New Jersey, Middlesex County Probate Records, 1830-1921 is a free collection at FamilySearch with browsable images of wills, inventories, & court documents related to estate proceedings.
Specific record types in this collection include:
Applications for Administration
Applications for Probate
Letters of Guardianship
You’ll need to be logged in with a free FamilySearch account to search these records. It’s easy to register for a free account at FamilySearch.
What Can I Learn from Probate Records?
These records may include:
- Name of testator or deceased
- Names of heirs such as spouse, children, and other relatives or friends
- Names of witnesses
- Residence of testator
- Lists of belongings, property, and so forth
- Document and recording dates (Sometimes the date of death will be given.)
- Recording dates
How Can Probate Records Help Me Find Other Records?
With information from these records you may be able to:
- Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives
- Use the document (such as the will) or the recording dates to approximate a death date
- Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records, since the probates exist for an earlier time period
- Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census, church, and land records
- Use the recording date approximate the death date. For example, a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death
You may be able to use the probate record to learn about:
- Land transactions
- Adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents
- Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
- Wills are more likely to be found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas