United States Probate LimitationsEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

Revision as of 22:37, 20 September 2008 by Smithce (Talk | contribs)

Portal:United States Probate >


Limitations of a will

When analyzing a will record, be aware of the following potential problems:

  • The spouse mentioned in the will may not be the mother of the children mentioned in the will
  • The will may omit a deceased child
  • The will may omit a child who already received their inheritance
  • Maiden names of female spouses are not usually mentioned
  • Children are not always listed in birth order
  • No every-name index for those listed in the will
  • May have a problem with punctuation--Mary Beth, one name or two?
  • Sometimes cannot determine the difference between married and middle names
  • Relationships may be misleading
Uncle/aunt may be spouses
Cousin may mean nephew/neice
In early wills, son-in-law could mean step son or nephew could mean grandson
Brother and sister may mean brother and sister in the gospel

Limitations of probate records

  • Not everyone left a will
  • Not all relatives are listed--usually only the wife and children
  • Date of death is usually not given
  • Indexes usually list testator, not heirs or beneficiaries
  • Information on the residence of relatives is rare

 

Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).