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OnGenealogy includes online wills and online probate records and these vary a great deal by collection. Generally the will is included in the probate record.

 

Probate records are court records created after a person dies as a means to distribute their belongings (estate) to their heirs. The estate may include a will (testate) or no will (intestate) and this may affect how and to whom the estate will be distributed. Depending on the collection and what was digitized, probate records may include:

  • a will

  • a death certificate

  • bonds – financial insurance required of the estate administrator

  • administration – who is appointed to oversee the estate

  • petitions

  • inventory of the estate listing assets and possessions

  • orders

  • decrees

  • distributions

 

And helpful genealogical information may include:

  • name of the deceased

  • death date and place

  • date of will and witness names

  • names of heirs which may include spouse, children, and other friends or relatives

  • value of the estate and the inventory of assets

  • residences of family members to whom parts of the estate will be distributed

 

Probate records can be used to identify family and understand family relationships, and find family residences and land records. The information may be invaluable for pinpointing where to start searching for extended family.

 

We’ve included probate records in our “Substitute Birth, Marriage, and Death records” or “Substitute BMDS” at OnGenealogy and they can also be searched for in their own right, as “Probate Records”.

 

 

How To Search

If you’re looking for online wills and probate records for a specific locale, try using the search window on the homepage.

 

OnGenealogy Search window

Type “probate records” or “Substitute BMD” in the Find window, and start typing the locale in the Near window and then choose from the autosuggested locations that match what you’ve typed in. Select the magnifiying glass in the Search window to start your search with these filters.

 

You’ll get a list of any listings for that location that include probate records. You can then use the Refine Results menu in the right menu bar and increase or decrease the search radius to receive more or fewer results.