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Probate records are court records that describe the distribution of a person’s estate after he or she dies.
Information in the records may include the death date, names of heirs and guardians, relationships, residences, an inventory of the estate, and names of witnesses.
Probate records are not useful in Polish research. Other sources, such as church records and civil registration, cover more of the population, and probate records are difficult to access. Very few probate records have been microfilmed.
Usually only people who owned property and their relatives are mentioned in probate records. In Poland this included only a small percent of the population.
Most farmers, merchants, and artisans did not own their own farms or shops.
The Family History Library does not have copies of the probate records for Poland. These records may still be found in local probate offices or local courts or archives. If you think probate records could be helpful to your research, write to the head directorate of Polish state archives to inquire about access to these records. See the Polish Letter Writing Guide.
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