Sunday, February 7, 2010

Probate Records at the Family History Library

At one time or another we have all considered the desirability of getting our hands on a copy of an ancestor's will or the appropriate probate records. The place to look for them is in the probate or surrogate court of the county in which your ancestor died. That prospect has always seemed a bit daunting, hasn't it? Well, that search may be easier to do than you might think.

Many of those records have been microfilmed by the LDS church and can be borrowed through the local Family History Center.

On the site, navigate to the "Library" tab and then select "Library Catalog" from the drop down menu. Click on "Keyword Search" and in the search box enter the name of your county of interest and the word "probate." You might also try the search with "will" replacing "probate...or another word that communicates the same idea.

If the results show that the LDS has indeed microfilmed the records you are interested in, you can easily visit the local Family History Center to order the film. First you would order the index, and then the correct film. Probate collections can span scores of microfilm reels, so you almost always have to follow this two-step process.

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