April 04, 2017
You’ve found your ancestor's will. Yay! But now what? Where do you go from here? Your next step is researching probate case records. Almost all wills were presented in probate courts to be proved through a hearing process. Then the will was recorded and registered. The entire process can generate a gold mine of information for genealogists.
The Midwest Genealogy Center has many resources to help you with probate research. MGC has books such as Wills & Probate Records: A Guide for Family Historians, The Wills of Our Ancestors: A Guide to Probate Records for Family and Local Historians, and Words from Wills and Other Probate Records, 1500-1800: A Glossary that will give a general overview on the topic. You can also find books that provide probate resources for specific counties across the United States like La Porte County, Indiana Early Probate Records, 1833-1850 and Probate Records, Sonoma County, California: Index for 1847-1959. MGC has CDs available for checkout such as Beyond Wills and Analyzing Deeds and Wills and a DVD Wills and Estates.
MGC’s microfilm collection is another great resource for probate records. Using the microfilm guides for Missouri State and County Records on Microfilm and State, County, International Records on Microfilm, you can discover probate records across the United States.
MGC also provides access to numerous databases that can further your probate research. Genealogy Connect allows you to access eBooks on the topic. Newspaper databases like Newspapers.com Library Edition and ACCESS NewspaperARCHIVE allow you to discover notices that were published regarding a probate case and much more. You can also use Ancestry Library Edition (in-library use only) to look at probate records from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States.
Probate records can lead you to a wealth of information about your ancestors. Do you have any probate research stories to share?
Midwest Genealogy Center