Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of York

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Return to the Lancashire Probate Records page. 

Location of These Probate Records

Borthwick Institute for Historical Research
University of York
York YO10 5DD

Telephone: (0)1904 321166



Opening Times: Mon-Fri 9:15am - 4:45pm

Historical Background

The Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of York held concurrent jurisdiction over some parishes of Lancshire. Boundaries of this probate jurisdictions include parishes in portions of counties Cumberland and Yorkshire. When a search of this courts’ probate records fails to provide the desired probate record, be sure to search the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of York as well.

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 then to the "Probate Records of This Court" section (see below) to determine what original probate records exist for this court.
  3. Contact or visit the Lancashire Record Office, or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf, citing information obtained from the index[es]. Officials may send upon request a list of record searchers.
  4. You can also visit The Family History Library, or, one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide and search indexes (see the Family History Library's cataloged entries providing the microfilms so you can have them circulated to the center near you for searching the wills). The information obtained from the index[es] will help you more quickly search the wills and admons which can also be circulated on microfilm via any family history .

Probate Indexes

Surviving wills and admons to the Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Commissary of the Archdeaconry of Richmond Western Deaneries - Amounderness probate records have to some extent been indexed with the following ones:<br>

Printed and Published Indexes

Index of Wills, etc., from the Dean and Chapter's Court at York, A.D. 1321 to 1636; [also containing] Original wills, administrations and tuitions from 1524-1724, and Register copy wills from 1557-1638 in the Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series volume 38. Held at the Society of Genealogists; the Family History Library.

Online Indexes

Indexes to Yorkshire wills are beginning to come online. Though currently advertised otherwise, Yorkshire will indexes online are only available at britishorigins for the following years:

  • Medieval Probate Index - 1267- 1500
  • Peculiar Courts Probate Index - 1383-1883
  • York Prerogative & Exchequer Court Probate Index - 1842-1858

Original Handwritten Indexes

  • Manuscript indexes exist from 1438-1728 and, 1650-1858.

Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library

The indexes as listed above, plus and index covering the years 1688-1731 are all available at The Family History Library and they are on microfilm and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers worldwide.

Searching for probates in this court.

This court's jurisdiction applies three Lancashire Parishes including Broughton, Kirkby Irelyth, and Seathwaite. The records for this court include as follows: 

  • REGISTER OF COPY WILLS 1321-1558;1557-1638
  • ABSTRACT BOOK 1774-1847
  • INVENTORIES 14th - 17th Centuries

Strategies, Tips, Other?

See the above Indexes or those available through the Family History Library or its many family history centers worldwide for an index to this court.

To view a list of parishes and their respective probate court jurisdiction, see the "Lancashire Parishes and Their Probate Jurisdictions" on the main page for Lancashire Probate Records.

[England: Lancashire]