Nevada 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.” Genealogists often refer to 'Probate Records' as "All records which relate to the disposition of an estate," whether the person died leaving a will (testate) or not (intestate).
Various types of records are created throughout the probate process. These may include, wills, guardianships, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, depositions, 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 court actions before 1861 were recorded in Utah Territory courts. Most, if not all, of the existing records from this period are now at the Nevada State Library and Archives.
Territorial probate courts were established in 1861 but were abolished in 1864 when Nevada became a state. The existing territorial probate records are now at the Nevada State Library and Archives. The state library also has an index to the supporting documents for the 1855 to 1864 probate courts.
The district courts in each county now have jurisdiction over the estates of deceased persons. You can obtain copies of the records, such as judgment rolls, bonds, and wills, by contacting the clerk of the district court in each county. The Family History Library does not have copies of the probate records of Nevada.
- Nevada Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001. (NOTE: All of the information from the original research outline has been imported into this Wiki site and is being updated as time permits.)
- Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
- Val. D. Greenwood, The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy, 3rd ed. (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2000), 309.