Kent Probate Records

From FamilySearch Wiki

(Difference between revisions)
m (Text replace - "For a general description of England probate records, click here." to "See England Probate Records for a general description of probate records in England.")
(38 intermediate revisions by 11 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Kent]]
+
   
  
For an explanation of probate records in England, click [[England Probate Records|here]].  
+
''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Kent]]''
  
 
== Getting Started  ==
 
== Getting Started  ==
  
Probate is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his/her heirs. 
+
''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 Kent. See [[England Probate Records]] for a general description of probate records in England.
  
In order to find a probate record for your ancestor, you must answer two questions:
+
=== 1858 to the Present  ===
  
#When did your ancestor die?
+
Beginning in 1858, the [[Principal Probate Registry|Principal Probate Registry]] had the authority for probating estates. Click on the link to learn more.
#Where did your ancestor live or own property?
+
  
A key date is 1858, when probate authority was taken from the ecclesiatical courts of the Church of England and given to the civil government. 
+
=== Before 1858 ===
  
*If your ancestor died before 1858, his/her probate would have been proven by an ecclesiatical court and it is important to know where he/she lived, as that will determine which courts had jurisdiction. 
+
Before 1858, Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process. To search for a pre-1858 probate record in Kent, follow these steps:
*If you know where your ancestor lived before 1858, you should go to the '''Court Jurisdictions''' section below to determine what courts had jurisdiction over your ancestor's place of residence. 
+
*Beginning in 1858, probate authority was vested in the '''Principal Probate Registry''' system.  For more information, scroll to the '''Post-1857 Probate Records''' section at the bottom of the page.
+
  
Once you have answered the two questions and determined the courts, look for indexes.&nbsp; Indexes will be found on the individual court pages (when you click on a court name) or in the '''Probate Indexes''' section below.<br><br>
+
==== Step 1. Search Indexes ====
  
== Kent Probate Courts  ==
+
Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Kent. Search these indexes first:
  
The following&nbsp;ecclesiastical courts&nbsp;had some probate jurisdiction over the county of Kent prior to 1858.&nbsp; Click on a court name to learn more about its records and indexes and how to find the probate of your ancestor in the court's records.  
+
Here is a list of indexes on [http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/probate-and-wills findmypast.co.uk ][http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mrawson/probate.html indexes] on the Internet for the county of Kent.&nbsp; None of the indexes are comprehensive, but they will be added to over time.  
  
*[[Court of the Bishop of Canterbury|Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Canterbury]]
+
Printed indexes to probate records may be available in many locations including English county archives and other record repositories, libraries, and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Canterbury|Court of the Archdeaconry of Canterbury]]
+
*[[Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Rochester|Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Rochester]]
+
*[[Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Lewes]]
+
*[[Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) for Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Chichester]]
+
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Deaneries of Arches, Croydon and Shoreham|Court of the Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Deaneries of Arches, Croydon and Shoreham]]
+
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Rector of Cliffe|Court of the Peculiar of the Rector of Cliffe]]
+
*[[Court of the Exempt Jurisdiction of Wingham|Court of the Exempt Jurisdiction of Wingham]]
+
*[[Court of the Prior and Chapter of Christ Church, Canterbury|Court of the Prior and Chapter of Christ Church, Canterbury]]
+
*[[Court of the Bishop of London|Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of London]]
+
  
In addition, the [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] had jurisdiction over the whole of England. Wealthier individuals, people who owned property in more than one county or lower court's jurisdiction, people who emigrated but still owned property in England, and Naval personnel often had their estates proven through the Archbishop's court. <br>
+
*To access an English&nbsp;county archive, go to [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/advanced-search.aspx?tab=1 Access to Archives] or to [http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/#common GENUKI] and search for the archives for Kent or another county of interest.  
 +
*For printed indexes that are available through the Family History Library, click on the name of a court above. <br>
  
=== Appeals Courts  ===
+
Did you find a reference to a probate record?
  
Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the&nbsp;lower courts could be sent to these higher appeals courts:
+
*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.
 +
*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
  
*[[Court of Arches]]
+
==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ====
*[[High Court of Delegates]]
+
  
The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] was also an appeals court.  
+
Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
  
<br>
+
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:
  
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Courts in Kent  ==
+
*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
  
The Court of the Archdeacon of Canterbury, the Court of the Episcopal consistory of Canterbury, and the Court of the Bishop and the Archdeacon of Rochester technically did not have jurisdiction over the Peculiar of Wingham, the Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Episcopal Consistory and Archdeaconry of Rochester, but as the larger courts of original jurisdiction in the county, they will often contain probate records of persons who resided in the other jurisdictions.
+
The gazetteer will either tell you:
  
The Commissary-General of the Archbishop of <span id="fck_dom_range_temp_1240932743969_161" />Canterbury was the judge of the Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Canterbury.&nbsp; He exercised probate jurisdiction within the diocese of Canterbury, and he also exercised the Archbishop’s prerogative throughout the diocese.&nbsp; Therefore,&nbsp;records of probate that would have normally gone through the&nbsp;Archbishop's court, will be found in the records&nbsp;of the Court of the Bishop of Canterbury, particularly before 1759.<br><br>
+
*A place is a parish, or
 +
*What parish it is a part of, or
 +
*What place it is near.
  
== Probate Court Jurisdictions  ==
+
If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.
  
Before 1858, every town and parish in Kent was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts.&nbsp; To find the will of your ancestor who lived&nbsp;or owned property in&nbsp;Kent,&nbsp;see a&nbsp;list of Kent parishes&nbsp;with the pre-1858 courts that had probate jurisdiction over each.&nbsp; Click on the letter for a parish of interest.&nbsp; <br><br>
+
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&nbsp;Kent 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.  
  
 
{| class="FCK__ShowTableBorders" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="511" border="0"
 
{| class="FCK__ShowTableBorders" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="511" border="0"
Line 76: Line 71:
 
|}
 
|}
  
<br>Search the courts in the order given.&nbsp; Search indexes first.&nbsp; For indexes covering more than one court, see below.&nbsp; For court-specific indexes, click on the name of a court above. <br><br>If you do not know where in Kent your ancestor lived or owned property, search the indexes to&nbsp;each court if necessary.&nbsp; Lastly, search the index to the [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury|Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]].
+
<br>  
  
<br>
+
==== Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record  ====
  
== Probate Indexes  ==
+
Once you have found an index reference to a probate, obtain a copy of the record. Do so by one of these methods:
  
Before searching probate records, search indexes.  
+
*Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection.
  
=== Indexes on the Internet  ===
+
*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>
  
Here is a list of&nbsp;[http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mrawson/probate.html indexes] on the Internet for the county of Kent.&nbsp; None of the indexes are comprehensive, but they will be added to over time.
+
<br>
  
=== Printed Indexes ===
+
== Kent Probate Courts ==
  
Printed indexes to probate records may be available in many locations including English county archives and other record repositories, libraries, and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  
+
The following&nbsp;ecclesiastical courts&nbsp;had some probate jurisdiction over the county of Kent prior to 1858.&nbsp; Click on a court name to learn more about its records and indexes and how to find the probate of your ancestor in the court's records.  
  
*To access an English&nbsp;county archive, go to [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/advanced-search.aspx?tab=1 Access to Archives] or to [http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/#common GENUKI] and search for the archives for Kent or another county of interest.
+
*[[Court of the Bishop of Canterbury|Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Canterbury]]
*For printed indexes that are available through the Family History Library, click on the name of a court above. <br>
+
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Canterbury|Court of the Archdeaconry of Canterbury]]
 +
*[[Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Rochester|Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Rochester]]
 +
*[[Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Lewes]]
 +
*[[Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Chichester]]
 +
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Deaneries of Arches, Croydon and Shoreham|Court of the Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Deaneries of Arches, Croydon and Shoreham]]
 +
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Rector of Cliffe|Court of the Peculiar of the Rector of Cliffe]]
 +
*[[Court of the Exempt Jurisdiction of Wingham|Court of the Exempt Jurisdiction of Wingham]]
 +
*[[Court of the Prior and Chapter of Christ Church, Canterbury|Court of the Prior and Chapter of Christ Church, Canterbury]]
 +
*[[Court of the Bishop of London|Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of London]]
 +
*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
  
== Estate or Death Duty Wills and Administrations ==
+
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Courts in Kent ==
  
Beginning in 1796 a tax was levied on probates of estates valued over £10. Copies of the probate documents were filed with the Estate Duty Office in London when the tax was paid.&nbsp; These records are especially helpful for research in counties&nbsp; where local probate records have been destroyed.  
+
The Court of the Archdeacon of Canterbury, the Court of the Episcopal consistory of Canterbury, and the Court of the Bishop and the Archdeacon of Rochester technically did not have jurisdiction over the Peculiar of Wingham, the Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Episcopal Consistory and Archdeaconry of Rochester, but as the larger courts of original jurisdiction in the county, they will often contain probate records of persons who resided in the other jurisdictions.  
  
For more information, see [[England Probate Records|England Probate Records]].<br><br>
+
The Commissary-General of the Archbishop of <span id="fck_dom_range_temp_1240932743969_161" />Canterbury was the judge of the Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Canterbury.&nbsp; He exercised probate jurisdiction within the diocese of Canterbury, and he also exercised the Archbishop’s prerogative throughout the diocese.&nbsp; Therefore,&nbsp;records of probate that would have normally gone through the&nbsp;Archbishop's court, will be found in the records&nbsp;of the Court of the Bishop of Canterbury, particularly before 1759.
  
== Post-1857 Probate Records  ==
+
'''A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:'''
  
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.&nbsp; The system consists of 11 district registry offices and&nbsp;18 sub-district registries, located throughout England and Wales, and&nbsp;the principal registry&nbsp;office located in London.&nbsp; The records are available through the office of Her Majesty's Courts Service.&nbsp; To learn more, go to the [http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/1176.htm HMCS website].
+
[[England, Kent, Wills and Probate (FamilySearch Historical Records)|England, Kent, Wills and Probate (FmilySearch Historical Records)]]<br><br>
  
A&nbsp;country-wide surname index to the records is available, so it is much easier to look for post-1857 wills.&nbsp; The [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=208102&disp=Calendar+of+the+grants+of+probate+and+le%20%20&columns=*,0,0 indexes] for 1858-1957 and the [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=authordetails&authorno=301365&name=Great+Britain%2E+Principal+Probate+Registry%2C+null&columns=*,0,0 records] for 1858-1925 are available on microfilm&nbsp;through the Family History Library.<br>
+
Courtesy of the Kent Archeological Society:
 +
 
 +
*[http://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk/Research/Pub/KRV/09/Intro.htm Index of Wills Proved in the Rochester Consistory Court 1440-1561] by Leland L. Duncan
 +
*[http://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk/Research/Libr/Wills/WillsIntro.htm Medieval &amp; Tutor Kent PCC &amp; CCC Wills] collected by Leland Lews Duncan...
 +
 
 +
<br>
  
[[Category:England|England]]
+
[[Category:Kent]]

Revision as of 15:10, 7 May 2013

 

England Gotoarrow.png Kent

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 Kent. 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 Kent, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

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

Here is a list of indexes on findmypast.co.uk indexes on the Internet for the county of Kent.  None of the indexes are comprehensive, but they will be added to over time.

Printed indexes to probate records may be available in many locations including English county archives and other record repositories, libraries, and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

  • To access an English county archive, go to Access to Archives or to GENUKI and search for the archives for Kent or another county of interest.
  • For printed indexes that are available through the Family History Library, click on the name of a court 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 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 Kent 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  F-G  H  I-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.


Kent Probate Courts

The following ecclesiastical courts had some probate jurisdiction over the county of Kent prior to 1858.  Click on a court name to learn more about its records and indexes and how to find the probate of your ancestor in the court's records.

Some Explanatory Notes on the Courts in Kent

The Court of the Archdeacon of Canterbury, the Court of the Episcopal consistory of Canterbury, and the Court of the Bishop and the Archdeacon of Rochester technically did not have jurisdiction over the Peculiar of Wingham, the Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Episcopal Consistory and Archdeaconry of Rochester, but as the larger courts of original jurisdiction in the county, they will often contain probate records of persons who resided in the other jurisdictions.

The Commissary-General of the Archbishop of Canterbury was the judge of the Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Canterbury.  He exercised probate jurisdiction within the diocese of Canterbury, and he also exercised the Archbishop’s prerogative throughout the diocese.  Therefore, records of probate that would have normally gone through the Archbishop's court, will be found in the records of the Court of the Bishop of Canterbury, particularly before 1759.

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

England, Kent, Wills and Probate (FmilySearch Historical Records)

Courtesy of the Kent Archeological Society: