Sealed Will in London for someone who died in Glasgow in 1936

Discussion in 'Wills & Probate' started by Mary Devine, May 23, 2018.

  1. Mary Devine

    Mary Devine New Member

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    Greetings everyone
    I'm new to the group and have a problem that I cant seem to solve. I have been discovering my ancestors for several years now and can't solve a puzzle. So maybe someone can enlighten me on English rules etc and shed some light on this issue.

    My Great, great grandmother - Sarah Elizabeth Jones (nee May) who was born in 1863 at East Bergholt, Suffolk, England and died in Glasgow on the 20th October 1936.

    Her husband was (as it turned out) a bit of a rouge who managed to hoodwink the wealthy of some of their wealth and die in 1904 ... leaving Sarah and his family (from a previous marriage) and Sarah's 3 children "dropped in the deep end" so to speak.

    There were quite a few properties at the end of the day (10 and counting in 1905) and a pay out to the family to get rid of them from Kent in 1917, so I know that Sarah would have left quite an estate as she had some fairly good business skills. Her 2 daughters married late and had no children and her son was shipped off to Australia at around 1909 where he married and had 3 children of his own.

    After the death of his wife in 1926 he surrendered his children to his deceased wife's family and disappeared until his death in 1959. He didn't do too well and basically lived like a pauper. His daughter, my grandmother, had nothing to do with him - hence the solving of the mystery.

    I'm just so curious as to this Sealed Will in London dated 30 January 1937.
    Was this sealed Will with a Solicitor of with a Government Department?
    Also stated on the Probate notice was "Confirmation of Marjorie Alice McKie and Stephen Cosh, Solicitor" - Marjorie was her daughter and I'm wondering if Marjorie and Stephen Cosh were Executors .. or not?

    How do get a copy of this Will as it might point to more information.
    If anyone can assist I would greatly appreciate it.
    Regards Mary Devine
     
  2. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Hi Mary - welcome to the forum! :)

    You should be able to obtain a copy of the will by completing the form on the Gov.uk page here.

    According to Probaterecords.co.uk, the possible reason for a sealed will is that a grant was issued to executor/s that have since passed away or are no longer able to act on behalf of the deceased.
     
  3. Steve Bumstead

    Steve Bumstead Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mary and welcome to Top Dog C|:-)

    Steve
     
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  4. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mary, and welcome.

    The clue to this is in the England & Wales probate calendar (index) where you found the entry for Sarah. (For anyone looking, it's listed under "MAY or JONES" in 1937.) First, she died in Glasgow, and second, the use of the word 'Confirmation'.

    Although we're both part of the United Kingdom, England and Scotland have separate legal systems. Because Sarah died in Glasgow, her will would have needed to be proved in Scotland; and Confirmation is the Scottish legal term for what is known as Probate in England.

    It's quite common for people to leave assets in both England and Scotland, and in these cases, rather than obtaining probate in both countries, there is a system of 'sealing'. The probate/confirmation from one country is forwarded to the other, and the sealing is a kind of rubber-stamp exercise to enable the executors to deal with the assets in the other country with a minimum of fuss.

    The first time I came across this in my own research I rang the English probate registry to ask what records might be available, and they said there would be virtually nothing more than is in the index, so it really didn't seem worth applying for anything from England. All the interesting documents (will, inventory etc) would be held in Scotland, so I'd need to apply there.

    Unfortunately, the online Scottish probate indexes only include ones older than 1925. (These have been digitised and can be downloaded from Scotland's People.) For more recent ones you have to contact the National Records of Scotland.

    As you're in Australia, I don't suppose visiting their search room will be an option, but they do have a copying service. You can read more about this at
    https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/research/visit-us/historical-search-room/copying-services

    They also have some guidance on wills and testaments, including a brief description of the sealing process, at
    https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/research/guides/wills-and-testaments
     
  5. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

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    It's the grant that is sealed, not the will.

    "Sealed" means that the grant has been embossed with the "seal" of the court thus making it official. An executor normally has to produce a sealed copy of the grant - not just a photocopy.
     
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  6. Mary Devine

    Mary Devine New Member

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    Hi Arthur
    I have just seen the last few posts …. you are right... I spent my 10 pounds on the English UK Gov site to get a copy of Sarah's Will and today received the long awaited reply - it seems that my application was for a copy of a resealed grant (I thought I was applying for a copy of her Will).

    It seems that "If you require a copy of a grant that has been resealed or of a Will you are advised to seek one from the original court where it was issued" - see attached - so that's all I got for my 10 Pounds.

    Now the next problem is ….. where on earth would the original court may have been .. Glasgow? Sarah passed away in Glasgow and that's where Marjorie Alice McKie (her daughter) lived. I'm guessing that Marjorie was the Executer with Stephen Cosh the London Solicitor.

    I'm actually in India, sitting out the monsoon in Kasardevi, near Almora in the Himalayan foothills. Sarah's will was sealed and is now resealed - I'm wondering what difference that makes to the situation. The attached PDF advised that I go to the original Court where it was issued - but didn't mention which Court that might be.

    The documents I want are not online yet - and I just checked the NRS Fees document - they charge like a wounded bull - and it's not sure that what I want is there.... let alone that it would all reach me here....

    Peter mentioned above that the "Seal means that the grant has been embossed with the "seal" of the court thus making it official" - so - as it was "resealed" I think that means that both England and Scotland placed their "Seals" on the document making it official.

    Can you or anyone advise if I should go through the NRS as that's where all the Will etc will be kept from 1936-1937 or should I try to find the original Court - advised by the UK Gov at the cost of 10 pound - you'd think that it would be correct - and if so - how do I find which Court. They neglected to leave a clue for that critical piece of the puzzle....

    Any advice (from anyone) would be greatly appreciated... I've moved forward a bit but am stuck again...
    Thankyou in advance
    Regards Mary
     

    Attached Files:

  7. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    They don't make it easy, do they. I had a look at FamilySearch's wiki, as that's usually fairly comprehensive, but it mostly referred to Scotland's People, whose guidance seemed to relate only to pre-1925 wills.

    Anyway, after a bit of guesswork I reckon that Glasgow Sheriff Court would have been the most likely one. Details on this page:
    https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/the-c...-sheriff-court-and-justice-of-the-peace-court

    However, according to the following page, I wouldn't be too optimistic about getting a copy from there:
    https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/takin...questions-on-dealing-with-a-deceased's-estate

    Having said that, a few years ago I managed to order a copy of one from about the 1930s direct from a court. It wasn't cheap - and it's probably rather unlikely that one branch of government would seriously undercut another one.

    Looking at it another way, though, maybe it's a case of swings and roundabouts. In most cases access to Scottish BMDs is much easier and cheaper than English ones, but when it comes to wills it's sometimes the other way round.
     
  8. Mary Devine

    Mary Devine New Member

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    Hi Arthur
    Thanks for getting back to me. I guess I'm going to have to check every Court in Glasgow to see if they have a file on Sarah from the 1930s. It is starting to seem easier to just get on a plane and go and do the leg work personally... they really don't make it easy. I've gone through all those websites and am becoming a bit of an expert on the subject in the last 24 hours - but nowhere is there a list showing that they have something on file.
    I don't mind paying for the documents - that's fine, I just need to know where they are and who I have to pay....
    Anyway, I'll keep digging
    Thanks again
    Mary
     
  9. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    I got information about which court might have been involved from Scotland's People.

    This is an overall guide to places and their records:
    https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/guides/searching-place

    This one relates specifically to Glasgow:
    https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/glasgow-city

    The dates shown for each court only go as far as 1925, reflecting the online availability at Scotland's People, but for Glasgow it was only the Sheriff Court that applied in 1925, so I thought it fair to assume that that would be the case more recently as well.

    When I got a copy from a court, I think it was actually the Edinburgh one, though from memory, the person concerned didn't live there. The Edinburgh court description says "includes testaments relating to Midlothian and, under certain conditions, to all areas of Scotland, and to most Scots who died abroad" - so if yours isn't in Glasgow, that might be the next most likely. That's assuming the person lived/died in Glasgow itself, and not in one of the creeping suburbs that was under a different jurisdiction.
     
  10. Mary Devine

    Mary Devine New Member

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    Hi Arthur
    Okay, I just registered with Scotlands people an hour ago so I'll go looking there again. Sarah was British, from Suffolk and I think most of the property was in England. I think she just went to Scotland, Glasgow, to be close to her daughter, Marjorie, who had married a Scotsman - as she was getting older otherwise she had made London her home after 1917.
    So she was English dying in Scotland - I don't know if that makes a difference but it seems from what I've read lately that this would give Scotland the actual holding of documents and processing the Seals through the Courts to make everything line up technically for Marjorie or whoever to sort through assets in both countries.
    I'll let you know if I get lucky:)
    Mary
     
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