England, Durham Diocese, Probate Inventories - FamilySearch Historical Records

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England, Durham Diocese, Probate Inventories, 1676-1846
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Durham, England
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Location of Durham, England
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Location of England
Record Description
Record Type Probate Inventories
Collection years 1676-1846
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Durham University


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection consists of probate records from County Durham for the years 1687-1846. Certain parishes in the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, and Yorkshire are also represented in the collection.

After 1530, every executor of a will was required to provide an inventory of the deceased’s goods, together with their value; after 1782, these inventories could still be produced by request, but they were no longer legally required. The inventories listed the deceased’s personal property, such as furniture and clothing, cash, shares, debts owing or owed, crops, livestock, tools used by the deceased in his trade or occupation, stock-in-trade, and numbers of slaves. Sometimes there were separate inventories of specific items, such as of leases, mortgages etc.

These records are linked to an index on the Durham University website.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

These records are sorted by reference numbers. For assistance with searching, see the section How Do I Search This Collection?.

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for England, Durham Diocese, Probate Inventories, 1676-1846.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Probate Inventories

  • Name of Deceased
  • Residence
  • Occupation (if tools of the occupation were listed)
  • Stocks
  • Leases
  • Mortgages
  • Benefactors

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Image[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search These Records?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the individual
  • Approximate date of death

Helpful Hint: The records in this collection are linked to an index on Durham University Probate Database website.

  • Fill in as much information as you know and click on Search Database.
  • The results will provide a link back to the images and/or give you the reference number to look within FamilySearch.

View the Images[edit | edit source]

Once you have a reference number, you can view images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select Durham University Library Reference Number to view the images.

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
Some of the records in this collection may be written in an old script that can be challenging to read. Refer to BYU’s Script Tutorial for assistance with reading the records.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Save or print a copy of the image if possible
  • If a death date is available, use it to search for a death record
  • Use any information about family members to search for census records
  • If an age at death is available, calculate an estimated birth year to search for a birth record
  • Probate records may tell you of land ownership or occupation. This information may lead you to land or business records
  • Continue to search for people with the same surname to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Check for variants of given names and surnames
  • Spelling may not have been standardized. Pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation
  • Simple clerical errors were also always possible
  • Individuals were often listed under a middle name, a nickname or an abbreviation of their given name
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name, surname, or expand the date range to return broader list of possible matches
  • Search the records of nearby localities
    • Tyne, Wear, and Northumberland to the north
    • Cumbria to the west
    • North Yorkshire to the south

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Durham.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records/Guidelines for Articles.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.