Middlesex Probate Records

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(Probate Courts of Middlesex County)
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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Middlesex]]''  
 
''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Middlesex]]''  
  
The following article is about probate records in the county of Middlesex. For general information about English probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].
+
== Getting Started  ==
  
<br>
+
''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 Sussex. For a general description of England probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].
  
== Description ==
+
=== 1858 to the Present ===
  
''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.  
+
Beginning in 1858, the [[Principal Probate Registry|Principal Probate Registry]] had the authority for probating estates. Click on the link to learn more.  
  
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>
+
=== Before 1858 ===
  
 +
Before 1858, Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process. To search for a pre-1858 probate record in Sussex, follow these steps:
  
 +
==== Step 1. Search Indexes  ====
  
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Middlesex Probate Courts<br> ==
+
Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Sussex. Search these indexes first:
  
Probate records of Middlesex, incorporating Greater London&nbsp;and the whole of the ancient county of Middlesex commence from as early as 1258 up to&nbsp;1857.&nbsp;There are several Middlesex County probate court jurisdictions, some of which hold extensive&nbsp;probate record coverage for the greater metropolis and there are a few smaller court jurisdictions which only pertain to a small handful of parishes.  
+
*A comprehensive&nbsp;will and admon index for most all of London and Middlesex's probate jurisdictions is found in Dr. David Wright's will index for 1750-1857 on CDs&nbsp;for [http://www.davideastkent.canterhill.co.uk/lp-index.htm sale]&nbsp;for surnames A-F; enquire with him for lookups for surnames beginning with G-Z at a set fee.
  
The complexity of probate research in this most populous region of England resides in the fact that Greater London's layout is likewise complex, incorporating the whole of Middlesex and London counties, as well as portions of northwest Kent, northeast Surrey, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire.&nbsp; Several courts held concurrent jurisdiction with one another thus requiring searching multiple probate courts.
+
==== Printed Indexes  ====
  
If you&nbsp;know&nbsp;in which parish your ancestor may have died or lived,&nbsp;go to the "Middlesex Parishes and Their Probate Jurisdictions" section&nbsp;(below) and search by parish name&nbsp;in order to determine&nbsp;the&nbsp;correct or most likely&nbsp;probate court&nbsp;to search, first.  
+
Several printed indexes exist for the various courts of Greater London, but not all. Look in this ("Printed Indexes") section under each Probate court for indexes&nbsp;and the locations for accessing same.  
  
If a search in the most likely&nbsp;probate court jurisidiction proves unsuccessful, then search the next court as&nbsp;listed in ranked order, i.e. "no. 2", and etc. <br>
+
==== Original Handwritten Indexes  ====
  
== Getting Started  ==
+
Indexes and claendars to the Probate Acts of Wills and Administrations (Admons) exist from 1258-1857. Calendars are a kind of index (of the first letter of each surname) to the probate records and admons (administrations).&nbsp;
  
Follow these steps to look for a probate record before 1858:<br>
+
In addition to the calendars, a majority of the original (unregistered) wills and the registered wills are alphabetically arranged for but a few courts; most are only arranged chronologically, making will searches without indexes, fairly complex and challenging at best&nbsp;and are likewise organized on the microfilmed probates for these courts at the Family History Library.&nbsp;
  
#Discover when and where your ancestor died. If you don’t know, use the approximate date and place where they lived. <br>
+
==== Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library  ====
#Go to the Court Jurisdictions section below.<br>
+
#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>
+
#Follow the steps at the top of the table to search for a will.
+
  
<br>
+
The Family History Library has many will and admon (Administration) indexes and calendars which&nbsp;are available on microfilm at the Family History Library covering the years as above mentioned 1258-1858 and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers (see Court of the Archdeaconry of Essex), or go to this Family History Library Catalog page.<br>
 +
Did you find a reference to a probate record?
  
== Probate Courts of Middlesex County  ==
+
*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.
 +
*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
  
*[[Court of Husting]] <br>
+
==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died  ====
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of London]] <br>
+
*[[The Court of Arches of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] <br>
+
*[[Court of the Bishop of London (Episcopal Consistory)]] <br>
+
*[[Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (London Division)]] <br>
+
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster (Abbey)]] <br>
+
*[[Court of the Deanery of the Arches of London, Croydon, Shoreham (Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury)]]&amp;nbsp; <br>
+
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral]] <br>
+
*[[Royal Peculiar Court of St Katherine's by the Tower]]
+
  
In addition, the [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] had jurisdiction over the whole of England and specifically in the following cases.<br>
+
Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
  
*Wealthy individuals<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:
*Interregnum, 1649-1660, because the Prerogative Court was the only court.  
+
*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.
+
  
=== Appeals Courts  ===
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*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
  
Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the county courts could be sent to these higher appeals courts:  
+
The gazetteer will either tell you:  
  
<br>*[[Court of Arches]] <br>*[[High Court of Delegates]] <br>*[[Doctor's Common]]
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*A place is a parish, or
 +
*What parish it is a part of, or
 +
*What place it is near.
  
The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] also served as an appeals court.The following courts had some probate jurisdiction over London before 1858. <br><br>
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If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.  
  
== Court Jurisdictions by Parish  ==
+
Once you have identified the parish, go to '''Step 3'''.
  
Before 1858, every parish was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts.&nbsp; For an alphabetical list of Middlesex parishes and the courts that had jurisdiction over them, click on the link for the letter that a parish name begins with.&nbsp; This list does not include London city parishes.&nbsp; For those, go to ''[[London Probate Records|London Probate Records]]''.  
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==== 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.  
 +
 
 +
This list does not include London city parishes. For those, go to ''[[London Probate Records|London Probate Records]]''.  
  
 
{| style="width: 284px; height: 27px" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="284" border="1"
 
{| style="width: 284px; height: 27px" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="284" border="1"
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| &nbsp;[[Middlesex Probate Jurisdictions Parishes T-Z|T-Z]]
 
| &nbsp;[[Middlesex Probate Jurisdictions Parishes T-Z|T-Z]]
 
|}
 
|}
 
 
<br>
 
<br>
 +
==== Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record  ====
  
=== Appeals Courts  ===
+
Once you have found an index reference to a probate, obtain a copy of the record. Do so by one of these methods:
  
Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the county courts could be sent to these higher appeals courts:  
+
*Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection. 
 +
*Visit the [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/FHL/frameset_library.asp Family History Library] or a [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/FHC/frameset_fhc.asp family history center] and obtain a copy of the record on microfilm. For more information, click on a court name below. <br>
  
*[[Court of Arches]]&nbsp; (for additional titles of records, see the above&nbsp;link to this court)
+
== Probate Courts of Middlesex County  ==
*[[High Court of Delegates]]
+
  
The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] also served as an appeals court.<br>
+
*[[Court of Husting]] <br>
 +
*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of London]] <br>
 +
*[[The Court of Arches of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] <br>
 +
*[[Court of the Bishop of London (Episcopal Consistory)]] <br>
 +
*[[Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (London Division)]] <br>
 +
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster (Abbey)]] <br>
 +
*[[Court of the Deanery of the Arches of London, Croydon, Shoreham (Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury)]]&amp;nbsp; <br>
 +
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral]] <br>
 +
*[[Royal Peculiar Court of St Katherine's by the Tower]]
 +
*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
  
<br>
+
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Middlesex Probate Courts<br> ==
 
+
== Probate Indexes  ==
+
 
+
1. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will, writing down each detail cited in the indexed entry.
+
 
+
2. Proceed to the "Probate Records of This Court" (below) to determine what original probate records exist for this court.
+
 
+
3. Contact or visit the Westminster City Archives, or hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf. Officials may send upon request a list of record searchers.
+
 
+
4. Visit The Family History Library, or, one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide and search indexes to probate records then with the information obtained from the index[es] you can search more quickly the original wills and admons also on microfilm via any family history [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/FHC/frameset_fhc.asp centres]&nbsp;near you.
+
 
+
==== Online indexes  ====
+
 
+
*A comprehensive&nbsp;will and admon index for most all of London and Middlesex's probate jurisdictions is found in Dr. David Wright's will index for 1750-1857 on CDs&nbsp;for [http://www.davideastkent.canterhill.co.uk/lp-index.htm sale]&nbsp;for surnames A-F; enquire with him for lookups for surnames beginning with G-Z at a set fee.
+
 
+
==== Printed Indexes  ====
+
 
+
Several printed indexes exist for the various courts of Greater London, but not all. Look in this ("Printed Indexes") section under each Probate court for indexes&nbsp;and the locations for accessing same.
+
 
+
==== Original Handwritten Indexes  ====
+
 
+
Indexes and claendars to the Probate Acts of Wills and Administrations (Admons) exist from 1258-1857. Calendars are a kind of index (of the first letter of each surname) to the probate records and admons (administrations).&nbsp;
+
 
+
In addition to the calendars, a majority of the original (unregistered) wills and the registered wills are alphabetically arranged for but a few courts; most are only arranged chronologically, making will searches without indexes, fairly complex and challenging at best&nbsp;and are likewise organized on the microfilmed probates for these courts at the Family History Library.&nbsp;
+
 
+
==== Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library  ====
+
 
+
The Family History Library has many will and admon (Administration) indexes and calendars which&nbsp;are available on microfilm at the Family History Library covering the years as above mentioned 1258-1858 and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers (see Court of the Archdeaconry of Essex), or go to this Family History Library Catalog page.<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. Estate duty indexes may help locate a will. For more information, go to [[Estate Duty Records]].<br>
+
 
+
<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>
+
  
 +
Probate records of Middlesex, incorporating Greater London&nbsp;and the whole of the ancient county of Middlesex commence from as early as 1258 up to&nbsp;1857.&nbsp;There are several Middlesex County probate court jurisdictions, some of which hold extensive&nbsp;probate record coverage for the greater metropolis and there are a few smaller court jurisdictions which only pertain to a small handful of parishes.
  
 +
The complexity of probate research in this most populous region of England resides in the fact that Greater London's layout is likewise complex, incorporating the whole of Middlesex and London counties, as well as portions of northwest Kent, northeast Surrey, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire.&nbsp; Several courts held concurrent jurisdiction with one another thus requiring searching multiple probate courts.
  
 
[[Category:Middlesex]]
 
[[Category:Middlesex]]

Revision as of 17:00, 28 May 2010

England Gotoarrow.png Middlesex

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 Sussex. 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 Sussex, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

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

  • A comprehensive will and admon index for most all of London and Middlesex's probate jurisdictions is found in Dr. David Wright's will index for 1750-1857 on CDs for sale for surnames A-F; enquire with him for lookups for surnames beginning with G-Z at a set fee.

Printed Indexes

Several printed indexes exist for the various courts of Greater London, but not all. Look in this ("Printed Indexes") section under each Probate court for indexes and the locations for accessing same.

Original Handwritten Indexes

Indexes and claendars to the Probate Acts of Wills and Administrations (Admons) exist from 1258-1857. Calendars are a kind of index (of the first letter of each surname) to the probate records and admons (administrations). 

In addition to the calendars, a majority of the original (unregistered) wills and the registered wills are alphabetically arranged for but a few courts; most are only arranged chronologically, making will searches without indexes, fairly complex and challenging at best and are likewise organized on the microfilmed probates for these courts at the Family History Library. 

Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library

The Family History Library has many will and admon (Administration) indexes and calendars which are available on microfilm at the Family History Library covering the years as above mentioned 1258-1858 and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers (see Court of the Archdeaconry of Essex), or go to this Family History Library Catalog page.
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 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.

This list does not include London city parishes. For those, go to London Probate Records.

 A-B  C-F  G-H  I-L  M-R  S  T-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 the Family 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.

Probate Courts of Middlesex County

Some Explanatory Notes on the Middlesex Probate Courts

Probate records of Middlesex, incorporating Greater London and the whole of the ancient county of Middlesex commence from as early as 1258 up to 1857. There are several Middlesex County probate court jurisdictions, some of which hold extensive probate record coverage for the greater metropolis and there are a few smaller court jurisdictions which only pertain to a small handful of parishes.

The complexity of probate research in this most populous region of England resides in the fact that Greater London's layout is likewise complex, incorporating the whole of Middlesex and London counties, as well as portions of northwest Kent, northeast Surrey, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire.  Several courts held concurrent jurisdiction with one another thus requiring searching multiple probate courts.