Minnesota Probate Records

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  Probate Records Gotoarrow.png  Minnesota Probate

Record Synopsis

Probate is the “court procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid” and encompasses “all matters and proceedings pertaining to the administration of estates, guardianships, etc.”[1] Various types of records are created throughout the probate process. These may include, wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. These documents are extremely valuable to genealogists and should not be neglected. In many instances, they are the only known source of relevant information such as the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their places of residence. They may also include information about adoption or guardianship of minor children and dependents. For further information about the probate process, types of probate records, analyzing probate records, and to access a glossary of probate terms, see United States Probate Records.


The court administrator of the district court in each county keeps the probate records.

State Statutes




Many Minnesota counties have sent their older records to the State Archives Collection at the Minnesota Historical Society.


The Family History Library is acquiring microfilm copies of these records on a county-by-county basis. For more probate records, check the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:


Statewide Record Collections

Minnesota Will Records, 1849-1918; database, FamilySearch.org; Index to wills from Probate Courts throughout Minnesota and located at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul, Minnesota. For collection details see Minnesota Wills 1849-1918.

Learn More

Published Materials



  1. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."

Minnesota Wills 1849-1918 (FamilySearch Historical Records)