Breconshire Probate Records
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 section below contains links to additional information about the records of this court.
To look for a probate record before 1858:
- Discover when and where your ancestor died. If you don’t know, use the approximate date and place where they lived.
- Go to Court Jurisdictions section below.
- Click a letter or span of letters for your place name. This opens a jurisdictions table.
- Follow the instructions on the jurisdictions table page.
Breconshire Probate Courts
Most of Breconshire was under the pre-1858 probate jurisdiction of the Court of the Archdeaconry of Breconshire. The majority of probate searches will be in the records of this court and its superior courts. However, the following courts also had some pre-1858 jurisdiction within the county. Click on a court name to learn about records and indexes.
- Court of the Archdeacon of Brecon
- Court of the Archdeaconry of Breconshire
- Court of the Bishop of St. David's (Episcopal Consistory)
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
- People who owned property in more than one county
- Military and naval personnel
- People who lived or owned property outside England
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.
Court Jurisdictions by Parish
Before 1858, every town and parish in Herefordshire was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary ecclesiastical court and one or more secondary ecclesiastical courts.
For a list of Herefordshire parishes and the pre-1858 courts that had probate jurisdiction over them, click on a letter link:
If you do not know the parish in which your ancestor died or held property, search the Court of the Bishop of , first.
Indexes to Probate Records
In addition to the probate indexes listed below, indexes are also found with the records of the courts. Click on the court links above.
Probate Indexes Online
Before looking for a will, you should search an index. Visit [www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/HEF/ProbateRecords/index.html Genuki.org.uk] to see if a will index exists for Breconshire.
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.
Probate Courts of this county: