Discover whether your Surrey ancestors left a will that was proved by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. The court in Canterbury was the most senior of the pre 1858 ecclesiastical courts and had jurisdiction over all of England and Wales. The wills of those who died abroad were usually proved here. Search more than 1,400 wills from between 1736 and 1794 to find your ancestor’s name, address and the names of family members as well as how to locate the original, which is available from The National Archives.
Each record contains a transcript of the index to the original wills. The information given varies but you can find out the following about your ancestor:
Names of beneficiaries
Their relationship to the testator (who wrote the will)
The date of the will
These records contain indexed transcripts of original manuscript abstracts to wills for Surrey testators proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC) 1736-1794. These are taken from the note books compiled by Alfred Ridley Bax now held by the Society of Genealogists. There are 1,470 records.
The Prerogative Court of Canterbury was the senior and most important of the pre 1858 ecclesiastical courts claiming over-riding jurisdiction over the whole of England and Wales. Wills of those dying overseas were also usually proved in the PCC.
Before 1858 all wills had to be proved before one of the Church of England ecclesiastical courts. After 1858 this function fell to the civil courts.
All names and places appearing in the will plus incidental information such as occupations etc., where found in the original documents, are included in the transcript.
Names are arranged alphabetically. This means some name variants may not appear clustered together. Names in the index are according to the spelling used in the documents, usually based on the signature of the testator.
Pre 1752 Dates are given in 'Old Style' or Julian Calendar.