Difference between revisions of "Estate Duty Registers"

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The Estate or Death Duty registers are among the most important genealogical records in England and Wales. They are little known and often overlooked as a source for locating information about people.<br>  
 
The Estate or Death Duty registers are among the most important genealogical records in England and Wales. They are little known and often overlooked as a source for locating information about people.<br>  
  
== History<br>  ==
+
==History ==
  
 
Several legacy, residue, and succession duty acts between 1796 and 1858 required that a duty (tax) be paid on all bequests and succession to property over a certain value.&nbsp; The amount levied varied over time and according to the relationship of the beneficiary to the deceased.&nbsp; Duties were deposited with the Legacy Duty Department of the Stamp Office. Very small estates, and those who died serving their country, were excluded from paying the required duty.<br>  
 
Several legacy, residue, and succession duty acts between 1796 and 1858 required that a duty (tax) be paid on all bequests and succession to property over a certain value.&nbsp; The amount levied varied over time and according to the relationship of the beneficiary to the deceased.&nbsp; Duties were deposited with the Legacy Duty Department of the Stamp Office. Very small estates, and those who died serving their country, were excluded from paying the required duty.<br>  
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The records are especially helpful for counties Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, since many of the records for the probate courts in those areas were destroyed during World War II.
 
The records are especially helpful for counties Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, since many of the records for the probate courts in those areas were destroyed during World War II.
  
== Understanding the Records<br>  ==
+
==Understanding the Records ==
  
The problem facing a researcher looking for probate material before 1858 is knowing which one of the more than 300 courts administered the desired probate. Records were housed in many places throughout England, and there was no central index. The Estate duty indexes and registers provide a solution by allowing you to search across many courts at one time. A register could be annotated for many years, possibly listing date of death of the spouse, marriage and death dates of beneficiaries, births of children or grandchildren born after the duty was paid, and have cross references to other entries.  
+
The problem facing a researcher looking for probate material before 1858 is knowing which one of the more than 300 courts administered the desired probate. Records were housed in many places throughout England, and there was no central index. The Estate duty indexes and registers provide a solution by allowing you to search across many courts at one time. A register could be annotated for many years, possibly listing date of death of the spouse, marriage and death dates of beneficiaries, births of children or grandchildren born after the duty was paid and have cross references to other entries.  
  
 
Estate duties were administered through a group of ''country courts'', so named because they were located outside London, and the central court of&nbsp;the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. The names of the country courts were:<br>  
 
Estate duties were administered through a group of ''country courts'', so named because they were located outside London, and the central court of&nbsp;the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. The names of the country courts were:<br>  
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{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="0" style="width: 539px; height: 207px;"
 
{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="0" style="width: 539px; height: 207px;"
 
|-
 
|-
| &nbsp;&nbsp; Bath and Wells<br>  
+
|&nbsp;&nbsp; Bath and Wells<br>
| Durham<br>  
+
|Durham<br>
| Lichfield <br>  
+
|Lichfield <br>
| Rochester<br>
+
|Rochester<br>
 
|-
 
|-
| &nbsp;&nbsp; Bristol<br>  
+
|&nbsp;&nbsp; Bristol<br>
| Ely<br>  
+
|Ely<br>
| Lincoln<br>  
+
|Lincoln<br>
| Salisbury<br>
+
|Salisbury<br>
 
|-
 
|-
| &nbsp;&nbsp; Canterbury<br>  
+
|&nbsp;&nbsp; Canterbury<br>
| Exeter<br>  
+
|Exeter<br>
| London<br>  
+
|London<br>
| Worcester<br>
+
|Worcester<br>
 
|-
 
|-
| &nbsp;&nbsp; Carlisle<br>  
+
|&nbsp;&nbsp; Carlisle<br>
| Gloucester<br>  
+
|Gloucester<br>
| Norwich<br>  
+
|Norwich<br>
| Winchester<br>
+
|Winchester<br>
 
|-
 
|-
| &nbsp;&nbsp; Chester  
+
|&nbsp;&nbsp; Chester
| Hereford<br>  
+
|Hereford<br>
| Oxford<br>  
+
|Oxford<br>
| York<br>
+
|York<br>
 
|-
 
|-
| &nbsp;&nbsp; Chichester<br>  
+
|&nbsp;&nbsp; Chichester<br>
| Leicester<br>  
+
|Leicester<br>
| Peterborough<br>  
+
|Peterborough<br>
| <br>
+
|<br>
 
|}
 
|}
  
== Information In the Records<br>  ==
+
==Information In the Records ==
  
 
Estate Duty abstracts can add a lot to what was found in an original will or administration. They can show:  
 
Estate Duty abstracts can add a lot to what was found in an original will or administration. They can show:  
  
*Name, address and last occupation of the deceased  
+
*Name, address and last occupation of the deceased
*Date of death  
+
*Date of death
*Place and date of probate  
+
*Place and date of probate
*Names of heirs and their relationship to the deceased, even if not mentioned in the will  
+
*Names of heirs and their relationship to the deceased, even if not mentioned in the will
*Residence or death of heirs (rarely)  
+
*Residence or death of heirs (rarely)
*Names, addresses and occupations of the executors  
+
*Names, addresses and occupations of the executors
*Details of estates and related matters  
+
*Details of estates and related matters
 
*Amount of the duty paid
 
*Amount of the duty paid
  
== Indexes ==
+
==Indexes==
  
 
Before 1812, entry numbers were used instead of folio numbers in the indexes. The folios are usually given in the top right corner of the page. Entry numbers are written on the page next to the beginning of each new abstract. Some are difficult to read because of the condition of the original documents.<br>  
 
Before 1812, entry numbers were used instead of folio numbers in the indexes. The folios are usually given in the top right corner of the page. Entry numbers are written on the page next to the beginning of each new abstract. Some are difficult to read because of the condition of the original documents.<br>  
Line 67: Line 67:
 
The indexes are actually not true indexes, but calendars. This means surnames beginning with the same letter(s) are on the same page, but in chronological order rather than strict alphabetical order. These calendar indexes show:<br>  
 
The indexes are actually not true indexes, but calendars. This means surnames beginning with the same letter(s) are on the same page, but in chronological order rather than strict alphabetical order. These calendar indexes show:<br>  
  
*Name of the testator or intestate.<br>  
+
*Name of the testator or intestate.<br>
*His or her residence.<br>  
+
*His or her residence.<br>
*Name of the executor.<br>  
+
*Name of the executor.<br>
*Name of the court where originally probated.<br>  
+
*Name of the court where originally probated.<br>
 
*Reference number needed to locate a copy of the the estate duty document.<br>
 
*Reference number needed to locate a copy of the the estate duty document.<br>
  
Line 77: Line 77:
 
Search the index first before attempting to locate an abstract. The indexes for the country courts from 1796 to 1811 can be [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/browse-refine.asp?CatID=14&searchType=browserefine&pagenumber=1&query=*&queryType=1 searched online], with the actual register also available online for a fee (as of Oct 2009,&nbsp;£3.50). After 1811, one index covers all courts and may be viewed on film through the Family History Library, or online with a paid subscription to [http://www.findmypast.com/DeathDutyStartSearchServlet findmypast].&nbsp;<br>
 
Search the index first before attempting to locate an abstract. The indexes for the country courts from 1796 to 1811 can be [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/browse-refine.asp?CatID=14&searchType=browserefine&pagenumber=1&query=*&queryType=1 searched online], with the actual register also available online for a fee (as of Oct 2009,&nbsp;£3.50). After 1811, one index covers all courts and may be viewed on film through the Family History Library, or online with a paid subscription to [http://www.findmypast.com/DeathDutyStartSearchServlet findmypast].&nbsp;<br>
  
== Finding the Records ==
+
==Finding the Records==
  
==== The National Archives ====
+
====The National Archives====
  
 
The original records are housed in the collection of [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ The National Archives of the UK] at Kew near London, England.  
 
The original records are housed in the collection of [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ The National Archives of the UK] at Kew near London, England.  
Line 85: Line 85:
 
Read more about these records in the leaflets from The National Archives including abbreviations used.<br>  
 
Read more about these records in the leaflets from The National Archives including abbreviations used.<br>  
  
*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/rdleaflet.asp?sLeafletURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalarchives.gov.uk%2Fcatalogue%2Fleaflets%2Fri2165.htm&lBack=-1 How to Interpret Death Duty Registers]<br>  
+
*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/rdleaflet.asp?sLeafletURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalarchives.gov.uk%2Fcatalogue%2Fleaflets%2Fri2165.htm&lBack=-1 How to Interpret Death Duty Registers]<br>
 
*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/RdLeaflet.asp?sLeafletID=107 Death Duty Records, From 1796]<br>
 
*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/RdLeaflet.asp?sLeafletID=107 Death Duty Records, From 1796]<br>
 
*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/death-duties-1796-1903/ Research Guide: Death Duties, 1796-1903]
 
*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/death-duties-1796-1903/ Research Guide: Death Duties, 1796-1903]
 
*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/country-court-death-duty-registers-1796-1811/ Research Guide: Country court death duty registers 1796-1811]
 
*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/country-court-death-duty-registers-1796-1811/ Research Guide: Country court death duty registers 1796-1811]
  
==== Family History Library ====
+
====Family History Library====
  
 
The Family History Library has microfilmed copies of the Estate Duty indexes and registers.&nbsp; They can be viewed in the library or through a&nbsp;[[Introduction to Family History Centers|family history center]].&nbsp; The registers are grouped into two sections: the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and the country courts. &nbsp;Prior to 1811, there are separate indexes for each court. From 1812-1858, there are two indexes--one for the PCC and another for all other courts (country courts). Unless you are sure of the name of the court, search the indexes for both.&nbsp;  
 
The Family History Library has microfilmed copies of the Estate Duty indexes and registers.&nbsp; They can be viewed in the library or through a&nbsp;[[Introduction to Family History Centers|family history center]].&nbsp; The registers are grouped into two sections: the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and the country courts. &nbsp;Prior to 1811, there are separate indexes for each court. From 1812-1858, there are two indexes--one for the PCC and another for all other courts (country courts). Unless you are sure of the name of the court, search the indexes for both.&nbsp;  
Line 96: Line 96:
 
To find film numbers for the indexes and records listed in the FamilySearch Catalog, click on a link.<br>  
 
To find film numbers for the indexes and records listed in the FamilySearch Catalog, click on a link.<br>  
  
*{{FHL|817853|title-id|disp=Index to death duty registers in the Estate Duty Office, 1812-1903}}<br>  
+
*{{FHL|817853|title-id|disp=Index to death duty registers in the Estate Duty Office, 1812-1903}}<br>
*{{FHL|534228|title-id|disp=Death duty register for abstracts of administrations and probates of wills for country courts, 1796-1811}}  
+
*{{FHL|534228|title-id|disp=Death duty register for abstracts of administrations and probates of wills for country courts, 1796-1811}}
*{{FHL|614554|title-id|disp=Death duty register for all wills (in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and country courts, 1812-1857)}}  
+
*{{FHL|614554|title-id|disp=Death duty register for all wills (in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and country courts, 1812-1857)}}
*{{FHL|613685|title-id|disp=Death duty register for abstracts of administrations in the country courts, 1812-1857}}<br>  
+
*{{FHL|613685|title-id|disp=Death duty register for abstracts of administrations in the country courts, 1812-1857}}<br>
 
*{{FHL|522838|title-id|disp=Death duty register for wills in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1796-1811; and administrations, 1796-1857 and indexes}}.
 
*{{FHL|522838|title-id|disp=Death duty register for wills in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1796-1811; and administrations, 1796-1857 and indexes}}.
  
==== Online ====
+
====Online====
  
 
*The country courts, 1796-1811, can be searched as part of a general search in TNA's [http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Home/OnlineCollections Discovery - search Online Collections]. If there are too many results, use the filter at the left by checking the box IR - Inland Revenue to restrict the hits to the Estate Duty records.
 
*The country courts, 1796-1811, can be searched as part of a general search in TNA's [http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Home/OnlineCollections Discovery - search Online Collections]. If there are too many results, use the filter at the left by checking the box IR - Inland Revenue to restrict the hits to the Estate Duty records.
Line 108: Line 108:
 
*The indexes to Estate Duty registers can be viewed online at [http://www.findmypast.co.uk/DeathDutyStartSearchServlet findmypast].<br>
 
*The indexes to Estate Duty registers can be viewed online at [http://www.findmypast.co.uk/DeathDutyStartSearchServlet findmypast].<br>
  
== For More Information ==
+
==For More Information==
  
 
Information is also in the following books.<br>  
 
Information is also in the following books.<br>  
  
*Cox, Jane. ''Affection Defying the Power of Death: Wills, Probate &amp; Death Duty Records''.<br>  
+
*Cox, Jane. ''Affection Defying the Power of Death: Wills, Probate &amp; Death Duty Records''.<br>
*Cox, Jane. ''New to Kew?: a first time guide for family historians at the Public Record Office''.<br>  
+
*Cox, Jane. ''New to Kew?: a first time guide for family historians at the Public Record Office''.<br>
 
*Bevan, Amanda and Andrea Duncan. ''Tracing Your Ancestors in the Public Record Office''.<br>
 
*Bevan, Amanda and Andrea Duncan. ''Tracing Your Ancestors in the Public Record Office''.<br>
  
 
[[Category:England Probate Records]]
 
[[Category:England Probate Records]]

Revision as of 09:33, 5 September 2019

England Gotoarrow.png England Probate Records

The Estate or Death Duty registers are among the most important genealogical records in England and Wales. They are little known and often overlooked as a source for locating information about people.

History[edit | edit source]

Several legacy, residue, and succession duty acts between 1796 and 1858 required that a duty (tax) be paid on all bequests and succession to property over a certain value.  The amount levied varied over time and according to the relationship of the beneficiary to the deceased.  Duties were deposited with the Legacy Duty Department of the Stamp Office. Very small estates, and those who died serving their country, were excluded from paying the required duty.

The records are especially helpful for counties Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, since many of the records for the probate courts in those areas were destroyed during World War II.

Understanding the Records[edit | edit source]

The problem facing a researcher looking for probate material before 1858 is knowing which one of the more than 300 courts administered the desired probate. Records were housed in many places throughout England, and there was no central index. The Estate duty indexes and registers provide a solution by allowing you to search across many courts at one time. A register could be annotated for many years, possibly listing date of death of the spouse, marriage and death dates of beneficiaries, births of children or grandchildren born after the duty was paid and have cross references to other entries.

Estate duties were administered through a group of country courts, so named because they were located outside London, and the central court of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. The names of the country courts were:

   Bath and Wells
Durham
Lichfield
Rochester
   Bristol
Ely
Lincoln
Salisbury
   Canterbury
Exeter
London
Worcester
   Carlisle
Gloucester
Norwich
Winchester
   Chester Hereford
Oxford
York
   Chichester
Leicester
Peterborough

Information In the Records[edit | edit source]

Estate Duty abstracts can add a lot to what was found in an original will or administration. They can show:

  • Name, address and last occupation of the deceased
  • Date of death
  • Place and date of probate
  • Names of heirs and their relationship to the deceased, even if not mentioned in the will
  • Residence or death of heirs (rarely)
  • Names, addresses and occupations of the executors
  • Details of estates and related matters
  • Amount of the duty paid

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Before 1812, entry numbers were used instead of folio numbers in the indexes. The folios are usually given in the top right corner of the page. Entry numbers are written on the page next to the beginning of each new abstract. Some are difficult to read because of the condition of the original documents.

The indexes are actually not true indexes, but calendars. This means surnames beginning with the same letter(s) are on the same page, but in chronological order rather than strict alphabetical order. These calendar indexes show:

  • Name of the testator or intestate.
  • His or her residence.
  • Name of the executor.
  • Name of the court where originally probated.
  • Reference number needed to locate a copy of the the estate duty document.

These death duty registers cover both Wills and Administrations.

Search the index first before attempting to locate an abstract. The indexes for the country courts from 1796 to 1811 can be searched online, with the actual register also available online for a fee (as of Oct 2009, £3.50). After 1811, one index covers all courts and may be viewed on film through the Family History Library, or online with a paid subscription to findmypast

Finding the Records[edit | edit source]

The National Archives[edit | edit source]

The original records are housed in the collection of The National Archives of the UK at Kew near London, England.

Read more about these records in the leaflets from The National Archives including abbreviations used.

Family History Library[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has microfilmed copies of the Estate Duty indexes and registers.  They can be viewed in the library or through a family history center.  The registers are grouped into two sections: the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and the country courts.  Prior to 1811, there are separate indexes for each court. From 1812-1858, there are two indexes--one for the PCC and another for all other courts (country courts). Unless you are sure of the name of the court, search the indexes for both. 

To find film numbers for the indexes and records listed in the FamilySearch Catalog, click on a link.

Online[edit | edit source]

  • The country courts, 1796-1811, can be searched as part of a general search in TNA's Discovery - search Online Collections. If there are too many results, use the filter at the left by checking the box IR - Inland Revenue to restrict the hits to the Estate Duty records.
  • The indexes to Estate Duty registers can be viewed online at findmypast.

For More Information[edit | edit source]

Information is also in the following books.

  • Cox, Jane. Affection Defying the Power of Death: Wills, Probate & Death Duty Records.
  • Cox, Jane. New to Kew?: a first time guide for family historians at the Public Record Office.
  • Bevan, Amanda and Andrea Duncan. Tracing Your Ancestors in the Public Record Office.