Florida Probate Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Florida Probate Records, 1784-1990 .

Contents

Record Description

Collection of probate records, including case files, wills and other documents created by the probate courts of various Florida counties. Probates were generally recorded in the county of residence. The records in this collection generally cover the years 1784 to 1990, but the content and time period of the records varies by county.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Florida Probate Records, 1784-1990.

Record Content

Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees, and other court documents. Information found in entries may include:

  • Name of testator or deceased
  • Names of heirs such as spouse, children, and other relatives or friends
  • Name of executor, administrator, or guardian
  • Names of witnesses
  • Residence of testator
  • Document and recording dates (Used to approximate event dates i.e. A will was usually written near time of death.)

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • The place of residence
  • The approximate death or probate date
  • The name of the deceased

Search the Collection

To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select "County"
⇒Select "Volume Title and Year"
which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

  • 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 other types of records such as employment or 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.
  • 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.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Wills are more likely to be found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.
  • The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the deceased or the testator.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1900.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.

Unable to Find your Ancestor?

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.

Related Websites

Florida County Records 

Related Wiki Articles

Florida Probate Records

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information (often called citing your sources). This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection citation:

"Florida, Probate Records, 1784-1990." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing County Courthouses, state-wide, Florida.

Image citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Florida Probate Records, 1784-1990.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 1 October 2014, at 21:15.
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