Maine, Oxford County, Probate Estate Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|Access the Records|
Maine, Oxford County, Probate Estate Files,1805-1915 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Oxford, Maine, United States|
|Flag of Maine|
|Location of Oxford, Maine|
|Location of Maine|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can This Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing This Collection
- 7 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?
This collection contains images of probate estate files located at the Oxford County Courthouse in South Paris. The collection is divided into three parts, pre 1820, 1822-1898, and 1900-1915. Most of the files are arranged by file drawer number then by name.
To Browse This Collection
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Maine, Oxford County, Probate Estate Files,1805-1915.|
What Can This Collection Tell Me?
Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees and other court documents. They may include the following 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).
How Do I Search This Collection?
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
- The name of the deceased
- Other identifying information such as the place of residence, the approximate death or probate date
View the Images
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
- Select the Year Range
- Select the Index to File Drawer Number, Name Range, and Year Range category which takes you to the images.
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at Maine, Oxford County, probate estate files, 1805-1915. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
What Do I Do Next?
Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?
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.
- 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.
- 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.
I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Check for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
Citing This Collection
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
- Collection Citation
"Maine, Oxford County, Probate Estate Files, 1805-1915." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing Probate Court. Oxford County Courthouse, South Paris.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.
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.