Sunbury County Probate Records  
Introduction to Probate Records
Held at The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
by Cleadie B. Barnet, C.G.(C)

Contact The Provincial Archives for copies of probate files.

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The Probate Records for New Brunswick are held in Record Group Seven (RS-007 ) at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.  Individual Counties are separated into Record Series within the Group.  Sunbury County records are found in RS-071.  The files may contain wills, letters of administration, lists of heirs for those who died intestate, and various other items relating to the settlement of the estates of deceased persons.  Not all files contain the same items.

Abstracts have been published for the entire province of New Brunswick, up to the year 1835, under the title of, Early New Brunswick Probate Records 1785-1835, by R. Wallace Hale (address of publisher: AGIL, P.O. Box 329; Bountiful, UT 84011-0329) 1989.

There are several things to be remembered about probate papers. One is that they represent only those people who died with a will and had it probated, or people who died without a will (intestate), and having property that had to be administered, survivors had to apply to the probate courts to have a letter of administration granted to take care of all the business.

People who died with a will, but who had no property to transfer may never have had their wills taken to the probate offices, and the business was quietly done among the family members.

Also, if property was involved, but it was a straight forward transfer to heirs, the will was often taken directly to the registry office and the property was transferred, and the will recorded there, rather than at the probate office.  Sometimes a will can be found in the registry office that is not listed with the probate papers.

Another source of probate papers is the [Estate Papers] where intestate estates were often sent.  An index to these papers was made many years ago, before a new filing system came into being at PANB.  These will have to checked to see what Record Group they are in before they can be reproduced. (check the PANB site)

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