Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of YorkEdit This Page

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England Gotoarrow.png Yorkshire Gotoarrow.png Yorkshire Probate Records

England Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Probate Records

For a general explanation about probate records in England, click here.

Contents

Getting Started

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 to 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 Post-1857 Probate Records section below contains links to additional information about the records of this court.

To look for a probate record before 1858:

  1. Discover when and where your ancestor died. If you don’t know, use the approximate date and place where they lived.
  2. Go to Court Jurisdictions section below.
  3. Click a letter or span of letters for your place name. This opens a jurisdictions table.
  4. Follow the instructions on the jurisdictions table page.

Indexes

Online Indexes

Indexes to Yorkshire wills are beginning to come online. Yorkshire will indexes online are only available at britishorigins for the following years:

  • Medieval Probate Index - 1267- 1500
  • Peculiar Courts Probate Index - 1383-1883
  • Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York - 1842-1858

Indexes are important because they show the names of individuals and give references to easily find a will. Search the following indexes for your ancestor.

Printed and Published Indexes

The Family History Library has film copies of the following indexes. Films can be viewed in the Family History Library and in a family history center.

Yorkshire probate index : part one, 1800 to 1803 was compiled by Janet Ogden, Stephen D. Whitwam and Brian Jones.

Records

The original records for this court are in the Borthwick Institute for Historical Research
University of York
Heslington York YO10 5DD
England

Telephone: (0)1904 321166 Email: bihr500@york.ac.uk
Opening Times: Mon-Fri 9:15am - 4:45pm

The Family History Library has the following records on film.

Wills and administrations, 1389-1858

Wills registered at York, 1540-1802

York District Probate Registry : probate act books, 1502-1624

Register of tuitions and curations, 1592-1639. Click to read an explanation of tuitions and curations.


  • ORIGINAL WILLS, ADMINISTRATIONS (ADMONS), INVENTORIES, TUITIONS 1427-1858
  • REGISTER OF COPY WILLS 1389-1558
  • ACT BOOKS 1502-1858
  • REGISTER OF TUITIONS AND CURATIONS 1592-1639
  • REGISTER OF WILLS DECREED OUT OF COURT 1778-1833
  • CAVEAT BOOKS 1521-1859
  • CITATION BOOKS 1611-1695
  • COMMISSION BOOKS (GRANTS OF PROBATE & ADMINISTRATION FOR CLERGY, EXECUTORS, ADMINISTRATORS, CONFERRING OF CURATION AND TUITION OF MINORS, WITNESSES) 1611-1683
  • CHANCERY AND AUDIENCE RECORDS 1525-1640

Juridiction

This court's jurisdiction applies to persons with bona notabilia (property worth 5 pounds or more) in more than one diocese within the northern Province of York, which includes all of the dioceses of York, Carlisle, Chester, Sodor and Man (Isle of Man), Durham and Lancaster. If probate records are not found in this court, be certain to search the Court of the Dean and Chapter of York.

Historical Background

The Court of the Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York held jurisdiction over the whole of the Province of York, which consisted of the counties of Cheshire, Cumberland, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Westmoreland, Yorkshire.

Unless a person held properties in more than one diocese (within the Province of York), always first search, the local diocesan court probate records of the county in which they lived and/or died. When a search of this courts’ probate records, or a search in those of the local diocesan courts fails to provide the desired probate record, be sure to search the Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of York as well.




 

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