Confusion:Project instructions for Australia, Victoria—Wills and Probate Records, 1880–1998 [Part B]
I believe the project instructions and the field helps are incongruent and need to be reviewed for The Will and Probate Place field.
The field help says:
Index the place where the will or probate was created or sworn to. Do not index the residence place in this field. Do not index the place of the court often listed in a header or the filing place stamped on the document. If the locality was not recorded or was written as a variation of the word "unknown," press Ctrl+B to mark this field blank. Click here to see an example: Victoria
The example for the field help then uses Victoria, the place of the court as the Probate Place. "In the Supreme Court, in the the Colony of Victoria".
On the example, "How To Index A Cover Page", the place of the court is identified to be indexed in this field. "In his Majesty's High Court of Justice (Probate Division) District Probate Registry at Blandford".
The "How to Index a Probate Record, Page 1" in the Project Instructions also has Victoria circled as a level of locality (again, the place of the Supreme Court). However Victoria could have been correctly circled in the sworn statement "Sworn at Ballarat in the Colony of Victoria" on the Continuation of a Probate Record, Page 2 example.
I also think that the "Will Place" may have been mis-identified in the Project Instruction example "How to Index a Will".
The place that is shown to index is the residence of the witness. Witnesses of wills aren't always from the place the will was created. A witness could be Cousin Jane from New Jersey who sailed in to take care of Aunt Susie who is on her deathbed in Melbourne. In this example they use the physical address of the Solicitor who may have come from Melbourne to the home of Mr. Seabrook in Malvern to create his will. Of course, Mr. Seabrook could have travelled to Melbourne. If you can't use the residence of Mr.Seabrook, then you shouldn't be able to use the residence or office location of his solicitor to decide where the will was created or sworn to. We just don't know.
Although I don't think it should be necessary since this is a potential problem with the project instructions, I will share a batch that for obvious reasons will most likely will be returned for reindexing before the expiration date of September 1.
I am going to consider this question answered for now.0
Can I chime in on two things? I have been reviewing Part A of this project and it is clear that many indexers have been struggling with what to do and how to treat various documents (including myself at first).
Firstly, to avoid further confusion I do wonder about the choice of image used in How to Index a Cover Page
The chosen image is an Exemplification of Probate ie an official copy of the probate document made by another court. In this case it is a cover for a copy of the documents from His Majesty's High Court of Justice...at Blandford which is in Dorset, England and not from the Supreme Court of Victoria Probate Division.
In the first instance, and for clarity, might I suggest using an image that is more representative of the documents in the project (I am assuming that Parts A and B are similar).
This Blandford image could then be used for clarification of what to do when probate has been granted elsewhere and an exemplification is provided to the Victorian authorities (which crops up now and then in Part A batches)
Secondly, I agree with @Melissa S Himes
places following witnesses names are only their current residences
and I agree that these places should not be indexed as the place the will was made. In my experience reviewing many of the Part A documents the will almost never has specified a place that could be construed as the place where the will was created.
many thanks for your consideration
all the best
Here is batch I am currently indexing where we see on Image 15 that the witnesses have two different places with their names: Melbourne and Coburg. This should further strengthen the case that these locations are not the Will or Probate Place, but the residence of the witnesses.
Australia, Victoria—Wills and Probate Records, 1880–1998 [Part B][M34T-WVY]
Could someone from the moderators group either direct me to where this information can be shared to ensure that the project managers are aware of it, or if it is being reviewed. (It is not an Idea - it is a problem). When we had Indexing Chat, it was very easy to have these problems addressed. It doesn't appear to be quite as easy with this Help Resource format.
Thanks in advance, Melissa.0
Hello Melissa re: Australia, Victoria—Wills and Probate Records, 1880–1998 [Part B][M34T-WZ1
How To Index a Cover Page – the example is correct. “Blandford” is preceded by the word “at”, indicating the place, separate from the title of the court. The example is correct.
How To Index a Will – while the document does have the names of the witnesses, it also includes the statement and signature of the person who is creating his own will (the testator). Therefore, “Melbourne” applies to him as well as the witnesses. The example is correct.
The other items will be escalated for correction of the examples.0
Thank you for escalating this. With all due respect, I was a notary public for many years. I am fairly certain that the places following the witnesses names are only their current residences so they can be contacted for the purposes of probate when the person dies. As you will see in the next post and image there are two witnesses who live in different communities. So, you really wouldn't index both communities.
In the example, Mr. Seabrook, the Testator, lives at No 9 Aleyne Avenue, Malvern in the State of Victoria - not in Melbourne. We simply do not know from this information where the will was created.
If we aren't indexing the court form the header data, I still wonder why we would index the Probate Registry from the header. But, it will be great to have it confirmed that Blandford is to be indexed.
Thanks again for getting this moved along!1
Happy to hear you.
Exactly, we would not index those places, the researcher will find the person by the names and make their own conclusion.
Thank you for indexing these records.0
UPDATE: Corrections have been made to the Field Help example for Will or Probate Place. The How to Index a Probate Record, Page 1 and Page 2 have also been corrected to show the Will or Probate Place correctly.0
Why are they still advising to index the Residences when the field help still clearly says:
Do not index the residence place in this field. Do not index the place of the court often listed in a header or the filing place stamped on the document.
"In the estate of Thomas Kerslake Robinson late of Omeo in the Colony of Victoria" Omeo, Victoria is the deceased's residence.
And what do we do when there are two places written at the bottom of the will? Index Melbourne or Coburg (Shall we flip a coin?)
I'm wondering if these people have ever made a will or probated one. No wonder this project is still only 15% reviewed for Part A.0