Series VPRS 7591
Wills
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1853 - 1992
  Series in Custody 1853 - 1992
  Contents 1853 - 1992
Public Access: Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1853 - 1948 Master in Equity, Supreme Court (also known as Master in Equity and Lunacy 1867-1923) VA 2624
1853 - 1992 Registrar of Probates, Supreme Court VA 2620
1948 - 1960 Master of the Supreme Court VA 2613
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1960 - cont Registrar of Probates, Supreme Court VA 2620
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    The 1841 - 1925 portion of series has been digitised and is available online. Access to the digitised records is available via the physical records details pages. You can use an online index to search for records here:

    http://prov.vic.gov.au/index_search?searchid=54

    The digitisation of VPRS 7591 was a joint project between the Genealogical Society of Utah and Public Record Office Victoria, undertaken from 2004 - 2011. (Researchers should note that during this project, some records could not be digitised as they required conservation. As of June 2012, conservation work is ongoing. The records will become available online once conservation and digitising is complete.)

    The remainder of these instructions relate to searches for records from 1926 onwards. Links to detailed searching instructions for will and probate records can also be found here:

    http://prov.vic.gov.au/research/wills-and-probate




    Wills have been arranged numerically by file number (eg 123/456, 123/457 etc). To locate items of interest, researchers will need to first obtain relevant file numbers.

    Consult the microfiche VPRS 3340/P2 Index to Probates and Administrations Issued (Microform) also known as Probate Index, Victoria (1841-1992) which is located in VAC and BAC Reading Rooms. The Index is arranged alphabetically by name of the deceased.

    Note series and record numbers from index (for example, 123/456).

    For later records the Probate Index uses the following format: 123456 28/p0001/0002, and should be noted as 123/456 (series/record).

    For 7 digit numbers, for example 1234567 28/p0077/002, the series number is the first four digits and the record number is made up of the remaining three, and should be noted as 1234/567 (series/record). Researchers should also note the nature of the Grant (usually Probate or Administration).

    Use the file numbers obtained and the Search within a Series or Order Wills and Probate option on PROV's catalogue, Access the Collection, to locate and place orders for records of interest.

  • Function / Content
    A Will is a legal document that sets out the instructions of a person in relation to the distribution of his or her property after their death. The will usually names one or more persons to carry out the wishes and directions in relation to the estate. This person is called the executor/executrix. The estate can only be dealt with after the will has been approved by the Registrar of Probates. This approval is called the Grant of Probate and the document giving the approval is called Probate.

    Procedures relating to the granting of Probate are outlined in the documentation for VPRS 28 and VPRS 7592, and include the lodging of the will of the deceased with the Registrar of Probate.

    When an application for grant of probate was lodged with the Probate Office, the will would have been included amongst other papers relating to the deceased's estate. The wills were removed from the rest of the files and kept separately, presumably because of their size and the associated storage requirements.

    For a time, wills were copied by transcription. When the records were first transferred to PROV from the Probate Office, The original wills were retained by the Probate Office and the volumes of transcribed wills were transferred to PROV (VPRS 27, VPRS 525 microfilm).

    From approximately March 1992, when flat files (rather than folded) were introduced in the Probate Office, wills and probate files were kept together and transferred to PROV in VPRS 28 Probate and Administration Files.

  • Recordkeeping System
    The files were divided into "series" of 1000 files with a sequential allocation of numbers between 1 and 1000 in each series. For example: 106/291, this refers to the 291st file in the 106th series.

    Register:
    The allocation of numbers for files and wills was controlled by VPRS 261 Register of Probates and Administrations Issued from 1854 until at least 1900. It is not certain how file numbers were allocated after this time but it is likely that the register which served this purpose is no longer extant.

    Index:
    These records were indexed by VPRS 3340/P2 Probate Index, microfiche copies of which are available in Public Record Office Victoria's Reading Rooms. As at 1994 the original index remains in the custody of the Registrar of Probate. This index was arranged alphabetically within time periods according to the date of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. There was sometimes a considerable gap between the date of death and the date of the grant.

    If the entry in the Probate/Administration column (often headed "Nature of Grant" has a "P" then the file is a Probate and there should be a Will; if there is an "A" in the column the file is an administration and it is unlikely that there will be a Will. A list of abbreviations used by the probate office is available in the Reading Rooms.

More research resourcesMore research resources
    PROVguide070 Wills and Probate Records
    PROVguide029 Wills and Probate Records 1841 - 1925
    PROVguide068 Wills and Probate Records from 1926
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
1853 - 1889 Index to Probates and Administrations Issued VPRS 262
1853 - 1992 Index to Probates and Administrations Issued (Microform copy of the Probate Index and VPRS 262) VPRS 3340
1854 - 1900 Register of Probates and Administrations Issued VPRS 261
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
1853 - 1853 Wills and Probate and Administration Files VPRS 7592
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
- 1992 Probate and Administration Files VPRS 28
List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1853 - 1871 Open 45
P0002 1871 - 1953 Open 1628
P0003 1953 - 1968 Open 757
P0004 1968 - 1978 Open 831
P0005 1979 - 1979 Open 70
P0006 1980 - 1980 Open 61
P0007 1981 - 1981 Open 65
P0008 1982 - 1982 Open 69
P0009 1983 - 1983 Open 65
P0010 1984 - 1984 Open 64
P0011 1985 - 1985 Open 66
P0012 1986 - 1986 Open 66
P0013 1987 - 1987 Open 66
P0014 1988 - 1988 Open 70
P0015 1989 - 1989 Open 80
P0016 1990 - 1990 Open 71
P0017 1991 - 1991 Open 68
P0019 1992 - 1992 Open 19
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
1853 - 1889 Index to Probates and Administrations Issued VPRS 262
1853 - 1992 Index to Probates and Administrations Issued (Microform copy of the Probate Index and VPRS 262) VPRS 3340
1854 - 1900 Register of Probates and Administrations Issued VPRS 261
More research resourcesMore research resources
    PROVguide070 Wills and Probate Records
    PROVguide029 Wills and Probate Records 1841 - 1925
    PROVguide068 Wills and Probate Records from 1926