Faroe Islands Probate Records

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Probate Records

Probate Records [Skiftibøkur]

Research Use: Probate records provide information on deaths, establish family relationships, and linkage of generations which sometimes cannot be accomplished with church books alone. They also provide information about the social status of the deceased. Records list entire family units and establish relationships. Probates are used to complement information contained in the church records, fill gaps where church records have been lost.

Record Type: Records to legally distribute the estate of deceased persons. In order to determine and judge the claims on property of a deceased person, it was necessary to list the property and the heirs of the deceased. The common practice was not to leave a will; hence the vast majority of estates were settled by probates.

Time Period: 1679 to present.

Contents: Name of deceased and last place of residence; sometimes date of death; enumeration of legal heirs with residence, and relationship to the deceased; name of spouse; names and ages of children; name of guardian for minor children; places of residence; inventory, and distribution of property. These records identify whole family units and in some instances provide information about in-laws and their families, as well as other family members. Records are indexed. Location: Faeroe National Archives [Føroya Landsskjalasavn], Tórshavn, Faeroe Islands.

Percentage in Family History Library: 70%. The Family History Library has records from about 1679 to 1866.

Population Coverage: 45 to 65%.[1]


  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Faeroe Islands,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1990-2000.