Michigan Probate Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

From FamilySearch Wiki

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The collection consists of probate records from county courthouses in Michigan for the years 1797 to 1973. Most of the collection contains estate files. The content and time period varies by county. Some of the records date before 1837 when Michigan became a state.  
 
The collection consists of probate records from county courthouses in Michigan for the years 1797 to 1973. Most of the collection contains estate files. The content and time period varies by county. Some of the records date before 1837 when Michigan became a state.  
  
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https%3A//api.familysearch.org/records/collection/2013878/waypoints Browse] link from the collection landing page.
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{{Collection_Browse_Link
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|CID=CID2013878
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|title=Michigan, Probate Records, 1797-1973
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}}
  
 
== Record Content  ==
 
== Record Content  ==
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Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees and other court documents. They may include the following information:  
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'''Probate records''' include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees and other court documents. They may include the following information:  
  
 
*Name of the testator or deceased  
 
*Name of the testator or deceased  
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== How to Use the Record  ==
 
== How to Use the Record  ==
  
To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page.<br> ⇒ Select the County<br> ⇒ Select the Volume, Title and Year which takes you to the images.
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To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
  
Search the collection by image 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.
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*The place of residence
 +
*The approximate death or probate date
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*The name of the deceased
  
As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
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===Search the Collection===
  
 +
'''To browse by image:'''<br>
 +
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:<br>
 +
⇒ Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page.<br> ⇒ Select the County<br> ⇒ Select the Volume, Title, and Year which takes you to the images.
  
<br> To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
+
Search the collection by 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.
  
*The place of residence
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As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
*The approximate death or probate date
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*The name of the deceased
+
  
==== Using the Information ====
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=== 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:  
 
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.  
 
*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.  
 
*You may be able to use the probate record to learn about adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.  
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*When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
 
*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:
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=== Tips to Keep in Mind ===
  
 
*Wills are more likely to be found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.  
 
*Wills are more likely to be found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.  
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*There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
 
*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:  
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=== Unable to Find your Ancestor? ===
 +
Try the following:  
  
 
*Check for variant spellings of the surnames.  
 
*Check for variant spellings of the surnames.  
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{{Contributor_invite}}<br>  
 
{{Contributor_invite}}<br>  
  
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
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==Citations for This Collection==
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When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information (often called [[Transfer_the_Information#Cite_Your_Sources|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.
  
Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https://familysearch.org/records/collection/2013878/waypoints Michigan, Probate Records, 1797-1973]
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'''Collection citation''':<br>
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{{Collection citation | text= "Michigan, Probate Records, 1797-1973." Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing County Courthouses, state-wide, Michigan.}}<br><br>
  
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.
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'''Image citation''':<br>
 
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{{Image Citation Link
<br>
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|CID=CID2013878
 
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|title=Michigan, Probate Records, 1797-1973
=== Citation for This Collection  ===
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}}
 
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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.
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{{Collection citation | text= "Michigan, Probate Records, 1797-1973." Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013.}}
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Revision as of 14:57, 14 August 2014

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

The collection consists of probate records from county courthouses in Michigan for the years 1797 to 1973. Most of the collection contains estate files. The content and time period varies by county. Some of the records date before 1837 when Michigan became a state.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Michigan, Probate Records, 1797-1973.

Record Content

Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees and other court documents. They may include the following information:

  • Name of the testator or deceased
  • Names of the heirs, such as spouse, children, other relatives, and friends
  • Name of the executor, administrator, or guardian
  • Names of witnesses
  • Residence of the testator
  • Dates the documents were written and recorded (used to approximate event dates since a will was usually written near the 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 browse by image:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page.
⇒ Select the County
⇒ Select the Volume, Title, and Year which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by 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.

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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?

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.
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Don't overlook FHL Place United States, Michigan items or FHL Keyword Michigan items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Michigan Archives and Libraries.

Known Issues with This Collection

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See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

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 support@familysearch.org. 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.

Related Websites

Michigan Public Records

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


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:

"Michigan, Probate Records, 1797-1973." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing County Courthouses, state-wide, Michigan.

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 Michigan, Probate Records, 1797-1973.