Australia, Victoria, Index to Probate Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Collection Time Period

This collection of probate registers from the State of Victoria covers the years 1841-1990.

Record History

The probates and wills in this collection were kept and recorded by several different government offices over time (Supreme Court of N.S.W. for the District of Port Phillip; Master of Equity, Supreme Court; Master of the Supreme Court; and Registrar of Probates, Supreme Court). The probates and wills were subsequently archived in the Public Record Office Victoria where they have been maintained in two separate series: Probate and Administration Files (Series VPRS 28) and Wills (VPRS 7591). The wills in this collection were originally among the estate papers in a probate application but were subsequently separated. The most recent probate records (2002 and later) are available only from the Victorian Probate Office.

Why This Record Was Created

The Probate Registry is responsible for determining, on application for a grant of representation, what document or documents constitute the last will of the deceased and/or who is entitled to be the personal representative of the deceased. When these determinations have been made, a grant is issued to the estate of the deceased person.

Record Reliability

While probate records are one of the most accurate sources of genealogical evidence, they must be used with caution. Some family information may not be complete or may be omitted; such as the mention of children from a previous marriage, it may give inaccurate relationships of people mentioned in the document, it may omit the names of others that may had previously received their inheritance, etc.

Record Description

Most of the documentation listed in the probate registers are wills handwritten in narrative form.

Record Content
Australia Victoria State Probate Records 1841-1985 DGS 004104493 00010.jpg

The key genealogical facts found in most will records are:

  • Name of testator
  • Death date
  • Place of residence and address
  • Occupation
  • Date of testament
  • Declaration
  • Names of children or heirs
  • Name of spouse
  • Name of administrator of will
  • Guardians and relationships
  • Nature of grant
  • Witnesses


How to Use the Record

Depending on the length or type of testament one can find genealogical information to extend research for additional generations of ancestors. Wills may provide historical family information not found elsewhere. They are often the only record for the time period before census records became available, where all members of a family might be listed, or before the civil registration was implemented.

While probate records are one of the most accurate sources of genealogical evidence, they must be used with caution. Some family information may not be complete or may be omitted; such as the mention of children from a previous marriage, it may give inaccurate relationships of people mentioned in the document, it may omit the names of others that may had previously received their inheritance, etc. 

Related Websites

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Related Wiki Articles

Australia Probate Records


Sources of This Collection

  • Probate and Administration Files. Series VPRS 28; Public Record Office of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria.
  • Wills. Series VPRS 7591; Public Record Office of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria.

 

How To Cite Your Sources:

Instructions for citing this source can be found at: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections





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