Oxfordshire Probate Records

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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Oxfordshire]]''
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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Oxfordshire]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] Oxfordshire Probate Records''
 
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For an explanation of probate records in England, click [[England Probate Records|here]].
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== 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 Post-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 Oxfordshire. For a general description of England probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].  
  
To look for a probate record before 1858:<br>
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=== 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.
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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.  
#Go to [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Oxfordshire_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>
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== Oxfordshire Probate Courts ==
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=== Before 1858 ===
  
== Some Explanatory Notes on the Oxfordshire Probate Courts  ==
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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 Oxfordshire, follow these steps:
  
== Court Jurisdictions ==
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==== Step 1. Search Indexes ====
  
Before 1858, every parish was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary and several secondary courts. To see an alphabetical list of Oxfordshire parishes and the courts that had jurisdiction over them, click on the link for the letter that a parish name begins with:  
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Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Oxfordshire. Search these indexes first:  
  
{| style="width: 201px; height: 24px" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="201" border="1"
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*[http://users.ox.ac.uk/%7Emalcolm/genuki/big/eng/OXF/probate/1550-90.txt| Index of Probate Inventories, Oxfordshire 1550-1590] -- three files, based on an original document "Household And Farm Inventories In Oxfordshire, 1550-1590" published by the Historical Manuscript Society (1994.)
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*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/browse-refine.asp?CatID=6&searchType=browserefine&pagenumber=1&query=*&queryType=1| Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384 - 1858)]
| &nbsp;[[Oxfordshire Probate Jurisdictions, Parishes beginning with A|A]]&nbsp;
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| &nbsp;[[Oxfordshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes B through K|B-C]]
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| &nbsp;[[Oxfordshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes D through K|D-K]]
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| &nbsp;[[Oxfordshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes L through R|L-R]]
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| &nbsp;[[Oxfordshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes L through Z|L-Z]]
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|}
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<br>
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See also indexes on the individual court pages. Did you find a reference to a probate record?
  
&nbsp;
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*If ''yes'', go to '''Step 4''' below.
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*If ''no'', go to '''Step 2''' below.
  
== Probate Indexes Online ==
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==== Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died ====
  
Before looking for a will, you should search an index.&nbsp;<br>
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Determine ''when'' your ancestor died.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;  
  
*[http://users.ox.ac.uk/%7Emalcolm/genuki/big/eng/OXF/probate/1550-90.txt http://users.ox.ac.uk/%7Emalcolm/genuki/big/eng/OXF/probate/1550-90.txt] &nbsp;&nbsp;Here are three files forming "Index Of Probate Inventories, Oxfordshire 1550-1590" based upon an original document "Household And Farm Inventories In Oxfordshire, 1550-1590" published by the Historical Manuscript Society &amp; H.M.S.O. (Editing By Dr. W. O. Hassall. Original transcription by M.A.Havinden, D.G.Vaisey &amp; Jane E. Sayers. Computer transcription by M.Brewerton (c) Copyright 1994.)
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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:
  
== Probate Indexes<br> ==
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*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
  
Oxfordshire 1762-1800
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The gazetteer will either tell you:
  
Contents: v. 1 Persons named in archdeaconry wills proved 1790-1800 -- v. 2. Persons names in diocesan wills proved, 1785-1800 -- v. 3. Persons named in archdeaconry wills proved 1777-1789 -- v. 4. Persons named in diocesan wills proved 1774-1784 -- v. 5. Persons named in diocesan wills proved 1762-1773 -- v. 6. Persons named in diocesan wills proved1767-1776. [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=1162457&disp=Oxfordshire+probate+records%20%20&columns=*,0,0 http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&amp;titleno=1162457&amp;disp=Oxfordshire+probate+records%20%20&amp;columns=*,0,0]
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*A place is a parish, or
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*What parish it is a part of, or
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*What place it is near.
  
<br>
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If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.
  
The area of jurisdiction of the Peculiar Court of Thame and Great Milton includes the Oxfordshire parishes of Great Milton (including Little Milton), Sydeham, Tetsworth and Thame and the Buckinghamshire parish of Towersey.&nbsp;Contains a list of names extracted from wills proved in the court of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln cathedral for the Peculiar of Thame and Great Milton, 1736-1857, held in Oxfordshire Record Office under reference MSS.Wills.Pec 11-19. The main list comprising over 3,400 names is arranged in alphabetic sequence and has a reference number against each name to the list of testators. A 2-character relationship code is also shown where the person named is stated to have a relationship to the testator. The list of testators is presented in reference number sequence and shows, for each testator, the Oxfordshire Record Office reference, the date of the will, the date the will was proved and the name and location of the testator.http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&amp;titleno=1224371&amp;disp=The+Peculiar+Court+of+Thame+and+Great+Mi%20%20&amp;columns=*,0,0
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Once you have identified the parish, go to '''Step 3'''.  
  
<br>
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==== Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish  ====
  
<br>
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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&nbsp;Oxfordshire 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 booklet contains a list of names extracted from 312 wills proved in the Peculiar Court of Banbury and Cropredy in the years 1796-1857 inclusive and 26 wills proved in the Manorial Court of Sibford in the years 1786-1829. The main list, comprising over 3,000 names, is arranged in alphabetic sequence ... The list of testators is presented in reference number sequence and shows, for each testator, the Oxfordshire Record Office reference, the date of the will, the date the will was proved and the name and location of the testator ... The area of jurisdiction of the Peculiar Court of Banbury and Cropredy includes the Oxfordshire parishes of Banbury, Cropredy (including Great and Little Bourton, Claydon, Mollington and Wardington), and Horley (with Hornton), the Northamptonshire parish of Kings Sutton, and Grimsbury (in Banbury parish but in Northamptonshire). The Manorial Court of Sibford had jurisdiction in the hamlets of Sibford Gower and Sibford Ferris, both within the Oxfordshire parish of Swalcliffe" -- Back of cover.
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{| style="width: 201px; height: 24px" border="1" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="201"
 
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|-
Contents: v. 1. Persons named in wills proved 1736-1785 -- v. 2. Persons named in wills proved 1786-1857.&nbsp [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=1192811&disp=The+Peculiar+Court+of+Banbury+and+Cropre%20%20&columns=*,0,0 http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&amp;titleno=1192811&amp;disp=The+Peculiar+Court+of+Banbury+and+Cropre%20%20&amp;columns=*,0,0]
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| &nbsp;[[Oxfordshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes A through C|A-C]]
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| &nbsp;[[Oxfordshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes D through K|D-K]]
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| &nbsp;[[Oxfordshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes L through R|L-R]]
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| &nbsp;[[Oxfordshire Probate Jurisdictions Parishes S through Z|S-Z]]
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|}
  
 
<br>
 
<br>
  
Index to the probate records of the courts of the bishop and archdeacon of Oxford, 1733-1857&nbsp;: and of the Oxfordshire peculiars, 1547-1856&nbsp;[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=731147&disp=Index+to+the+probate+records+of+the+cour%20%20&columns=*,0,0]
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==== Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record  ====
  
== Estate Duty Records<br> ==
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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:
  
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. Between 1813-1858 estate duty indexes may help locate a will. For more information, go to [[Estate Duty Records]].<br>
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*Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection.  
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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>
  
<br>
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== Oxfordshire Probate Courts  ==
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Most of&nbsp;Oxfordshire was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of the combined&nbsp;[[Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Oxford]]. The majority of probate searches will be in the records of this court and its superior courts. However, the following courts also had some pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name to learn about records and indexes.
  
== Post-1857 Probate Records  ==
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*[[Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham|Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham]]
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*[[Court of the Bishop of Gloucester (Episcopal Consistory)|Court of the Bishop of Gloucester]]
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*[[Court of the Bishop of Lincoln|Court of the Bishop of Lincoln]]
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*[[Court of the Bishop of Worcester|Court of the Bishop of Worcester]]
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*[[Court of the Bishop of Hereford|Court of the Bishop of Hereford]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar Parish of Banbury|Court of the Peculiar Parish of Banbury]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar Parish of Langford|Court of the Peculiar Parish of Langford]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar Parish of Dorchester|Court of the Peculiar Parish of Dorchester]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar Parish of Monks Risborough|Court of the Peculiar Parish of Monks Risborough]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar Parish of Thame]]
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln]]
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*[[Court of the Manor of Sibford|Court of the Manor of Sibford]]
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*[[Court of the Chancellor of the University of Oxford|Court of the Chancellor of the University of Oxford]]
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*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
  
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].  
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The [http://www.origins.net/help/helpNWI-oxf.aspx Origins Network] has an index to Oxfordshire Peculiars for 1547-1856.<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.+Principal+Probate+Registry&columns=*,0,0 records] for 1858-1925 are available on microfilm at the Family History Library.<br>
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[[Category:Oxfordshire|Probate]]
  
[[Category:Oxfordshire|Probate Records]] [[Category:Probate_records_in_England]]
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The Oxfordshire Family&nbsp; Society has [http://wills.oxfordshirefhs.org.uk/index.html transcribed wills ]online on their website.

Revision as of 19:17, 6 September 2011

England Gotoarrow.png Oxfordshire Gotoarrow.png Oxfordshire Probate Records

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 Oxfordshire. 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 Oxfordshire, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

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

See also indexes on the individual court pages. 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 Oxfordshire 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-C  D-K  L-R  S-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 afamily history center and obtain a copy of the record on microfilm. For more information, click on a court name below.

Oxfordshire Probate Courts

Most of Oxfordshire was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of the combined Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Oxford. The majority of probate searches will be in the records of this court and its superior courts. However, the following courts also had some pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name to learn about records and indexes.

The Origins Network has an index to Oxfordshire Peculiars for 1547-1856.

The Oxfordshire Family  Society has transcribed wills online on their website.