Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (London Division)

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Step By Step[edit | edit source]

  1. Search the index at Ancestry. If the desired digitized will is not found, proceed to Step 2.
  2. Next 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]

The Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London probate records have to some extent been indexed in:

Online Indexes[edit | edit source]

Printed and Published Indexes[edit | edit source]

  • Index to testamentary records in the Commissary Court of London (London Division) 1374-1700
  • Abstracts of copy wills, Commissary Court of London [London division], registered wills, 1750-1857
  • Index to testamentary records in the Commissary Court of London (London Division) 1374-1700  by Marc Fitch, available at Society of Genealogists, The Guildhall Library, London Metropolitan Archives and Library, The Family History Library
  • A comprehensive will and admon index to most of London's (including Greater L.) probate courts for the years covering 1750-1858 for surnames A-E, is Dr David Wright's London Probate Index on CD and is available; surnames A-F are located on the findmypast web site. He will provide a search service in his indexes for surnames covering from G-Z at a set fee.

Original handwritten indexes:

Court probate inventories, 1662-1747 with surnames alpha-arranged

Probate and administration act book, 1496-1857

Calendar of Probate & Administrations acts 1660-1810

Microfilmed indexes available at the Family History Library:

The following indexes and abstracts to the wills for this court are available in the Family History Library:

Most of the above indexes are on microfilm and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers.

Records[edit | edit source]

Archive Location[edit | edit source]

London Metropolitan Archives
40 Northampton Road
London EC1R 0HB
Tel: (020) 7332 3820 Fax: (020) 7833 9136

Opening Times: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9.30am - 4.45pm
Tuesday and Thursday 9.30am - 7.30pm
Saturday openings: 9.30am - 4.45pm

Archive Records[edit | edit source]

Add information about the manuscript, printed and digital records in this location.

Calendars of Copy Wills & Administrations 1374-1857

Original Wills 1523-1857

Register Copy Wills 1374-1857 (with gaps)

Probate & Administration Act books 1496-1857 (with gaps)

Administration 1670-1857

Inventories 1666-1667, 1672-1857 (with gaps)

Deposition Books 1537-1722

Personal Answers 1675-1736

Warrants 1660-1772

Ex Officia Assignation Books 1712-1811

Instance Act Books 1570-1675

Family History Library Records
[edit | edit source]

Calendars of Copy Wills and Administrations 1374-1857

Original Wills 1523-1857

Register Copy Wills 1374-1857 (with gaps)

Probate & Administration Act books 1496-1857 (with gaps)

Administrations 1669-1857

Inventories 1666-1667, 1672-1857 (with gaps)

Warrants 1660-1772

Act Books 1585-1857

Deposition Books 1537-1722

Ex Officia Assignation Books 1630-1811

Instance Act Books 1570-1675

Personal responses 1581-1593

Caveat Book 1673-1857

Jurisdiction[edit | edit source]

The Commissary Court of London (London Division) had jurisdiction over 94 parishes in Greater London (Middlesex)--including 50 parishes within the City of London proper and 44 out in the county of Middlesex. When a search of this courts’ probate records fails to provide the desired probate record, be sure to search the Consistory Court of the Bishop of London as well.