North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970 is a free collection at FamilySearch with images of probate records, wills, guardianships, and estates from the state of North Carolina.
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What Can I Learn from Probate Records?
These North Carolina probate records may include:
Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees, oaths of executors, forms about guardians and other court documents.
- 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 are also used to approximate event dates, i.e. a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death.)
How Can Probate Records Help Me Find Other Records?
With North Carolina Probate Records information you may be able to:
- Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives
- You may be able to use the probate record to learn about adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents
- 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
- You may be able to use the probate record to learn about land transactions
- 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 occupations listed to find employment records or other types of records such as military records
- 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