Difference between revisions of "Maryland Probate Estate and Guardianship Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)"

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{{Record_Search_article
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| link1=[[United States Genealogy|United States]]
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| link4=
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| link5=[[Maryland, United States Genealogy|Maryland]]
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{{US State HR Infobox
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|CID=CID1542664  
 
|title=Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940
 
|title=Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940
|location=United States}}<br>
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|location=Maryland
 
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| LOC_01 = Maryland
== Record Description ==
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| LOC_02 =
 +
| LOC_02_type =
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| LOC_03 = 
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| loc_map = 
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| state_loc_map = US Locator Maryland.png
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| State_flag = Maryland flag.png
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| record_type =Probate and Guardianship
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| start_year = 1796
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| end_year = 1940
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| FS_URL_01 =[[Maryland, United States Genealogy|Maryland, United States Genealogy]]
 +
| FS_URL_02 =[[Maryland Probate Records|Maryland Probate Records]] 
 +
| FS_URL_03 =[[Research Steps for probate records|Research Steps for Probate Records]]
 +
| FS_URL_04 =[[Maryland Archives and Libraries]]
 +
| FS_URL_05 = [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=348&query=%2Bplace%3A%22United%20States%2C%20Maryland%22%20%2Bkeywords%3Aprobate FamilySearch Library Catalog] 
 +
| FS_URL_06 =
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| FS_URL_07 = 
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| FS_URL_08 = 
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| FS_URL_09 = 
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| FS_URL_10 = 
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| RW_URL_01 =[http://www.cyndislist.com/md.htm Cyndi's List - Maryland]
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| RW_URL_02 =[http://www.mdgensoc.org/ Maryland Genealogical Society]
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| RW_URL_03 =[https://marylandgenealogy.org/ Maryland Genealogy and History]
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| RW_URL_04 =[http://mdgenweb.org/ The MDGenWeb Project]  
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| RW_URL_05 =
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| custodian = County Courts, Maryland.
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}}
  
This Collection will include records from 1796 to 1940.<br>
+
== What is in This Collection? ==
  
The collection includes name indexes and images of probate estate files from county offices. The exact offices differ by county.  
+
The collection includes name indexes and images of probate estate files from county offices for the years 1779 to 1940. The exact offices differ by county.  
  
 
Currently, the following are included in this collection:  
 
Currently, the following are included in this collection:  
Line 17: Line 51:
 
*Caroline County (1838-1940)  
 
*Caroline County (1838-1940)  
 
*Cecil County (1851-1940)  
 
*Cecil County (1851-1940)  
 +
*Garrett County (1920-1940)
 
*Kent County (1749-1940)  
 
*Kent County (1749-1940)  
 
*Prince George's County (1796-1940)  
 
*Prince George's County (1796-1940)  
 
*Queen Anne's County (1833-1940)  
 
*Queen Anne's County (1833-1940)  
 +
*Somerset County (1789-1946)
 
*Wicomico County (1868-1940)
 
*Wicomico County (1868-1940)
  
Probate records were court documents and may have included both loose papers and bound volumes. The loose records were generally known as a case file or a probate packet. These files normally included wills, settlement papers, inventories, receipts, and other records pertaining to the estates.
+
The loose records were generally known as a case file or a probate packet. These files normally included wills, settlement papers, inventories, receipts, and other records pertaining to the estates.  
 
 
Some probate records were recorded in books that may have been labeled with such titles as accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, petitions, guardianships, inventories, or settlements.
 
 
 
Each county began keeping probate records from the time the county was created. Orphan’s Court was the name of the probate court at the county level. Probate records were generally recorded in the county where the person lived. Estates were probated for approximately 25 percent of the heads of households in the United States before 1900, whether or not the individual left a will. Wills were more likely to have been found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.&nbsp;
 
 
 
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the [https://www.familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https%3A//api.familysearch.org/records/collection/1542664/waypoints Browse].  
 
  
<br>County probate records have been kept from the time the county was formed to the present. The included dates vary by county.&nbsp;
+
Some probate records were recorded in books that may have been labeled with such titles as accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, petitions, guardianships, inventories, or settlements.Each county began keeping probate records from the time the county was created. Orphan’s Court was the name of the probate court at the county level. Probate records were generally recorded in the county where the person lived. Estates were probated for approximately 25 percent of the heads of households in the United States before 1900, whether or not the individual left a will. Wills were more likely to have been found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.
  
 
Probate records were used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. If the deceased had made a will, the probate process transferred the following from the deceased to an executor or executrix: the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title to heirs. If there was no will, the transfer went to an administrator or administratrix. A guardian or conservator was appointed if the deceased had heirs younger than 21 or if the heirs were incompetent due to disability or disease.  
 
Probate records were used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. If the deceased had made a will, the probate process transferred the following from the deceased to an executor or executrix: the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title to heirs. If there was no will, the transfer went to an administrator or administratrix. A guardian or conservator was appointed if the deceased had heirs younger than 21 or if the heirs were incompetent due to disability or disease.  
Line 36: Line 66:
 
The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceedings are reliable, but realize that there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members or those who had previously received an inheritance. In some cases, the spouse mentioned in the will was not the parent of the children mentioned. Also, some wills do not name family members.  
 
The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceedings are reliable, but realize that there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members or those who had previously received an inheritance. In some cases, the spouse mentioned in the will was not the parent of the children mentioned. Also, some wills do not name family members.  
  
=== Citation for This Collection ===
+
===To Browse This Collection===
  
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.<br>
+
{{Collection_Browse_Link
 +
|CID=CID1542664
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|title=Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940
 +
}}
  
{{Collection citation| text=<!--bibdescbegin-->County Probate Courts throughout Maryland. Maryland, Register of Wills Books. Various county offices throughout Maryland.<!--bibdescend-->}}
+
===Image Visibility===
 +
Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. Images in this collection are available for viewing if you are a registered FamilySearch user. You can register for a free FamilySearch account [https://familysearch.org/register/1 here].  
  
== Record Content  ==
+
For additional information about image restrictions, please see the [[Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections]] page.
  
<gallery perrow="3" heights="120px" widths="160px" caption="Maryland Probate Documents Examples">
+
==What Can These Records Tell Me?==
Image:Maryland Probate and Estate Files 004103610 00007.jpg
 
Image:Maryland Probate and Estate Files 004103610 00011.jpg
 
Image:Maryland Probate and Estate Files 004229805 00050.jpg
 
Image:Maryland Will DGS 4104037 13.jpg
 
|Baptism Record
 
</gallery>
 
  
Probate records include petitions, inventories, wills, guardianships, accounts, decrees, and other court documents. They include the following genealogical information:  
+
Probate records include petitions, inventories, wills, guardianships, accounts, decrees, and other court documents. They include the following information:  
  
 
*Name of testator or deceased  
 
*Name of testator or deceased  
Line 59: Line 87:
 
*Names of witnesses  
 
*Names of witnesses  
 
*Residence of testator  
 
*Residence of testator  
*Dates the documents were written and recorded (
+
*Dates the documents were written and recorded
 
 
== How to Use the Records  ==
 
 
 
To begin your search you will need to know:
 
  
*The place of residence
+
== Collection Content ==
*The approximate death or probate date
+
=== Sample Images ===
*The name of the deceased
 
  
==== Search the Collection  ====
+
<gallery caption="Maryland Probate Documents Examples" widths="160px" heights="120px" perrow="3">
 +
Image:Maryland Probate and Estate Files 004103610 00007.jpg|Court Petition
 +
Image:Maryland Probate and Estate Files 004103610 00011.jpg|Executor's Bond
 +
Image:Maryland Probate and Estate Files 004229805 00050.jpg|Documentation of Will
 +
Image:Maryland Will DGS 4104037 13.jpg|Will
 +
</gallery>
  
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
+
== How Do I Search This Collection? ==
 +
You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search, it is helpful to know:
 +
*The name of the individual
 +
*The location or date of the event
  
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at [http://broadcast.lds.org/familysearch/2011-12-03-familysearch-search-tips-1000k-eng.mp4 FamilySearch Search Tips].
+
=== Search the Index ===
 +
Search by name by visiting the [https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1542664 Collection Page].
 +
#Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
 +
#Click '''Search''' to show possible matches
  
==== Using the Information  ====
+
=== View the Images ===
 +
View images in this collection by visiting the [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https://familysearch.org/recapi/sord/collection/1542664/waypoints Browse Page].
 +
# Select '''County'''
 +
# Select '''Surname Letter'''
 +
# Select '''Individual's Name and File Number''
  
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.  
+
=== 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.
  
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.
 
*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.
 
  
==== Tips to Keep in Mind  ====
+
{{Tip | More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/1542664 Maryland, probate estate and guardianship files, 1796-1940]. Some catalog records link to multiple digital image records. In this case, click on a digital image record to find a camera icon to see images.}}
  
*You may be able to use the probate record to learn about land transactions.  
+
==What Do I Do Now?==
*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 Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now? ===
*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.  
+
*Use a Probate record to identify adoptions, guardians, heirs and relatives.
*When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.  
+
*Use a will to approximate a death date, then find a death certificate.  
*The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the deceased or the testator.  
+
*Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records for earlier years.  
*Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1900.
+
*Use the information to find other church and vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records. Also search for immigration, military, land and probate records.
*There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
+
*Use the information to find additional family members in censuses.  
 +
*Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.  
 +
*[[Maryland Church Records| Church Records]] often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.
  
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:  
+
=== I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now? === 
 +
*Try viewing the original record. Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
 +
*If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relatives that can be verified by records.
 +
*If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search. 
 +
*Try variant spellings of your ancestor’s name.
 +
*Remember that sometimes individuals went by [http://usgenweb.org/research/nicknames.html nicknames] or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for [http://genealogy.about.com/od/first_names/fl/nickname-given-name-equivalents.htm these names] as well. 
 +
*Search the indexes and records of [[Maryland, United States Genealogy]].
 +
*Search in the [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=348&query=%2Bplace%3A%22United%20States%2C%20Maryland%22%20%2Bkeywords%3Aprobate FamilySearch Library Catalog]
  
*Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
+
== Known Issues with This Collection ==
*Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
 
*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)]].
 
 
 
== Known Issues with This Collecton ==
 
  
 
{{HR Known Issues}}For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached [[Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues|Wiki article]]. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to [mailto:support@familysearch.org 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.  
 
{{HR Known Issues}}For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached [[Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues|Wiki article]]. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to [mailto:support@familysearch.org 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.  
  
== Related Websites  ==
+
== Citing This Collection ==
 
 
*[http://www.alausa.org/ The American Latvian Association]
 
*[http://www.cyndislist.com/md.htm Cyndi's List - Maryland]
 
 
 
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
 
  
*[[Maryland Probate Records|Maryland Probate Records]]
+
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.
*[[Cecil County, Maryland|Cecil County, Maryland]]
 
*[[Maryland|Maryland]]
 
  
== Contributions to This Article  ==
+
;Collection Citation:
  
{{Contributor invite}}  
+
{{Collection_citation | text="Maryland Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940." Database with images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. County courts, Maryland.
 +
}}
  
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections ==
+
{{Record_Citation}}
 +
   
 +
{{Image_Citation}}
  
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.
+
'''[[#top|Top of Page]]'''
  
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article [[Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections|Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]].
+
== How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki? ==
  
[[Category:Maryland|Probate]]
+
{{Contributor invite}}
 +
[[Category:United States FamilySearch Historical Records]]`

Latest revision as of 16:40, 8 November 2017

United States
Maryland


Access the Records
Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940 .
CID1542664
{{{CID2}}}
{{{CID3}}}
{{{CID4}}}
{{{CID5}}}
{{{CID6}}}
{{{CID7}}}
{{{CID8}}}
{{{CID9}}}
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Maryland, United States
Maryland flag.png
Flag of Maryland
US Locator Maryland.png
Location of Maryland
Record Description
Record Type Probate and Guardianship
Collection years 1796-1940
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
County Courts, Maryland.


What is in This Collection?

The collection includes name indexes and images of probate estate files from county offices for the years 1779 to 1940. The exact offices differ by county.

Currently, the following are included in this collection:

  • Allegany County (1779-1946)
  • Baltimore City (1920-1941)
  • Calvert County (1882-1940)
  • Caroline County (1838-1940)
  • Cecil County (1851-1940)
  • Garrett County (1920-1940)
  • Kent County (1749-1940)
  • Prince George's County (1796-1940)
  • Queen Anne's County (1833-1940)
  • Somerset County (1789-1946)
  • Wicomico County (1868-1940)

The loose records were generally known as a case file or a probate packet. These files normally included wills, settlement papers, inventories, receipts, and other records pertaining to the estates.

Some probate records were recorded in books that may have been labeled with such titles as accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, petitions, guardianships, inventories, or settlements.Each county began keeping probate records from the time the county was created. Orphan’s Court was the name of the probate court at the county level. Probate records were generally recorded in the county where the person lived. Estates were probated for approximately 25 percent of the heads of households in the United States before 1900, whether or not the individual left a will. Wills were more likely to have been found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.

Probate records were used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. If the deceased had made a will, the probate process transferred the following from the deceased to an executor or executrix: the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title to heirs. If there was no will, the transfer went to an administrator or administratrix. A guardian or conservator was appointed if the deceased had heirs younger than 21 or if the heirs were incompetent due to disability or disease.

The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceedings are reliable, but realize that there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members or those who had previously received an inheritance. In some cases, the spouse mentioned in the will was not the parent of the children mentioned. Also, some wills do not name family members.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. Images in this collection are available for viewing if you are a registered FamilySearch user. You can register for a free FamilySearch account here.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Probate records include petitions, inventories, wills, guardianships, accounts, decrees, and other court documents. They include the following information:

  • Name of testator or deceased
  • Names of heirs, such as spouse, children, relatives, and friends
  • Name of executor, administrator, or guardian
  • Names of witnesses
  • Residence of testator
  • Dates the documents were written and recorded

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the individual
  • The location or date of the event

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.

  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page.

  1. Select County
  2. Select Surname Letter
  3. Select 'Individual's Name and File Number

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.


What Do I Do Now?

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

  • Use a Probate record to identify adoptions, guardians, heirs and relatives.
  • Use a will to approximate a death date, then find a death certificate.
  • Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records for earlier years.
  • Use the information to find other church and vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records. Also search for immigration, military, land and probate records.
  • Use the information to find additional family members in censuses.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

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

  • Try viewing the original record. Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relatives that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Try variant spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Maryland, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Library Catalog

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
"Maryland Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. County courts, Maryland.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

Top of Page

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.
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