The British Supreme Court for China administered the estates of British subjects who died in China. There are just under 4,000 probate files for China coast residents, from 1857 to 1941. The originals are held at the UK National Archives in the series FO 917 and are not available electronically. This list provides the index to the series including the name of the deceased, date of probate, and file number. You will have to contact The National Archives if you want to view the file (you can order copies of them online).


Files generally contain the will, and papers marking the legal process and grant of probate. They may include some correspondence, and details of the estate – debts owed, creditors and other detail. They often include names and addresses of next of kin.


Search British Supreme Court for China, Probate records, Index