This week’s Findmypast Fridays marks the release of over 444,000 new additions to our collection of UK Probate records. Brand new probate indexes, wills, inventories, administrations and abstracts from York, Lichfield, Cheltenham, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, and Gloucestershire can now be searched at Findmypast.

 

The Lichfield Consistory Court Wills, 1650-1700, an index to wills and other testamentary documents recorded in the Lichfield Consistory Court, can now be found amongst Findmypast’s collection of birth, marriage and death records. The index contains over 28,000 records and consists of three different types of document; Administration applications, Inventories of the testators’ property, and Wills. Between 1541 and 1836 the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry was extensive, covering the entire counties of Staffordshire and Derbyshire, north Shropshire and north Warwickshire. The bishop of Lichfield and Coventry had general jurisdiction over probate within this area, exercised through the Lichfield Consistory Court.

The York Medieval Probate Index, 1267-1500, is yet another comprehensive index of wills added to Findmypast’s collection today. Comprising over 28,000 records, the index contains over 10,000 wills and related documents proved in the province of York prior to the 16th century. Compiled from original documents held by the Borthwick Institute for Archives, the York Medieval Probate Index is available online exclusively at Findmypast.

The Prerogative & Exchequer Courts of York Probate Index 1688-1858 contains over 263,000 wills that were proved in the ecclesiastical courts of York. The province of York had jurisdiction in the counties of Cheshire, Cumberland, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Westmorland and Yorkshire. Although over 80% of the records relate to Yorkshire, people from all over the British Isles and overseas had property in the province and had their wills proved in the Prerogative or Exchequer Court of York.

The Surrey & South London Will Abstracts 1470-1856 comprise over 26,000 wills containing over 29,000 names taken from the will registers held at the London Metropolitan Archives. The will registers contain the details taken down from office copies of the wills, as the testator or their solicitor would have retained the original document. Each abstract transcript contains a reference to the original register, which can provide further details about locating the office copy of the original will. Many are annotated with the value of the inventory and occasionally with the date the inventory was taken.

The Sussex, Chichester Consistory Court Wills Index 1482-1800 contains over 22,000 wills. Each record includes a transcript of the original index that can include the testator’s name, occupation/status, residence, the date the will was proved, the court it was proved in, the document type and reference. The Diocese of Chichester is in the province of Canterbury and was created in 1075 to replace the old Diocese of Selsey. This Index covers the four archdeaconries of the diocese; Horsham, Hastings, Brighton & Lewes and Chichester itself.

The Kent Wills & Probate Indexes 1328-1890 is a collection of indexes that contains over 63,000 records from seven different ecclesiastical Church of England courts in the county of Kent. The collection was compiled from four separate sources: the West Kent Probate index 1750-1890, West Kent Probate Index 1440-1857, Kent Inventories 1571-1842 and Kent Will Abstracts 1328-1691, and includes 14 different types of document.

The Gloucestershire Wills & Administrations is an index of 14,000 original wills for the Consistory Court of Gloucester from 1801 to 1858.  The court held jurisdiction for 307 parishes and virtually covered the whole of the ancient county with the exception of Bristol. The Consistory Court of Gloucester also held jurisdiction over smaller Peculiar Courts.

Over 570 pages of Cheltenham Probate Abstracts, 1660-1740, have also been added. Each image will include either an inventory list or an abstract of a will and a number are supplemented by administrations, accounts and other documents created when disputes arose. Wills and administrations in this collection have been rendered as abstracts, summarising all the information found in the original documents while Inventories are given as full transcripts.

Remember to check our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page every week to keep up to date with the latest new additions.