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Westmoreland (WES)


  1. Geographically, Westmoreland was almost evenly divided between the Consistory of Carlisle in the north and (A) 2 of the western deaneries of the Archdeaconry of Richmond in the south. However, the majority of parishes in Westmoreland came under the Consistory of Carlisle (Cumberland). Most of the South belonged to the Deanery of Kendal. The southeast portion of the county was under the Deanery of Lonsdale and the places belonging to Lonsdale are listed below. See the county map in The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers to determine the division between the Consistory of Carlisle and the Deanery of Kendal.
  2. There were also 3 manorial courts with probate records: (B) the manors of Ravenstonedale and Temple Sowerby, and (C) the manor of Docker. The records for Docker, 1686-1770, have not been microfilmed. There is a printed index to Docker through 1750 and its records are available at the Cumbria Record Office in Carlisle.
Places Courts
Barbon see Kirkby Lonsdale
Casterton see Kirkby Lonsdale
Docker Manor of Docker (C)
Firbank see Kirkby Lonsdale
Hutton Roof see Kirkby Lonsdale
Killington see Kirkby Lonsdale
Kirkby Lonsdale Deanery of Lonsdale (A)
Lupton see Kirkby Lonsdale
Mansergh see Kirkby Lonsdale
Middleton see Kirkby Lonsdale
Ravenstonedale Manor of Ravenstonedale (B)
Temple Sowerby Manor of Temple Sowerby (B)

Decision Table

For those who lived in (A) the Deaneries of Kendal and Lonsdale, search:

  1. The respective Deanery Court.
  2. Prerogative Court of York (see York)
  3. Prerogative Court of Canterbury (see London: PCC)
  4. Court of Delegates, 1636- (see London: Delegates)

For those who lived in (B) the manors of Ravenstonedale and Temple Sowerby, search:

  1. The respective Manorial Court.
  2. Consistory Court of Carlisle (see Cumberland)

For those who lived in (C) the manor of Docker, search:

  1. The printed index described below.
  2. Do all of the steps in (A).

For those who lived anywhere in the county between 1653-1660, search:

  1. 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).

Printed Index for the Western Deaneries

1748-1858, (FHL 942.72 P22a), 20 volumes bound into 5
This index was published in 2001 and includes both of the deaneries of Kendal and Lonsdale. For pre-1748 research, search the filmed calendars and act books described below.

Microfilmed Calendars/Act Books for the Western Deaneries

All of the Western Deaneries share a common calendar but it stops in 1720. Thereafter, the Act Books can be used as a substitute index. The calendars are on FHL/BYU films 98557-98567. There is a common act book for 4 of the deaneries, 1719-1726, on FHL/BYU film 99950, item 3. The act book, 1727-1748, for Kendal is item 3 of FHL film 99951 and item 4 of the same film is for Lonsdale.

Microfilmed Probate Records for the Western Deaneries

All of the surviving documents for the western deaneries have been microfilmed. The Original Wills, 1749-1858, for 3 of the deaneries, including Kendal and Lonsdale, were filmed twice. The second filming begins with film number 2106597 and is probably more complete. The first filming of all of the probate records including the Original Wills before 1749 begins with film 98557.

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.

Printed Index for the 3 Manorial Courts

1661-1750, (FHL 942 B4b) and (BYU CS 434 .B7) volume 110
This is volume 110 of the Index Library series (BRS) for the Consistory of Carlisle. It includes all of the surviving probate records for that portion of Westmoreland covered by the Consistory Court of Carlisle as well as the 3 manorial courts. "We" in the index refers to Westmoreland and the 3 manorial courts of Docker, Ravenstonedale, and Temple Sowerby are respectively "Doc," "Rav" and "Tem." The entries of Ravenstonedale include an administration in 1711 for John Pinder, a Quaker of Maryland.

Microfilmed Probate Records for (B) the 2 Manorial Courts

The index, 1670-1856, for Ravenstonedale is at the start of FHL film 97321. The actual records are on FHL films 97321-97325. Film 97325 covers the original documents for P-W and is also at BYU. The index and records for Temple Sowerby, 1575-1816, are on FHL film 97326.

Miscellaneous Section

  1. The Surtees Society published abstracts from wills of the northern counties, including Westmoreland, from the medieval period to about 1580 in volumes 1, 26, 116 and 121 that are now online. Start here.
  2. Index and Extracts of Cumbrians in Wills Proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (FHL 942.8 P2i)
    This work was compiled by Jim Richardson and Ron Shaw and published in 1984.
  3. 1686-1738, Quaker Wills, (FHL 942.88 S2s)
    Some Westmorland Wills was edited by John Somervell and published in 1928. There are 81 wills and inventories, plus other data from Quaker records.
  4. Further details for this county can be found in David H. Pratt's Researching British Probates, 1354-1858 (FHL Reference 942 P23p and BYU Religion/Family History Reference CS 434 .X1 P72 1992).