Difference between revisions of "Maryland Probate Estate and Guardianship Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)"

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{{Record_Search_article
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''[[United States Genealogy|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Maryland, United States Genealogy|Maryland]] ''
|CID=CID1542664
+
 
 +
{{US State HR Infobox
 +
|CID=CID1542664  
 
|title=Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940
 
|title=Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940
|location=United States}}<br>
+
|location=Maryland
 +
| LOC_01 = Maryland
 +
| LOC_02 =
 +
| LOC_02_type =
 +
| LOC_03 = 
 +
| loc_map = 
 +
| state_loc_map = US Locator Maryland.png
 +
| State_flag = Maryland flag.png
 +
| record_type =Probate and Guardianship
 +
| start_year = 1796
 +
| end_year = 1940
 +
| FS_URL_01 =[[Maryland, United States Genealogy|Maryland, United States Genealogy]]
 +
| FS_URL_02 =[[Maryland Probate Records|Maryland Probate Records]] 
 +
| FS_URL_03 =[[Research Steps for probate records|Research Steps for Probate Records]]
 +
| FS_URL_04 =[[Maryland Archives and Libraries]]
 +
| FS_URL_05 = [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=348&query=%2Bplace%3A%22United%20States%2C%20Maryland%22%20%2Bkeywords%3Aprobate FamilySearch Library Catalog] 
 +
| FS_URL_06 =
 +
| FS_URL_07 = 
 +
| FS_URL_08 = 
 +
| FS_URL_09 = 
 +
| FS_URL_10 = 
 +
| RW_URL_01 =[http://www.cyndislist.com/md.htm Cyndi's List - Maryland]
 +
| RW_URL_02 =[http://www.mdgensoc.org/ Maryland Genealogical Society]
 +
| RW_URL_03 =[https://marylandgenealogy.org/ Maryland Genealogy and History]
 +
| RW_URL_04 =[http://mdgenweb.org/ The MDGenWeb Project] 
 +
| RW_URL_05 = 
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| custodian =  County Courts, Maryland.
 +
}}
  
== Record Description  ==
+
== What is in the Collection? ==
  
The collection includes name indexes and images of probate estate files from county offices for the years. The exact offices differ by county.  
+
The collection includes name indexes and images of probate estate files from county offices for the years 1779 to 1940. The exact offices differ by county.  
  
 
Currently, the following are included in this collection:  
 
Currently, the following are included in this collection:  
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*Caroline County (1838-1940)  
 
*Caroline County (1838-1940)  
 
*Cecil County (1851-1940)  
 
*Cecil County (1851-1940)  
 +
*Garrett County (1920-1940)
 
*Kent County (1749-1940)  
 
*Kent County (1749-1940)  
 
*Prince George's County (1796-1940)  
 
*Prince George's County (1796-1940)  
 
*Queen Anne's County (1833-1940)  
 
*Queen Anne's County (1833-1940)  
 +
*Somerset County (1789-1946)
 
*Wicomico County (1868-1940)
 
*Wicomico County (1868-1940)
  
Probate records were court documents and may have included both loose papers and bound volumes. The loose records were generally known as a case file or a probate packet. These files normally included wills, settlement papers, inventories, receipts, and other records pertaining to the estates.
+
The loose records were generally known as a case file or a probate packet. These files normally included wills, settlement papers, inventories, receipts, and other records pertaining to the estates.  
 
 
Some probate records were recorded in books that may have been labeled with such titles as accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, petitions, guardianships, inventories, or settlements.
 
 
 
Each county began keeping probate records from the time the county was created. Orphan’s Court was the name of the probate court at the county level. Probate records were generally recorded in the county where the person lived. Estates were probated for approximately 25 percent of the heads of households in the United States before 1900, whether or not the individual left a will. Wills were more likely to have been found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.&nbsp;
 
 
 
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the [https://www.familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https%3A//api.familysearch.org/records/collection/1542664/waypoints Browse].  
 
  
<br>County probate records have been kept from the time the county was formed to the present. The included dates vary by county.&nbsp;
+
Some probate records were recorded in books that may have been labeled with such titles as accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, petitions, guardianships, inventories, or settlements.Each county began keeping probate records from the time the county was created. Orphan’s Court was the name of the probate court at the county level. Probate records were generally recorded in the county where the person lived. Estates were probated for approximately 25 percent of the heads of households in the United States before 1900, whether or not the individual left a will. Wills were more likely to have been found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.
  
 
Probate records were used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. If the deceased had made a will, the probate process transferred the following from the deceased to an executor or executrix: the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title to heirs. If there was no will, the transfer went to an administrator or administratrix. A guardian or conservator was appointed if the deceased had heirs younger than 21 or if the heirs were incompetent due to disability or disease.  
 
Probate records were used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. If the deceased had made a will, the probate process transferred the following from the deceased to an executor or executrix: the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title to heirs. If there was no will, the transfer went to an administrator or administratrix. A guardian or conservator was appointed if the deceased had heirs younger than 21 or if the heirs were incompetent due to disability or disease.  
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The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceedings are reliable, but realize that there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members or those who had previously received an inheritance. In some cases, the spouse mentioned in the will was not the parent of the children mentioned. Also, some wills do not name family members.  
 
The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceedings are reliable, but realize that there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members or those who had previously received an inheritance. In some cases, the spouse mentioned in the will was not the parent of the children mentioned. Also, some wills do not name family members.  
  
=== Citation for This Collection ===
+
===To Browse this Collection===
  
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
+
{{Collection_Browse_Link
 +
|CID=CID1542664
 +
|title=Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940
 +
}}
  
{{Collection citation | text= "Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940" Index and Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013.}}
+
===Image Visibility===
 +
Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. Images in this collection are available for viewing if you are a registered FamilySearch user. You can register for a free FamilySearch account [https://familysearch.org/register/1 here].  
  
== Record Content  ==
+
For additional information about image restrictions, please see the [[Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections]] page.
  
<gallery caption="Maryland Probate Documents Examples" widths="160px" heights="120px" perrow="3">
+
==What Can these Records Tell Me?==
Image:Maryland Probate and Estate Files 004103610 00007.jpg|Court Petition
 
Image:Maryland Probate and Estate Files 004103610 00011.jpg|Executor's Bond
 
Image:Maryland Probate and Estate Files 004229805 00050.jpg|Documentation of Will
 
Image:Maryland Will DGS 4104037 13.jpg|Will
 
</gallery>
 
  
 
Probate records include petitions, inventories, wills, guardianships, accounts, decrees, and other court documents. They include the following information:  
 
Probate records include petitions, inventories, wills, guardianships, accounts, decrees, and other court documents. They include the following information:  
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*Names of witnesses  
 
*Names of witnesses  
 
*Residence of testator  
 
*Residence of testator  
*Dates the documents were written and recorded (
+
*Dates the documents were written and recorded
  
== How to Use the Records  ==
+
== Collection Content ==
 +
=== Sample Images ===
  
To begin your search you will need to know:
+
<gallery caption="Maryland Probate Documents Examples" widths="160px" heights="120px" perrow="3">
 
+
Image:Maryland Probate and Estate Files 004103610 00007.jpg|Court Petition
*The place of residence
+
Image:Maryland Probate and Estate Files 004103610 00011.jpg|Executor's Bond
*The approximate death or probate date
+
Image:Maryland Probate and Estate Files 004229805 00050.jpg|Documentation of Will
*The name of the deceased
+
Image:Maryland Will DGS 4104037 13.jpg|Will
 
+
</gallery>
==== Search the Collection  ====
 
 
 
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
 
 
 
To search the collection image by image select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page <br> ⇒Select the appropriate "County" <br> ⇒Select the appropriate "SurName Letter" <br> ⇒Select the appropriate "Individual's Name and File Number" 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 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.  
+
== How Do I Search the Collection? ==
*You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
+
You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search, it is helpful to know:
*Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
+
*The name of the individual
 +
*The location or date of the event
  
==== Using the Information  ====
+
=== Search the Index ===
 +
Search by name by visiting the [https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1542664 Collection Page].
 +
#Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
 +
#Click '''Search''' to show possible matches
  
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:
+
=== View the Images ===
 +
View images in this collection by visiting the [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https://familysearch.org/recapi/sord/collection/1542664/waypoints Browse Page].
 +
# Select '''County'''
 +
# Select '''Surname Letter'''
 +
# Select '''Individual's Name and File Number''
  
*Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives.
+
=== How Do I Analyze the Results? ===
*Use the document (such as the will) or the recording dates to approximate a death date.
+
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.
*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
+
For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article [[FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks]].
  
:Land transactions
+
{{Tip | More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/1542664 | Maryland, probate estate and guardianship files, 1796-1940]. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a digital image to find a camera icon to see images.}}
:Adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.
 
  
*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.
+
==What Do I Do Now?==
*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.  
+
=== I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now? ===
*When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.  
+
*Use a Probate record to identify adoptions, guardians, heirs and relatives.  
*The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the deceased or the testator.  
+
*Use a will to approximate a death date, then find a death certificate.  
*Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1900.  
+
*Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records for earlier years.  
*There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
+
*Use the information to find other church and vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records.  Also search for immigration, military, land and probate records.
 +
*Use the information to find additional family members in censuses.
 +
*Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
 +
*[[Maryland Church Records| Church Records]] often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.
  
==== Unable to Find Your Ancestor?  ====
+
=== I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now? ===  
 +
*Try viewing the original record. Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
 +
*If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relatives 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. 
 +
*Try variant spellings of your ancestor’s name.
 +
*Remember that sometimes individuals went by [http://usgenweb.org/research/nicknames.html nicknames] or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for [http://genealogy.about.com/od/first_names/fl/nickname-given-name-equivalents.htm these names] as well. 
 +
*Search the indexes and records of [[Maryland, United States Genealogy]].
 +
*Search in the [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=348&query=%2Bplace%3A%22United%20States%2C%20Maryland%22%20%2Bkeywords%3Aprobate FamilySearch Library Catalog]
  
*Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
 
*Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
 
*Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
 
 
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)]].
 
  
 
== Known Issues with This Collection  ==
 
== Known Issues with This Collection  ==
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{{HR Known Issues}}For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached [[Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues|Wiki article]]. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to [mailto:support@familysearch.org 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.  
 
{{HR Known Issues}}For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached [[Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues|Wiki article]]. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to [mailto:support@familysearch.org 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 ==
+
== Citing this Collection ==
  
[http://www.cyndislist.com/md.htm Cyndi's List - Maryland]
+
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.  
  
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
+
'''Collection Citation''':<br> {{Collection citation | text= "Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940" Database with Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. County courts, Maryland.}}<br><br>
  
*[[Maryland Probate Records|Maryland Probate Records]]
+
'''Record Citation''' (or citation for the index entry):<br> {{Record Citation Link
*[[Maryland|Maryland]]
+
|CID=CID1542664
 +
|title=Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940
 +
}}
  
== Contributions to This Article  ==
+
'''Image Citation''':<br> {{Image Citation Link
 
+
|CID=CID1542664
{{Contributor invite}}
+
|title=Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940
 
+
}}
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
 
 
 
Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https://familysearch.org/records/collection/1542664/waypoints Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940]
 
  
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.
+
'''[[Maryland_Probate_Estate_and_Guardianship_Files_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records)#top|Top of Page]]'''
  
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article [[Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections|Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]].
+
== How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki? ==
  
[[Category:Maryland|Probate]]
+
{{Contributor invite}}

Latest revision as of 15:10, 15 May 2017

United States Gotoarrow.png Maryland

Access the Records
Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940 .
CID1542664
{{{CID2}}}
{{{CID3}}}
{{{CID4}}}
{{{CID5}}}
{{{CID6}}}
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Maryland, United States
Maryland flag.png
Flag of Maryland
US Locator Maryland.png
Location of Maryland
Record Description
Record Type Probate and Guardianship
Collection years 1796-1940
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
County Courts, Maryland.


What is in the Collection?

The collection includes name indexes and images of probate estate files from county offices for the years 1779 to 1940. The exact offices differ by county.

Currently, the following are included in this collection:

  • Allegany County (1779-1946)
  • Baltimore City (1920-1941)
  • Calvert County (1882-1940)
  • Caroline County (1838-1940)
  • Cecil County (1851-1940)
  • Garrett County (1920-1940)
  • Kent County (1749-1940)
  • Prince George's County (1796-1940)
  • Queen Anne's County (1833-1940)
  • Somerset County (1789-1946)
  • Wicomico County (1868-1940)

The loose records were generally known as a case file or a probate packet. These files normally included wills, settlement papers, inventories, receipts, and other records pertaining to the estates.

Some probate records were recorded in books that may have been labeled with such titles as accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, petitions, guardianships, inventories, or settlements.Each county began keeping probate records from the time the county was created. Orphan’s Court was the name of the probate court at the county level. Probate records were generally recorded in the county where the person lived. Estates were probated for approximately 25 percent of the heads of households in the United States before 1900, whether or not the individual left a will. Wills were more likely to have been found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.

Probate records were used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. If the deceased had made a will, the probate process transferred the following from the deceased to an executor or executrix: the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title to heirs. If there was no will, the transfer went to an administrator or administratrix. A guardian or conservator was appointed if the deceased had heirs younger than 21 or if the heirs were incompetent due to disability or disease.

The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceedings are reliable, but realize that there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members or those who had previously received an inheritance. In some cases, the spouse mentioned in the will was not the parent of the children mentioned. Also, some wills do not name family members.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. Images in this collection are available for viewing if you are a registered FamilySearch user. You can register for a free FamilySearch account here.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

What Can these Records Tell Me?

Probate records include petitions, inventories, wills, guardianships, accounts, decrees, and other court documents. They include the following information:

  • Name of testator or deceased
  • Names of heirs, such as spouse, children, relatives, and friends
  • Name of executor, administrator, or guardian
  • Names of witnesses
  • Residence of testator
  • Dates the documents were written and recorded

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search the Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the individual
  • The location or date of the event

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.

  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page.

  1. Select County
  2. Select Surname Letter
  3. Select 'Individual's Name and File Number

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.


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

What Do I Do Now?

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 find other church and vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records. Also search for immigration, military, land and probate records.
  • Use the information to find additional family members in censuses.
  • 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. Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relatives 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.
  • Try variant 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.
  • Search the indexes and records of Maryland, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Library Catalog


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.

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:

"Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940" Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. County courts, Maryland.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940.


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 Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940.


Top of Page

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.