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Hannah Toole died on 29 July 1912 at Ballarat. In her will, she left ‘All [her] real and personal estate’ to her married daughter Dora May Bay of Brunswick, with the following instruction: ‘for her own absolute use and benefit, and independent of the debts and control of her husband’. Access wills and probates (1841-1925) online at www.prov.vic.gov.au/access/probate.asp
Hannah Toole died on 29 July 1912 at Ballarat. In her will, she left ‘All [her] real and personal estate’ to her married daughter Dora May Bay of Brunswick, with the following instruction: ‘for her own absolute use and benefit, and independent of the debts and control of her husband’. Access wills and probates (1841-1925) online at www.prov.vic.gov.au/access/probate.asp

Public Record Office Victoria holds many different kinds of records that can provide helpful information if you are researching your family's history.

The following story gives an idea of what we can learn about just one family by using records in PROV's holding.

Jane and William Power

Ships’ passenger lists tell us that William Power (aged 61), an agricultural labourer, with his wife, Jane (65), and four younger Power family members – William (21), Jemima (20), Hannah (22) (recorded as a domestic servant and literate) and Charles (12) – arrived in Victoria in June 1855.

Land records show that William sen. purchased a property at Redbank (near Maryborough), in central Victoria. William sen. died in 1875; William jun. in 1883. Both left wills, which are today in PROV's custody. William sen. left 279 acres, which he held under licence, to his youngest son, Charles.

William jun.’s will and associated probate documents contain further useful information. William owned land on which there was a two-room, unfurnished slab house; his other possessions included a plough, a reaping machine, a dray, a set of harrows, two sets of harness, about five tons of hay, three horses and a cow. Jemima Power, we now discover, was his wife.

Meanwhile, Hannah Power had married William Hopwood Toole at Pleasant Creek (Stawell). Toole had emigrated from Ireland and is listed on a ship’s passenger list in 1856. In 1891, at Rocky Flat, near Talbot, Hannah Toole signed the Women’s Suffrage Petition.

Find out more at Public Record Office Victoria.