Difference between revisions of "Alabama Probate Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)"

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|title=Alabama County Probate Records
 
|title=Alabama County Probate Records
 
|location=United States
 
|location=United States
|scheduled=}} <br>
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|scheduled=}} <br>  
  
 
== Collection Time Period  ==
 
== Collection Time Period  ==
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*Residence of testator  
 
*Residence of testator  
 
*Lists of belongings, property, and so forth  
 
*Lists of belongings, property, and so forth  
*Document
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*Document  
 
*Recording dates  
 
*Recording dates  
 
*Sometimes the date of death
 
*Sometimes the date of death
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To begin your search it is helpful to know:  
 
To begin your search it is helpful to know:  
  
*The place of residence
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*The place of residence  
*The approximate death or probate date
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*The approximate death or probate date  
 
*The name of the deceased
 
*The name of the deceased
  
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*Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
 
*Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: [[United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)]].
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For a summary of this information see the wiki article: [[United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)]].  
  
== Record History ==
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== Record History ==
  
 
Most probate records were created on a county level though many were later sent to the Archives. The contents of probate records vary greatly depending on the prevailing law and the personality of the record keeper.  
 
Most probate records were created on a county level though many were later sent to the Archives. The contents of probate records vary greatly depending on the prevailing law and the personality of the record keeper.  
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== Related Wiki Articles  ==
 
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
  
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*[[Alabama|Alabama]]
 
*[[Alabama Probate Records|Alabama Probate Records]]  
 
*[[Alabama Probate Records|Alabama Probate Records]]  
 
*[[Alabama Court Records|Alabama Court Records]]
 
*[[Alabama Court Records|Alabama Court Records]]
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When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.  
 
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.  
  
A suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: [[How to Cite FamilySearch Collections|How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]].
+
A suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: [[How to Cite FamilySearch Collections|How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]].  
  
 
==== Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection  ====
 
==== Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection  ====

Revision as of 20:28, 12 October 2011

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
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Collection Time Period

The records generally cover the years from the creation of the county to about 1952.

Record Description

Probate records were court documents. They are loose papers placed in jackets and labeled by the deceased’s name. These files include all documents related to estate settlement, including settlement papers, inventories, receipts, wills, and other records pertaining to the estates, including accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, bonds, petitions, guardianships, inventories and settlements.

Record Content

Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees, oaths of executors, forms about guardians and other court documents.

Genealogical facts in entries include:

  • Name of testator or deceased
  • Names of heirs such as spouse, children, and other relatives or friends
  • Names of witnesses
  • Residence of testator
  • Lists of belongings, property, and so forth
  • Document
  • Recording dates
  • Sometimes the date of death

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The place of residence
  • The approximate death or probate date
  • The name of the deceased

Compare the information you find in the probate records to what you already know about your ancestors to determine which record is about your ancestor. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

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 other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • Use the recording date approximate the death date. (For example, a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death.)
  • 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.

Keep in mind:

  • 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 1900.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for an index. There are often indexes created by the court or local historical and genealogical societies.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).

Record History

Most probate records were created on a county level though many were later sent to the Archives. The contents of probate records vary greatly depending on the prevailing law and the personality of the record keeper.

Probate records fall into two general categories: wills and estate papers. Most records mention the names of heirs and frequently specify how those heirs are related. Names of children may be given, as well as married names of daughters. Probate records may not give an exact death date, but a death most often occurred within a few months of the date of probate.

Why the Record Was Created

Probate records are used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. The probate process transfers the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title. The transfer is to an executor or executrix if the deceased had made a will, to an administrator or administratrix if the deceased had not made a will, or to a guardian or conservator if the deceased had heirs under the age of twenty-one or if heirs were incompetent due to disease or disability.

Record Reliability

The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceeding are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members and those who have previously received an inheritance, or the spouse mentioned may not be the parent of the children mentioned.

Related Websites

This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying links to related web sites here.

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

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.


Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

"Alabama, County Probate Records" images FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org): accessed 19, May 2011). entry for R.L. Rumsey, property probated October 8, 1935; citing Probate Records, Talladega, R, Rumsey, R.L.- Russell, James Cunningham (1830-1952), image 56;  Talladega Cpimtu {rpbate Clerk, Talladega, Alabama.

Sources of Information for This Collection

"Alabama Probate Records, 1809-1985." FamilySearch (FamilySearch.org). FHL microfilm, 445 reels. Various County Court Clerks throught Alabama.