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BEDFORDSHIRE: Bedfordshire Probate Records

  • Since 1858 Probate records for England and Wales are at the Principal Registry of the Family DIvision, SOmerset House, Strand,
  • London WC2R 1LP. Indexes to these are held locally at the Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service for 1900-1935 only.
  • Registered copy wills for Bedfordshire 1858-1930 are deposited at the Northamptonshire Record Office and are indexed to 1908.
  • Before 1858 Bedfordshire formed the archdeaconry of Bedford in the diocese of Lincoln and province of Cantebury.
  • Apart from the Perogative Court of Cantebury (P.C.C.) virtually all probate records for the whole county are at the Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service.
  • For further reading details of the tax can be found in Probate Jurisdictions:
    • Where to look for Wills compiled by Jeremy Gibson, published by the Federation of Family History Societies ISBN 1 872094 69 4.

Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service, Bedford

  • One index covers the Archdeaconry of Bedford and the two Peculiars of Biggleswade and Leighton Buzzard. Wills 1480-1857, admons 1670-1857; Biggleswade Peculiar 1720 only. Leighton Buzzard Peculiar from 1701 only. this is published in two volumes (Bedford Record Society 104, 105). The introduction lists publications in which early Bedfordshire wills have appeared.
    • Exception:
    • Everton, in Archdeaconry of Huntingdon.

Perogative Court of Canterbury

  • The Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service has copies of most Perogative Court of Cantebury (P.C.C.) wills for
  • Bedfordshire people up to 1700 (amd some P.C.C. inventories), all card indexed.

Printed Sources

  • Genealogia Bedfordiensis, 1538-1700 by F.A. Blaydes has numerous abstracts of Bedfordshire wills arranged by parish.
  • Bedfordshire wills 1480-1528 (from the Archdeaconry Court) are abstracted in Bedfordshire Historical Record Society publications 37 and 45.
  • Bedfordshire Wills proved in the P.C.C. 1383-1548, editor Margaret McGregor for Bedfordshire Historical record Society publication 58 contains abstracts.
  • Inventories of Bedfordshire Houses, 1714-1830, in Bedfordshire Historical Records Society publication 74 contains 18 houses mainly from the estate collections rather than from probate.

Places outside the archdeaconry's jurisdiction.

  • Everton, fell into the archdeaconry of Huntingdonshire
  • The Peculiar of Biggleswade
  • The Peculiar of Leighton Buzzard
    • Leighton Buzzard and its former hamlets of
      • Billington
      • Eggington
      • Heath and Reach
      • Stanbridge


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