This record set contains both transcripts and images of the original documents. While the amount of available information varies, most transcripts include the following:
Instruments – Will or intestacy
Images of the documents will often provide additional information, such as the names of family members, addresses, and details of their estate. For example, we learn that William James Abel, a hotelkeeper formerly of Deloraine and now of Rosebery, appointed his wife, Mabel Florence Abel, and his sons, William James Abel and Sam Abel, as trustees and executors of his will. We also learn that a legacy or sum of 500 pounds was to be paid to each of his daughters and a legacy or sum of 250 pounds was to be paid to his grandson, Matthew Benedict.
Please note that some image scans are of poor quality and are difficult to decipher. This may lead to errors in the abstracts.
As you will see on the top of several images, there are details pertaining to the probate court ruling by the Tasmanian Supreme Court, including when the last will and testament was proved by the court. This ruling would allow for the execution of the will and the transferring of ownership of the estate.
Where there is a valid and complete will, an estate is considered testate. An estate is considered intestate where:
A will was not created
The will is deemed invalid
The will was revoked
The will does not dispose of the entire estate/property.
Where an estate is intestate, letters of administration are written and would include information regarding the deceased’s kin and property. For example, we learn that William Hostil Abell died on 18 February 1979 intestate. The written letter of administration was then granted by the Supreme Court of Tasmania and the estate transferred to the widow of the deceased, Leila Patience Abell, of 6 Jenner Street, Wynyard.
Within these records you can find the painter John Glover. He was active during the early colonial period of Australian art. Glover was particularly known for his bright and accurate depictions of the landscape of Tasmania, of which he afforded great attention to detail to the local flora. His legacy is by no means meagre as he has come to be known as “the father of Australian landscape painting.”
From the records, we learn that Glover died on 9 December 1849 and left a last will and testament, which was granted probate in 1849.
James Phillip McAuley can also be found within these records. McAuley is known for his work in the literary field as a poet, journalist, and critic. He gained significant attention with a literary hoax he orchestrated with fellow writer Harold Stewart in 1943. The hoax centered (UK: centred) around the creation of a fictitious modern poet, Ern Malley, whose works they penned and got published in the modernist magazine Angry Penguins. While intended to discredit and mock the late modernist poetry movement, the Ern Malley poems that McAuley wrote have since been lauded as shining representations of surrealist poetry.
In these records, we learn that McAuley died on 15 October 1976. His last will and testament was granted probate the following year in 1977. We learn from his will that he appointed his wife, Norma Elizabeth McAuley, and his solicitor, John Bruce Piggott, as the executors and trustees of his will. By viewing the image of his will in these records you can also see his signature at the bottom of the page.
Images reproduced courtesy of the Tasmanian Archive & Heritage Office