Nottinghamshire Probate Records

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Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Probate is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his or her heirs. Probate records include wills and administrations. This article is about probate records in Nottinghamshire. See England Probate Records for a general description of probate records in England.

1858 to the Present[edit | edit source]

Beginning in 1858, the Principal Probate Registry had the authority for probating estates. Click on the link to learn more.

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Before 1858[edit | edit source]

Before 1858, Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process. To search for a pre-1858 probate record in Nottinghamshire, follow these steps:

Step 1. Search Indexes[edit | edit source]

Add here online indexes to Nottinghamshire wills.

Did you find a reference to a probate record?

  • If yes, go to Step 4 below.
  • If no, go to Step 2 below.

Step 2. Identify when and where your ancestor died[edit | edit source]

Determine when your ancestor died. If you aren't sure, use an approximate date. 

Determine where your ancestor died. It is easier to find a probate record if you know whether the place where your ancestor lived or died is a parish. To learn whether it is a parish, look it up in a gazetteer. Here is a link to the 1872 Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales online:

The gazetteer will either tell you:

  • A place is a parish, or
  • What parish it is a part of, or
  • What place it is near.

If the latter, look that place up in the gazetteer and see if it is a parish.

Once you have identified the parish, go to Step 3.

Step 3. Identify court jurisdictions by parish[edit | edit source]

Once you have identified the parish where your ancestor lived or died, learn which courts had jurisdiction over it then search indexes for those courts. Every town and parish in Nottinghamshire fell under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and several secondary courts. Click on a link below for the letter the parish begins with:

   A   B-D    E-H    K-N   O-S   T-Z.

Step 4. Obtain a copy of the probate record[edit | edit source]

Once you have found an index reference to a probate, obtain a copy of the record. Do so by one of these methods:

  • Visit or contact the record office that has the original records in its collection.
  • Visit the Family History Library or a family history center and obtain a copy of the record on microfilm. For more information, click on a court name below.

Nottinghamshire Probate Courts[edit | edit source]

Here is a list of the ecclesiastical courts that had some pre-1858 probate jurisdiction over Nottinghamshire.  Click on a court name to learn more.

Some Explanatory Notes on the Nottinghamshire Probate Courts[edit | edit source]

Nottinghamshire was an Archdeaconry in the Diocese of York until transferred to the Diocese of Lincoln in 1837.  The original wills, bonds, and inventories of the Archdeaconry were transferred from York to Nottingham in 1972, but the registered copies of Nottinghamshire wills are still at York, as are the Nottinghamshire rural deanery probate act books and those Nottinghamshire wills proved in the Prerogative Court of York, the Chancery Court of York and the Court of the Dean and Chapter of York. There are no probate records for Nottinghamshire at Lincoln. Some stray wills, inventories, etc. c. 1607-1819, are amongst the Southwell Peculiar records.[1]

  1. Camp, Anthony J. Wills and Their Whereabouts. London: published by author, 1974; page 101.