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Why might somebody whose will was proved be missing from the Probate Registers?

Why might somebody whose will was proved be missing from the Probate Registers?

Posted: 28 Sep 2010 9:12PM GMT
Classification: Query
I have a probate copy of a will made by a member of my family who died in August 1901.

Probate was granted November 1901 to his brother-in-law, but the testator is not included in the Registers now available on Ancestry.

The will copy doesn't state which registry was involved. The testator, who was a Civil Engineer,lived in Dulwich but died unexpectedly after a short illness in Looe,Cornwall, where he was working at the time. The Executor lived in Saltash.

I have searched the National Archives website, but cannot find any reason why someone whose will was proved might be missing from the registers, other than the ownership personal effects worth less than £20. In fact there are many people listed with effects below £20. The testator in 1901 was not poor, and certainly left an estate worth more than £20.

Can anyone explain?

Re: Why might somebody whose will was proved be missing from the Probate Registers?

Posted: 23 Oct 2010 9:08AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Judy,

I was as flummoxed by this as you were until I went to the search page for the Probate Indexes, scrolled down, and saw this:

Missing volumes:
Our collection covers 80 years from 1861 to 1941. We currently do not have the books for the years 1858-1860 and there are some gaps for the years 1863, 1868, 1873, 1876, 1877, 1883, 1888, 1899-1903 and 1910-1911. However, we hope to add records for these years as soon as possible.

The years 1899-1902 are actually completely missing in the "browse this collection" drop down menu, top-right of the search page.

Christine

Re: Why might somebody whose will was proved be missing from the Probate Registers?

Posted: 23 Oct 2010 8:06PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 3 Jun 2014 4:58PM GMT
Hello Christine,

Thank you for the answer!

Looking again at my tree I see I HAD noted the gaps when I failed to find a probate entry record for my great grandfather who died August 1900, but then FORGOT all about them when searching my Cornish Civil Engineer (great-uncle's grandfather) who died August 1903!

I must be just the right age (actually 67) to have several ancestors who died in the period where there are gaps in the registers!

All is clear now, and maybe this new topic will now be redundant? But you never know. Someone may have a different query about these very useful registers!

Re: Why might somebody whose will was proved be missing from the Probate Registers?

Posted: 23 Oct 2010 8:21PM GMT
Classification: Query
Judy, you're welcome!

My great grandfather died in 1901 and when I searched for & didn't find an entry of probate I just thought maybe he didn't leave anything, but perhaps he did.

Fortunately I can go to the Nottinghamshire Archives reasonably easily which has a complete run of probate calendar books up to 1968, and it has proved very useful.

Christine

Re: Why might somebody whose will was proved be missing from the Probate Registers?

Posted: 15 May 2011 9:26AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Thomas, Hay-Smith
Visiting the local archives seems to be the only way to access probate registers which Ancestry have not managed to include so far.

My Ancestors whose wills are not included in 1901 (Joseph Thomas and Charles Hay-Smith) both lived in London, but the former died in Cornwall and I think his executor got probate in Plymouth.

I hope Ancestry will be able to add more books soon!

Re: Why might somebody whose will was proved be missing from the Probate Registers?

Posted: 16 May 2011 8:39PM GMT
Classification: Query
If you have a date of death (just a year will do) and are prepared to take a risk that there was no will or administration, you can still apply by post to the Probate Registry for a copy, as their fee includes a four year search.

Re: Why might somebody whose will was proved be missing from the Probate Registers?

Posted: 16 May 2011 9:13PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you! About 15 years ago I ordered a will in person, but I've never done it by post. The fee is only £5 I see, which is good value.

Information is here:-

http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/1226.htm#011
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