Thursday, June 22, 2006

wills and administrations after 1858


The department is still partially in the quill pen period of methods of administration with a six weeks quoted delivery time for copies of wills and with no significant online services for genealogists.

Applications for searches must be made in writing, and give the full name, last known address and date of death of the person concerned.
A search can normally be made using less detail, but if the date of death is not known, you must state the year from which you want the search to be made, or give some other evidence that might indicate when the person died.

Include a cheque for UK £5 payable to "HMCS", and if it is paid from abroad, must be made by International Money Order or bank draft, payable through a United Kingdom bank and made out in £ sterling. If you are applying for a search as well, you can request a search of any length,

If you want the Probate Registry to conduct a search for a period longer than the standard four years, there is an additional fee of £3 for each 4-year period after the first four. Thus, an 8-year search will cost £8, a 12-year search £11, and so on.

send your request to:-

The Postal Searches and Copies Department
The Probate Registry
1st Floor
Castle Chambers
Clifford Street
York YO1 9RG
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (1904) 666777 -- this number carrries a recorded message
Fax: +44 (1904) 666776

The Probate Service is part of Her Majesty's Courts Service and has main offices (Probate Registries) in London, Cardiff, Brighton, Birmingham, Bristol, Ipswich, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford and Winchester. In addition to these, there are smaller offices (sub-Registries) in 18 other locations.

The Probate Service only administers England and Wales there are separate processes for applying for probate in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

But this is only the start. Over the coming months we will be adding information which will be of interest to all but especially to our professional users. We will be able to let you know straight away of anything which will affect the way in which you use our services. In addition, every probate registry will have its own page where such matters as the availability of appointments at probate offices, closing times, new addresses, telephone numbers etc. will be set out.

All this will happen within the next 12 months - meanwhile, please make the fullest use of our present facilities.

Information from Probate records can provide vital pieces of the genealogical puzzle. Although often not as useful as records of births, marriages and deaths, which can evidence crucial links to previous generations, they can provide evidence of relatedness within generations, and often contain fascinating insights into the financial affairs of people in times past. . . in fact at this price much better value than death certificates

HMCS CourtFinder

This information includes a court's address and facilities, opening hours, contact details, how to get there and information relating to court type e.g. Civil, Family.

for example

Birmingham District Probate Registry

The Priory Courts
33 Bull Street
West Midlands
B4 6DU (click for a google map)

DX 701990 Birmingham 7

General Contact Numbers

Switchboard : 0121 681 3400
General Fax : 0121 236 2465
Switchboard : 0121 681 3414

Opening Times

Court building open : 9.30 am
Court building closed : 4.00 pm
Court counter open : 9.30 am
Court counter closed : 4.00 pm

I have just telephoned them and they say one hour service possible by computer from the central registry - I will report back


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