Discussing births, marriages and deaths

This #ANZAncestryTime chat from June gave lots of tips about birth, death and marriage certificates as well as other sources to help prove the information found on these certificates.

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Have you an interesting story to tell about searching for births, deaths or marriages (BDM)?

I couldn’t find my GGGPs c. 1880 marriage anywhere in the Irish civil records. Eventually found it through local archive and broke chunk through a brick wall on that line. Names and addresses of 3 GGFs and from there to 3 GGMs. Also a birth around the same time – every other family birth registered – this one found registered FIFTEEN years after actual birth. I’m not sure what the delay was. I knew it was unlikely the birth hadn’t been registered since they were business owner/upwardly mobile. Baptismal record contained parents’ names so I just searched all civil until I found it.

Have one Irish family who seemed to be allergic to both baptisms and registrations. A big range between about 1860 to late 1870s. Strange thing is the younger ones were “done” and I could accept the lack of rego near 1864 but the lack of baptisms bothers me. Illiterate and a fisherman.

Tara, I’ve also searched for them in England/Wales as being at sea, that might be possible. No marriage, no births…sigh!!! And David is not a common Irish name as far as I’ve seen. Think I may have a mental block/rut now.

DM me later Pauleen (bed time here) and maybe two heads will solve your conundrum. It might be due to the region they were from. E.G. Some Donegal parishes I’ve searched only have parish records from 1860s – after civil reg. And in marginal areas civil records not always solid

Also got 2 birth certificates within the 100 year time frame via a probate claim where a separated wife suddenly reappeared to claim ex husband’s estate, had to include her girls birth certificates

I have an ancestor whose mother’s name was different on all three certificates – birth, marriage, and death. I *think* I’ve worked out who his mother was, but really need DNA to confirm it. On the #ToDoList

#research for my uncle whose #ancestors were married x2 4 yrs apart. Same #church #priest #bride #groom Different addresses #marital status for groom 😲Parish #archivist chqd orig Church records-nothing helpful. Using #Facebook to chq local knowledge

One of my GGGrandfather’s was summoned before the Balranald bench almost 10 years after the birth of his last child ‘for making wilfully false statements respecting his marriage to… for the purpose of insertion in a Register of Births (two charges)’!

He was a bigamist to boot. I never found any birth certificates for his children except the two he was summoned for. When his first wife divorced him their was WONDERFUL information in the newspaper reports!

Sometimes makes for an more interesting story when they do not register BDM events.

I discovered my mothers first christian name was not what she thought it was. She probably never even knew she had the spelling wrong. Shows you that you do need to see the original records when possible to discover more of the story.

I have new questions courtesy of a cousin on Ancestry chat today. She asked why/how our GGGF remarried my GGGM when there is no evidence of his 1st wife’s death (her ancestor). Realised I’d never looked closely at the 1st marriage

2 children from 1st marriage, 1850 & 1853 8 children from 2nd marriage 1870-1889 All born around Yass NSW. There are a number of possible deaths for the 1st wife, 1866 registered Yass a particularly interesting one.

I have a suspicious one like that. My GGF remarried my GGM about 6 months after the previous wife registered their child. I’ve not found a death anywhere in England where they were living. Maybe Ireland. Where are the children?

I’m searching for great aunt’s husband, Robert Hargreaves. Had 2 bigamous marriages in Victoria – see Trove. Disappeared after his jail time in 1871. Where did he die? One of the colonies, New Zealand, England? Did he change his name? 2 of us are hunting him!

I knew nothing about my father’s family. His parents died within a few weeks of each other when my father was 6yo. I wrote about bursting into tears at Vic Births Deaths and Marriages

it really hits you doesn’t it when you are in those record offices – life is a precious fleeting things sometimes.

I have found several births and deaths between the census records now we have MMN on the indexes in England and Wales – Mothers Maiden Name

I was told by an aunt that there was a child who had died young not sure which generation. New indexes with MMN led me to discover my grandfather’s older brother

Witness on my great great grandmothers marriage certificate ended up being her brother in law – proving who her sister married then allowed me to find them arriving in Tasmania in 1860’s

Great reminder @tasteach to spend the time looking into the witnesses. They were often family

A friend at QFHS had always banged on about the value of searching the microfiche index to BDM that we have in the library. A friend’s mother was trying to find her grandmother’s birth but could not find it on the Registry Office website.  She knew she had the right date. Off we went to look at the microfiche at the QFHS library.There it was. No spelling mistakes. Just not in the online index. Human error I guess in the process of transferring. She was just missed. Check everything!

one marriage in 1866 bride registered under her mother’s maiden name as she was marrying a cousin with same surname, she had arrived in Australia under her father’s surname

I am probably the odd one out however I cannot think of any interesting stories related to my research of births, deaths and marriages. Perhaps it’s been too long since I had time to research to the memories have faded.

Searching for German names is always fun and games. The surname Zöller becomes Zeller, Zoller and, the best one, Tiller. Similarly McCorkindale has infinite spelling variations so I search for M*or*dale which gets most.

I spent 40 years looking for dad’s fathers birth. 20 years collaborating with half siblings of dad. Then finally DNA solved it. We were looking for wrong surname – he was a bigamist.

A story of not being able to find someone for a long time & then finding him under a different name entirely.

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Primary sources for BDM can vary in the information they contain. Tell us about the great and not so great ones and what they contain, accessibility, cost, etc.

Irish historical records with data protection parameters are freely available on irishgenealogy.ie but they only start in 1864 (except non-RC marriages from 1845).

But always worth checking for pre-1864 marriage registered even if couple were Catholic – you can sometimes strike it lucky.

Yes, one of them might have been Catholic & they got married in the COI to give themselves legal status. In practice, it’s a very limited number of marriages in this early civil registration period.

And not make assumptions about “everyone” being Catholic…a trap I nearly fell into with Mr Cassmob’s ancestors.

Even if they had converted prior to marriage, if one of the couple was ever Protestant, a RC marriage was illegal then, unless carried out in COI/RO

Yes, very good point, Pauleen! I had assumed, then found a CoI possibility, now back to Catholic again. Wishing for a Quaker!

It pays to look in other states for births. I unexpectedly found the birth of one child in Victoria to my NSW g g grandparents. They lived there for a year apparently

I have only researched in England and our BMD records are not the best. They start earlier than many but don’t have as much useful information

The baptism of an ancestor in Cornwall which showed he was baptised at his mother’s funeral. She had committed suicide. Thanks to the clerk who made those notes. I often wonder if she had post natal depression. It wouldn’t have been understood in the 1800’s.  Her death certificate states “ took her own life” verifying the note on the baptism. I’d probably not have looked at the cause but for the baptism.

Yeah, I can understand that. I’d probably have assumed it was death in childbirth if the death record wasn’t readily available.

It’s an evocative phrase. At first I didn’t get the new push to favour the phrase ‘died by suicide’, but it makes a lot of sense re understanding the mental pathology of suicide

Love Graham Jaunay webpage with what is on BDMs in each Aussie state jaunay.com/bdm.html

Irish RC parish records vary re info quality/detail. Freely available images via @NLIreland & indexed search for some Dublin/Cork/Kerry www.irishgenealogy. Dublin parish template unusually detailed wrt country: parents’ (& marriage witnesses) names addresses

In England I search with FreeBMD as bigger range, then check on GRO. NZ BDM has lots of errors in names, so you have to guess what it might be and narrow down the date

I use very many sources as I seem to research in a lot of places. FamilySearch has lots of them. England both GRO and FreeBMD, NZ BDM, Aussie States, ScotlandsPeople, Irish, Canadian, American sources. I go everywhere!

I love the NZ certificates as they hold a pile of useful information. I love their website bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/search. You can figure out the actual date if you keep reducing the search date fields. Great for the distant branches when delaying cert. purchases.

Yes I use this trick on NSW BDM too, narrowing down date when I don’t want to buy the certificate for far distant spouses etc., works for births deaths and marriages

one of my husband’s ancestors appeared in latest Lost Cousins newsletter about to marry for the 5th time

I love the Tasmanian BDM from 1803 to 1900 – all digitized, online and cost nothing. Can also get many BDM till 1930 from CDROM for free as well

Click on Tasmanian names index then put name in search area, use the filters and then you can download copies etc or use that snipping tool libraries.tas.gov.au/family-history…

I have been redoing my tree in FH7 and looking at certificates there are so many errors some are intentional to hide illegitimacy but others may be not

Love Queensland BDMs with so much information. Scottish records also have a lot of content but I do wish death records included burial information. English Records so mediocre it’s frustrating. I like being able to order online @ minimal cost.

oh yes I hear you re the English death certificates. I wonder why they bothered really. It just about says – they died – and that’s it. Next to useless.

Especially when they were born a long time ago as clearly they will have died. While there is little family details compared to other places the place & cause of death can be interesting.

Even using Scotlands People without buying the records can give so much information. I found a family 3 days ago for a distant cousin – followed my nose and there they were in Cadder

I love that the indexes in Qld & Vic have maiden surnames unlike NSW where it’s the most expensive to order a certificate & the index has only Christian names for parents

Scottish BDM’s have so much information on them. Norwegian records are fabulous too as long as you understand the naming systems (plural)

Remember the bad old days in Queensland when you used to have to request the marriage date of the parent’s when ordering a birth certificate. So pleased the UK registry office now seems to have seen the light regarding including mother’s maiden name.

I find the easiest BDMs to access are Victorian, but most of my Australian research has been in Vic, so I’m more familiar with Vic records. Vic BDMs do contain lot of info and are easily accessed online with immediate download

I have only researched in England and our BMD records are not the best. They start earlier than many but don’t have as much useful information

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What secondary sources have helped you with BDM records? How do you resolve any data conflicts?

@PRO_Vic metadata for probate/will files include date of death, so just searching their catalogue is very helpful (thanks PROV volunteers!). Early ones are digitised too. They can be very interesting (or boring) and fill in family blanks. I’ve also viewed more recent probate files @PRO_Vic in person and often a copy of the official death certificate is included.

my mother’s birthday books across the years she had added many births and deaths

Great tip! Another tip: don’t throw out those books or address books.

Using christening/baptism records you need to be careful sometimes several children were baptised on the same day.

accessing Vic teacher records through Ancestry often reveals full birth date; this helped me with my GGrandmother’s birth year, for which I’ve not been able to locate birth certificate

yes excellent advice Helen. I have teachers in my family and much of the biographical information was originally obtained via Inspectors Reports in Archives and then confirmed through certificates.

Ryerson Index, Newspaper BDMs, Free BDM and genealogy sites

Ryerson index excellent but also Savill index for South Aust. Secondary Sources for BDM – Savill Index of The Advertiser Funeral Notices.  See story here slsa.sa.gov.au/news/story/202…

We have the Wilson Collection  wilsoncollection.co.nz

I use Trove & Papers Past to find those more recent than BDM sources. I love Papers Past. Wish there were more of them available

Newspapers of course, many Catholics in SA in early years did not register births, but they nearly always added death notices to newspapers. Today I’ve just found 2 more children of one family without birth registration

Some great tips from Judy – also see links to website pages at end of this post

Tip1: Before buying certificates, check whether they’re available (FREE) in files at the Archives. Record series where I’ve found certificates are listed at bit.ly/3cJUdLj.

Tip2: Biographical data in Hospital Admission Registers is often more complete and/or more accurate than data in death certificates

Tip3: If you can’t find a death certificate, look for an inquest. There are inquest files for many deaths that weren’t registered. This definitely happened in QLD & Victoria, & probably elsewhere. I’ve also seen (in Queensland) inquests for some stillbirths, which at that time weren’t registered as either a birth or a death

Tip4: On the FreeBMD Website (civil registration indexes for England/Wales BDMs), add Postems to entries for people you’re researching.

Tip5: Check the names on the Web page for the Miscellaneous Australian Certificates Index: bit.ly/3cI1YBk. For certificates mentioned there, a copy only costs $5.

This is a terrific tip! Didn’t know it. What I like about FreeBMD is the ability to search marriages easily, & when I’m being specific to a family, to return more that 5 years of results at a time (as with GRO)

I check on Cemetery records in NZ & Find A Grave – look at the photo if there is one. Often correct information from other sources. Did 2 today, 1 yesterday. I state in my @WikiTreers profiles any conflicts – had 1 today, gravestone versus someone’s memory!

great #records to help put peeps in time&space generally & find children’s birthdates are #school admission registers. #blessed in #Queensland many for #Government #schools #digitised avail #Online @QSArchives

Re transcriptions – search all available! Example: Rootsireland which has helped me with so much research (generally more accurate and more complete transcriptions than e.g. FS, FMP, Ancestry) doesn’t contain the transcripts of two baptisms for GGUs.

Newspapers, Calendar of Wills, Burials (1) A marriage notice confirmed father’s residence and death bef. 1877. (2) A Calendar of Wills entry gave DoD (not found in civil) (3) Auctioneer’s ad verified relationship between two men (4) burial = clues ->breakthrough

Military records were fantastic for me. I had an Irish soldier marry a Welsh woman but we didn’t know from where. His service record gave marriage date in UK & I was able to go back 4 generations from her on the Welsh line thereafter.

employment records will often provide a date of birth and probably a place of birth. School enrolment registers will also give a child’s approximate age so if you can’t find them anywhere else this is helpful.

remember those local histories or family histories written by your relatives might also be secondary sources

other places to find BDM information include military service records which provide a place of birth & parent’s name. A death certificate might be included with a will & sometimes a marriage certificate or an inquest provide provide additional information.

PapersPast, Trove & British Newspaper Archive are regular haunts for me. Then a time on Google searching for odd indexes. Hints from online trees – though these need to be verified.

Using christening/baptism records you need to be careful sometimes several children were baptised on the same day

… sometimes at the same time #parents were #married

Yes – I’ve found 3 batches x 2 kids each time in 1840’s in Windsor & Sydney – concluded that the family weren’t regular church goers

That’s true. I found the first five siblings born in Australia were baptised on one day

I’m guessing baptismal records and anything like birth dates on tombstones et al. I would resolve by trusting the record closest in time to the event, if that makes sense.

Agree. Looking at marriage and death certs re. age I lean towards the marriage date, but there are always exceptions!

where there’s a conflict-of-interest between a civil registration and a parish baptism event, I generally opt for the baptism, but will note the difference. This is because if the parents were late registering they may have had to pay a fine.

my favourite alternative to civil certificates Is parish registers which can give you some of the same information. This applies even in Australia and has helped me solve missing information from early Queensland records.

Wills, and newspapers! Both full of detail, and especially helpful with women’s married names.

I have not encountered any major conflict in the newspapers using indexes you need to be aware of possible delay in registering births and even deaths

the best secondary source has to be the newspapers the person I just mentioned was in the newspaper and led to searching for further marriages than those known

Family reunions can help with living or just passed relatives, but still need proving eventually. Trove has also helped up to the 1950s.

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What are some of the factors that might create a challenge finding the correct person? Any suggestions on how to overcome finding a difficult BDM record?

A GGM & GGF put a notice in the WGTN newspaper about their marriage. No registration or church records found. One child’s birth cert has marriage in MELB. No MELB records. No passenger. No records either divorcing their first partners or deaths yet found

Could this be a good one for another pair of eyes?

Or actually getting serious and working through it with a plan and timelines, etc rather than just random checking.

Checked at Archives in Wellington years ago when I just started however never recorded what I checked as I did not know about recording negative results. Or even if I got the right records to check. That’s why I need to do it properly this time around.

With Irish ancestors: unofficial name changes, dodgy ages. Best advice I can give is keep an open mind, think outside the box, check the period covered by records, and use FAN!

Oh yes on the Irish dodgy ages, husbands 3x gt grandparents emigrated claiming to be 10 years younger than they were! Could not have been married in 1832 at age 8 and 12😂 Found their ages on deaths, both in Adelaide hospital register.

And even those ages may not have been correct unless someone went back to the original parish records to confirm year of birth.

Yes, I agree but probably as close as I’ll get with the births likely to have been 1808-1812 pre the Galway birth registers currently available

For me, the biggest challenge is common names. Byrne was the most common surname in Dublin, at 1 in 10. AND, the Irish used the same given names in every family. AND two grandparents were Byrne. Solution = Time + line-by-line searches. Maybe!

if I knew the answer to this question I’d have all my brick walls knocked down! I think some of my ancestors just weren’t registered.

Bought a NZ printout of a birth for an Aussie cousin (too hard to buy from overseas). Solved the mystery of her DNA matches. Brief marriage that produced one child. Built her tree in a few minutes

Surname changes are the thing I find most challenging. My g grandmother was registered with the German family name but for younger siblings the name was different.

I recommend buying certificates rather than a transcription agent if you have non-English ancestors. As a family member you are more likely to recognise names and places.

Photographs in this collection from the New Zealand Tung Jung Association, a Chinese county association of people from or descended from people from the counties of Jung Seng & Tung Goon (Zheng Sheng, Dong Guan), east of provincial capital Guangzhou. tungjung.nz/portraits/

a frequently mis-spelt name (even with fuzzy matching). I think I have about a dozen spellings for Farish, various cousins have different surnames now

My Jones’ and Taylors’ are hugely challenging along with their ever repeating christian names

Common names, i.e. NINE William Browns died in Victoria in 1921, several close in age; death notice placed by his sister, sourced via Trove, helped me find him, then an inquest record (alas) too

 I highly recommend enlisting the help of other genie friends. Fresh eyes are always amazing 🙂

I agree with this tip Alex. Two sets of eyes can often solve a long standing brick wall. I’ve had experience of this a couple of times

if you know the exact date of birth and the first name sometimes it pays to not include the surname in your search

I have a James Smith who died in 1901 there are 2 of them died that year same age and district so burial record helps to confirm which is correct along with census

Bigamy, name changes – ways to solve now include DNA

Spelling variations always cause a challenge when you’re trying to find someone with an unusual name. The information on the certificate may include big gaps which happens with the earlier Qld records.

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Blog posts relating to topic

Judy – Postems on FreeBMD, Webpage tips searching in Queensland, Webpage hospital admission records, Genealogy advice and indexes, Miscellaneous Australian certificates index, Queensland genealogy blog

Pauleen – certificates,

Jennifer – at the record office,

Claire – results in unexpected places

Sue – using certificates and censuses

Wills and probate

This twitterchat for #ANZAncestryTime was based on wills and probate records. Some of the tweeters have written blog posts relating to the topic:

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What interesting discovery have you made in a Will or Probate Record? How did this help your research?

Names, names, names! Confirmation of relationships, discovery of property details, so much detail in wills and probate records.

I found wills of certain ancestors very interesting, particularly my half 2xgreat uncle in the UK who provided the names of all his nieces and nephews. How easy it to obtain wills in New Zealand and Australia

Deb, in NZ the wills and probate are held at archives. Many are scanned and available via @FamilySearch. Check Archway first and there is a link to the documents in Archway. Fran

I have found a lot of good information in Wills or in Probate records. Best is usually the married names of the daughters. Sometimes some puzzling ones like why certain people are missing

I’ve had this too – sometimes it’s because those people have been helped financially in some way before death, so weren’t left anything. Or, were automatically left property due to inheritance rules, so didn’t need to be included

I learnt that one of my 2nd great grandfathers was probably not too happy with his son, my great grandfather, like many others weren’t. He had behaved badly over decades, and let many people down.

You want to find the true stories Karen but sometimes they can be disappointing

This is a great example of things we wouldn’t ordinarily know about an ancestor’s relationship. Wills are invaluable for research

Haven’t been fortunate enough to have an ancestor with one…

with a irish wills you can use Australia as a search term capturing people who lived in Oz or who left $ to family in Oz.

Very true Pauleen My g g grandfather’s Will in Ireland told me where his seven daughters had all emigrated to in the US and who they married. Very helpful

I have another will from an Irishman who married into the family. He left his farm to his daughter. Only I have idea where it is. It was nearly 100 years ago.

I have an Irish Will where my three times g grandfather left a bed to a granddaughter…. 🙂

In another Irish Will I discovered where an old mirror and hairbrush set my grandmother gave me came from and how old it was

A will confirmed what seemed obvious by the birth date – a son was really a grandson but was adopted by his grandparents

My paternal GF died young, predeceasing his mother, leaving my GM a widow with a 13 year old child in the 1940s. My paternal great GM died a few years later & only left money to her surviving adult children & nothing to my father. I can’t forgive that

My great grandmother was excluded because they had Brought up her illegitimate child…stated in will

I can’t understand it. Someone said to me not to judge the past by present expectations, but I’ve found plenty of wills from that time and earlier where provisions were made for grandchildren when parents had died

Best record was husband’s grandfather’s probate had birth certificates of his mother and aunt both within the 100 yr cut off

One of my biggest breakthroughs came through a probate record in London Gazette. It was my aunt’s biological father. Details on next of kin pointed me to his daughters & I was able to reunite sisters who had never met. I was so nervous about contacting someone out of the blue but it turned out well. I agonised over a letter, but then decided I couldn’t stand the wait. I rang her! Thank goodness some people still pick up the phone.

I’ve used relatively recent probates to track down family Brooke and had success with a letter, but have baulked at contacting another because the death of the person was too recent (for me) to feel comfortable. In time maybe

gt grandfather in 1907 left his land to daughter seems ahead of his time. Son did already have some land.

I found a probate packet at the Qld State Archives containing an inheritance dispute that was more than interesting. And another where the dispute lasted 40 years!

Another great-grandfather’s will reflected his financial circumstances – not good – but showed his life insurance and his portable house. The life of a railway family.

A new Zealand Will proved a family family story about a ‘missed out on inheritance’ was untrue. The money belonged to a second wife. There was no family money…

An English Will showed me that a daughter was really an adopted niece. So a whole new search ahead

Best discovery was a will from a half aunt of my fathers. Turns out the money was not left to the cattery as per family lore although listed was many piece of china and who should receive them.

I love the details in wills, especially those left by women, as they often mention extended family, and smaller items as bequests.

I have found that my female ancestors tended to leave things to servants much more than males did

My Northern Irish ancestors all seemed to outlive their husbands and make Wills. They had substantial land ownings luckily for me

@geniaus encouraged me to get the probate for my 2nd great-grandmother Isabella Ellis nee Sinclair. Boy oh boy was it jam packed with information. I was fascinated to see how she lived in the same suburb I did as a baby.

I found my grandfather had left me a piano which I played often as a child but not since we moved house in the late 1960s

Also found out my great great grandmother’s married sister was childless and left everything to nieces and nephews

I found a missing Scottish ancestor in an asylum in Australia. His will showed that a person who wasn’t a family member, left him a large amount of money

My great grandfather had a complex will which verified family details and raised issues about the actions taken. He had wills in the UK, Qld and NSW.

My great/grand uncle left an interesting will with several large donations to missions and charities incl Indigenous advancement. His choices were based on religious affiliations.

My 4x great grandmother’s will confirmed I had found the right family back in England (and later doubly confirmed with DNA), wsa such a great moment reading it!

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What can you discover about ancestors in Wills and Probate records and why are these important resources?

I discovered a daughters married name from a second husband, the daughters step father, to explain their link. With “step” relatives sometimes being omitted from inheritances, this was nice find

Didn’t learn too much that was unexpected. The one long will I saw from the early 20th century was extensive. Hard to read – in legal jargon, with no full stops. It gave me contact to a person I knew nothing about as his son had abandoned his family.

I ended up transcribing my gxgrandfather’s will so it made sense to me even though it was typed up.

Names of married daughters and sons-in-law. Other complex relationships. How wealthy they were. Where they lived. And their signatures.

wills can provide more personal details like what items were passed to various relatives and friends too.

Who had fallen out with whom!!

Not for my family I was researching for the @WikiTreers challenge and found out someone was married twice led me to search for second wife and death of first

Contesting of Wills found in Probate records can be extremely interesting.

You’ve reminded me, I have an ancestor who contested the will of his ex wife. It went to the High Court, but he lost. She left him a small portion with the rest to her children. He thought he should get more.

It can answer questions like, of all the brothers/sisters why did Pa inherit the house? The will showed Pa inherited house only if he continued to care for his disabled brother in that house.

I discovered a daughters married name from a second husband, the daughters step father, to explain their link. With “step” relatives sometimes being omitted from inheritances, this was nice find.

You can discover information about their descendants e.g. who’s still alive when they died and their relationships. You can find out about property. And you can get an idea of their lifestyle from what is listed in the inventory.

Finding wills or probate can give great details about their property & financial circumstances and may tell of family conflicts or previous $ support. Combined with other documents gives a comprehensive view.

Wills can show family relationships, and missing people. The wealth and assets left by a person can show the type of lifestyle they lived

Have found land being passed to children and directions of where that land is or what it is called in wills.

What related records have you used? ie Intestacy, Administration, Guardianship, Deceased Estate Files? Can you think of similar resources?

I’ve looked in death duty registers (England) for more details of an ancestor’s beneficiaries: nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your… Sadly in my case, the “eldest daughter of my son George” was still not named!

I agree death duty registers can lead to more questions. Revealed a trust indicating which side of the family the wealth came from.

Witnesses signatures are also treasured finds

I also like that they touched the wills and then I have touched them. Though my photos from Archives in NZ are not as nice as the digital copies. Many are off centre

Agree Fran, that’s what makes holding originals so special.

Probate Packets can contain the Will, Court documents, a death certificate, an inventory of the estate and more

If deceased estate files survive/exist (as for NSW) they can be a gold mine detailing the person’s household effects. It makes you curious where the paintings & other assets went.

Intestacies (and wills) may reveal a residence far away, provide a death certificate and perhaps more info on the death

I have used Wills, Probate and Intestacy Files. Sometimes newspapers will tell you if a Will was contested so you know to go looking for the Probate records

The NZ High Court documents have probate material along with the will although nothing no exciting discoveries from this material for me.

I found about 33 pages of documents about one ancestor here. Completely and utterly unexpected that anyone in my family had been in NZ. archives.govt.nz Also, probatesearch.service.gov.uk/#wills

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Where can we find Wills, Probate, Administration Files, Intestacy Records and Deceased Estate Records? Suggest resources for understanding these records.

You can search for NZ records at @FamilySearch: familysearch.org/search/collect… or Archway archway.archives.govt.nz/Home.do

Just had a quick search on Archway and found will for my 3xgreat uncle and his son, woop..

’10 Tips for Finding & Using Wills, Intestacies, Probate records & Related Documents for Genealogy’: bit.ly/332wkrO. I’m not online right now but I scheduled this to be posted

I am just so used to all Tassie records being online, will need to check where probate records can be found

For finalised probate records from 1825 to 1995, enquire with the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office

In Tasmania, wills and letters of administration are online at the Tasmanian Names Index at Libraries Tasmania website

A summary from @nswarchives detailing what could be in the probate packets for #ANZAncestryTime NRS-13660 , Probate packets search.records.nsw.gov.au/primo-explore/…

Title Deeds to houses and land often contain information about deaths and inheritance. It can be worth searching the Land Registry website and Title records

I was looking through some 18th century title deeds for a property and came across a will for the earliest known owner. What a bonus!

I found some wills here, but not for my families AJCP research trove.nla.gov.au/search/categor…

I found the result of a will discussed in a letter that was sent from my family in Scotland to my family in the USA. The siblings were the inheritors. As my gggfather wasn’t included, he must have already died. Narrows down when.

Margaret I have a family letter from the 1800’s from Scotland explaining why a son was left out of the Will. He was Illegitimate. But for the letter the family didn’t know

you can search for SA wills on FamilySearch

Transmission of property indexes by death can be helpful. Land transfers before death may give a clue why there isn’t a will.

Advertisements in newspapers will alert you to a will under probate. News stories may detail info on the property, if large. Advertisements for sale of property after death.

I find it handy to have a currency converter at hand when reading Wills. I really like this one nationalarchives.gov.uk/currency-conve…

this webinar might be helpful. records.nsw.gov.au/archives/webin…

They will mostly be in archives, including Public Curator files. Newspaper advertisements will provide clues to a will being probated and who is the primary inheritor.

In Victoria Wills Files can be found at the Public Records Office Many but not all are online @PRO_Vic

Readers: What is a fascinating discovery you have made while searching wills etc?