Michigan Probate Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Michigan Probate Records, 1797-1973
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Michigan, United States
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Flag of Michigan
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Location of Michigan
Record Description
Record Type Probate
Collection years 1797-1973
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in This Collection?

The collection consists of probate records from county courthouses in Michigan for the years 1797 to 1973. Most of the collection contains estate files. The content and time period varies by county. Some of the records date before 1837 when Michigan became a state.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Michigan, Probate Records, 1797-1973.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Probate

  • 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 This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The approximate death or probate date
  • The place of residence
  • The names of family members who may be named in the probate record

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the County
  2. Select the Volume Title and Year to view the images.

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. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use these records to identify heirs and relatives
  • You may be able to use these records 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

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities

Research Helps

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Michigan.

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

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
"Michigan Probate Records, 1797-1973." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 30 June 2016. County courthouses, Michigan.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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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.