Consistorial Court of the Archdeaconry of Cornwall
St Allen Probates: 1660 - 1858
Prior to 1858, wills were proved and administration of estates granted by ecclesiastical courts. Simple wills for residents of St Allen were proved in the Diocese of Exeter, Archdeaconry Court of Cornwall.
Although these original wills are available in the Cornwall County Record Office in Truro, they have also been filmed by the Church of Latter Day Saints, and as such are available to view in your nearest LDS Family History Centre. To order a film of an original probate from the list linked from below, you need to match it to the relevant film number in the LDS Library Catalogue. (Probates for other parishes in the Archdeaconry of Cornwall court can be found in the indexes at the top of the list of films).
Please note that the Archdeaconry of Cornwall was not responsible for probates for the whole county: some Cornish parishes were administered by different Courts of the Diocese of Exeter. For example, the neighbouring parish of Perranzabuloe, along with St Agnes, came under the Consistory Court of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter.
Tragically, "all Probate records for the Diocese of Exeter which had been deposited in the Probate Registry at Exeter were destroyed there in 1942. Included amongst the records destroyed were those of the Principal Registry and the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Exeter, the Consistory Court of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter and the Peculiar Courts of the Dean of Exeter." In other words, simple wills for inhabitants of St Agnes and Perranzabuloe were destroyed!
To identify the correct ecclesiastical Court for a particular parish, check the Cornwall county map of parishes in The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers, where you will find that the ecclesiastical jurisdictions are displayed and colour-coded.
More complex wills - usually those involving estate in other counties - were proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and can be downloaded for the price of £3.50 from DocumentsOnline. (The link takes you to Probates for residents of St Allen).
Source: LDS Films #90140, #90141
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© Copyright Blanche Norton Charles, 2005 - 2009