Kentucky Probate Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Kentucky Probate Records, 1727-1990 .
The collection consists of an index of probate records created in Kentucky county courts. Probate records include wills, bonds, inventories of estates and other records. This is an ongoing project and records will be published as they become available. When the collection is complete it will contain records from 1727-1990.
Some probate records were recorded in books which may have carried many titles, such as:
Wills are normally transcribed into a bound volume.
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
FamilySearch just began indexing this browse collection. The project is a pilot. Indexers will be indexing the volume level indexes. Today users can search the following counties by name and link to the index page. In the near future users will be able to search the indexed names and will be linked directly to the first page of the probate. The following is what has been indexed by county.
|County||# of Indexed Records||Years Covered|
Each county began keeping probate records from the time the county was created.
Probate records may include: petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees, and other court documents. Information found in this collection 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 name of the deceased
- Identifying information such as the place of residence or the approximate death or probate date
Search the Collection
To search the collection by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.
If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection by image.
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒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.
With either search 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.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article [FamilySearch Tips and Tricks].
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. For example:
- 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.
- 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.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Probate record may include informatio about land transactions.
- 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.
- 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?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
- Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Kentucky, Probate Records items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article Kentucky Archives and Libraries. For additional information about this state see the wiki article Kentucky.|
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to email@example.com. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
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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.|
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- "Kentucky, Probate Records, 1792-1977" Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing County Courthouses, state-wide, Kentucky.
- This page was last modified on 6 October 2014, at 21:58.
- This page has been accessed 11,434 times.
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