Find your ancestors in Staffordshire, Dioceses of Lichfield and Coventry wills and probate 1521-1860

Included in this record set are both transcripts and images of the original wills and probate documents. While the amount of available information varies, most transcripts include the following:

  • First name(s)
  • Last name
  • Death date
  • Year of will
  • Year of grant of probate, or year of letters of administration
  • Year of inventory
  • Occupation
  • Parish
  • County
  • Series description
  • Piece description – Such as original wills, administrations, and inventories. This may contain volume information, such as vol. D or vol. 1.
  • Piece surname range – This may contain a single letter (e.g. A), a letter-to-letter range (e.g. I-L), a name to letter range (e.g. Dolphin-G), a letter to name range (e.g. A-Barnith), or a name range (e.g. Bull-Clarson).
  • Piece year range

Images of the original documents will often include more detailed, personal information about your ancestor, including estate information. Wills and letters of administration (where a will was not made) will often include references to entire family networks. These probate records may also include an inventory of the property of the deceased, which was compiled and usually valued by close family or friends. Inventories survive for almost all wills up to 1750, when they reduce steadily until, by 1800, there are very few. Probate courts between 1530 and 1782 would insist on such documentation in order to prove the will. However, after 1782, inventories were usually compiled only where there was a dispute.

Please note that some of the images are of poor quality and hard to decipher. Additionally, some transcripts will link to multiple images: use the previous and next buttons to see all the images associated with that transcript.

Discover more about these records

This record set is comprised of two collections:

Diocese of Lichfield & Coventry Probate Court Act Books 1532-1638

  • This covers the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, including Staffordshire, Derbyshire, the northern half of Shropshire, and north and east Warwickshire. These records include abbreviated notes of probate court business.
  • Calendar of wills and letters of administration (admons)
  • Index of wills

Diocese of Lichfield & Coventry original wills, inventories and letters of administration 1521-1858, which are taken from Consistory Court and Peculiar Courts records and include probate documents and inventories.

  • This covers the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry up to 1836, including Staffordshire, Derbyshire, north Shropshire, north and east Warwickshire, as well as the diocese of Lichfield from 1836 to 1858, including Staffordshire and north Shropshire.

The Genealogical Society of Utah in the 1950s undertook a microfilming project covering the years 1521-1858 and has graciously allowed the inclusion of those films in this record set. In 1858, the civil courts inherited the documents. Images copyrighted to Staffordshire County Council.