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National Library of Wales
Bangor Probate Records

Reference code(s): GB 0210 PROBB

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Welsh Probate Records, Diocese of Bangor

Short Title: Bangor Probate Records

Creation date(s): 1576-1858 (mainly 1635-1648, 1660-1858)

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 31,689 items, 3 vols

Name of creator(s): Church of England. Diocese of Bangor


Administrative/Biographical history: In England and Wales prior to 12 January 1858, wills were proved and letters of administration granted in ecclesiastical courts, each having its own area of jurisdiction. Which court had jurisdiction in a particular case depended mainly on the place of death and the extent and location of the deceased's estate. The Consistory Court of Bangor was responsible for probate and administration in the counties of Anglesey, Caernarfon (except for a small number of parishes which were in the Diocese of St Asaph), Merioneth (except for thirteen parishes under the jurisdiction of the Consistory Court of St Asaph), the Deanery of Dyffryn Clwyd in Denbighshire and the Deanery of Arwystli in Montgomeryshire. It is apparent that for probate purposes this court sometimes administered the parishes of Ysbyty Ifan and Llanrwst in Denbighshire, both of which which normally came under the jurisdiction of the Consistory Court of St Asaph. From 1648 the Consistory Court of Bangor ceased to function and during the Commonwealth, 1653-1660, probate in England and Wales was undertaken by the Court of Civil Commission in London. After the Restoration probate business reverted to the jurisdiction of the church courts. In 1858 the responsiblity for probate was transferred from the ecclesiastical courts to a simpler system of civil probate registries.


Scope and content/abstract: 31,689 original wills, inventories, administration bonds and miscellaneous other probate records, 1576-1858 (majority dated 1635-1648, 1660-1858), from parishes in Anglesey, most of Caernarfonshire, Merionethshire, and parts of Denbighshire and Montgomeryshire; 3 vols register copy wills and administrations, 1790, 1851-1858. The group also includes a number of documents from parishes which were normally within the Diocese of St Asaph and a few stray items from elsewhere in Wales, England and Ireland.


Language/scripts of material: Mainly English, some Welsh, small proportion of Latin pre-1733.

System of arrangement: Divided into original probate records arranged chronologically within the diocese, and further sub-divided by county, parish and surname; and register copy wills and administrations arranged chronologically by volume.

Conditions governing access: Public records. Some items unfit for production.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply.

Physical characteristics: Some items damaged.

Finding aids: For searches of original probate records: NLW, full catalogue online, or A2A website; hard copies of the indexes for the Diocese of Bangor available as an Index of the Probate Records of the Bangor Consistory Court Vol. 1 Pre-1700 (Aberystwyth: NLW, 1980) and unpublished Bangor Probate Indexes 1700-1749, 1750-1858. Abstracts and Indexes of Original Wills, Bangor Diocese, are available on microfiche, compiled by the Genealogical Society of Utah. For register copy wills: NLW, manuscript Bangor Probate Indexes, 1790-1826, 1827-1858. Hard copies of the NLW indexes to original pre-1858 wills of the Diocese of Bangor are held by Gwynedd Archives Service, Caernarfon and Dolgellau, Anglesey Archives Service, The Family Records Centre, London, and the Society of Genealogists, London. N.B. For best results in personal name searches, possible alternative spellings of each name should be considered.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history: In 1858 the earlier probate records from the Consistory Court were transferred to the District Probate Registry at Bangor. They were conveyed thence to the National Library of Wales in 1945, in accordance with the Direction of the President of the Probate Division of the High Court of Justice.

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by Bangor District Probate Registry in 1945.


Related material: Register copy wills of the District Probate Registry of Bangor, 1858-1941, are held by NLW and by the Principal Registry of the Family Division, London. Some wills and administrations are included in the consistory court papers filed with the diocesan records of the Church in Wales, held at NLW. Other sources of probate records from Wales are the records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC) and those of the Court of Civil Commission, available for consultation at the National Archives, Kew.

Publication note: Henson, Nia, Index of the Probate Records of the Bangor Consistory Court, Vol. 1 Pre-1700 (Aberystwyth: NLW 1980)


Note: Title derived from content of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Hilary A. Peters for the ANW project from the following sources: Henson, Nia, Index of the Probate Records of the Bangor Consistory Court, Vol. 1 Pre-1700 (Aberystwyth: NLW 1980); NLW, unpublished Bangor Probate Indexes, 1700-1858; NLW, information leaflet Probate Records in the National Library of Wales (1993).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: June 2006

Church of England. | Diocese of Bangor. | Consistory Court | Archives
Ecclesiastical courts | Wales | Bangor | Archives
Probate records | Wales | Denbighshire
Probate records | Wales | Gwynedd
Probate records | Wales | Montgomeryshire

Personal names

Corporate names
Church of England | Diocese of Bangor. | Consistory Court


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