Yet another question - about wills and probate

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erich
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Yet another question - about wills and probate

PostAuthor: erich » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:01 am

Does anyone have any advice, please, on how common it is for people around 1900 in Australia to have wills and have probate declared? I was unable to find either partner in a marriage (died 1902 & 1922) in the Victorian Public Records Office online database on wills and probate (1841-1925) and I wondered whether this was reasonably normal for ordinary working people. Thanks.

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Tony Oz
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Re: Yet another question - about wills and probate

PostAuthor: Tony Oz » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:39 am

Hi Eric.

I surpose if you were just an average run of the mill family in the lower class to poor sector, without any assets, there may be no will, or no reason to write one.
The common factory worker,or labourer were probably scratching to earn a living as it was,and nothing to leave family members.
Most of the poorer families would have been moving around ( renting ) or living in commision flats/houses.

The most likely to leave Will's would have been the small shop keeper's or Agricultral land owners, or those in the business sector.

Unless the poorer peeps had hand me down heirlooms to pass on, or savings of some sort, of course there may be a will, but the average workng class family consisted of anywhere between 5 to 13 children for this era, and most precious items left to kin would probably be found in the pawning shops. The late 20s to 30s bought the depression era, and me dear old mum tells me her father and brothers spent half their life in pawning shops just to find the rent money
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erich
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Re: Yet another question - about wills and probate

PostAuthor: erich » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:40 pm

Tony, that's more or less what I was thinking. Case in point ....

As you know, I'm trying to establish who were the birth parents of my grandmother (Olive Blanche Clark). I had hoped to find information from her apparent father's (John James Duncan) and stepmother's (Charlotte) wills, but found no wills. But JJD's parents (Duncan and Hessey) both had wills, though only prepared 2 days and 3 months (respectively) before their deaths. But they were publicans and property owners in Gippsland Victoria, and had some decent assets. He left it all to her, and she left it all to only their two youngest surviving children (presumably she felt the others were by then well established, whereas the younger two were still in their teens), and so JJD apparently got nothing. He (JJD) was a bus driver and Charlotte a barmaid, so clearly not as well off as his parents.

So another possible lead comes to nothing. :roll:


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