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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Somerset]]''
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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Somerset]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] Somerset Probate Records''
 
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For an explanation of probate records in England, click [[England Probate Records|here]].
+
  
 
== 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 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 [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Somerset_Probate_Records#Post-1857_Probate_Records 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 Somerset. 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. <br>
+
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/Somerset_Probate_Records#Court_Jurisdictions Court Jurisdictions] section below.<br>
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#Click a letter or span of letters for your place name. This opens a jurisdictions table.<br>
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=== Before 1858  ===
#Follow the instructions on the jurisdictions table page.<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 Somerset, follow these steps:
 +
 
 +
==== Step 1. Search Indexes  ====
 +
 
 +
Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Somerset. Search these indexes first:
 +
 
 +
*Somerset Medieval Wills - Vol. 1 '''1383-1500''' [http://archive.org/details/somersetpub16someuoft Internet Archive] | Vol. 2 '''1501-1530''' [http://archive.org/details/somersetmedieva01weavgoog Internet Archive] | Vol. 3 '''1531-1558''' [http://books.google.com/books?id=SPg3yS_PfPwC Google Books] | [http://www.origins.net/help/aboutNWI-SOM.aspx Bristol Origins] includes all three volumes
 +
*[http://www.gomezsmart.myzen.co.uk/ http://www.gomezsmart.myzen.co.uk/]&nbsp; (For&nbsp;wills or&nbsp;probate on this website, look under '[http://www.gomezsmart.myzen.co.uk/property.htm Property].')&nbsp; This site is concerned with family and social history in the Hundred of Frome. This consisted of the parishes of Beckington, Berkley, Cloford, Elm, Frome Selwood, Laverton, Lullington, Marston Bigot, Nunney, Orchardleigh, Rode (Road), Rodden, Standerwick, Wanstrow, Whatley and Woolverton. It also included the adjacent Liberties of East Cranmore, Leigh-upon-Mendip, Mells and Witham Friary and the Peculiar of Buckland Dinham ([http://www.gomezsmart.myzen.co.uk/ see map]).&nbsp;
 +
*[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)] which was the highest court in England.
 +
 
 +
For more information about Somerset Probate Records see:
 +
 
 +
*[http://www.somerset.gov.uk/archives/Wills.htm http://www.somerset.gov.uk/archives/Wills.htm]
 +
 
 +
Here is a list of published indexes with broad coverage which are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.&nbsp;
 +
 
 +
*{{FHL|1565560|title-id|disp=Somerset wills II pre-1858 extracted by Olive M. Moger (edited by A. J. Webb)}}
 +
*{{FHL|285169|title-id|disp=Somerset medieval wills}}. Contents: v. 16 (1st ser.). 1383-1500 -- v. 19 (2nd ser.). 1501-1530, with some Somerset wills preserved at Lambeth -- v. 21 (3rd ser.) 1531-1558. "The Lambeth wills, from the archiepiscopal registers, are for 1363-1491."
 +
*{{FHL|367254|title-id|disp=Medieval wills from Wells deposited in the diocesan registry, Wells, 1543 to 1546 and 1554 to 1556}}
 +
*{{FHL|285201|title-id|disp=Somerset wills from Exeter}}
 +
*{{FHL|288284|title-id|disp=Abstracts of Somersetshire wills, etc.}}
 +
*{{FHL|289050|title-id|disp=Wells wills&nbsp;: arranged in parishes, and annotated}}
 +
*{{FHL|1188872|title-id|disp=The Genealogists' magazine}} - v. 5 (1929-1931) has and alphabetical list of Somerset Archdeaconry Court Wills proved at Taunton. Missing from other published lists, almost all these wills are from the 1600's see pages 328-336. <br>
 +
*Somerset Wills extracted by A.J. Monday and edited by Mary Siraut at The Family History Library, Salt Lake City. Part of the Somerset Record Society Series Call Number British 942.38 B4s Volume 89
 +
*Wells Convocation Acts Books 1589-1665 Part I at The Family History Library, Salt Lake City.&nbsp; Part of the Somerset Record Society Series Call Number British 942.38 B4s Volume 90
 +
 
 +
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.&nbsp;If you aren't sure, use an approximate date.&nbsp;
 +
 
 +
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:
 +
 
 +
*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
 +
 
 +
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 Somerset 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.  
 +
 
 +
{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="372" border="1"
 +
|-
 +
| &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes A|A]]
 +
| &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdictions B|B]]
 +
| &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes C|C]]
 +
| &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes D|D]]
 +
| &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdictions E through J|E-J]]
 +
| &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdictions K through M|K-M]]
 +
| &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdiction Parishes N through R|N-R]]
 +
| &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdiction Parishes S through T|S-T]]
 +
| &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdiction Parishes U through Z|U-Z]]
 +
|}
  
 
<br>
 
<br>
 +
 +
==== 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 [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>
  
 
== Somerset Probate Courts  ==
 
== Somerset Probate Courts  ==
Line 50: Line 120:
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Prebend of Wiveliscombe with Fitzhead]]  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Prebend of Wiveliscombe with Fitzhead]]  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Prebend of Wookey]]  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Prebend of Wookey]]  
 +
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Prebend of Fordington and Writhlington]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Prebend of Yatton & Kenn]]  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Prebend of Yatton & Kenn]]  
*[[Court of the Royal Peculiar of Ilminster]]
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*[[Court of the Royal Peculiar of Ilminster]]  
 
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*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]]
&nbsp;
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== Some Explanatory Notes about the Somerset Probate Courts  ==
 
== Some Explanatory Notes about the Somerset Probate Courts  ==
Line 59: Line 129:
 
"All probate records of the Diocese of Bath and Wells which had been deposited in the Probate Registry at Exeter were destroyed there in 1942.&nbsp; The records destroyed were those of the Consistory Court of Bath and Wells, the Archdeaconry Courts of Wells and Taunton, the Consistory Courts of the Dean and Chapter and of the Dean [of Wells], the Peculiar Courts of the Precentor, the Chancellor and Sub-Dean of Wells, the Royal Peculiar Court of Ilminister, and the various Prebendary Courts."<ref>Camp, Anthony J., ''Wills and Their Whereabouts,'' London: by the author, 1974. FHL book 942 S2wa, page 116.</ref>  
 
"All probate records of the Diocese of Bath and Wells which had been deposited in the Probate Registry at Exeter were destroyed there in 1942.&nbsp; The records destroyed were those of the Consistory Court of Bath and Wells, the Archdeaconry Courts of Wells and Taunton, the Consistory Courts of the Dean and Chapter and of the Dean [of Wells], the Peculiar Courts of the Precentor, the Chancellor and Sub-Dean of Wells, the Royal Peculiar Court of Ilminister, and the various Prebendary Courts."<ref>Camp, Anthony J., ''Wills and Their Whereabouts,'' London: by the author, 1974. FHL book 942 S2wa, page 116.</ref>  
  
{{reflist}}&nbsp;
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{{reflist}}  
  
== Court Jurisdictions ==
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== Estate Duty Records ==
  
Before 1858, every town and parish in Somerset was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary ecclesiastical court and&nbsp;one or more secondary ecclesiastical courts.&nbsp; For a list of Somerset places and the ecclesiastical courts that had pre-1858 juridiction over them, click on a letter link:
+
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, especially in Somerset where many of the original records were destroyed. For more information, go to [[Estate Duty Records]].  
 
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[[Somerset Probate Jurisdictions Parishes A|A]],&nbsp; [[Somerset Probate Jurisdictions B|B]], &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdictions C through D|C-D]], &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdictions E through J|E-J]], &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdictions K through M|K-M]], &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdiction Parishes N through R|N-R]], &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdiction Parishes S through T|S-T]], &nbsp;[[Somerset Probate Jurisdiction Parishes U through Z|U-Z]].&nbsp;
+
 
+
== Probate Indexes Online<br> ==
+
 
+
Before looking for a will, you should search an index.
+
 
+
*[http://www.gomezsmart.myzen.co.uk/ http://www.gomezsmart.myzen.co.uk/]&nbsp; (For&nbsp;wills or&nbsp;probate on this website, look under 'Property.')
+
 
+
This site is concerned with family and social history in the Hundred of Frome. This consisted of the parishes of Beckington, Berkley, Cloford, Elm, Frome Selwood, Laverton, Lullington, Marston Bigot, Nunney, Orchardleigh, Rode (Road), Rodden, Standerwick, Wanstrow, Whatley and Woolverton. It also included the adjacent Liberties of East Cranmore, Leigh upon Mendip, Mells and Witham Friary and the Peculiar of Buckland Dinham (see map).&nbsp;<br>
+
  
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
Information about Somerset Probate Records:<br>
 
 
*[http://www.somerset.gov.uk/archives/Wills.htm http://www.somerset.gov.uk/archives/Wills.htm]
 
*Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384 - 1858) [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/browse-refine.asp?CatID=6&searchType=browserefine&pagenumber=1&query=*&queryType=1]
 
 
== Probate Indexes  ==
 
 
Calendar of wills and administrations in the court of the Archdeaconry of Taunton, parts I and II, wills only, 1537-1799;[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=236535&disp=Calendar+of+wills+and+administrations+in%20%20&columns=*,0,0] <br>Part III Administrations at Taunton 1596-1799 and Part IV Ilminster&nbsp;[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=473241&disp=Calendars+of+wills+and+administrations+r%20%20&columns=*,0,0]
 
 
Somerset wills II pre-1858 extracted by Olive M. Moger&nbsp;; edited by A. J. Webb. [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=1565560&disp=Somerset+wills+II%20%20&columns=*,0,0]
 
 
Somerset medieval wills Contents: v. 16 (1st ser.). 1383-1500 -- v. 19 (2nd ser.). 1501-1530, with some Somerset wills preserved at Lambeth -- v. 21 (3rd ser.). 1531-1558. "The Lambeth wills, from the archiepiscopal registers, are for 1363-1491." [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=285169&disp=Somerset+medieval+wills%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Medieval wills from Wells deposited in the diocesan registry, Wells, 1543 to 1546 and 1554 to 1556 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=367254&disp=Medieval+wills+from+Wells+deposited+in+t%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Somerset wills from Exeter [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=285201&disp=Somerset+wills+from+Exeter%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Abstracts of Somersetshire wills, etc. [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=288284&disp=Abstracts+of+Somersetshire+wills%2C+etc%%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Wells wills&nbsp;: arranged in parishes, and annotated [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=289050&disp=Wells+wills%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>The Genealogists' magazine - v. 5 (1929-1931) has and alphabetical list of Somerset Archdeaconry Court Wills proved at Taunton. Missing from other published lists, almost all these wills are from the 1600's see pages 328-336 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=1188872&disp=v%2E++5+%281929%2D1931%29%20%20&columns=*,0,0]
 
 
Index of Somerset Estate Duty Office wills and letters of administration, 1805-1811 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=701562&disp=Index+of+Somerset+Estate+Duty+Office+wil%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Somerset estate duty wills index, 1813-1837, A - Z [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=507853&disp=Somerset+estate+duty+wills+index%2C+1813%20%20&columns=*,0,0]<br>Somerset Estate duty wills 1812-1857 [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titlefilmnotes&columns=*%2C0%2C0&titleno=346690&disp=Somerset+Estate+duty+wills++]<br>Somerset office wills index, A - Z Pre-1900 and not all of Somerset County[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=507859&disp=Somerset+office+wills+index%2C+A+%2D+Z%20%20&columns=*,0,0]
 
 
== 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. Between 1813-1858 estate duty indexes may help locate a will. For more information, go to [[Estate Duty Records]].<br>
 
  
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
== Post-1857 Probate Records  ==
 
 
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/infoabout/civil/probate/index.htm HMCS website].
 
 
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&columns=*,0,0 records] for 1858-1925 are available on microfilm at the Family History Library.<br>
 
  
 
{{Place|Somerset}}  
 
{{Place|Somerset}}  
  
[[Category:Somerset|Probate Records]] [[Category:Probate_records_in_England]]
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[[Category:Somerset|Probate]]

Latest revision as of 15:10, 7 May 2013

England Gotoarrow.png Somerset Gotoarrow.png Somerset 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 Somerset. 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 Somerset, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

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

  • Somerset Medieval Wills - Vol. 1 1383-1500 Internet Archive | Vol. 2 1501-1530 Internet Archive | Vol. 3 1531-1558 Google Books | Bristol Origins includes all three volumes
  • http://www.gomezsmart.myzen.co.uk/  (For wills or probate on this website, look under 'Property.')  This site is concerned with family and social history in the Hundred of Frome. This consisted of the parishes of Beckington, Berkley, Cloford, Elm, Frome Selwood, Laverton, Lullington, Marston Bigot, Nunney, Orchardleigh, Rode (Road), Rodden, Standerwick, Wanstrow, Whatley and Woolverton. It also included the adjacent Liberties of East Cranmore, Leigh-upon-Mendip, Mells and Witham Friary and the Peculiar of Buckland Dinham (see map). 
  • Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384-1858) which was the highest court in England.

For more information about Somerset Probate Records see:

Here is a list of published indexes with broad coverage which are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. 

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 Somerset 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-J  K-M  N-R  S-T  U-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.

Somerset Probate Courts

The following ecclesiastical courts had some probate jurisdiction over Somerset prior to 1858. Click on a court name to learn about records and indexes.

Some Explanatory Notes about the Somerset Probate Courts

"All probate records of the Diocese of Bath and Wells which had been deposited in the Probate Registry at Exeter were destroyed there in 1942.  The records destroyed were those of the Consistory Court of Bath and Wells, the Archdeaconry Courts of Wells and Taunton, the Consistory Courts of the Dean and Chapter and of the Dean [of Wells], the Peculiar Courts of the Precentor, the Chancellor and Sub-Dean of Wells, the Royal Peculiar Court of Ilminister, and the various Prebendary Courts."[1]


  1. Camp, Anthony J., Wills and Their Whereabouts, London: by the author, 1974. FHL book 942 S2wa, page 116.

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, especially in Somerset where many of the original records were destroyed. For more information, go to Estate Duty Records.




 

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  • This page was last modified on 7 May 2013, at 15:10.
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