Idaho Probate Records
Probate is the “court procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid” and encompasses “all matters and proceedings pertaining to the administration of estates, guardianships, etc.” Various types of records are created throughout the probate process. These may include, wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. These documents are extremely valuable to genealogists and should not be neglected. In many instances, they are the only known source of relevant information such as the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their places of residence. They may also include information about adoption or guardianship of minor children and dependents. For further information about the probate process, types of probate records, analyzing probate records, and to access a glossary of probate terms, see United States Probate Records.
Probate courts had jurisdiction over probate records, adoptions, and minor civil matters until 1971 when they were abolished. Their function and records were transferred to the magistrate divisions of the district courts. Idaho probate records include wills, appraisals, inventories, letters, claims, final accounts, estate cases and guardianships. The registers and case files are often scattered in various vaults and storage areas in and adjacent to the local courthouse. Some of the records including early case files may have been transferred to the Idaho State Archives in Boise.
You can obtain copies of probate records from the clerk's office in each county courthouse. The Family History Library has a few published volumes of probate records and some microfilmed early will registers and estate indexes.
- Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
- Idaho Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2006. NOTE: All of the information from the original research outline has been imported into this Wiki site and is being updated as time permits.