Supreme Court Estate Files


Although many early Newfoundland records were lost to fires, from time to time small groups of records surface which help researchers unravel a little more of their ancestor's past. One such group of records are known as Estate Files. These petitions contain information about people who died intestate i.e. without a will, or those who made a will, but failed to name an executor/executrix. In many intestate situations, the surviving family mutually agreed as to how the deceased's property would be distributed. However, in cases of dispute, the courts were asked to rule on who had the right to claim or distribute the deceased's property, goods, and money. In some instances, even without disputes, if a surviving relative felt that they needed a legal sanction to support or enforce their claim to the deceased's property, they petitioned the Supreme Court of Newfoundland for administration rights. The Supreme Court investigated and evaluated each claim to determine if any other individuals may have had any claims or liens on the same property, goods, or money. Administration was usually granted unless there were multiple claims, in which case opposing parties were required to fight their claims in court.

The information below was extracted from a number of transcribed Estate Files posted on the Newfoundland Grand Banks site's Newfoundland Wills Estate Files Index 1824-1930 - Miscellaneous.  Only a few files have been transcribed at this time, however additional files are being posted on an ongoing basis.


Supreme Court Estate Files.

Documented land transactions at, or pertaining to residents of, Caplin Bay.

  • Supreme Court of Newfoundland - 1831,  The Estate of John Evoy of Caplin Bay  (Courtesy of Newfoundland's Grand Banks Site.)
    On September 3, 1831, Patrick Evoy petitioned the Supreme Court to grant him Letters of Administration to the estate of his deceased brother and fishing partner, John Evoy, of Caplin Bay. Patrick testified that his brother, John, had died in June 1825, unmarried, and without a will. Witnesses to Patrick's petition were John Rossiter and Patrick Congdon, identified as fishermen of Caplin Bay.
  • Supreme Court of Newfoundland - 1883,  The Estate of Kyran Condon of St. John's
    Petition of Ellen Condon, wife of the late Kyran Condon, requesting the Supreme Court to grant her Letters of Administration to the estate of her late husband, who was lost at sea on January 6, 1881. Kyran had died without leaving a will.

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