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Home All Databases About the Pot-pourri DB Pot-pourri indexes Victoria: Supreme Court of Victoria Equity Case Files 1852-1936 [VPRS 12024 and 12025]

Victoria: Supreme Court of Victoria Equity Case Files 1852-1936 [VPRS 12024 and 12025]

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Source of Index

Ada ACKERLY - Public Record Office Victoria Supreme Court Equity Case Files 1852-1936

Further details of many of these database indexes may be available through the Geelong Family History Group.

Make sure you look at the two Research Options on their website and most importantly follow the link to the GFHG Research Files Catalogue List to check for these or many more indexes and documents.

Source and/or Location of Records
  • VPRS 12025 / P1 1852-1886: Equity Case Files: Applications under Companies Statute, Property Statute, and Statute of Trustees.
  • VPRS 12024 / P1 1886-1922: Companies and Miscellaneous Applications Files - includes marriage breakups, deceased estates, company bankrupts etc.
  • VPRS 12024 / P02 1922-1936: Companies and Miscellaneous Applications Files.  No Units were shown - cases where closed at the time the information was taken from the register.  Includes marriage breakups, child custody, deceased estates, and company bankrupts.
Explanation of Fields
  • NAME: Name on File Title.  If OTHER NAMES exists, then NAME is another name mentioned in the file
  • DATE: Year - equity file date of step in equity decision
  • OTHER NAMES: Main name of File Title
  • COMMENT: File Title used by Supreme Court
  • REFERENCE: VPRS number and accession number
  • REFERENCE DETAIL: Unit Number and Case number
Completed Index?

NO: To come: Miscellaneous Equity 1852-1936

Number of entries Updated: 15 February 2016
  • 569 entries
More Information?

YES: Full details in relevant VPRS File for Unit and Case Number shown in each entry.

Information provided by Ada ACKERLY:

My work in the Supreme Court files Equity Jurisdiction between 1852 and 1886 reveal the situation for children who were not destitute, whose parents had property or money, and who were not paupers.

Some of these children had lost both parents, but most of them lost a father.  The Master in Equity, in his role as protector of the property of infants, then stepped in.  Some of these estates might cover only £150, to be divided amongst up to seven children who, if under 21 years of age, were referred to as "infants".  Most of the estates also involve real estate.

The first activity of the Master in Equity was to call for a REPORT.  Staff were charged with finding out the surviving relatives in Australia, in the hope of finding a guardian for the children and a trustee for the estate.  This was necessary so that rents could be collected, land sold and the income invested to create income for the maintenance of the infants and to pay out the future inheritance of the children when they turned 21.

Most of the cases between 1852 and 1886 follow the probate of a will or the grant of administration.  Some of these wills and administration grants are not listed in the Probate and Grant Index at the Public Record Office Victoria.

A particular problem of the 1800s, and not now accepted in our society, was that the mother, was not automatically the guardian of the children and, if the will did not appoint a guardian for the children or trustees for the estate, the Master in Equity charged the families to nominate guardians and trustees, who were examined by the court for their suitability and then appointed by the court.

Many of the case files in Equity involve mothers seeking to be declared guardians of their own children, seeking decisions on maintenance of children and the amounts sought for weekly maintenance.  If the mother / guardian remarried, she had to apply again to be guardian of her children, under her new name, but she could do so only if her new husband gave her permission.

The most interesting document in every one of these cases, and the document which you should read first, is the Master in Equity's REPORT.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 July 2020 02:17  

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Home All Databases About the Pot-pourri DB Pot-pourri indexes Victoria: Supreme Court of Victoria Equity Case Files 1852-1936 [VPRS 12024 and 12025]