FindMyPast Australia has acquired the rights to digitise and publish the Will Books held by State Records NSW. I don’t usually publish press releases but this is such good news I just had to do it!
The Will Books are hand-written copies of the wills made by the office of the Probate Registrar. They have been on microfilm for some time, and I imagine it is the microfilms which will be digitised. The original will is kept in the probate packet, access to which is restricted until the packets are sent to the archive at State Records NSW. See the entry for this series in Archives Investigator.
Here’s the release in full:
Historical will books from New South Wales to be published for the first time by findmypast.com.au
Findmypast.com.au secures government contract to display NSW will books online
12 June 2013 – Leading family history site, findmypast.com.au, has secured the rights to publish all of the registered wills from New South Wales from 1800 to 1952. As the only genealogy site displaying this information, the tender win is a major coup for findmypast.com.au as it consolidates its strong presence in the Australian market.
The collection of will books will be available later this year and will include handwritten copies of the original wills, from about 1800 to 1924, and typed copies of wills from 1924 to 1952.
The will books are an excellent resource for family history enthusiasts tracing the financial history of their ancestors. Findmypast.com.au users will be able to track exactly where their ancestors’ wealth, estates and belongings were allocated, helping them uncover the past relationships and loyalties their family held.
Findmypast.com.au was awarded the contract by the State Records Authority of New South Wales following a competitive tender process, as findmypast.com.au proved a reliable and credible source to display this critical information.
Findmypast.com.au General Manager Vicki Dawson stated “Successfully securing the contract to display the NSW will books has been a significant milestone for findmypast.com.au. The will books are an invaluable resource to genealogists and only strengthens the already solid offering available from findmypast.com.au. We are continually growing our pool of resources and this win is another prime example of our efforts to become the market leader amongst genealogy websites.”
Jenni Stapleton, Acting Director, at State Records stated, ‘’The will books are one of the most vital sets of records held by State Records and provide a unique insight into the past lives of people in New South Wales. This agreement with findmypast.com.au is an example of increasing access to such valuable resources through new access channels and technologies.”’
For further information on findmypast.com.au or to uncover your family history please visit:
The picture at the top, by the way, is not a will book, it’s a stock photo from Dreamstime [image 6456266] to show you what a will book might look like.