Wills & Probates


The value of probate records to the genealogist is obvious. It would be rare, indeed, if someone preferred his property to go to strangers when he died. Even if your ancestor did not write a will, administration records are likely to exist. Women often inherit from their parents, so probate records often can supply the maiden name of your female ancestor. Probate records for unmarried siblings may solve a genealogical mystery decades after the parent of your ancestor dies. You may find the married surname of female siblings and a list of the deceased person’s grandchildren. Since probates usually deal with the orderly transfer of title to real estate, each county in which your ancestor owned land should be researched.

Help Me!  Find out if there is a will or administration for my ancestor.

Help Me!  Obtain the probate records for me.

Help Me!  Find out if the probate records and/or wills for my county have been abstracted.

Help Me!  Get the address of the probate office for my county.

Help Me!  Transcribe or abstract a probate record.

Help Me!  Find out if there are associated records available, i.e., inventories, guardianships, partition deeds, military pensions for a widow, court records, etc.

To ask these or similar questions, click on Help Me!, fill out the form that comes up, and submit your questions.