Tennessee Probate Court Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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|CID=CID1909193
 
|CID=CID1909193
 
|title=Tennessee Probate Court Files, 1795-1927
 
|title=Tennessee Probate Court Files, 1795-1927
|location=United States
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|location=United States}}<br>  
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== Record Description  ==
 
== Record Description  ==
  
The court files collection contains case files that are either loose papers or packet style. These files include several smaller sets of records. Some of the smaller sets include indexes. The collection includes the following types of records:  
+
The court files collection contains case files that are either loose papers or packet style for the years 1795 to 1927. The records are arranged by county and then by date. The files include several smaller sets of records which may include indexes. The collection includes the following types of records:  
  
 
*Wills  
 
*Wills  
Line 19: Line 16:
 
*Bonds  
 
*Bonds  
 
*Divorce records
 
*Divorce records
 
The contents of probate records vary greatly depending on the prevailing law and the personality of the record keeper.&nbsp;
 
 
Probate records in the state fall into two general categories: wills and estate papers. Most records mention the names of heirs and frequently specify how those heirs are related. Names of children may be given, as well as married names of daughters. Probate records may not give an exact death date, but a death most often occurred within a few months of the date of probate.&nbsp;
 
 
These collections include county probate records for the years 1795 to 1927.&nbsp;
 
 
Probate records are used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. The probate process transfers the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title. The transfer is to an executor or executrix if the deceased had made a will, to an administrator or administratrix if the deceased had not made a will, or to a guardian or conservator if the deceased had heirs under the age of twenty-one or if heirs were incompetent due to disease or disability.
 
 
The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceeding are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members and those who have previously received an inheritance, or the spouse mentioned may not be the parent of the children mentioned.
 
  
 
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/1909193/waypoints Browse] link from the collection landing page.  
 
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/1909193/waypoints Browse] link from the collection landing page.  
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== Record Content  ==
 
== Record Content  ==
  
Probate records usually include the following facts:  
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<gallery widths="160px" heights="120px" perrow="3">
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Image:Tennessee Probate Court Files (11-0049) DGS 4726963 11.jpg|Probate Record Example
 +
</gallery>
  
[[Image:Tennessee Probate Court Files (11-0049) DGS 4726963 11.jpg|thumb|right|Tennessee Probate Court Files (11-0049) DGS 4726963 11.jpg]]
+
Probate records usually include the following facts:  
  
 
*Name of testator or deceased  
 
*Name of testator or deceased  
Line 55: Line 44:
 
== How to Use the Record  ==
 
== How to Use the Record  ==
  
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:<br>⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page<br>⇒Select the "County" category<br>⇒Select the "Court Name and Record Type" category<br>⇒Select the "Date Range" category<br>⇒Select the "Surname or Folder Range" category which takes you to the images.
+
To begin your search it is helpful to know:  
 
+
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.
+
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.
+
 
+
Probate records are arranged by county and then by date. To begin your search you will need to know:  
+
  
 
*The place of residence  
 
*The place of residence  
Line 69: Line 50:
 
*The name of the deceased
 
*The name of the deceased
  
Compare the information you find in the probate records to what you already know about your ancestors to determine which record is about your ancestor. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
+
==== Search the Collection ====
  
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.  
+
To search the collection <br>
 +
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page<br>
 +
⇒Select the "County" category<br>
 +
⇒Select the "Court Name and Record Type" category<br>⇒Select the "Date Range" category<br>
 +
⇒Select the "Surname or Folder Range" category which takes you to the images.  
  
For example:  
+
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. 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. 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.
+
 
 
*Use the document (such as the will) or the recording dates to approximate a death date.  
 
*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 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 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.  
 
*Use the occupations listed to find other types of records such as employment or military records.  
 +
 +
==== Tips to Keep in Mind ====
 +
 +
*You may be able to use the probate record to learn about
 +
:Adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.
 +
: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.  
 
*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.  
 
*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.
 
*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.  
 
*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 1900.  
 
*Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1900.  
 
*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:
+
==== Unable to Find Your Ancestor?  ====
  
*Check for variant spellings of the surnames.  
+
*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.  
 
*Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.  
 
*Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
 
*Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
 +
 +
==== General Information About These Records ====
 +
 +
Probate records in the state fall into two general categories: wills and estate papers. Most records mention the names of heirs and frequently specify how those heirs are related. Names of children may be given, as well as married names of daughters. Probate records may not give an exact death date, but a death most often occurred within a few months of the date of probate.
 +
 +
Probate records are used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. The probate process transfers the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title. The transfer is to an executor or executrix if the deceased had made a will, to an administrator or administratrix if the deceased had not made a will, or to a guardian or conservator if the deceased had heirs under the age of twenty-one or if heirs were incompetent due to disease or disability.
 +
 +
The contents of probate records vary greatly depending on the prevailing law and the personality of the record keeper. The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceeding are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members and those who have previously received an inheritance, or the spouse mentioned may not be the parent of the children mentioned.
  
 
For a summary of this information see the wiki article [[United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)]].  
 
For a summary of this information see the wiki article [[United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)]].  

Revision as of 19:17, 21 August 2013

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

Contents

Record Description

The court files collection contains case files that are either loose papers or packet style for the years 1795 to 1927. The records are arranged by county and then by date. The files include several smaller sets of records which may include indexes. The collection includes the following types of records:

  • Wills
  • Deeds
  • Inventories
  • Settlements
  • Administrations
  • Guardianships
  • Bonds
  • Divorce records

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"Tennessee Probate Court Files, 1795-1927." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

Probate records usually include the following facts:

  • Name of testator or deceased
  • Names of heirs such as spouse, children, and other relatives or friends
  • Names of witnesses
  • Residence of testator
  • Lists of belongings, property, and so forth
  • Document and recording dates (Sometimes the date of death will be given. Recording dates are also used to approximate event dates, i.e. a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death.)

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

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

Search the Collection

To search the collection
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "County" category
⇒Select the "Court Name and Record Type" category
⇒Select the "Date Range" category
⇒Select the "Surname or Folder Range" category 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. 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. For example:

  • Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives.
  • 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

  • You may be able to use the probate record to learn about
Adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.
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.
  • 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 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.

General Information About These Records

Probate records in the state fall into two general categories: wills and estate papers. Most records mention the names of heirs and frequently specify how those heirs are related. Names of children may be given, as well as married names of daughters. Probate records may not give an exact death date, but a death most often occurred within a few months of the date of probate.

Probate records are used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. The probate process transfers the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title. The transfer is to an executor or executrix if the deceased had made a will, to an administrator or administratrix if the deceased had not made a will, or to a guardian or conservator if the deceased had heirs under the age of twenty-one or if heirs were incompetent due to disease or disability.

The contents of probate records vary greatly depending on the prevailing law and the personality of the record keeper. The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceeding are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members and those who have previously received an inheritance, or the spouse mentioned may not be the parent of the children mentioned.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
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

Related Wiki Articles

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.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Tennessee Probate Court Files, 1795-1927."  digital images FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 24 June 2011). r Jennie and Sam Sutherland, 13 April 1940, Citing Probate Court Records, Franklin, Probate Court, Wills, 1812-1918, Abernathy, J.J. - Woods, Thomas H., Images 14-20; Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee, United States. From the Davidson county clerk’s office along with the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville. FHL microfilm, 394 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.