Court of the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury]]
 +
*[[Court of the Bishop of Salisbury (Episcopal Consistory)|Court of the Bishop of Salisbury (Episcopal Consistory)]]
 +
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Sturminster Marshall|Court of the Peculiar of Sturminster Marshall]]
 +
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Wimborne Minster|Court of the Peculiar of Wimborne Minster]]
 +
*[[Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Yetminster|Court of the Prebendal Peculiar of Yetminster]]
 +
*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
  
Peculiar Court Wimborne Minster Probate records, 1603-1857 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=300911&disp=Probate+records%2C+1603%2D1857%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Wills at Salisbury 1464-1858 Contents: v. 122. A-K -- v. 123. K-Z. [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=1647597&disp=Wills+at+Salisbury+1464%2D1858%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Calendars of wills and administrations relating to the county of Dorset [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=473422&disp=Calendar+of+wills+and+administrations+in%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>The Genealogists' magazine - v. 5 (1929-1931) Miscellaneous Dorset Wills from the Episcopal Consistory Court of Sarum: A-B, 1550-1737 pages 140-141; C-F, 1550-1737, pages 172-173; F-Loc, 1555-1810, pages 209-210; Lon-RE, 1560-1805, Pages 248-249; Ri-W, 1556-1731, pages 278-280 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=1188872&disp=v%2E++5+%281929%2D1931%29%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Notes and queries for Somerset and Dorset - v. 27 (1955-1960) pages 229-233 Manorial Court of Frampton 1678-1755 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=1182592&disp=v%2E+27+%281955%2D1960%29%20%20&columns=*,0,0] Court books for the manor and liberty of Frampton, 1670-1881 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titlefilmnotes&columns=*%2C0%2C0&titleno=446522&disp=Court+books+for+the+manor+and+liberty+of++]
+
<br>  
 +
 
 +
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Dorset Probate Courts  ==
 +
 
 +
In 1836, the parish of Stockland and the Chapelry of Dalwood were transferred from the Court of the Archdeacon of Dorset to the&nbsp; Court of the Archdeacon of Exeter and were united with Devon. At the same time, the parish of Thornecombe and part of the parish of Axminster were transferred from Devonshire to Dorset with a corresponding change in ecclesiastical jurisdiction.  
 +
 
 +
The Salisbury prebends were inhibited triennually for six months by the Court of the Peculiar of the Dean of Salisbury.
 +
 
 +
It is known that probate records were kept for Fampton, 1678-1755, and evidently none were proved after this date; however, probates of people in this area may well be found in surrounding courts throughout the period, as well as after 1755.  
  
== Estate Duty Records<br> ==
+
It is said that Burton Bradstock was independent in probate matters, in which case there may be probate information in the Manorial Records which are still in the custody of the Lord of the Manor.<br>  
  
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]].
+
== References  ==
  
== <br>Probates After 1857  ==
+
{{reflist}}
  
Beginning in 1858, the government took over the&nbsp;settlement of estates and all&nbsp;wills are now probated through the Principal Probate Registry system. For more information, go to [[Principal Probate Registry]].<br>
+
{{Place|Dorset|Probate Records}}
 +
{{England Probate Records}}
  
 
[[Category:Dorset]]
 
[[Category:Dorset]]

Revision as of 05:50, 24 October 2013

England Gotoarrow.png Dorset Gotoarrow.png Probate Records

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 Dorset. 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 Dorset, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Dorset. Search these indexes first:

Online Records

The place to start online searches is Ancestry.com. They have digitized and indexed Dorset's wills and administrations (1565-1858) ($). (Includes Bristol Consistory, Canford and Poole Peculiars, Corfe Castle Peculiar, Archdeaconry of Dorset, Milton Abbas Peculiar, Sturminster Marshall Peculiar, and Wimborne Peculiar).

Additional records are included in the Wiltshire probate index, 1540-1858.

This catalogue gives access to wills and other probate records of the diocese of Salisbury which used to cover not only Wiltshire but also Berkshire (under certain circumstances) and parts of Dorset and Devon. You can search for people by name, place, occupation and date. Searching the catalogue is FREE. In addition, there are digital images for some of the documents (just over 25%) which can be viewed following on-line payment or free of charge by people visiting the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. Wills and inventories give useful information about people’s financial status and property, and also their family relationships and friendships, which make them a wonderful resource for family and local history. The Mills website includes records from this collection for Swanage, Langton Matravers, Worth Matravers, Studland, and Church Knowle parishes.

Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384 - 1858) are available online for a fee.

Online Dorset Administrations Proved in the PCC Index 1559-1725 - free[1]
1559-1571 1621-1625 1653-1654 (G-O surnames) 1685-1690
1572-1581 (1583) 1626-1628 1653-1654 (P-W surnames) 1691-1693
1581-1586 1629-1631 (1633) 1655-1656 1694-1696
1587-1590 1631-1636 (1638) 1657-1658 1697-1700
1591-1595 1636-1640 1658-1659 1701-1704
1596-1599 1641-1646 1660-1666 1705-1708
1600-1604 1646-1647 1667-1670 1709-1711
1605-1610 1648-1650 1671-1674 1712-1715
1611-1614 1651-1652 1675-1679 1716-1720
1615-1620 1653-1654 (A-F surnames) 1680-1684 1721-1725

Books and Microfilm

  • A calendar of wills and administrations relating to the county of Dorset : proved in the Consistory court (Dorsetshire division) of the late diocese of Bristol, 1681-1792, and in the Archdeaconry court of Dorset, 1568-1792, and in the several peculiars, 1660-1799, all now preserved at the probate registry, Blandford. Digital versions at Family History Books; Google Books; FHL Book.
  • Church of England. Archdeaconry of Dorset. Court Probate records, 1568-1857 [1]
  • Indexes to Sarum peculiar courts 1462-1800 which cover Chardstock 1639-1799, Fordington 1660-1799, Lyne Regis and Halstock 1664-1799, Netherbury and Beaminster 1608-1799, Preston and Sutton Pointz 1761-1799, Yatminster and Grimston 1654-1799, and Gillingham 1658-1799 FHL Film 97430 Indexes to Sarum peculiar courts early to 1857 FHL Film 97429
  • Peculiar Court of Great Canford and Poole Probate records, 1650-1857
  • Peculiar Court Corfe Castle Probate records,1576-1846 Includes the Chapelry of Kingston
  • Peculiar Court of Sturminister Marshall Probate records, 1641-1857 Jurisdiction: Sturminister Marshall, Corfe Mullen, Hamworth and Lytchet Minister
  • Peculiar Court Wimborne Minster Probate records, 1603-1857
  • Wills at Salisbury 1464-1858 Contents: v. 122. A-K -- v. 123. K-Z.
  • Calendars of wills and administrations relating to the county of Dorset
  • The Genealogists' magazine - v. 5 (1929-1931) Miscellaneous Dorset Wills from the Episcopal Consistory Court of Sarum: A-B, 1550-1737 pages 140-141; C-F, 1550-1737, pages 172-173; F-Loc, 1555-1810, pages 209-210; Lon-RE, 1560-1805, Pages 248-249; Ri-W, 1556-1731, pages 278-280
  • Notes and queries for Somerset and Dorset - v. 27 (1955-1960) pages 229-233
  • Manorial Court of Frampton 1678-1755
  • Court books for the manor and liberty of Frampton, 1670-1881

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 Dorset 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.


  A     B     C-D    E-G    H-K    L-M    N-R    S-U    W-Y 

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:

  • Download the record from Ancestry.com
  • Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection.



Dorset Probate Courts

Most of Dorset was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of the Court of the Archdeaconry of Dorset. The majority of probate searches will be in the records of this court and its superior courts. However, the following courts also had some pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name to learn about records and indexes.


Some Explanatory Notes on the Dorset Probate Courts

In 1836, the parish of Stockland and the Chapelry of Dalwood were transferred from the Court of the Archdeacon of Dorset to the  Court of the Archdeacon of Exeter and were united with Devon. At the same time, the parish of Thornecombe and part of the parish of Axminster were transferred from Devonshire to Dorset with a corresponding change in ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

The Salisbury prebends were inhibited triennually for six months by the Court of the Peculiar of the Dean of Salisbury.

It is known that probate records were kept for Fampton, 1678-1755, and evidently none were proved after this date; however, probates of people in this area may well be found in surrounding courts throughout the period, as well as after 1755.

It is said that Burton Bradstock was independent in probate matters, in which case there may be probate information in the Manorial Records which are still in the custody of the Lord of the Manor.

References

  1. George S. Fry, 'Dorset Administrations,' Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries, Vols. 2-6 (1891-1899). Digitised by Internet Archive and Google Books.