Georgia Probate Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Georgia, Probate Records, 1742-1990 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Georgia, United States
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Flag of Georgia
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Location of Georgia
Record Description
Record Type Probate
Collection years 1742-1990
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

This collection includes records of probate proceedings from Georgia counties. The records include estate files, inventories, wills, administrations, minutes, guardianships and other records related to 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.

Probate records 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. The exact contents of probate records vary greatly depending on the prevailing law and the personality of the record keeper.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Georgia, Probate Records, 1742-1990.

What Can these Records Tell Me?

Although the exact content varies with each probate case, the information generally includes:

  • 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.)


Collection Content

Sample Image

How Do I Search the Collection?

To Browse Images of the Records

  1. Check the indexes at the beginning or end. If your ancestor is in the index write down the page numbers listed for your ancestor so that you can then quickly turn to those pages.
  2. Go to the collection browse page.
  3. Select the County name
  4. Select the Record Type, Date Range and Volume name
  5. Compare the information on the image to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct family or person.


For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use a Probate record to identify adoptions, guardians, heirs and relatives.
  • Use a will to approximate a death date, then find a death certificate.
  • Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records for earlier years.
  • Use the information to locate census, christenings, marriage and land records.
  • Use the occupations to find employment or military records.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Georgia, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the Georgia 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.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Georgia, Probate Records, 1742-1990." Images. FamilySearch. Website: accessed 2017. County probate courthouses, Georgia.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Georgia, Probate Records, 1742-1990.


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