Difference between revisions of "Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)"

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{{FamilySearch_Collection
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''[[United States Genealogy|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Massachusetts, United States Genealogy| Massachusetts]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]][[Plymouth County, Massachusetts Genealogy|Plymouth County]]''
|CID=CID1918549
 
|title= Massachusetts, Plymouth County Probate Files, 1686-1915
 
|location=United States}}<br>
 
  
== Record Description ==
+
{{US State HR Infobox
 +
|CID=CID1918549
 +
|title= Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686-1915
 +
|location=Massachusetts
 +
| LOC_01 = Massachusetts
 +
| LOC_02 = Plymouth
 +
| LOC_02_type = County
 +
| LOC_03 = 
 +
| loc_map =  US Locator Map Massachusetts Plymouth.PNG
 +
| state_loc_map = US Locator Massachusetts.png
 +
| State_flag = Massachusetts flag.png
 +
| record_type =Probate
 +
| start_year = 1686
 +
| end_year = 1915
 +
| FS_URL_01 = [[Massachusetts, United States Genealogy|Massachusetts]]
 +
| FS_URL_02 = [[Plymouth, Massachusetts]]  
 +
| FS_URL_03 = [[Massachusetts Probate Records|Massachusetts Probate Records]]
 +
| FS_URL_04 = [[Plymouth County, Massachusetts ]]
 +
| FS_URL_05 =  
 +
| FS_URL_06 =  
 +
| FS_URL_07 = 
 +
| FS_URL_08 = 
 +
| FS_URL_09 = 
 +
| FS_URL_10 = 
 +
| RW_URL_01 = [http://www.mass-doc.com/probate_research.htm Massachusetts Probate Records]&nbsp;&nbsp;
 +
| RW_URL_02 = [http://plymouthcolony.net/resources/probate.html Plymouth Colony Pages] - An online guide to probate records and indicies for Plymouth Colony
 +
| RW_URL_03 = 
 +
| RW_URL_04 = 
 +
| RW_URL_05 = 
 +
| custodian = 
 +
}}
  
This Collection will include records from 1686 to 1915.<br>
 
  
The collection consists of probate estate files of Plymouth County located at Suffolk County Courthouse in Boston. The files are arranged by number then alphabetical by surname. This collection is being published as images become available.
+
== What is in the Collection? ==
  
Probate records were court documents and may have involved loose papers and/or bound volumes. These records were generally known as an estate file or probate packet. Files included all documents related to estate settlement, including settlement papers, inventories, receipts, and wills.  
+
The collection consists of probate estate files of Plymouth County located at Suffolk County Courthouse in Boston. The files are arranged by number then alphabetical by surname. This collection is being published as images become available. The collection includes records from 1686 to 1915.  
  
Other estate records listed in these files may include accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, bonds, petitions, and guardianships.
+
===To Browse this Collection===
  
Essex County was created on May 10, 1643, and was formed as an Original County with its county seat in Salem. Probate records, including the administration of estates, probate of wills, and the appointment of guardians, have been under the jurisdiction of the courts since the 1630s. County courts, and later county judges of probate, were responsible for these functions until 1783, when the probate courts were established. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the probate and family courts were given jurisdiction over adoptions, divorces, name changes, and domestic relations.
+
{{Collection_Browse_Link
 
+
|CID=CID1918549
The county was divided into two districts in 1869 with the "parent" county seat, at Salem remaining as the probate office for the county.&nbsp;
+
|title= Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686-1915
 
+
}}
For an alphabetical list of names currently published in this collection, select the [https://www.familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https%3A//api.familysearch.org/records/collection/1918549/waypoints Browse].
 
  
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 to heirs from the deceased to:
+
== Collection Content ==
 
+
=== Sample Images ===
*An executor or executrix (if the deceased had made a will)
 
*An administrator or administratrix (if the deceased had not made a will)
 
*A guardian or conservator (if the deceased had heirs under the age of twenty-one or if the heirs were incompetent due to disease or disability)
 
 
 
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.
 
 
 
=== Citation for 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 citation
 
| text=<!--bibdescbegin-->Massachusetts Probate Court. Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Files. Massachusetts State Archives, Boston, Massachusetts.<!--bibdescend--> }}
 
 
 
[[Massachusetts, Plymouth County Probate Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)#Citation_Example_for_a_Record_Found_in_This_Collection|Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.]]
 
 
 
== Record Content  ==
 
  
 
<gallery perrow="3" heights="120px" widths="160px">
 
<gallery perrow="3" heights="120px" widths="160px">
Image:Massachusetts Plymouth County Probate Files (11-0304) DGS 4743327_311.jpg
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Image:Massachusetts Plymouth County Probate Files (11-0304) DGS 4743327_311.jpg|Guardian's Bond
Image:Massachusetts Plymouth County Probate Files (11-0304) DGS 4743327_319.jpg
+
Image:Massachusetts Plymouth County Probate Files (11-0304) DGS 4743327_319.jpg|Guardian's Account
Image:Massachusetts Plymouth County Probate Files (11-0304) DGS 4743327_313.jpg
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Image:Massachusetts Plymouth County Probate Files (11-0304) DGS 4743327_313.jpg|Discharge of Guardianship
 
</gallery>  
 
</gallery>  
  
Probate records include:  
+
'''Probate records''' include:  
  
 
*Petitions  
 
*Petitions  
Line 55: Line 64:
 
*Other court documents
 
*Other court documents
  
Genealogical facts in entries include:  
+
'''Information in entries''' includes:  
  
 
*Name of testator or deceased  
 
*Name of testator or deceased  
Line 64: Line 73:
 
*Document and recording dates (Sometimes the date of death will be given. Recording dates are also used to approximate event dates, i.e. a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death.)
 
*Document and recording dates (Sometimes the date of death will be given. Recording dates are also used to approximate event dates, i.e. a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death.)
  
== How to Use the Record  ==
+
== How Do I Search the Collection? ==
  
 
To begin your search you will need to know:  
 
To begin your search you will need to know:  
 
 
*The place of residence  
 
*The place of residence  
 
*The approximate death or probate date  
 
*The approximate death or probate date  
 
*The name of the deceased
 
*The name of the deceased
  
==== Search the Collection ====
+
'''View images in this collection by visiting the [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https://familysearch.org/recapi/sord/collection/1918549/waypoints Browse Page]:'''<br>To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links: <br> ⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page<br> ⇒Select the "County" <br> ⇒Select the "Case File Number and Name Range" which takes you to the images.
  
To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒ Select the County ⇒ To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:<br>
+
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:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page<br>
 
⇒Select the "County" <br>
 
⇒Select the "Case File Number and Name Range" which takes you to the images.
 
  
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.  
+
*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.
  
==== Using the Information ====
+
{{Tip | More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/1918549 Massachusetts, Plymouth County, probate estate files, 1686-1915]. Click on camera icon to see images.}}
 +
 
 +
== I Found Who 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:  
 
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:  
Line 89: Line 98:
 
*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 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 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 occupations listed to find other types of records such as employment or military records.
  
==== Tips to Keep in Mind ====
+
=== Tips to Keep in Mind ===
  
 
*You may be able to use the probate record to learn about adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.  
 
*You may be able to use the probate record to learn about adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.  
Line 98: Line 107:
 
*The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the deceased or the testator.  
 
*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.  
 
*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.
+
*There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.  
 
*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.  
 
*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.  
 
*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.
 
*When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  
==== Unable to Find Your Ancestor? ====
+
== I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now? ==
  
 
*Check for variant spellings of the surnames.  
 
*Check for variant spellings of the surnames.  
Line 109: Line 118:
 
*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)]].  
+
{{Tip|Don't overlook {{FHL|Massachusetts, Plymouth|keywords|disp}} items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article [[Massachusetts Archives and Libraries]]. }}
 +
 
 +
== General Information About These Records  ==
 +
 
 +
Essex County was created on May 10, 1643, and was formed as an Original County with its county seat in Salem. Probate records, including the administration of estates, probate of wills, and the appointment of guardians, have been under the jurisdiction of the courts since the 1630s. County courts, and later county judges of probate, were responsible for these functions until 1783, when the probate courts were established. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the probate and family courts were given jurisdiction over adoptions, divorces, name changes, and domestic relations.
 +
 
 +
The county was divided into two districts in 1869 with the "parent" county seat, at Salem remaining as the probate office for the county.  
  
== Related Websites  ==
+
Probate records were court documents and may have involved loose papers and/or bound volumes. These records were generally known as an estate file or probate packet. Files included all documents related to estate settlement, including settlement papers, inventories, receipts, and wills. Other estate records listed in these files may include accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, bonds, petitions, and guardianships.
  
*[http://www.mass-doc.com/probate_research.htm Massachusetts Probate Records]&nbsp;&nbsp;
+
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 to heirs from the deceased to:
*[http://plymouthcolony.net/resources/probate.html Plymouth Colony Pages] - An online guide to probate records and indicies for Plymouth Colony
 
  
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
+
*An executor or executrix (if the deceased had made a will)
 +
*An administrator or administratrix (if the deceased had not made a will)
 +
*A guardian or conservator (if the deceased had heirs under the age of twenty-one or if the heirs were incompetent due to disease or disability)
  
*[[Plymouth, Massachusetts|Plymouth, Massachusetts]]
+
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.
*[[Massachusetts Probate Records|Massachusetts Probate Records]]
 
  
== Contributions to This Article  ==
 
  
{{Contributor invite}}<br>
+
== Citing this Collection ==
  
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections ==
+
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
 +
   
  
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.  
+
'''Collection Citation''':<br> {{Collection citation | text= "Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686-1915." Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Probate Court. Supreme Judical Court, Boston.}} <br><br>
  
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article [[Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]].
+
'''Image Citation''':<br> {{Image Citation Link
 +
|CID=CID1918549
 +
|title= Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686-1915
 +
}}
  
=== Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection  ===
 
  
"Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686-1881." images, ''FamilySearch'' (https://familysearch.org: accessed 22 May 2012),Plymouth&gt;Case no.09984, Hersey, Martin-Case no,10056, Hickey, Bridget&gt;image 3 of 1023 images, Will and Testament of Martin Hersey will be probated the first Tuesday of July 1850; citing Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, Plymouth Case no. 09984, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston, Massachusetts, United States.
+
== How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki? ==
  
[[Category:United_States]] [[Category:Massachusetts]]
+
{{Contributor invite}}

Latest revision as of 20:31, 15 August 2017

United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.pngPlymouth County

Access the Records
Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686-1915 .
CID1918549
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{{{CID3}}}
{{{CID4}}}
{{{CID5}}}
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Massachusetts flag.png
Flag of Massachusetts
US Locator Map Massachusetts Plymouth.PNG
Location of Plymouth County, Massachusetts
US Locator Massachusetts.png
Location of Massachusetts
Record Description
Record Type Probate
Collection years 1686-1915
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of probate estate files of Plymouth County located at Suffolk County Courthouse in Boston. The files are arranged by number then alphabetical by surname. This collection is being published as images become available. The collection includes records from 1686 to 1915.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686-1915.

Collection Content

Sample Images

Probate records include:

  • Petitions
  • Inventories
  • Accounts
  • Decrees
  • Oaths of executors
  • Forms about guardians
  • Other court documents

Information in entries includes:

  • 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 and recording dates (Sometimes the date of death will be given. Recording dates are also used to approximate event dates, i.e. a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death.)

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search you will need to know:

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

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "County"
⇒Select the "Case File Number and Name Range" which takes you to the images.

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 Who 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.
  • 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

  • You may be able to use the probate record to learn about adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.
  • You may be able to use the probate record to learn about land transactions.
  • 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.
  • 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.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

General Information About These Records

Essex County was created on May 10, 1643, and was formed as an Original County with its county seat in Salem. Probate records, including the administration of estates, probate of wills, and the appointment of guardians, have been under the jurisdiction of the courts since the 1630s. County courts, and later county judges of probate, were responsible for these functions until 1783, when the probate courts were established. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the probate and family courts were given jurisdiction over adoptions, divorces, name changes, and domestic relations.

The county was divided into two districts in 1869 with the "parent" county seat, at Salem remaining as the probate office for the county.

Probate records were court documents and may have involved loose papers and/or bound volumes. These records were generally known as an estate file or probate packet. Files included all documents related to estate settlement, including settlement papers, inventories, receipts, and wills. Other estate records listed in these files may include accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, bonds, petitions, and guardianships.

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 to heirs from the deceased to:

  • An executor or executrix (if the deceased had made a will)
  • An administrator or administratrix (if the deceased had not made a will)
  • A guardian or conservator (if the deceased had heirs under the age of twenty-one or if the heirs were incompetent due to disease or disability)

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.


Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.


Collection Citation:

"Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686-1915." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Probate Court. Supreme Judical Court, Boston.

Image Citation:

When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686-1915.


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.