Court of the Archdeaconry of Surrey

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Getting Started[edit | edit source]

  1. Search the indexes at Ancestry and British Origins. If the desired will is not found, proceed to Step 2.
  2. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will, writing down each detail cited in the indexed entry.
  3. Proceed then to "Records" section (see below) to determine what probate records exist for this court.
  4. Contact or visit The London Metropolitan Archives and Library, 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.
  5. 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 .

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Online Indexes[edit | edit source]

Online indexes are available at the following two websites:

  • British Origins has an index of over 500,000 entries for the Surrey and London region from 1470 to 1856 (a subscription website).
  • London, England, Wills and Probate, 1507-1858 at Ancestry (£) includes Archdeaconry Court of Surrey.
  • Wills have been created for the "names of all people appearing in the wills of testators residing in the County of Surrey, England (and nine other Counties)."  It is known as The Surrey Plus Wills Index.

Printed and Published Indexes[edit | edit source]

The West Surrey Family History Society (Cliff Webb) has produced a significant number of County Surrey wills and other probates. See their website for further details on their excellent publications.

Indexes Available in The Family History Library

  • Archdeaconry of Surrey. Court Wills and act books, Indexes 1480-1630, 1595-1750 [1]
  • Archdeaconry Court of Surrey, index to the original wills (collated with the act books and will registers), 1752-1858 : indexed from the originals at the Greater London Record Office [2]
  • Archdeaconry Court of Surrey : index to the original wills, 1660-1751 [3]

Records[edit | edit source]

Archives Location[edit | edit source]

The original records of the Court of the Archdeaconry of Surrey for 1480-1858 are found at:

London Metropolitan Archives
40 Northampton Road
London EC1R 0HB
United Kingdom

Archive Records[edit | edit source]

The records include probate and administration act books, original wills and registered wills, as well as indexes.

Calendars to Registered and Unregistered Wills  early-1857

Act Books 1674-1857

Original Wills 1534-1649; 1660-1857

Register Copy Wills 1480-11821 (missing years)

Administrations (Admons) 1484-1821

Family History Library Records[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has probate records (with indexes) on microfilm, microfiche and in print.  Those available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City include copies and abstracts of the records for 1484-1821.

Calendars to Registered and Unregistered Wills, 1484-1857 

Act Books 1674-1750

Original Wills 1538-1671

Register Copy Wills 1484-1821 (missing years)

Administrations (Admons) 1484-1821

Background[edit | edit source]

This court (which was part of the diocese of Winchester) had pre-1858 jurisdiction over the vast majority of the county of Surrey with just a few exceptions.  The exceptions are listed in the Surrey probate jurisdiction tables.

The Archdeaconry court could not grant probate administrations and these had to be taken to the Commissary Court of the Bishop of Surrey or the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Appeals Courts[edit | edit source]

Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the county courts could be sent to these higher appeals courts:

The Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury also served as an appeals court.

Estate Duty Records
[edit | edit source]

Starting in 1796, a tax or death duty was payable on estates over a certain value. Estate duty abstracts may add considerable information not found elsewhere. Estate duty indexes may help locate a will. For more information, go to Estate Duty Records.