Dorset Probate Records

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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Dorset]]''  
 
''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Dorset]]''  
  
<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]].<br>  
+
<br>
  
== Description ==
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== Getting Started ==
  
''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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''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. For a general description of England probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].  
  
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.<br><br>
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=== 1858 to the Present  ===
  
== Getting Started  ==
+
Beginning in 1858, the [[Principal Probate Registry|Principal Probate Registry]] had the authority for probating estates. Click on the link to learn more.
  
Follow these steps to look for a probate record before 1858:<br>
+
=== Before 1858 ===
  
#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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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:
#Go to the Court Jurisdictions section below.<br>
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#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>
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#Follow the steps at the top of the table to search for a will.<br><br>
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== Court Jurisdictions by Parish ==
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==== Step 1. Search Indexes ====
  
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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Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Dorset. Search these indexes first:
  
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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*[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.
 +
*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;
 +
*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/wills.asp?WT.hp=Wills Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384-1858)].
 +
 
 +
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.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
 +
 
 +
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:
 +
 
 +
*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
 +
 
 +
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.  
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 +
<br>
  
{| width="200" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="0"
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{| class="FCK__ShowTableBorders" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="200" border="0"
 
|-
 
|-
 
| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes A|A]]&nbsp;&nbsp;  
 
| &nbsp;&nbsp;[[Dorset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes A|A]]&nbsp;&nbsp;  
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*[[High Court of Delegates]]
 
*[[High Court of Delegates]]
  
The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] also acted as an appeals court.
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The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] also acted as an appeals court.  
  
 
== Probate Indexes Online  ==
 
== Probate Indexes Online  ==
  
Before looking for a will, you should search an index. The following index, 1540-1858, covers many parishes and places: <br>  
+
Before looking for a will, you should search an index. The following index, 1540-1858, covers many parishes and places: <br>
  
 
[http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php]  
 
[http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php]  
  
'''<br>'''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.
+
'''<br>'''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.  
  
 
[http://members.iinet.net.au/~suegar/ http://members.iinet.net.au/~suegar/]  
 
[http://members.iinet.net.au/~suegar/ http://members.iinet.net.au/~suegar/]  
  
FOR RECORDS FROM <br>SWANAGE - LANGTON MATRAVERS - WORTH MATRAVERS - STUDLAND - CHURCH KNOWLE<br>  
+
FOR RECORDS FROM <br>SWANAGE - LANGTON MATRAVERS - WORTH MATRAVERS - STUDLAND - CHURCH KNOWLE<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]  
 
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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== Probate Indexes  ==
 
== Probate 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]
+
*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]  
*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++]
+
*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++]  
*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+++]
+
*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+++]  
*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]
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*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]  
*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]
+
*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]  
 
*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;  
 
*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;  
*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]
+
*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]  
*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]
+
*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]  
*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]
+
*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]  
*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]
+
*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]  
*Notes and queries for Somerset and Dorset - v. 27 (1955-1960) pages 229-233
+
*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]  
 
*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++]
 
*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++]
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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 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.<br>  
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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>
  
== Estate Duty Records<br> ==
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== Estate Duty Records<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]].  
 
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]].  
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== <br>Probates After 1857  ==
 
== <br>Probates After 1857  ==
  
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>  
+
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>
  
 
[[Category:Dorset]]
 
[[Category:Dorset]]

Revision as of 19:42, 2 June 2010

England Gotoarrow.png Dorset


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. 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 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:

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 


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.

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 acted as an appeals court.

Probate Indexes Online

Before looking for a will, you should search an index. The following index, 1540-1858, covers many parishes and places:

http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php


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.

http://members.iinet.net.au/~suegar/

FOR RECORDS FROM
SWANAGE - LANGTON MATRAVERS - WORTH MATRAVERS - STUDLAND - CHURCH KNOWLE

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 [1]

Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384 - 1858) [2]

Probate Indexes

  • 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 [3]
  • Church of England. Archdeaconry of Dorset. Court Probate records, 1568-1857 [4]
  • 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[5]
  • Peculiar Court of Great Canford and Poole Probate records, 1650-1857[6]
  • Peculiar Court Corfe Castle Probate records, 1576-1846 Includes the Chapelry of Kingston[7]
  • Peculiar Court of Sturminister Marshall Probate records, 1641-1857 Jurisdiction: Sturminister Marshall, Corfe Mullen, Hamworth and Lytchet Minister [8] 
  • Peculiar Court Wimborne Minster Probate records, 1603-1857 [9]
  • Wills at Salisbury 1464-1858 Contents: v. 122. A-K -- v. 123. K-Z. [10]
  • Calendars of wills and administrations relating to the county of Dorset [11]
  • 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 [12]
  • Notes and queries for Somerset and Dorset - v. 27 (1955-1960) pages 229-233
  • Manorial Court of Frampton 1678-1755 [13]
  • Court books for the manor and liberty of Frampton, 1670-1881 [14]

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.

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.