This database is created from the Shanghai British Consulate General’s notebooks relating to the processing of estates of men and women who came under its responsibility who died in China, mostly but not exclusively in Shanghai, and who were intestate, that is they did not have a will. The original volumes are in the British National Archives in Kew, in the FO 1092 series. In general the notes include: name, date of death, cause of death, and occupation, and may include further details: value of estate, next of kin, and other observations. The records are inconsistent in what they contain, and some of them are not easy to read. We would be happy to receive any corrections.


The original files can be consulted at the National Archives as files:


FO 1092/260 covering 1868-1887; FO 1092/261 covering 1887-1905; FO 1092/262 covering 1905-1915

FO 1092/263 covering 1915-1923; FO 1092/264 covering 1923-1929; FO 1092/265 covering 1929-1935


The British Supreme Court for China administered the estates of British subjects who died in China. A series of ‘Intestate Memo’ books lists details of nearly 2,000 men and women who died in Shanghai between 1868 and 1935, but who largely died intestate, that is they died without a will. The registers record name and date of death, and usually the age, cause of death and profession of the deceased, details of next of kin, of the administration of the estate, and sometimes include inventories or very basic lists of effects. This dataset is still being developed, and in part at present is only an index. The lists will provide the number of the UK National Archives file from which the detail was drawn. You will have to contact The National Archives if you want to view the file.


This dataset has been developed by Sarah Pearson, Christopher Allen and Emily Griffin.


Search British Supreme Court for China, Intestate memo books register records