Ohio, Montgomery County Probate Estate Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Ohio, Montgomery County Probate Estate Files, 1850-1900 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Montgomery, Ohio, United States
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Flag of Ohio
US Locator Map Ohio Montgomery.PNG
Location of Montgomery County, Ohio
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Location of Ohio
Record Description
Record Type Probate
Collection years 1850-1900
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of images to probate estate files from the Montgomery County Records Center and Archive in Dayton, Ohio. The files are typically chronological and have a case file number.

These files include all documents related to estate settlement, such as inventories, receipts, wills, accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, bonds, petitions, and guardianships. For additional information about probate records see the section "General Information About These Records" below.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Ohio, Montgomery County Probate Estate Files, 1850-1900.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Information in entries may include:

  • 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 Images

Most probate records were created on a county level. The contents of probate records vary greatly depending on the prevailing law and the personality of the record keeper.

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 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.

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the deceased.
  • The approximate death or probate date.
  • The place of residence.
  • The names of family members and their relationships.


View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Record Type, Date Range and Volume" category which takes you to the images

Look at each 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. 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.

What Do I Do Next?

Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Look at the actual image of the record, if you can, to verify the information and to find additional information.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Copy the citation below, in case you need to find this record again later.
  • Use a Probate record to identify adoptions, guardians, heirs and relatives.
  • Use a probate record to approximate a death date, then find a death certificate.
  • For earlier years, use the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find church and vital records such as birth, baptism and marriage records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find immigration and land records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find additional family members in censuses.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records were kept years before counties began keeping records. They are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.


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

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county.
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Check the info box above for additional FamilySearch websites and related websites that may assist you in finding similar records.


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

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:

"Ohio, Montgomery County, Probate Estate Files, 1850-1900." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing County Records Center and Archives, Dayton.

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 Ohio, Montgomery County Probate Estate Files, 1850-1900.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.