Wiltshire Probate RecordsEdit This Page

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

Contents

Probate Courts

Pre-1858 probate courts having some jurisdiction in Wiltshire are:

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.


 

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