Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Taunton

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Step By Step[edit | edit source]

1. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will, writing down each detail cited in the indexed entry.
2. Proceed to "Records" (below) to determine what probate records exist for this court. Also see "Probate Records of This Court in The Family History Library".
3. Contact or visit the Somersetshire Record Office or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf. Officials may send upon request a list of record searchers.
4. Visit The Family History Library,or, one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide and search indexes to probate records; then with the information obtained from the index[es] you can search more quickly the original wills and admons also on microfilm via any centers near you.

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Online Index[edit | edit source]

Here is an online index of Somersetshire wills 1796-1857  

Printed and Published Indexes[edit | edit source]

Here is a list of published indexes available at the Family History Library.

Also try the following indexes at the Family History Library:

Estate Duty Wills 1805-1811

Estate Duty Wills Index 1812-1857

Death Duty Registers of Abstracts of Administrations and Probates of Wills 1796-1811

Records[edit | edit source]

Important Note:[edit | edit source]

The records of the Consistory Court of the Archdeaconry of Taunton, which were deposited at the Probate Registry at Exeter, were destroyed by enemy action during World War II.  The following is information on the few records that survive.

Archive Location[edit | edit source]

The surviving original records are deposited at:

Somerset Archives and Local Studies
Somerset Heritage Centre
Brunel Way
Langford Mead
Norton Fitzwarren
Taunton U.K. TA2 6SF
Tel: (0)1823 278805
Direct link to the archive catalogue can be found at here.

Archive Records[edit | edit source]

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

  • Wills 1610-1765
  • Inventories 1610-1754 (few before 1634) 
  • Administrators' accounts 1637-1737 

Family History Library Records[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has very few original probate records for Somerset on microfilm.  The few that exist include:

See also the information found in the article on the Court of the Bishop of Bath and Wells (Episcopal Consistory).

Estate Duty Wills 1805-1811

Estate Duty Wills Index 1812-1857

The Society of Genealogists in London has copies of published abstracts of wills and other probate documents for Somerset.  To see a list of titles, search their library catalogue for the Subject of "Somerset - General:Wills."

Jurisdiction[edit | edit source]

The Archdeaconry was part of the Diocese of Bath and Wells.  The Archdeaconry had probate jurisdiction over all of western Somerset, basically from the River Parrett west, with the exception of some parishes under the jurisdiction of peculiar courts.