Court of the Archdeacon of Middlesex (Essex & Hertfordshire Division)
Return to the Essex Probate Records page.
- 1 Location of Records of This Court
- 2 History and Background
- 3 Starting Your Search in Indexes
- 4 Probate Indexes
- 5 Searching for probates in this court
- 6 Strategies, Tips, Other?
Location of Records of This Court
Essex Record Office
Archives & Museums
Chelmsford CM12 6YT
Telephone (01245) 244644
Website: Essex County Record Office
History and Background
The probate records of the Court of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex (Essex &A Hertfordshire division) date from 1538 to 1858 and cover 38 parishes in Essex. The records were transferred to the Diocese of London in 1858 and held there until 1958 when they were transferred back to the Chelmsford County Hall, where they reside today.
Before looking for a will, be certain to search for available indexes. County Essex is well-covered with comprehensive indexes for most of its probate courts as listed below.
Starting Your Search in Indexes
1. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will, writing down each detail cited in the indexed entry.
2. Proceed to the "Probate Records of This Court" (below) to determine what original probate records exist for this court.
3. Contact or visit the Essex County Record Office or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf. Officials may send upon request a list of record searchers.
4. Visit The Family History Library, or, one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide and search indexes to probate records; then with the information obtained from the index[es] you can search more quickly the original wills and admons also on microfilm via any centers near you.
A general will index for Essex County is available online. This single index consolidates Essex county wills of the various probate court jurisdictions, including the various smaller Peculiar Court jurisdictions into one database.
If the indexes on the Internet do not produce possible wills for your ancestors, look in the published indexes listed here.
The Essex County Record Office compiled and published a complete surname index covering wills and administrations from eight Essex County probate courts including this court. The index is available in three volumes at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City:
- Emmison, F. G., ed. [Index to] Wills at Chelmsford. London: s.n., 1961, by the British Record Society. (FHL book 942 B4b vols. 78, 79 & 84; also on microfilms 0962739 and 0962740, and on microfiche 6073796, 6073797, and 6073802.)
Other handwritten indexes are listed below in the "Indexes" section. Click on the court name links on the Essex County Probate home page.
The Court of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex (Essex & Hertfordshire Division) probate records are well-covered with the following indexes:
Original Handwritten Indexes
Indexes--including calendars, indexes and act books to probate records of this court exist as follows:
- Calendar of Wills & Admons: 1608-1810
- Index, Registered & Unregistered Wills: 1538-1711
- Probate & Admon Act Books: 1660-1857
- Indexes, Probate & Admons Acts: 1660-1762
One comprehensive index exists for all Essex County court jurisdictions; see "Online Indexes" above to use it.
Visit the Essex County Archives to determine availability their complete collection of records for this court jurisdiction.
Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library
Original (Unregistered) Wills and Registered Wills as well as extant indexes for this court are available on microfilm at the Family History Library and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers (see Court of the Archdeaconry of Essex), or go to FamilySearch Catalog entry for this court.
Searching for probates in this court
REGISTERED COPY WILLS (indexes precede wills)
1538-1603; 1620-1627, 1630-1631, 1678-1858
Probate & Administration Acts: 1660-1857
See or visit the Essex County Record Office for accessing these records. Or, visit the Family History Library or one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers to view its microfilmed collection of the Archdeaconry Court of Middlesex (Essex & Hertfordshire Division). To obtain the film numbers to the above records, see the FamilySearch Catalog entry for this court.
Strategies, Tips, Other?
Administrations for the years 1678 to 1857 are available at the Essex County Record Office, Chelmsford, U.K. The Family History Library has on microfilm, many of the administrations (Admons).
To view a list of parishes and their respective probate court jurisdiction, see the "Essex Parishes and Their Probate Jurisdictions" on the main page for Essex Probate Records.
Before looking for a will, you should search an index to more quickly find a probate record for an ancestor.