Intestate: Patrick Birminghman, Grocer

Every now and then rare examples of series items are found in our collection which may be described as 'treasures'.

One example we discovered is the intestate estate file for a Mr Patrick Birmingham, a grocer from Waterloo who died on 17 June 1907. Most of the records below are not typically found in intestate estate files, especially the photographs.

Intestate: a person who dies without leaving a will.


As is common for intestate estate files of business owners such as shopkeepers, all items (or goods) found to be within the business premises of the deceased are listed as part of assessing the assets in the estate. As Mr Birmingham's next of kin's whereabouts were not known at the time the file was created, many items associated with trying to identify them were kept in the file and have survived as State archives.


Among receipts, account balances, and credit notes in Mr Birmingham's file, there are some more interesting items including the very rare inclusion of nine photographs (examples below). There are no names included for the persons in the photographs.

As the photos have remained in the file it appears no next of kin was found to claim them.

Customer accounts

Two of Mr Birmingham's customer account books are included, as are many claims for money owed to suppliers.


Two valuable and useful inclusions for family history research, are an original birth certificate (for Birmingham's daughter) and a copy of Birmingham's marriage certificate

Burial receipt

There is also a burial receipt included for a relative named Mary A Birmingham, interred at Rookwood Cemetery in 1893.

Right to vote

Another interesting and uncommon record in the file is Mr Birmingham's elector's right, which confirms his entitlement to vote in the Belmore Division of Sydney, in 1894. Note his qualification to vote included 'manhood'.

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