Difference between revisions of "Pennsylvania Probate Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)"

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{{FamilySearch_Collection
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''[[United States Genealogy|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Pennsylvania, United States Genealogy|Pennsylvania]]''
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{{US State HR Infobox
 
|CID=CID1999196  
 
|CID=CID1999196  
 
|title=Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994
 
|title=Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994
|location=United States}} <br>
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|location=Pennsylvania
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| LOC_01 = Pennsylvania
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| LOC_02 =
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| LOC_02_type =
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| LOC_03 = 
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| loc_map =
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| state_loc_map = US Locator Pennsylvania.png
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| State_flag =  Pennsylvania flag.png 
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| record_type = Probate
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| start_year = 1683
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| end_year = 1994
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| FS_URL_01 = [[Pennsylvania Genealogy ]]
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| FS_URL_02 = [[Pennsylvania Probate Records]]
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| FS_URL_03 =[[Pennsylvania Archives and Libraries]]
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| FS_URL_04 = [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=188363&query=%2Bplace%3A%22United%20States%2C%20Pennsylvania%22%20%2Bkeywords%3Aprobate FamilySearch Library Catalog]
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| FS_URL_05 =
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| FS_URL_06 =
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| FS_URL_07 = 
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| FS_URL_08 = 
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| FS_URL_09 = 
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| FS_URL_10 = 
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| RW_URL_01 = [http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/record-search-court-land.php?locIndex=14656 ePodunk,Philadelphia Philladelphia Record Search]
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| RW_URL_02 = [http://www.publicrecordcenter.com/pennsylvaniapublicrecord.htm Public Record Center]
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| RW_URL_03 = 
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| RW_URL_04 = 
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| RW_URL_05 = 
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| custodian = 
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}}
  
== Record Description ==
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== What is in the Collection? ==
  
This Collection will include records from 1683 to 1994.  
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This collection includes probate records created in Pennsylvania counties for the years 1683 to 1994. The records include wills, estate records and indexes.  
  
This collection includes probate records created in Pennsylvania counties. The records include wills, estate records and indexes. Probates have been recorded on a county basis since the origin of the Commonwealth in 1682. Some major cities such as Philadelphia also kept probate records. Complete records are available in most counties. Probate actions taken in a locality before the present county was formed are found in records of the parent county.  
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Probates have been recorded on a county basis since the origin of the Commonwealth in 1682. Some major cities, such as Philadelphia, also kept probate records. Complete records are available in most counties. Probate actions taken in a locality before the present county was formed are found in records of the parent county. 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: 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: 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.
  
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===
  
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https%3A//familysearch.org/records/collection/1999196/waypoints Browse].
+
{{Collection_Browse_Link
 
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|CID=CID1999196
=== Citation for This Collection  ===
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|title=Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994
 
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}}
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
 
 
 
{{Collection citation
 
| text=<!--bibdescbegin-->Pennsylvania, County Probate Clerks. VirginiaPennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994. County Clerks, Pennsylvania.<!--bibdescend-->}}  
 
  
[[Pennsylvania Probate Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)#Citation_Example_for_a_Record_Found_in_This_Collection|Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.]]
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== What Can these Records Tell Me? ==
 
 
== Record Content  ==
 
 
 
<gallery>
 
Image: Pennsylvania Probate Records (12-0024) (12-0788) DGS 5533978_5.jpg|Will
 
</gallery>
 
  
Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees and other court documents. They may include any of the following genealogical information:  
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'''Probate records''' include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees and other court documents. They may include any of the following genealogical information:  
  
 
*Name of the testator or deceased  
 
*Name of the testator or deceased  
Line 40: Line 59:
 
*Dates the documents were written and recorded (used to approximate event dates since a will was usually written near the time of death).
 
*Dates the documents were written and recorded (used to approximate event dates since a will was usually written near the time of death).
  
== How to Use the Record ==
+
== Collection Content ==
 +
=== Sample Image ===
  
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:  
+
<gallery>
 
+
Image: Pennsylvania Probate Records (12-0024) (12-0788) DGS 5533978_5.jpg|Will
*The place of residence
+
</gallery>
*The approximate death or probate date
 
*The name of the deceased
 
  
==== Search the Collection  ====
+
== How Do I Search the Collection? ==
 +
To begin your search it is helpful to know:
 +
*The name of your ancestor
 +
*At least one other piece of information
  
To search the collection select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page next select the place and then the Record Type, Date, Volume or Surname Range 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 which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
+
=== View the Images ===
 +
View images in this collection by visiting the [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https://familysearch.org/recapi/sord/collection/1999196/waypoints Browse Page].
 +
# Select '''Place name'''
 +
# Select '''Record Type, Date, Volume or Surname Range'''
  
==== Using the Information  ====
+
=== 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.
  
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:
 
  
*Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives.
+
For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article [[FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks]].
*You may be able to use the probate record to learn about adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.
 
*Use the document (such as the will) or the recording dates to approximate a death date.
 
*Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records since the probates exist for an earlier time period.
 
*You may be able to use the probate record to learn about land transactions.
 
*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 employment records or other types of records such as military records. *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.
 
*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.
 
*When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct. Keep in mind:
 
*Wills are more likely to be found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.
 
*The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the deceased or the testator.
 
*Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1900.
 
*There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record. If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
 
*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.
 
  
== Known Issues with This Collecton  ==
+
==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. 
  
{{HR Known Issues}}For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached [[Pennsylvania Probate Records (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.  
+
=== 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.
 +
*[[Pennsylvania Church Records|Church Records]] often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.
  
== Related Websites ==
+
=== 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 [http://usgenweb.org/research/nicknames.shtml 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 [[Pennsylvania, United States Genealogy]].
 +
*Search in the [[Pennsylvania Archives and Libraries]].
 +
*Search in the [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=188363&query=%2Bplace%3A%22United%20States%2C%20Pennsylvania%22%20%2Bkeywords%3Aprobate FamilySearch Library Catalog]
  
*[http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/record-search-court-land.php?locIndex=14656 ePodunk,Philadelphia Philladelphia Record Search]
 
*[http://www.publicrecordcenter.com/pennsylvaniapublicrecord.htm Public Record Center]
 
  
== Related Wiki Articles ==
+
== Known Issues with This Collection ==
  
*[[Pennsylvania]]  
+
{{HR Known Issues}}For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached [[Pennsylvania Probate Records (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.
*[[Pennsylvania Probate Records]]
 
  
== Contributions to This Article  ==
 
  
{{Contributor invite}}
+
==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.  
  
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
+
'''Collection Citation''':<br> {{Collection citation | text= "Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994." Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing County Courthouses, state-wide, Pennsylvania.}} <br><br>
  
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.
+
'''Image Citation''':<br> {{Image Citation Link
 
+
|CID=CID1999196
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]].&nbsp;
+
|title=Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994
 +
}}
  
=== Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection  ===
+
[[Pennsylvania_Probate_Records_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records)#top|Top of Page]]
  
"Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Probate Records. 1683-1994" index and images, ''FamilySearch'' ([https://www.familysearch.org]: accessed 7 October 2011). entry for Mary Green, will probated 1842; citing Probate Records, reference number Box 10, 100-149 123; City of Philadelphia Retgister of Wills Office. Piladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.
+
== How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki? ==
  
[[Category:Pennsylvania|Probate]]
+
{{Contributor invite}}

Latest revision as of 16:55, 20 April 2017

United States Gotoarrow.png Pennsylvania

Access the Records
Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994 .
CID1999196
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Pennsylvania, United States
Pennsylvania flag.png
Flag of Pennsylvania
US Locator Pennsylvania.png
Location of Pennsylvania
Record Description
Record Type Probate
Collection years 1683-1994
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

This collection includes probate records created in Pennsylvania counties for the years 1683 to 1994. The records include wills, estate records and indexes.

Probates have been recorded on a county basis since the origin of the Commonwealth in 1682. Some major cities, such as Philadelphia, also kept probate records. Complete records are available in most counties. Probate actions taken in a locality before the present county was formed are found in records of the parent county. 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: 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 Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994.

What Can these Records Tell Me?

Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees and other court documents. They may include any of the following genealogical information:

  • Name of the testator or deceased
  • Names of the heirs, such as spouse, children, other relatives, and friends
  • Name of the executor, administrator, or guardian
  • Names of witnesses
  • Residence of the testator
  • Dates the documents were written and recorded (used to approximate event dates since a will was usually written near the time of death).

Collection Content

Sample Image

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • At least one other piece of information

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page.

  1. Select Place name
  2. Select Record Type, Date, Volume or Surname Range

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 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 Pennsylvania, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the Pennsylvania Archives and Libraries.
  • 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:

"Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing County Courthouses, state-wide, Pennsylvania.

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 Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994.


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.