The NSW Supreme Court has made WWI probate packets accessible to public, to mark the ANZAC day centenary.
Since February this year, five members of government record’s repository staff have been painstakingly preparing 11,000 boxes of WWI probate packets for archive.
The project, which was initially sparked by increasing requests for the packets at NSW State Records, reached completion on Friday afternoon of last week, just in time for ANZAC day.
“Between the good people at NSW State Records and ourselves, we decided that it really would be a tremendous project to undertake to make these records publically available,” said Linda Murphy, CEO and principal registrar at the NSW Supreme Court. “Our hope was always to have it completed by ANZAC day, which we managed to achieve.”
Thanks to large donations from the NSW Bar Association and the Law Society of NSW, the important project managed to reach completion in the nick of time.
The idea was to try and get these records publically available so that people could research members of their families who had died during the war years,” said Murphy. “We feel that this has been a tremendous achievement for the court to make these records available, right at the appropriate time when people are pausing to remember their family members.”
Part of a broader project, the Supreme Court is aiming to release all probate packets to State Records which though they are not digital, will be fully searchable online.
A valuable source of information thought to be useful to genealogists as well as historians, the packets offer insight into the occupations that were in existence at the time, along with marriage and divorce records.
“It is a step for us to try to make as many records publically available as possible,” Murphy said. “It is a painstaking task trying to ensure the records are properly done but it’s tremendously worthwhile.”