State Records Office of WA SROWA

Government of Western Australia, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries

Series S1766 - INDEX TO PROBATE AND ADMINISTRATION RECORDS

Identity area

Reference code

AU WA S1766

Title

INDEX TO PROBATE AND ADMINISTRATION RECORDS

Date(s)

  • 1900-01-01 - 1993-12-31 (Creation)

Level of description

Series

Medium

Format

Microforms

Status

Context area

Name of creator

AU WA A44 - SUPREME COURT OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA (1861-01-01 -)

Administrative history

A Court of Quarter Sessions was established in Western Australia in 1830 and a Civil Court established two years later. However, as the colony grew and as society became more complex, the judiciary became overtaxed. In the 1850s the equity jurisdiction of the Civil Court was challenged while the courts' jurisdiction in criminal matters was questioned. For these and other reasons, the Supreme Court Ordinance of 1861 was introduced.

The Supreme Court Ordinance (proclaimed on 18 June 1861) provided for a Supreme Court which had the same criminal, common law, and equity jurisdiction as the Courts of Westminister. The Ordinance amalgamated the Court of Quarter Sessions with the Supreme Court and transferred to it a number of functions of the Civil Court. For example, the Supreme Court was empowered to grant probates and letters of administration and given jurisdiction in bankruptcy matters. After 1863, the Supreme Court was also given jurisdiction in matrimonial causes (i.e. divorces).

Under the Ordinance, the officers of the Supreme Court were to be the Chief Justice (Archibald Paull Burt), an Attorney-General, a Master, and a Registrar.

In 1880 a new Supreme Court Act was introduced. The Act which came into force on 1 August 1881, clarified the Court's jurisidiction in admiralty matters and empowered the Chief Justice to make Rules for the conduct of the Court. Provision was also made for the appointment of one or more puisne judges and for the Chief Justice and other judges to sit as a Full Court. Initially, the Full Court could only entertain motions for retrials and pronounce on points of law, but after 1886 it was given the status of a Court of Appeal.

The first sitting of the Supreme Court was held on 3 July 1861 and for the first few years it occupied premises in the Police Court and Gaol Building in Beaufort Street, Perth. In 1863 it moved to the old (1836) Court House in Stirling Gardens and in 1880 moved again to the old (1835) Commissariat Store at the foot of Barrack Street. Despite alterations the Commissariat building was inadequate and in the 1890's work began on a new, purposely-designed courthouse. The new building, completed in 1903, is still the principal seat of the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Card index on microfilm to grants of probate and letters of administration. This index continues on from the index at Record Series No. 55 which ceased at 1940. However, there is some overlap as this index includes some entries as early as 1900, and a number of entries for troops in the Australian Imperial Forces c. 1917. The probate/administration number is shown in the top right hand corner. Various letters are used as prefixes:

P = Probate;

A = Administration;

C = Administration with will (i.e. the executor has not applied for a grant of probate);

R = Re-seals. The grant was initially made elsewhere (interstate or overseas). The grant has been re-sealed here because there are assets here;

E = Election. A Trust Company, rather than obtaining a grant of probate through the Court, elects to administer the estate without a formal grant. There is not much documentation in these files. The Public Trust company only applies for election where the gross value of the estate is less than $10 000. A private trust company applies only where the gross value is less than $50 000;

Rn = Renunciation. The executor does not wish to be involved. There is probably very little in the estate. There is not much documentation in these files;

T = Trust (Public Trust) files;

W = Will. If there is a number with W prefix it is normally on the left side of the card.

Other information shown on the cards is the person's full name, date and place of death, and late address.

Note: Several reels contain cards filmed out of sequence. Check Item Lists for details.

To see copies of wills or the files for post-1947 please contact the Probate Office, 111 St George's Tce, Perth. Tel. (08) 9421 5152.

Accruals

System of arrangement

Alphabetical

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open

Conditions governing access (legacy)

Open access

Conditions governing reproduction

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Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

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Authorized form of name

Identifier

Category of relationship

Controlling

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1900-01-01 -

Identifier

Category of relationship

Controlling

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1900-01-01 -

Identifier

Category of relationship

Controlling

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1900-01-01 -

Identifier

Category of relationship

Succeeding

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

-

Identifier

Category of relationship

Succeeding

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1939-12-31 - 1940-12-31

Identifier

Category of relationship

Controlling

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1900-01-01 -

Related units of description

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Description control area

Level of detail

Language(s)

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Sources

Archivist's note

Range Control Symbol = 1 - 40

Accession area

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