Archives behind the scenes - probate packets

In this episode of Archives Behind the Scenes, Coleen shows us the very popular Probate Packets.

These records contain the last will and testament of the deceased as well as administrative documents around the settling of the estate. The records in our collection date from 1817 to 1976 and some of 1989. And we have boxes and boxes of them!

Published on 
digitised page from a bankruptcy file

Bankruptcy: what the files can tell you

Bankruptcy files contain lists of creditors that the bankrupt person owed money to and debtors that owed money to the bankrupt person

Deceased estate file listing contents in the house

Deceased estates: what the files can tell you

We hold over 570,000 deceased estate files for the years 1880 to 1958. The Stamp Duties Office created a file for every person who died leaving property or other assets ('estates'), which were subject to death duties

Divorce records: what the files can tell you

Divorce files can be a detailed source of information for family history, providing extra details that may not have been discussed or known within the family

Directions for making a will, from a 1929 probate file

Probate packets: what the files can tell you

Probate packets hold the last will and testament, codicils, an inventory of assets of the estate, affidavits of death and other papers