Huntingdonshire Probate Records

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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Huntingdonshire]]''  
 
''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Huntingdonshire]]''  
  
The following article is about probate records in the county of Huntingdonshire. For an explanation of probate records in England, click [[England Probate Records|here]].<br>
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== Getting Started  ==
  
== Description  ==
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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 Huntingdonshire. For a general description of England probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].
  
''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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=== 1858 to the Present  ===
  
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>
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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.  
  
== Getting Started ==
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=== Before 1858 ===
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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 Huntingdonshire, follow these steps:
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==== Step 1. Search Indexes  ====
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Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Huntingdonshire. Search these indexes first:
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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.
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*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;
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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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Did you find a reference to a probate record?
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*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.
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*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
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==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ====
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 +
Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
 +
 
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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:
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*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
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The gazetteer will either tell you:
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 +
*A place is a parish, or
 +
*What parish it is a part of, or
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*What place it is near.
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If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.
  
Follow these steps to look for a probate record before 1858:<br>
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Once you have identified the parish, go to '''Step 3'''.
  
#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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==== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish  ====
#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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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 Huntingdonshire 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.
  
Before 1858 all of Huntingdonshire, with just a few exceptions, was under the primary probate jurisdiction of the [[Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of Lincoln and of the Archdeacon in the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon]]. The exceptions were a few places and parishes considered [[P genealogical glossary terms|peculiars]] and their courts will be found in the jurisdiction lists through the links below. Click on a letter link for the name of a parish.  
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<br>Before 1858 all of Huntingdonshire, with just a few exceptions, was under the primary probate jurisdiction of the [[Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of Lincoln and of the Archdeacon in the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon]]. The exceptions were a few places and parishes considered [[P genealogical glossary terms|peculiars]] and their courts will be found in the jurisdiction lists through the links below. Click on a letter link for the name of a parish.  
  
 
[[Huntingdonshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes A-D|A-D]] &nbsp; [[Huntingdonshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes E-G|E-G]] &nbsp; [[Huntingdonshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes H-O|H-O]] &nbsp; [[Huntingdonshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes P-S|P-S]] &nbsp; [[Huntingdonshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes T-Z|T-Z]] &nbsp;  
 
[[Huntingdonshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes A-D|A-D]] &nbsp; [[Huntingdonshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes E-G|E-G]] &nbsp; [[Huntingdonshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes H-O|H-O]] &nbsp; [[Huntingdonshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes P-S|P-S]] &nbsp; [[Huntingdonshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes T-Z|T-Z]] &nbsp;  
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Most of Huntingdonshire was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of the [[Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of Lincoln and of the Archdeacon in the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon]]. The majority of probate searches will be in the records of this court and its superior courts. However, the following smaller courts also had some pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name to learn about records and indexes. <br>
 
Most of Huntingdonshire was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of the [[Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of Lincoln and of the Archdeacon in the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon]]. The majority of probate searches will be in the records of this court and its superior courts. However, the following smaller courts also had some pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name to learn about records and indexes. <br>
  
*Court of the Archdeacon of Huntingdon (Hitchin Division)
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*Court of the Archdeacon of Huntingdon (Hitchin Division)  
 
*[[Court of the Bishop of Lincoln (Episcopal Consistory)]]  
 
*[[Court of the Bishop of Lincoln (Episcopal Consistory)]]  
 
*[[Court of the Bishop of Ely (Episcopal Consistory)]]  
 
*[[Court of the Bishop of Ely (Episcopal Consistory)]]  
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The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]&nbsp;also served as an appeals court. <br>
 
The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]&nbsp;also served as an appeals court. <br>
  
== Probate Indexes<br> ==
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== Probate Indexes<br> ==
  
 
'''Note: '''List here any that are combined indexes for several of the courts. If an index covers only one of the courts, the index should be listed on that court's page.  
 
'''Note: '''List here any that are combined indexes for several of the courts. If an index covers only one of the courts, the index should be listed on that court's page.  
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== Some Explanatory Notes on the Huntingdonshire Probate Courts  ==
 
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Huntingdonshire Probate Courts  ==
  
Before the Reformation the diocese of Lincoln included the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon. After the Reformation, the archdeaconry remained until the period 1837-1845. <ref>Camp, Anthony J. Wills and Their Whereabouts. London: by author, 1974; page 66.</ref><br>  
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Before the Reformation the diocese of Lincoln included the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon. After the Reformation, the archdeaconry remained until the period 1837-1845. <ref>Camp, Anthony J. Wills and Their Whereabouts. London: by author, 1974; page 66.</ref><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]].<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]].<br>
  
 
== Probates After 1857  ==
 
== Probates After 1857  ==

Revision as of 16:34, 8 June 2010

England Gotoarrow.png Huntingdonshire

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 Huntingdonshire. 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 Huntingdonshire, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Huntingdonshire. 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 Huntingdonshire 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.


Before 1858 all of Huntingdonshire, with just a few exceptions, was under the primary probate jurisdiction of the Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of Lincoln and of the Archdeacon in the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon. The exceptions were a few places and parishes considered peculiars and their courts will be found in the jurisdiction lists through the links below. Click on a letter link for the name of a parish.

A-D   E-G   H-O   P-S   T-Z  

Huntingdonshire Probate Courts

Most of Huntingdonshire was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of the Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of Lincoln and of the Archdeacon in the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon. The majority of probate searches will be in the records of this court and its superior courts. However, the following smaller 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 served as an appeals court.

Probate Indexes

Note: List here any that are combined indexes for several of the courts. If an index covers only one of the courts, the index should be listed on that court's page.

  • Probate records of the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon, 1585-1858 Many index listing in the following film notes on the Family History Library catalog [1]
  • Probate records for the Commissary Court of Lincoln for the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon, 1559-1857, 1559-1857 This Court only had jurisdiction in Huntingdon prior to 1837 [2]
  • Calendars of Huntingdonshire wills, 1479-1652 [3]
  • Abstracts of Huntingdonshire wills, 1601-1652, in Lincoln consistory court at Lincoln, England [4]
  • Transactions of the Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Archaeological Society - v. 5-6 (1936-1940) v. 6 Part 3 pages 79-96 have an index of Wills Proved in the Peculiar Courts of Brampton, Buckden, Leighton Bromswold, Stow Longa, all in the County of Huntingdon, together with the Bonds and Inventories. According to this 1940 publication They were preserved in the Probate registry at Peterborough. [5]
  • The Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of Ely and Court of the Archdeacon of Ely had jurisdiction only from 1837-1858 in Huntingdon Index of the probate records of the Consistory Court of Ely, 1449-1858,[6] Index of the probate records of the Court of the Archdeacon of Ely, 1513-1857 [7]
  • Court of the Bishop of Peterborough (Episcopal Consistory) only included the parish of Washingley in Huntingdon Calendars of wills, administrations & etc., for the Archdeaconry Court of Northamptonshire and the Consistory Court of Peterborough [8]

Some Explanatory Notes on the Huntingdonshire Probate Courts

Before the Reformation the diocese of Lincoln included the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon. After the Reformation, the archdeaconry remained until the period 1837-1845. [1]

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.


  1. Camp, Anthony J. Wills and Their Whereabouts. London: by author, 1974; page 66.