Court of the Peculiar of the Deanery of Bocking

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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.
3. Contact or visit the Essex County 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. Or, you can 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 Indexes[edit | edit source]

A general will index for Essex County is available online. This single index consolidates Essex county wills of the various probate court jurisdictions, including the various smaller Peculiar Court jurisdictions into one database.

  • 1505-1916 - Essex Wills Beneficiaries Index, 1505-1916, online at findmypast. Includes Bishop of London's Commissary Court (Essex & Hertfordshire), Archdeaconry Court of Colchester, Archdeaconry Court of Essex, Archdeaconry Court of Middlesex (Essex & Hertfordshire), Peculiar Court of Deanery of Bocking, Peculiar Court of Good Easter, Peculiar Court of the Sokens, Peculiar Court of Writtle with Roxwell.

Printed and Published Indexes[edit | edit source]

If the indexes on the Internet do not produce possible wills for your ancestors, look in the published indexes listed here.

The Essex County Record Office compiled and published a complete surname index covering wills and administrations from eight Essex County probate courts including this court.  The index is available in three volumes at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City:

  • Emmison, F. G., ed.  [Index to] Wills at Chelmsford.  London: s.n., 1961, by the British Record Society.  (FHL book 942 B4b vols. 78, 79 & 84; also on microfilms 0962739 and 0962740, and on microfiche 6073796, 6073797, and 6073802.)

The following are original handwritten indexes:

Indexes--including calendars, indexes and act books to probate records of this court exist as follows:

  • Calendar of Wills & Admons:                  1608-1810
  • Index, Registered & Unregistered Wills:   1538-1711
  • Probate & Admon Act Books:                 1660-1857
  • Indexes, Probate & Admons Acts:           1660-1762

Other handwritten indexes are listed below in the "Indexes" section.  Click on the court name links on the"Essex County Probate Records" homepage.

One comprehensive index exists for all Essex County court jurisdictions; see "Online Indexes" above to use it.

Visit the Essex County Archives to determine availability their complete collection of records for this court jurisdiction.

The following are microfilmed indexes at the Family History Library:

Original (Unregistered) Wills and Registered Wills as well as extant indexes for this court are available on microfilm at the Family History Library and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers (see Court of the Peculiar of the Deanry of Bocking), or go to FamilySearch Catalog entry for this court.

Records[edit | edit source]

Archives Location[edit | edit source]

Essex Record Office
Archives & Museums
Wharf Road
Chelmsford CM12 6YT
Telephone (01245) 244644

Website: Essex County Record Office

Archive Records[edit | edit source]

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


Registered Copy Wills

Original Wills 1627-1857

Inventories 1730-1760

Administration Bonds, Warrants 1665--1682; 1722-1738; 1756-1853

Family History Library Records[edit | edit source]

You can access these records by visiting this library or any of its 4,500 satelite Family History Centers worldwide.


Registered Copy Wills

Original Wills 1627-1857

Administration Bonds, Warrants 1665--1682; 1722-1738; 1756-1853

Jurisdiction[edit | edit source]

Parishes Comprising This Court Jurisdiction[edit | edit source]

  • Bocking
  • Borley
  • Hamlet of Little Coggeshall
  • Latchingdon
  • Milton in Prittlewell
  • Runsell in Danbury
  • Southchurch
  • Stisted

Probate records of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Peculiar of the Deanery of Bocking were once held in the Chelmsford Cathedral Registry. After the setup of civil courts by act of Parliament in 1858, they were removed to Somerset House, London in 1858. In 1958, the wills of this court were transferred back to Chelmsford to the County Hall, where they reside today.

These records date from 1627 to 1857.