August 22, 2006

PCY wills being indexed at Origins

British Origins has begun to index probate documents from the Prerogative and Exchequer Courts of York. The project is starting with 1858 (when civil probate took over from the ecclesiastical courts) and working backwards. A first tranche of 16,000 records from 1853 to 1858 has just been released. Only an index is online, but the documents themselves can be ordered in hard copy for £10. The ecclesiastical province of York had jurisdiction in Cheshire, Cumberland, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Westmorland and Yorkshire. The province of Canterbury had jurisdiction over the rest of England and Wales. Wills from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury are already online at TNA's DocumentsOnline. The York wills are held by the Borthwick Institute, not TNA. Separate databases at Origins already cover two small groups of wills from the Prerogative and Exchequer Courts of York: medieval wills (1267-1500) and wills from peculiar courts.

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