Wiltshire Probate Records

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For an explanation of probate records in England, click [[England Probate Records|here.]]  
 
For an explanation of probate records in England, click [[England Probate Records|here.]]  
  
== Probate Courts ==
+
== Getting Started ==
  
Pre-1858 probate courts having some jurisdiction in Wiltshire are:  
+
Probate is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his/her heirs. 
 +
 
 +
In order to find a probate record for your ancestor, you must answer two questions:
 +
 
 +
#When did your ancestor die?
 +
#Where did your ancestor live or own property?
 +
 
 +
A key date is 1858, when probate authority was taken from the ecclesiatical courts of the Church of England and given to the civil government. 
 +
 
 +
*If your ancestor died before 1858, his/her probate would have been proven by an ecclesiatical court and it is important to know where he/she lived, as that will determine which courts had jurisdiction. 
 +
*If you know where your ancestor lived before 1858, you should go to the '''Court Jurisdictions''' section below to determine what courts had jurisdiction over your ancestor's place of residence. 
 +
*Beginning in 1858, probate authority was vested in the '''Principal Probate Registry''' system.  For more information, scroll to the '''Post-1857 Probate Records''' section at the bottom of the page.
 +
 
 +
Once you have answered the two questions and determined the courts, look for indexes.&nbsp; Indexes will be found on the individual court pages (when you click on a court name) or in the '''Probate Indexes''' section below.<br><br>
 +
 
 +
== Wiltshire Probate Courts  ==
 +
 
 +
These courts had some probate jurisdiction in Wiltshire prior to 1858:  
  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Prendal of Bishopstone|Court of the Peculiar of the Prebendal of&nbsp;Bishopstone]]&nbsp;  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Prendal of Bishopstone|Court of the Peculiar of the Prebendal of&nbsp;Bishopstone]]&nbsp;  
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Treasurer of Salisbury in the Prebendal of Calne|Court of the Peculiar of the Treasurer of Salisbury in the Prebendal of Calne]]&nbsp;
+
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Treasurer of Salisbury in the Prebendal of Calne|Court of the Peculiar of the Treasurer of Salisbury in the Prebendal of Calne]]&nbsp;  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar Parish of Castle Combe|Court of the Peculiar Parish of Castle Combe]]  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar Parish of Castle Combe|Court of the Peculiar Parish of Castle Combe]]  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Prebendal of Chute and Chisenbury|Court of the Peculiar&nbsp;of the Prebendal&nbsp;of Chute and Chisenbury]]&nbsp;  
 
*[[Court of the Peculiar of the Prebendal of Chute and Chisenbury|Court of the Peculiar&nbsp;of the Prebendal&nbsp;of Chute and Chisenbury]]&nbsp;  
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== Probate Jurisdictions  ==
 
== Probate Jurisdictions  ==
  
== Probate Indexes Online ==
+
== Probate Indexes Online ==
  
Before looking for a will, you should search an index. <br><br>
+
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]
+
[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.
+
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.  
  
<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.&nbsp;<br>
+
<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.&nbsp;<br>  
  
 
== Post-1858 Probate Records  ==
 
== Post-1858 Probate Records  ==
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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.&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].  
 
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 records for 1858-1925 are available on microfilm at the Family History Library.<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 records for 1858-1925 are available on microfilm at the Family History Library.<br>  
  
 
[[Category:England|England]]
 
[[Category:England|England]]

Revision as of 19:51, 7 May 2009

For an explanation of probate records in England, click here.

Contents

Getting Started

Probate is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his/her heirs. 

In order to find a probate record for your ancestor, you must answer two questions:

  1. When did your ancestor die?
  2. Where did your ancestor live or own property?

A key date is 1858, when probate authority was taken from the ecclesiatical courts of the Church of England and given to the civil government. 

  • If your ancestor died before 1858, his/her probate would have been proven by an ecclesiatical court and it is important to know where he/she lived, as that will determine which courts had jurisdiction. 
  • If you know where your ancestor lived before 1858, you should go to the Court Jurisdictions section below to determine what courts had jurisdiction over your ancestor's place of residence. 
  • Beginning in 1858, probate authority was vested in the Principal Probate Registry system.  For more information, scroll to the Post-1857 Probate Records section at the bottom of the page.

Once you have answered the two questions and determined the courts, look for indexes.  Indexes will be found on the individual court pages (when you click on a court name) or in the Probate Indexes section below.

Wiltshire Probate Courts

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

Some Explanatory Notes on the Courts in Wiltshire

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.

Probate Jurisdictions

Probate Indexes Online

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. 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.


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.
The historical period which is covered is from about 1500 up to the establishment of the Probate Registry for England & Wales in 1858.
Names of all persons mentioned in the abstracts have been indexed and amount to over 6000 references. 

Post-1858 Probate Records

Beginning in 1858, the government took over the settlement of estates and all wills are now probated through the Principal Probate Registry system.  The system consists of 11 district registry offices and 18 sub-district registries, located throughout England and Wales, and the principal registry office located in London.  The records are available through the office of Her Majesty's Courts Service.  To learn more, go to the HMCS website.

A country-wide surname index to the records is available, so it is much easier to look for post-1857 wills.  The indexes for 1858-1957 and the records for 1858-1925 are available on microfilm at the Family History Library.