Wiltshire Probate Records

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''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Wiltshire]]''  
 
''[[England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Wiltshire]]''  
  
The following article is about probate records in the county of Wiltshire. 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 Wiltshire See [[England Probate Records]] for a general description of probate records in England.
  
== 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>
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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 Wiltshire, follow these steps:
  
== Getting Started ==
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==== Step 1. Search Indexes ====
  
''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&nbsp;section below contains links to additional information about the records of this court.  
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Here are some online indexes to probate records that include individuals who lived in Wiltshire. Search these indexes first:
  
To look for a probate record before 1858:<br>
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Before looking for a will, you should search an index. <br><br>
  
#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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[http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php]
#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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This catalogue gives access to wills and other probate records of the diocese of Salisbury which used to cover not only Wiltshire but also Berkshire (under certain circumstances) and parts of Dorset and Devon. You can search for people by name, place, occupation and date. The collection covers 1540-1858. Searching the catalogue is FREE. In addition there are digital images for some of the documents (just over 25%) which can be viewed following on-line payment or free of charge by people visiting the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre.  
#Follow the instructions on the jurisdictions table page.<br>
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<br>[http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/BRKwills/ http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/BRKwills/]<br>This is a collection of about 1000 abstracts of probate documents relating to people residing in the neighbourhood of the towns of Hungerford and Wantage in Berkshire. Since Hungerford is on the county boundary there is some spread into Wiltshire and to a lesser extent into Hampshire and Oxfordshire. These wills&nbsp;cover from about 1500 up to&nbsp;1858. Names of all persons mentioned in the abstracts have been indexed and amount to over 6000 references.
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<br>Wills at Salisbury 1464-1858 Contents: v. 122. A-K -- v. 123. K-Z. {{FHL|1647597|title-id|disp=}} 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:
  
== Court&nbsp;Jurisdictions by Parish  ==
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*[http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/index.jsp Vision of Britain]
  
Before 1858, every town and parish in&nbsp;Wiltshire was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. To find the will of your ancestor who lived or owned property in Wiltshire, see a list of&nbsp;Wiltshire parishes with the pre-1858 courts that had probate jurisdiction over each. Click on the letter for a parish of interest.  
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The gazetteer will either tell you:
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 +
*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 Wiltshire 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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{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="472" border="1"
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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&nbsp;Wiltshire 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]].  
 
<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&nbsp;Wiltshire 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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==== 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.
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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>
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<br>
  
 
== Wiltshire Probate Courts  ==
 
== Wiltshire Probate Courts  ==
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*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Canons of Windsor in Wantage|Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Canons of Windsor in Wantage]]
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Canons of Windsor in Wantage|Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Canons of Windsor in Wantage]]
  
<br>
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*[[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] <br>
 
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In addition, the [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] had jurisdiction over the whole of England and specifically in the following cases.
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*Wealthy individuals
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*People who owned property in more than one county
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*Military and naval personnel
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*People who lived or owned property outside England<br>
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=== Appeals Courts  ===
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Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the county courts could be sent to these higher appeals courts:
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*[[Court of Arches]]
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*[[High Court of Delegates]]
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The [[Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury]] also served as an appeals court.
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<br>
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== Probate Indexes Online  ==
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Before looking for a will, you should search an index. <br><br>
+
 
+
[http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php]
+
 
+
This catalogue gives access to wills and other probate records of the diocese of Salisbury which used to cover not only Wiltshire but also Berkshire (under certain circumstances) and parts of Dorset and Devon. You can search for people by name, place, occupation and date. The collection covers 1540-1858. Searching the catalogue is FREE. In addition there are digital images for some of the documents (just over 25%) which can be viewed following on-line payment or free of charge by people visiting the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. Wills and inventories give useful information about people’s financial status and property, and also their family relationships and friendships, which make them a wonderful resource for family and local history.
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<br>[http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/BRKwills/ http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/BRKwills/]<br>This is a collection of about 1000 abstracts of probate documents relating to people residing in the neighbourhood of the towns of Hungerford and Wantage in Berkshire. Since Hungerford is on the County boundary there is some spread into Wiltshire and to a lesser extent into Hampshire and Oxfordshire. <br>The historical period which is covered is from about 1500 up to the establishment of the Probate Registry for England &amp; Wales in 1858. <br>Names of all persons mentioned in the abstracts have been indexed and amount to over 6000 references.
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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]&nbsp;<br>
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== Probate Indexes  ==
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Wills at Salisbury 1464-1858 Contents: v. 122. A-K -- v. 123. K-Z. [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=1647597&disp=Wills+at+Salisbury+1464%2D1858%20%20&columns=*,0,0]
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<br>
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== Some Explanatory Notes Wiltshire Courts  ==
 
== Some Explanatory Notes Wiltshire Courts  ==
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<br>
 
<br>
  
== Estate Duty Records<br> ==
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[[Category:Wiltshire|Probate]]
 
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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>
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== Probates&nbsp;After 1857  ==
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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
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[[Category:Wiltshire]]
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Revision as of 15:10, 7 May 2013

England Gotoarrow.png Wiltshire

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 Wiltshire 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 Wiltshire, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes

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

Before looking for a will, you should search an index.

http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php

This catalogue gives access to wills and other probate records of the diocese of Salisbury which used to cover not only Wiltshire but also Berkshire (under certain circumstances) and parts of Dorset and Devon. You can search for people by name, place, occupation and date. The collection covers 1540-1858. Searching the catalogue is FREE. In addition there are digital images for some of the documents (just over 25%) which can be viewed following on-line payment or free of charge by people visiting the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre.


http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/BRKwills/
This is a collection of about 1000 abstracts of probate documents relating to people residing in the neighbourhood of the towns of Hungerford and Wantage in Berkshire. Since Hungerford is on the county boundary there is some spread into Wiltshire and to a lesser extent into Hampshire and Oxfordshire. These wills cover from about 1500 up to 1858. Names of all persons mentioned in the abstracts have been indexed and amount to over 6000 references.


Wills at Salisbury 1464-1858 Contents: v. 122. A-K -- v. 123. K-Z. [1] 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 Wiltshire 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-G  H-K  L-M  N-R  S  T-V  W-Z


Search the courts in the order given.  Search indexes first.  For indexes covering more than one court, see below.  For court-specific indexes, click on the name of a court above.

If you do not know where in Wiltshire your ancestor lived or owned property, search the indexes to each court if necessary.  Lastly, search the index to the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

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.


Wiltshire Probate Courts

These courts had some probate jurisdiction in Wiltshire prior to 1858:

Some Explanatory Notes Wiltshire Courts

All prebends of Salisbury Cathedral were inhibited for six months triennially by the Court of the Peculiar of the Dean of Salisbury Cathedral.

The Court of Arches of Canterbury was a court of appeal fo r the province of Canterbury. However, the royal peculiars and the peculiars of the Archbishop were exempt.

The Court of Delegates was also a court of appeal for the provinces of Canterbury and York, including their peculiars, royal peculiars, and the Irish probate courts.