Australia, Victoria, Index to Probate Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Collection Time Period
This collection of probate registers from the State of Victoria covers the years 1841-1990.
Most of the documentation listed in the probate registers are wills handwritten in narrative form.
The key genealogical facts found in most will records are:
- Name of testator
- Death date
- Place of residence and address
- Date of testament
- Names of children or heirs
- Name of spouse
- Name of administrator of will
- Guardians and relationships
- Nature of grant
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 or omit the names of others that may had previously received their inheritance, etc.
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 the 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.
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.
Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
It is recommended that you cite the sources of information as you search genealogical records. Citing sources will allow you to avoid duplicate searches later and share your sources with other researchers. A citation with specific details about the source document should allow yourself or others to easily find the source document at a later time. You should cite all sources searched, whether new information is found, to avoid duplicating searches without findings.
Suggested Format: A suggested format for citations created to document information found in FamilySearch Record Search is: Collection title, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: date accessed or downloaded), items of interest.
Items of Interest Include:
- Name of the person mentioned in the document
- File, folder or jacket number
- Record type
- Page number
- Line number
- Date of entry
- Digital identification number
- Film number
You are Invited to Add Source Citations for a Record in This Collection. Please add sample citations to this article following the format guidelines listed above.
Example of a Source Citation for a Record Found in This Collection
"Australia, Victoria Probate Registers, 1840-1990 index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 7 October 2011 entry for Alfred Baker, died 7 September 1886 citing Court Records; Public Record Office of Victoris, Melborne, Victoria, Australia.
Citation for 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.
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