Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Exeter
For an explanation of probate records in England, click here.
1. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will or administration (admon), writing down each detail cited in the indexed entry.
2. Proceed to the "Probate Records in This Archive" (below) to determine what original probate records exist for this court.
3. Contact or visit the Devonshire 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 few individuals compiled collections and indexes before the records were destroyed. References to them are in Devonshire Probate Records.
The Family History Library has Calendars of wills and administrations relating to the counties of Devon and Cornwall from 1532 to 1799. Films can be view in a family history center.
Virtually all records for this court were destroyed in 1942, but don't give up until you have searched the manuscript collections and all other possible courts. These include:
- Court of the Bishop of Exeter (Episcopal Consistory)
- Episcopal Principal Registry of Exeter
- Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Copies of some post-1796 probates may have been deposited in the Estate Duty Registers.
Surviving records are in the Devon Record Office. They include administrations, accounts, abstracts from 1530 to 1858. Also, registered wills, 1257-1455.
This court hae primary jurisdiction over the parishes of Bishop's Nympton, Bishop's Tawton, Bishop's Teignton, Chudleigh, Crediton, Kennerleigh, Landkey, Marldon, Morchard Bishop, Paignton, Sandford, Stoke Gabriel and Swimbridge. It had secondary jurisdiction over the whole of the Diocese of Exeter.
Virtually all records were destroyed in 1942. Copies of some may have been deposited in the Estate Duty Registers.