Monday, 9 February 2015

New South Wales wills released on FindmyPast

FindmyPast ( has released over 400,000 New South Wales wills from 1800–1952 on its site. Here's the (abridged) blurb:

The digitised wills, sourced from originals held by the State Records Authority of NSW are now available online only at Covering the years 1800 to 1952 they include handwritten copies of the original wills from 1800 to 1924, and typed copies of wills from 1924 to 1952, allowing people to discover more about their own family tree or simply, have a sticky beak into how the rich and famous lived. The wills cover anyone in NSW who had probate granted in the NSW Supreme Court in this time period, meaning people can also explore anything from who previously owned their house to any notable figures that lived in their neighborhood.

The records also reveal some weird and wonderful requests that were made during these times. With examples ranging from one gentlemen who was extremely preoccupied about how his alcohol supplies would be cared for after his death to a parent who excluded his son from his will due to his ‘rapacious, ungrateful, unnatural and cruel conduct’; these wills will prove to be a treasure trove of historical information.

Consumers cannot only read up on their own family history, but can also discover more about some of Australia’s wealthy and most recognised families. The wills include fascinating details such as the deceased’s address, occupation, beneficiaries, the contents of their estate and their date of death as well as additional and anecdotal notes.

The Will Books are an invaluable resource to Australians and will only strengthen the already large and diverse collection of records available at Through’s access to the new set of Wills and its other 2 billion records, the following information has been found:

Geoff Hinchcliffe , Director of State Records NSW added, ‘’The will books are one of the most vital sets of records held by State Records and provide a unique insight into the past lives of people in New South Wales. This agreement with Findmypast is really important as it makes one of State Records most valuable resources more easily accessible to more people online than it is today.”

To get access to the newly released wills and Findmypast’s millions of other records, visit, Findmypast has a special for the launch of these new wills; offering customers $5 for one month’s access to their entire record collection.


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