Essex Probate Records

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== Getting Started  ==
 
== 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 [[W genealogical glossary terms|wills]] and [[A genealogical glossary terms|administrations]]. This article is about probate records in Essex. For a general description of England probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].  
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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 Essex. See [[England Probate Records]] for a general description of probate records in England.  
  
 
=== 1858 to the Present  ===
 
=== 1858 to the Present  ===
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Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Essex. Search these indexes first:  
 
Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Essex. Search these indexes first:  
  
*[http://www.familyhistoryonline.net/database/SussexFHGprobate.shtml http://www.familyhistoryonline.net/database/SussexFHGprobate.shtml] -- 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. The information recorded includes name, date and place.
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County-wide general will indexes for Essex County are now available online, making Essex County one of the foremost in facilitating probate research in  England. 
*The [http://sussexrecordsociety.org/home2.asp?an=&ap= Sussex Record Society] has published four volumes of indexes to Sussex wills, and these can be viewed on their [http://sussexrecordsociety.org/bwills1.asp?an=&ap= website]. They are arranged by parish then by surname.   
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*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/wills.asp?WT.hp=Wills Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384-1858)].
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The following sites index significant portions of Essex wills:
 +
 
 +
*Essex County Record Office's outstanding wills index from [http://seax.essexcc.gov.uk/default.asp early to 1857] consolidates into one single index, the county's wills.
 +
*[http://www.origins.net/help/aboutNWI-procoll.aspx Wills Proved at Chelmsford 1400-1858]. Part of the National Wills Index.
 +
 
 +
The Essex County Record Office previously compiled and published a complete name index covering wills and administrations from the '''''first eight'' '''Essex County probate court jurisdictions listed above (through the Liberty of Sokens).  The index is available in three volumes online through the National Wills Index and in book form at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City:
 +
 
 +
*Emmison, F. G., ed.  ''[Index to] Wills at Chelmsford 1400-1858''.  3 vols. London: s.n., 1961, by the British Record Society. Digital versions online at [http://www.origins.net/NWIWelcome.aspx National Wills Index] ($); {{FHL|247479|title-id|disp=FHL Book 942 B4b v. 78, 79, 84; microfilms 0962739 and 0962740; microfiche 6073796, 6073797, and 6073802}}.
 +
 
 +
*Transcriptions of Essex wills from various probate court jurisdictions at <br>[http://linux02.lib.cam.ac.uk/earlscolne/probate/index.htm http://linux02.lib.cam.ac.uk/earlscolne/probate/index.htm].
 +
 
 +
Always re-visit these websites as&nbsp;new, updated data may periodically be posted online.
 +
 
 +
If the indexes on the Internet do not produce possible wills for your ancestors,&nbsp;look in the '''published indexes '''listed here.
 +
 
 +
Other printed indexes&nbsp;are found listed on the court pages.&nbsp; '''Click on the court name links above.'''
  
 
Did you find a reference to a probate record?  
 
Did you find a reference to a probate record?  
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;  
 
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:  
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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 are two outstanding topographical dictionaries online:
  
*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
+
*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain] - the 1870 Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales online
 +
*[http://www.british-history.ac.uk/source.aspx?pubid=445 British-History] - has Lewis' ''Topographical Dictionary of England''
  
The gazetteer will either tell you:  
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These gazetteers will either tell you:  
  
 
*A place is a parish, or  
 
*A place is a parish, or  
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==== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish  ====
 
==== 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 Sussex 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. Here&nbsp;are links to&nbsp;an alphabetical&nbsp;list of Essex parishes containing a prioritized list of courts with jurisdiction over each.&nbsp; To see which courts to search for probates of persons living in or owning property in particular parish, click on the letter the parish name begins with.  
+
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 Sussex fell under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts.&nbsp;Here&nbsp;are links to&nbsp;an alphabetical&nbsp;list of Essex parishes containing a prioritized list of courts with jurisdiction over each.&nbsp; To see which courts to search for probates of persons living in or owning property in particular parish, click on the letter the parish name begins with.  
  
Below is a list of Essex parishes beginning with the letter 'B' and the ecclesiastical courts with pre-1858 probate jurisdiction over them.&nbsp; Once you have identified a court of interest, search [[Essex_Probate_Records|indexes]].&nbsp; Search the courts in the order given.&nbsp; Click on a court name for more information about the court.
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{| border="1" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="469"
 
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To see a list of&nbsp;Essex parishes, click on a letter link:
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{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="469" border="1"
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|-
 
|-
 
| &nbsp;[[Essex Probate Jurisdictions|A]]&nbsp;  
 
| &nbsp;[[Essex Probate Jurisdictions|A]]&nbsp;  
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| &nbsp;[[Essex Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes W-Z|W-Z]]
 
| &nbsp;[[Essex Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes W-Z|W-Z]]
 
|}
 
|}
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 +
==== 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[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>
  
 
== Essex Probate Courts  ==
 
== Essex Probate Courts  ==
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of Havering-atte-Bower]] (or Hornchurch)  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of Havering-atte-Bower]] (or Hornchurch)  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster (Abbey)]]  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster (Abbey)]]  
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral]]  
 
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*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
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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*Wealthy individuals<br>
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*Interregnum, 1649-1660, because the Prerogative Court was the only court.
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*Property in more than one diocese in the Province of Canterbury.
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*Property in both the Province of Canterbury and Province of York.
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*People who died outside England, including British citizens and others who held property in England.
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=== Appeals Courts  ===
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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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*[[Court of Arches]]
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*[[High Court of Delegates]]
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The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] also served as an appeals court.
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== Probate Indexes  ==
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+
Before looking for a will, you should search an index.
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+
=== Online Indexes  ===
+
 
+
County-wide&nbsp;general will indexes for Essex County are now available online, making Essex County one of the foremost in facilitating probate research in&nbsp; England.&nbsp;
+
 
+
The following site&nbsp;indexes significant portions of&nbsp;Essex wills:
+
 
+
*Essex County Record Office's outstanding wills index from [http://seax.essexcc.gov.uk/default.asp early to 1857]&nbsp;consolidates into one&nbsp;single index, the&nbsp;county's&nbsp;wills.
+
 
+
The following site has transcriptions of a few Essex will from various probate court jurisdictions at <br>[http://linux02.lib.cam.ac.uk/earlscolne/probate/index.htm http://linux02.lib.cam.ac.uk/earlscolne/probate/index.htm]. &nbsp;
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
Always re-visit these websites as&nbsp;new, updated data may periodically be posted online.
+
 
+
=== Printed Indexes  ===
+
 
+
If the indexes on the Internet do not produce possible wills for your ancestors,&nbsp;look in the '''published indexes '''listed here.
+
 
+
The Essex County Record Office compiled and published a complete surname index covering wills and administrations from&nbsp;the '''''first&nbsp;eight'' '''Essex County probate court jurisdictions listed above (through the Liberty of Sokens).&nbsp; The index is available in three volumns at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City:
+
 
+
*Emmison, F. G., ed.&nbsp; ''[Index to] Wills at Chelmsford''.&nbsp; London: s.n., 1961,&nbsp;by the British Record Society.&nbsp; (FHL book [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=247479&disp=Wills+at+Chelmsford+%28Essex+and+East+He%20%20&columns=*,0,0 942 B4b] vols. 78, 79 &amp; 84; also on microfilms 0962739 and 0962740, and on microfiche 6073796, 6073797, and 6073802.)
+
 
+
Other printed indexes&nbsp;are found listed on the court pages.&nbsp; '''Click on the court name links above.'''
+
  
 
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Courts in Essex<br> ==
 
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Courts in Essex<br> ==
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Probate records for the&nbsp;first eight&nbsp;courts listed above are located at the [http://www.essexcc.gov.uk/vip8/ecc/ECCWebsite/dis/guc.jsp?channelOid=13813&guideOid=14783&guideContentOid=14819 Essex Record Office]. The additional four courts' records are located in Greater London-based record offices (click links to view).  
 
Probate records for the&nbsp;first eight&nbsp;courts listed above are located at the [http://www.essexcc.gov.uk/vip8/ecc/ECCWebsite/dis/guc.jsp?channelOid=13813&guideOid=14783&guideContentOid=14819 Essex Record Office]. The additional four courts' records are located in Greater London-based record offices (click links to view).  
  
Records and indexes for each court are also available in the collection of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.&nbsp; Search the [http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp Family History Library Catalog] for the title of the court or the court as&nbsp;an author.&nbsp; <br>
+
Records and indexes for each court are also available in the collection of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.&nbsp; Search the [https://www.familysearch.org/#form=catalog Family History Library Catalog ]for the title of the court or the court as&nbsp;an author.&nbsp; <br>
  
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
== 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.&nbsp; Estate duty indexes may help locate a will. For more information, go to [[Estate Duty Records]].<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>
 
  
 
[[Category:Essex]]
 
[[Category:Essex]]

Revision as of 15:10, 7 May 2013

England Gotoarrow.png Essex

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 Essex. 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 Essex, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

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

County-wide general will indexes for Essex County are now available online, making Essex County one of the foremost in facilitating probate research in  England. 

The following sites index significant portions of Essex wills:

The Essex County Record Office previously compiled and published a complete name index covering wills and administrations from the first eight Essex County probate court jurisdictions listed above (through the Liberty of Sokens).  The index is available in three volumes online through the National Wills Index and in book form at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City:

Always re-visit these websites as new, updated data may periodically be posted online.

If the indexes on the Internet do not produce possible wills for your ancestors, look in the published indexes listed here.

Other printed indexes are found listed on the court pages.  Click on the court name links above.

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 are two outstanding topographical dictionaries online:

These gazetteers 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 Sussex fell under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. Here are links to an alphabetical list of Essex parishes containing a prioritized list of courts with jurisdiction over each.  To see which courts to search for probates of persons living in or owning property in particular parish, click on the letter the parish name begins with.

 A     C   D-F    H-K  L   M-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 theFamily 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.

Essex Probate Courts

The following ecclesiastical courts had some probate jurisdiction over the county of Essex prior to 1858.  Click on a court name to learn about records and indexes. 

Some Explanatory Notes on the Courts in Essex

Probate records for the first eight courts listed above are located at the Essex Record Office. The additional four courts' records are located in Greater London-based record offices (click links to view).

Records and indexes for each court are also available in the collection of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Search the Family History Library Catalog for the title of the court or the court as an author.