Court of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex (Essex and Hertfordshire Division)

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Return to the Essex Probate Records page.

Step By Step[edit | edit source]

1. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will or administration (admon), 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.

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.

Every-name indexes:

There are will abstracts from 1725-1858 which index every name included in a will, not just the testators.

Testator indexes:

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:

Original handwritten indexes:

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

  • Essex & Hertford calender of wills & administrations, vol. 1-3, 1554-1857,  FHL Film 94737
  • Calendar of Wills & Admons:                  1608-1810
  • Index, Registered & Unregistered Wills:   1538-1711
  • Probate & Admon Act Books:                 1660-1857
  • Indexes, Probate & Admons Acts:           1660-1762

Original (Unregistered) Wills and Registered Wills as well as the 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 Archdeaconry of Essex).

Records[edit | edit source]

Archive 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.

Original Wills

Registered Copy Wills (indexes precede wills)1538-1603; 1620-1627, 1630-1631, 1678-1858

Act Books 

Probate & Administration Acts:  1660-1857 

Muniment Books 1720-1838

Assignations 1660-1857

Family History Library Records[edit | edit source]

Probate records for the Commissary Court of the Diocese of London, Essex and Hertfordshire division, 1431-1858

Original Wills 1608-1810

Registered Copy Wills (indexes precede wills)1538-1603; 1620-1627, 1630-1631, 1678-1858

Muniment Books 1720-1838
Assignations 1660-1857

Miscellaneous Wills 1619-1639

See or visit the Essex County Record Office for accessing these records. Or, visit the Family History Library or one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers to view its microfilmed collection of the Archdeaconry Court of Middlesex (Essex & Hertfordshire Division). To obtain the film numbers to the above records, see the Family History Library Catalog entry for this court.

[edit | edit source]

The probate records of the Court of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex (Essex &A Hertfordshire division) date from 1538 to 1858 and cover 38 parishes in Essex. The records were transferred to the Diocese of London in 1858 and held there until 1958 when they were transferred back to the Chelmsford County Hall, where they reside today.

Before looking for a will, be certain to search for available indexes. County Essex is well-covered with comprehensive indexes for most of its probate courts as listed below.

Administrations for the years 1678 to 1857 are available at the Essex County Record Office, Chelmsford, U.K. The Family History Library has on microfilm, many of the administrations (Admons).

To view a list of parishes and their respective probate court jurisdiction, see the "Essex Parishes Parishes and Their Probate Jurisdictions" on the main page for Essex Probate Records.

Before looking for a will, you should search an index to more quickly find a probate record for an ancestor.