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, 1792-1977 .
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. Date and record coverage varies by county. The current collection includes records for Caldwell, Henry, Hickman, Russell and Trimble counties. This is an ongoing project that is 12% complete. More records will be published as they become available.
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|
Records in this collection are for the years 1792 to 1977.
Each county began keeping probate records from the time the county was created.
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 county clerks. Kentucky Probate Records. County courthouses throughout Kentucky.
Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees, and other court documents. Genealogical facts found in entries 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 search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page,
⇒ Select the Name of County
⇒ Select the Volume Title and Years which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
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
Compare the information in the records to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
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.
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.
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
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.|
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. 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.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Kentucky, Probate Records, 1792-1977," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 27 March 2012), Jefferson > will records 1887-1894 > image 8 of 323, Larz Anderson, will probated 7 March 1878; citing County Clerk, Jefferson County, Louisville, Kentucky, United States, Will records 1887-1894, vol.18.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.