Help & ResourcesHelp with collectionsNational Wills Index collectionsAbout BRS Probate CollectionMoreAbout British Record Society Probate Collection
Cornwall Archdeaconry Wills & Administrations 1569-1799
Vol. I 1569-1699, British Record Society volume 56
Vol. II 1700-1799, British Record Society volume 59
About the indexThis is a complete index to all names mentioned in wills proved in the Archdeaconry Court of Cornwall. The index was created from the actual wills and Acts of Administration.
The Archdeaconry of Cornwall comprised the greater part of Cornwall, and five parishes in Devon (Broadwood-Widger, St. Giles on the Heath, North Petherwin, Virginstow, and Werrington).
Locating the original documentsWhere are the originals held?
The original wills are held at Cornwall Record Office www.cornwall.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=1729. To obtain copies it is necessary to complete the relevant order form and pay the appropriate charge. An order form can be found online at: www.cornwall.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=14713.
What information from the document do I need to locate the original?
Understanding the indexWhich court or courts are included?
These two volumes index the wills and administrations of the Archdeaconry Court of Cornwall 1569 - 1799
Note - wills proved between 1649 and 1660 will be found in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury since during the civil war the church courts were abolished and a single centralised probate system was established. Between this time all wills were proved and all grants of administration made, at one central Court of Probate in London. This was really just the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC) under a different name and thus wills etc proved during this period will be found indexed within the PCC.
See PCC volumes BRS 54, BRS 61, and Matthews 1-9 for this period.
Which diocese is involved?
Cornwall formed the archdeaconry of Cornwall in the diocese of Exeter.
What does the index include?
All names and places appearing in the will plus some incidental information such as occupation where found in the original documents are included in the index.
Names are arranged alphabetically. This means some name variants may not appear clustered together. Names in the index are according to the spelling used in the documents, usually based on the signature of the testator.
The folio number (where given) identifies the group of pages, anywhere from 2 to 16, within which the will's first page appears.
Dates of pre 1752 wills are given in 'Old Style' or Julian Calendar.
All documents mentioned in this Calendar are Wills except those marked A which are Administrations and those marked C which are accounts.
The asterisks show that the document is lost. Unfortunately very few entries from the sixteenth century exist.
Cornwall Archdeaconry Wills & Administrations Vol. II 1700-1799
In two points this Calendar differs from that of Vol I: