Kent Probate Records

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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Kent]]''  
 
''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Kent]]''  
 
The following article is about probate records in the county of Kent. For general information about English probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]]. <br>
 
  
 
== 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. 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 Probates After 1857 Probate Records section below contains links to additional information about the records of this court.  
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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 Kent. See [[England Probate Records]] for a general description of probate records in England.  
  
To look for a probate record before 1858:<br>
+
=== 1858 to the Present  ===
  
#Discover when and where your ancestor died. If you don’t know, use the approximate date and place where they lived.
+
Beginning in 1858, the [[Principal Probate Registry|Principal Probate Registry]] had the authority for probating estates. Click on the link to learn more.  
#Go to [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Yorkshire_Probate_Records#Court_Jurisdictions Court Jurisdictions] section below.  
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#Click a letter or span of letters for your place name. This opens a jurisdictions table.
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#Follow the instructions on the jurisdictions table page.<br><br>
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== Kent Probate Courts ==
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=== Before 1858 ===
  
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.
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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 Kent, follow these steps:
  
*[[Court of the Bishop of Canterbury|Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Canterbury]]
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==== Step 1. Search Indexes  ====
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Canterbury|Court of the Archdeaconry of Canterbury]]
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*[[Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Rochester|Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Rochester]]
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*[[Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Lewes]]
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*[[Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) for Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Chichester]]
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*[[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]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Rector of Cliffe|Court of the Peculiar of the Rector of Cliffe]]
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*[[Court of the Exempt Jurisdiction of Wingham|Court of the Exempt Jurisdiction of Wingham]]
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*[[Court of the Prior and Chapter of Christ Church, Canterbury|Court of the Prior and Chapter of Christ Church, Canterbury]]
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*[[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 and specifically in the following cases.<br>
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Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Kent. Search these indexes first:
  
*Wealthy individuals<br>
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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.
*People who owned property in more than one county<br>
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*Military and naval personnel<br>
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*People who lived or owned property outside England<br>
+
  
<br>
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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.
  
=== Appeals Courts  ===
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*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>
  
Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the&nbsp;lower courts could be sent to these higher appeals courts:
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Did you find a reference to a probate record?
  
*[[Court of Arches]]
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*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.
*[[High Court of Delegates]]
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*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
  
The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] was also an appeals court.  
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==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ====
  
<br>
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
  
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Courts in Kent  ==
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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:
  
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.
+
*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
  
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>
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The gazetteer will either tell you:
  
== Court Jurisdictions by Parish  ==
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*A place is a parish, or
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*What parish it is a part of, or
 +
*What place it is near.
  
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>
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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&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.  
  
 
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<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]].
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<br>  
  
<br>
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==== Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record  ====
  
== Probate Indexes  ==
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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  ===
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*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]]
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*[[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]]
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*[[Court of the Bishop of London|Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of London]]
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*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
  
== Estate Duty Records<br> ==
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== Some Explanatory Notes on the Courts in Kent  ==
  
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>
+
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.  
  
<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.
  
== Probates After 1857  ==
+
'''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. For more information, go to [[Principal Probate Registry]].<br>
+
[[England, Kent, Wills and Probate (FamilySearch Historical Records)|England, Kent, Wills and Probate (FmilySearch Historical Records)]]<br><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:Kent]]
 
[[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: