Shropshire Probate Records

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[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Shropshire|Shropshire]]   
 
[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Shropshire|Shropshire]]   
  
The following article is about probate records in the county of Shropshire. For general information about English probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].
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== Getting Started  ==
  
<br>
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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 Shropshire. For a general description of England probate records, click [[England Probate Records|here]].
  
== Description ==
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=== 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.  
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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.  
  
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.
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=== Before 1858 ===
  
<br><br>
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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 Shropshire, follow these steps:
  
== Getting Started ==
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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 Shropshire. 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. If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.
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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
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*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&nbsp;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 Shropshire 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, every town and parish in Shropshire was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary ecclesiastical court and several secondary ecclesiastical courts.&nbsp;  
 
Before 1858, every town and parish in Shropshire was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary ecclesiastical court and several secondary ecclesiastical courts.&nbsp;  
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Search the courts in the order given.&nbsp; Search indexes first.&nbsp; To find indexes, click on a court name above or go to the '''Probate Indexes''' section below. <br>
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Search the courts in the order given. Search indexes first.&nbsp; To find indexes, click on a court name above or go to the '''Probate Indexes''' section below. <br>
  
 
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== Shropshire Probate Courts  ==
 
== Shropshire Probate Courts  ==
  
Most of Shropshire (also known as Salop)&nbsp;was under&nbsp;the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction&nbsp;of either the [[Court of the Bishop of Hereford (Episcopal Consistory)|Court of the Bishop of Hereford (Episcopal Consistory)]]&nbsp;or the [[Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory)|Court of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry&nbsp;(Episcopal Consistory)]]. The majority of probate searches will be in the records of these two courts and their superior courts.&nbsp; However,&nbsp;the following smaller courts also had some&nbsp;pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county.&nbsp; Click on a court name to learn about&nbsp;records and indexes.  
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Most of Shropshire (also known as Salop) was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction&nbsp;of either the [[Court of the Bishop of Hereford (Episcopal Consistory)|Court of the Bishop of Hereford (Episcopal Consistory)]] or the [[Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory)|Court of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry&nbsp;(Episcopal Consistory)]]. The majority of probate searches will be in the records of these two courts and their superior courts. However, the following smaller courts also had some pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county.&nbsp; Click on a court name to learn about&nbsp;records and indexes.  
  
 
*[[Court of the Bishop of St Asaph (Episcopal Consistory)]]  
 
*[[Court of the Bishop of St Asaph (Episcopal Consistory)]]  

Revision as of 21:38, 25 May 2010

England Gotoarrow.png Shropshire 

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 Shropshire. 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 Shropshire, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Shropshire. 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 Shropshire 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, every town and parish in Shropshire was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary ecclesiastical court and several secondary ecclesiastical courts. 

For a list of Shropshire parishes and the pre-1858 ecclesiastical courts that had probate jurisdiction over them, click on a letter link for the name of a parish:

 A      B-E      F-L      M-P      Q-Z

Search the courts in the order given. Search indexes first.  To find indexes, click on a court name above or go to the Probate Indexes section below.


Shropshire Probate Courts

Most of Shropshire (also known as Salop) was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of either the Court of the Bishop of Hereford (Episcopal Consistory) or the Court of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry (Episcopal Consistory). The majority of probate searches will be in the records of these two courts and their 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.



Indexes to Probate Records

Registered wills and original wills, administrations and inventories, 1494-1860, and, act books, 1532-1638 for Diocese of Lichfield Episcopal Consistory Court [1] These are calendars

Original wills, administrations and inventories for the Diocese of Hereford, 1517-1858 [2]

This covers the some of the western and almost all the southern part of the county of Shropshire.

Mynegai i ewyllysiau Llanelwy St. Asaph probate index, 1660-1858 [3]

Abstracts and indexes of original wills, Consistory Court, St. Asaph's Diocese, Wales, 1557-1833 [4]

St Asaph's Diocese covers the parishes of Halston, Kinnerley, Knockin, Llanyblodwel, Llanmynech, Melverley, Morton, Oswestry, St. Martin, Selattyn, Trefonan, Whittington which are in Shropshire, England.

Shropshire probates in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, calendar/index 1700-1749 [5]

A general will index for the Diocese of Lichfield exists online, a scanned edition of P.W. Phillimore's publicationby the British Record Society in 1892,Calendars of wills administrations in the Consistory court of the bishop of Lichfield. This single index consolidates most Staffordshire wills of the various probate court jurisdictions from 1514-1652 for the Diocese of Lichfield and to 1790 for Staffordshire smaller peculiar courts. [6]

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.