Alaska Probate Records
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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. see also Guide to the Probate Records of Alaska 1888-1972.
Probate records of Alaska were kept by the district courts prior to statehood. The superior court now has jurisdiction over probate matters.
Check in the FamilySearch Catalog for digital images of probate records from Alaska. They are also available at the archives and offices mentioned in Alaska Court Records.
Selected Collections located in the FamilySearch Catalog
- Office of the Attorney General, probate files, 1936-1968
- Probate Court (4th Division) probate records,from Barrow, Central, Eagle, Fairbanks, Fort Yukon, Healy, Hughes, Koyukuk, McGrath, Noatak, Nulato, Otter, Rampart, Ruby, Selawik, Tanana, and Tok precincts., 1899-1968
Index represents about 17,000 probate cases from the district court system from 1884 until the Alaska State Court system was established in 1960. Index is arranged alphabetically and includes last and first name, case number if available, precinct, type of case, date, whether docket or a case file, and the location of either or both if available. Alaska Probate Records Index
- Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."