Each record contains a transcript of the original probate records and may also contain images of various legal documents. The information contained varies a great deal but in general you can expect to learn the following about your ancestor:
Year of birth
Year of Death
Year of Will
Place of residence
Details of their estate and belongings at the time of making the will
Details of other family members, including in some cases a full genealogy
The documents included in each record will generally fall into three categories.
The Will: The formal last will and testament setting out the disposal of the estate of the deceased. Originally the will dealt with actual property like land or housing while the testament distributed personal property including money, clothes and furniture but over time the two documents have been combined. Probate is granted when the court accepts a will can be very lengthy if someone had a large estate to dispose of or it can be a simple matter of a few lines for the less well off. Admon: A letter of administration. If someone dies without a will, or intestate, then a relative or creditor can apply to the probate court for this letter to become the Administrator of the deceased’s estate.
Inventory: Between 1530 and 1782 it was obligatory for an executor or an administrator to provide the probate court with an inventory of the deceased’s goods and chattels so that the value of the estate could be assessed. After 1782 an inventory could be requested by any of the parties but it was no longer an automatic part of proceedings.
The Cheshire Wills and Probate records include all surviving original wills of Cheshire residents proved at the Chester diocesan consistory court 1492 – 1857 and registered copies made at Chester Probate Registry 1858-1911.
Cheshire is situated in the North West of England. On the west it borders Flintshire and Wrexham in Wales with Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east and Shropshire and Staffordshire to the south.
Copyright images reproduced by courtesy of the Cheshire Archives and Local Studies Service, Chester, England.
The Cheshire Archives and Local Studies Service gives no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education. Applications for any other use should be made to Cheshire Archives and Local Studies Service, Cheshire Record Office, Duke Street, Chester CH1 1RL. Infringement of the above condition may result in legal action.