FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Pennsylvania/Tasks-Probate FHLC

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WikiProject Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Progress Chart Gotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Wiki Project Task - Probate FHLC


The purpose of this task is to add microfilm copies of original probate records found in the FHLC to the county pages.


1. To locate probate records in the FHLC, do a place name search in the FHLC by typing in your county. If you need more instructions on how to search the FHLC, go to Family History Library Catalog Place-name Search.

2. Once you have the correct county, look under the topic of Probate Records. Review the entries for any original probate records (wills, administrations, estate files, will dockets - wills and administrations are sometimes labeled "Probate Records" in the FHLC). Do not put in book indexes or abstracts.

3. After "Online Probate Records" and before the PA Probate FHLC and WorldCat Template, add the following:

'''Original Probate Records on Microfilm'''<br>

4. From the FHLC, add each original record under the new heading you created in #3. This may include wills, will dockets, administrations, and estate files (wills and administrations are sometimes labeled "Probate Records" in the FHLC). If you find other original probate records that you feel may be helpful, you may add them, but it is not necessary. Please remember the following:

i. Bullet each entry you make.
ii. Put the dates the records cover at the beginning of the entry after the bullet. Then list the title of the collection.
iii. The date should be bolded. 
iv. You can put the index at the end of the entry (see example).
v. Put the sources in chronological order.
vi. Use the FHLC template to list the film number.


:*'''1752–1860''' Wills {{FHL|196402|item|disp=FHL film 20722 (first of 8 films)}} - Index included: 1752-1915<br>
:*'''1752-1851''' Administration Letters and Bonds {{FHL|196590|item|disp=FHL film 20812 (first of 8 films)}} - Index included: 1752 - 1915 <br>
:*'''1752-1915''' Estate Files {{FHL|536648|item|disp=FHL film 1644017 (first of 337 films)}} - Arranged alphabetically by surname<br>


Probate Records

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

Example of Completed Probate Records Heading

Probate matters in Berks County, Pennsylvania are handled by the Orphans' Court. To obtain original probate records, contact the Orphan's Court in the County Courthouse.

In addition to wills and administrations, the Orphans' Court also handles: audits of accounts of executors, administrators, trustees, and guardians; distribution of estates of decedents, incompetents, and minors; appointment and control of guardians; adoptions; appeals from the Register of Wills involving probate matters; inheritance tax appeals and various petitions and motions.

Online Probate Indexes

Online Probate Records

Original probate records for some Pennsylvania counties are available free online as digital images at The dates vary significantly for each county and not all counties are listed. Some counties may only have probate indexes. This Pennsylvania collection of images may be browsed through the links listed below:

Complete Collection:

Berks County Only:

Original Probate Records on Microfilm

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Berks County Pennsylvania probate wills in online catalogs like: