How to search for probate files at State Records NSW

SRNSW Western Sydney Records CentreProbate is the process of proving that a will left by a deceased person is genuine. Probate files are created by the NSW Supreme Court (or equivalent in other States) and transferred gradually to State Records NSW. They are more commonly called ‘probate packets’, since all the documents are folded in three into an envelope.

Probate packets can contain all sorts of goodies, including a copy of the will, an inventory of assets, affidavits from family members, and sometimes a copy of the death certificate and newspaper notices.

State Records NSW holds probate packets up to the 1960s, but to find them involves searching the index on microfiche created by the NSW Supreme Court.  State Records NSW has been gradually adding each packet to it online catalogue, Archives Investigator, so that we can search from home.

The latest Now and Then, the State Records NSW newsletter, describes the packets that have been listed so far and how to find them, and I can do no better than to quote the article here.

More probate packets listed in Archives Investigator Over 300 000 individual (NRS 13660) Probate Packets are available in Archives Investigator! Listed so far are:

•             Series 1: April 1817 to c. May 1873

•             Series 2: 1873 to 1876

•             Series 3: 1876 to c.1890

•             The years 1928-54 from Series 4 – Series 4-152152 (probate granted June 1928) to Series 4-419994 (probate granted July 1954).

To check if the details of your ancestor’s Probate Packet is now available online just go to Archives Investigator – Simple Search, key in the name of your ancestor followed by the word ‘death’ and click on the ‘Search’ button. If you locate a relevant result you then have the option to order a photocopy of the probate or preorder the probate packet to view in person at the Western Sydney Records Centre (WSRC).

Search for your elusive ancestor today http://investigator.records.nsw.gov.au/

Do a search for all your New South Wales ancestors, male and female, and plan a trip out to the Western Sydney Records Centre (WSRC) at Kingswood. Take your digital camera, or be prepared to pay for photocopies if you can’t deal with the folded up pages. You won’t regret it!

Retrieval orders for probate packets are only sent at certain times of the day, so you can save time by preordering up to four packets a day or two before your visit, to be waiting for you when you arrive.

ScotlandsPeople allows expired credits to be reactivated

ScotlandsPeople, the site that gives us Scottish parish registers, civil registrations, wills and more, works on a pay-per-view system where credits expire after 90 days. If you buy some more after the old ones have expired the old ones are reactivated, so you don’t lose them completely.

They have issued an announcement to the effect that you can reactivate old credits on a one-time only basis without buying new ones.

ScotlandsPeople would like to offer all customers who have existing credits in their account the opportunity to re-activate and use the credits at no cost through the use of a voucher code. We are doing this to allow customers who have expired credits to take the opportunity to use these without making a purchase.

All customers who have existing credits can now use the free voucher code SCOTLANDSPEOPLE which will re-set the credit expiry to 90 days in their account. Customers may use this voucher any time until 1.00 p.m. on Thursday 17th June, 2010. The voucher may only be used once in each account.For information on how to use the voucher code, click here.

It’s quite easy. Just log in, click on the Need More link, and enter the voucher code SCOTLANDSPEOPLE. Your credits will now expire in 2160 hours, and no money will have changed hands.

They have made this offer available until 17 June 2010, so do it now before you forget!

Let’s get the England and Wales Probate Calendar Indexes to Wills online!

I’ve received the following email. You can have your vote towards getting the Index to Probates for England and Wales since 1858 online, as long as you do it in the next day or so (allowing for the time difference).

Subject: Re: ENGLAND & WALES Probate Calendar

John Briden HMCS (Her Majesty’s Courts Service) is hoping to get the  Probate Calendar Indexes to Wills and Grants, issued since 1858 in England and Wales online.

The index includes the full name and address of the deceased and date of death. See http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/1226.htm

He has put together a short questionnaire and would like to receive as many responses as possible by Friday 27th March.  I realise that this is very short notice but if you are able to help by responding to John it would be appreciated. 

Copy and paste the questions below into an email, add your answers and send your responses to john.briden@justice.gsi.gov.uk

  • Q1. If the probate calendar was available on the internet, would you use it?
  •  
  • Q2. If you would use it – how often would you use it?
  •  
  • Q3. What probate information would you be interested in seeing online, and why that particular information?
  •  
  • Q4. Would you like to order copies online, and be prepared to pay for them online?
  •  
  • Q5. Would you prefer to access the calendar online, but order and pay for copies by post, or by telephone?
  •  
  • Q6. Would you be prepared to pay a premium to the fee, in addition to the normal cost for a more immediate service?


Original message from:

Mauren Bullows

Archives Liaison Officer

Email: archives.liaison@ffhs.org.uk 

www.ffhs.org.uk

 This email has been sent by: 

The Federation of Family History Societies a Company Limited by Guarantee

Company Number 2930189 (England & Wales) – Registered Charity Number 1038721

Registered Office: Artillery House, 15 Byrom Street, Manchester, England M3 4PF

Just cut-and-paste the questions into an email, add your answers, and send to john.briden@justice.gsi.gov.uk. Let’s add our Australian voices to this issue!

My thanks to Michelle Nichols for drawing this to my attention.