Court of the Chancery of the Archbishop of York

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The following court had jurisdiction over places in the counties of Yorshire and Lancashire. A general explanation of probate records in England, is given in the article England Probate Records.

Step by Step[edit | edit source]

1. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will, writing down each detail cited in the indexed entry.

2. Proceed then to "Records" section (see below) to determine what probate records exist for this court.

3. Contact or visit the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research (see address below), 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.

4. 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. The information obtained from the index[es] will help you more quickly search the wills and admons which can also be viewed on microfilm at the Family History Library and some family history centers.

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Surviving wills and admons to the Court of the Chancery of the Archbishop of York probate records have to some extent been indexed with the following ones:

Online Indexes[edit | edit source]

Indexes to Yorkshire wills are beginning to come online. Yorkshire will indexes online are only available at britishorigins for the following years:

Medieval Probate Index - 1267- 1500
Peculiar Courts Probate Index - 1383-1883
Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York - 1842-1858

Printed and Published Indexes[edit | edit source]

Index of Original Wills for the Court of the Chancery of the Archbishop of York, A.D. 1427-1858 containing original wills, administrations from 1316-1822, in the Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series volume 93.

Original Handwritten Indexes

  • Manuscript indexes exist from 1438-1728 and, 1650-1858.
  • Index of Original Wills and Administrations 1660-1724; 1731-1745; 1808-1858
  • Index to Original wills, bonds, inventories 1316-1857

Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library

Indexes to Original wills, bonds, and inventories is on microfilm from 1316-1857

Catalogue of Yorkshire wills at Somerset House 1649-1660

Index of wills and administrations from 1660-1724; 1731-1745; 1808-1858

The indexes as listed in the above are available on microfilm in the Family History Library and may available at some family history centers worldwide.

Records[edit | edit source]

Archive Location[edit | edit source]

Borthwick Institute for Archives

University of York


York YO10 5DD


Tel. (0)1904 321166



Opening Times: Mon-Fri 9:15am - 4:45pm

Archive Records[edit | edit source]

Add information.

Family History Library Records[edit | edit source]

A list of the records, including the film numbers, are in the library's catalog.

Jurisdiction[edit | edit source]

This court's jurisdiction applies to persons with bona notabilia (property and effects) in more than one diocese within the northern Province of York, which includes all of the dioceses of York, Carlisle, Chester, Sodor and Man (Isle of Man), Durham and Lancaster.

The Court of the Chancery of the Archbishop of York diealt with appeals from the lower courts from York, and the dioceses of Lancaster, Chester, Durham and Sodor and Man (Isle of Man). When a search of this courts’ probate records fails to provide the desired probate record, be sure to search the Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of York as well.