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East Kent (KEN)
The majority of parishes came under the Archdeaconry of Canterbury, but over 50 parishes were directly under the Consistory of Canterbury. Start by searching both courts: (A) the archdeaconry and consistory of Canterbury. Before 1547, 5 parishes near Wingham (Ash, Goodnestone, Nonington, Wingham, and Womenswold) came under the separate jurisdiction of (B) the College of Wingham. After 1546, they were assigned to the Consistory of Canterbury.
For those who lived in (A) the archdeaconry and consistory of Canterbury, search:
- Archdeaconry and Consistory Courts of Canterbury
- Prerogative Court of Canterbury (see London: PCC)
- Court of Arches, 1660- (see London: Arches)
- Court of Delegates, 1636- (see London: Delegates)
For those who lived in (B) the jurisdiction of the College of Wingham, search:
- The registered copy wills of Wingham, 1471-1546
- Do 1-4 as in (A) above.
For those who lived anywhere in the county between 1653-1660, search:
- Prerogative Court of Canterbury (see London: PCC)
For those who lived anywhere in the county between 1812-1857, regardless of what is found in the probate records of any of the above courts, consider searching also the estate duty registers. (see London: Estate Duty)
Indexes/Calendars for the Probate Courts of East Kent
- 1396-1858. Start with the online index available via Kent Genealogy. If further help is needed, consult the pertinent items below.
- 1396-1558, Registered Wills (FHL 942 B4b & BYU CS 434 .B7) volume 50
This is Part I of volume 50 of the Index Library series (BRS) of printed indexes. It indexes the registered copy wills for both the Archdeaconry and Consistory of Canterbury, plus Wingham. In addition to the registered copy wills, it includes for the first two courts the administrations, act books and inventories for the same time period. Both BRS volumes 50 and 65 have been scanned into the Ancestry.com system under Ancestry.com. This is a subscription site but you have free access to it when searching at the FHL or using the computers in the family history section of the BYU library.
- 1558-1577, Registered Wills (FHL 942 B4b) and (BYU on fiche CS 43 .G46x LH 12310) volume 65 (See the description under 2 above.) In addition to the coverage of registered copy wills for both courts, there is a list of administrations, 1539-1545, starting on page 146 taken from an act book.
- 1640-1650, Original Wills, Part II of volume 50 (See the description under 2 above.) Part II includes both courts and includes administrations, inventories, act books and nuncupative wills.
- 1449-1712, Registered Wills, Archdeaconry of Canterbury (FHL 942.23 P22 bgL)
This is a 4 volume set arranged by surname and compiled by Gloria Liddle Bangerter. Four more volumes under 942.23 P22bg cover the same time period by locality.
- 1713-1858, Registered Wills, Archdeaconry of Canterbury (FHL 942.23 P22 bgp) and (BYU on fiche 6035796-6035797) A two volume set compiled by Gloria Liddle Bangerter. Two more volumes under 942.23 bgo cover the same time period by locality.
- 1449-1858, Original Wills, Archdeaconry of Canterbury (FHL 942.23 P22 bgm) Two further volumes compiled by Gloria Liddle Bangerter. Volume 1 is arranged by locality, and volume 2 by surname. From the description of this work it indexes only unregistered wills, however, the original records matching a registered will could be found by searching other record categories for the year in which the will was proven.
Microfilmed Probate Records for the Courts of East Kent
All of the key records for the Archdeaconry and Consistory of Canterbury have been microfilmed including accounts, act books, bonds, caveats, registers of guardianship, inventories, renunciations, administrations, original wills and registered copy wills. The accounts are indexed in BRS volumes 112-113. The FHL cataloging is confusing. There were at least two major filmings. The archdeaconry has 5 series of films in the FHL catalog, the consistory has 3, and there is one series for the two courts combined. Start your research in the archdeaconry with the series that begins with film 1042603. For the consistory, start with film 1066889. If the desired records are not found, see the FHLC for further details of the other series. There are also separate indexes to inventories on film or fiche. The registered copy wills for Wingham are on FHL and BYU film 189093.
NOTE: Where an initial film number is given, use either version of the FHL catalog to see all of the films in that collection. The previous version at FamilySearch may be a little easier to use for that purpose.
- 1535-1596, Will Abstracts (FHL 6341166)
Jules de Launay indexed the will abstracts for 18 parishes in the southwest corner of the Archdeaconry of Canterbury referred to as the Weald of East Kent. The entries come from volumes 21-50 of the Archdeaconry of Canterbury and were published by the Kent Family History Society.
- Transcriptions of Wills (FHL 942.23 C4ka)
Some of the earliest wills have been transcribed and published in the journal, Archaeologia Cantiana. Start with the index to volumes 1-99 made by Eric Poole (FHL 6341181). There are also master indexes in volumes 19 and 52 of the journal to its preceding volumes.
- Medieval/Tudor Kent Wills Online
The Kent Archaeological Society has put online the notebooks of Leland L. Duncan referring mainly to wills in the PCC. The notebooks include entries before 1600 for the Deanery of Shoreham, plus what appears to be wills from both the Archdeaconry and Consistory of Canterbury. Also online are administrations for people from Kent in the PCC from 1559-1649. An easy way to access all of the above is to click on Medieval Genealogy. Look under Sources and then Probates.
- 1559-1649, Kent Administrations in the PCC Online
These can now be accessed via at Kent Genealogy.
- 1490-1854, Kent Inventories in the PCC (FHL 942.23 P2rk)
The compiler of this work is Gillian Rickard.
- 1560-1857, Will Collection for Kent Families
The families selected for inclusion in this work were made by Frank Watt Tyler. His information is outlined on FHL films 1544555, items 30-31 and 1544588, item 1. Search under his name in the author box in the main menu of the FHL catalog for his collections.