The series consists of indexes to Victoria probate files and to probated wills in the Central registry.
The index serves two purposes because the Victoria court registry was responsible for maintaining the Victoria probate files and - until the late 1980s - kept the Central Will Registry for the Department of the Attorney General. The Victoria probate numbers (for files which are in GR-1304, GR-2083 and GR-3016) appear in the left-hand column under "papers". The will numbers (for wills found in GR-1052, GR-1574 and GR-2009) appear in the right-hand column of the indexes under remarks.
Users should note that index cards for the period 1982 to 1988 cover estates probated across the province, and provide the probate number, the registry where the estate was probated, and the central will registry number.
Notes regarding the Central Will Registry :
Until July 1986, all wills in BC were kept in a separate, central location, maintained by the Victoria Court Registry. When a person died, leaving a will, the will was submitted to a court registry for probate. Staff in that registry forwarded the original will to Victoria, where it was assigned a number in a sequence that included wills from all registries in the province. Copies of the wills were often kept in the probate files for working purposes. In some cases, however, wills were sometimes returned to the custody of the respective court registries. Researchers should keep this in mind if searching for an original will.
In July 1986, Vancouver, New Westminster, Nanaimo, Chilliwack, Penticton, Vernon, Kamloops, Prince George and Kelowna began to track their own original probated wills. All other registries continued to send their original probated wills to the Central Wills Registry in Victoria.
As of August 1998 each registry is responsible for their own wills.
British Columbia. Supreme Court (Victoria)