Thursday, 8 August 2019

Ancestry updates Wiltshire, England, Wills and Probate, 1530-1858

There are now 102,570 records provided by Ancestry in association with Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council. Records are name indexed and linked to images of the original.

You may not need information on the court but difficulty with the spelling of names means it may not be written as you expect. It may be helpful to be able to narrow down by the court which covered the place. The collection is composed of records from 30 different courts.

Even if you know the ecclesiastical jurisdiction where the deceased died, if you know the parish look it up in England Jurisdictions 1851, it's possible probate may have been handled by a superior court. Ancestry suggests these may have been:

The Consistory Court of Sarum. This was the largest court, representing the Bishop's own probate jurisdiction in his diocese. This court was able to "inhibit" the operation of certain other probate courts (Berkshire, Sarum, Wilts Archdeaconries, and the sub-dean of Sarum), in effect dealing with cases which would have come before them for 6 months in every 3 years. The Court also had jurisdiction over the Bishopric peculiars of Berwick St James; Devizes St John and St Mary; West Lavington; Marlborough St Mary and St Peter; Preshute; Potterne; Stert and Trowbridge with Staverton.
The Archdeaconry Court of Sarum. The Archdeacon of Sarum had jurisdiction over the southern part of Wiltshire, excluding peculiars. This court was "inhibited" for 6 months in every 3 years by the Consistory Court.
The Archdeaconry Court of Wiltshire. The Archdeacon of Wiltshire had jurisdiction over the northern part of Wiltshire, excluding peculiars. This court was "inhibited" for 6 months in every 3 years by the Consistory Court.
The court of the sub-dean of Sarum. The sub-dean's jurisdiction covered the five parishes in and near Salisbury, namely, St Thomas, St Edmund, St Martin, Stratford-sub-castle and Milford (the inhabitants of the latter, having no church of their own, used St Martin's). The court was "inhibited" by the Bishop for 6 months in every 3 years. There are almost no surviving records for the years 1589-1610.
and
The Peculiar Court of the Dean of Sarum.


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