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Information # 5

Title:Probate Records
Description:Government Probate Death Index
Detail:In 1858, the responsibility for proving wills and granting letters of administration was passed to the Probate Registry by the Church of England. Before then probate was under the jurisdiction of the Church of England. A Principal Probate Registry was established in London and numerous district probate registries. Any estate can be administered in the Principal Probate Registry, regardless of its location. Probate is the legal right to deal with a deceased person's estates; such as property, money and possessions. The index will explain what type of record is available. In the record will be 'will' if the individual created a will stating his or her wishes for the distribution of their estate; if there was no will was not created, you will find 'administration'. There was not a probate record for every person who died. After the Married Women's Property Act was passed in 1882, married women were allowed to retain ownership and control of their property. This meant that women could also create wills regarding the property they owned and so may have a probate entry. Before 1882, a married woman could only create a will with her husband's permission.
Other linksFamily Search - England Probate Records
The National Archives
Society of Genealogists
Gov.UK - Find a Will
Gov.UK - Directory of probate registries

Page last updated: 16 May 2022
© Nigel Peacock 2022
Tharston Past Data Project