New Mexico Probate Records

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The Spanish Archives and the Mexican Archives contain probate records for the Spanish and Mexican periods (see New Mexico Genealogy).

In the 1840s and 1850s, prefect courts and probate courts kept records of the disposition of estates. Probate records from the 1850s to 1912 are in the records of the U.S. judicial district courts for the Territory of New Mexico at the National Archives—Rocky Mountain Region (Denver).

Since statehood in 1912, probate matters have been under the jurisdiction of probate courts in each county. Records of guardianship and adoption have usually been transferred to the district courts. In 1953 the district courts were given concurrent jurisdiction with the probate court over all probate matters in each county.

The Family History Library does not have copies of the county probate records. They are available at each county courthouse. You can obtain copies by contacting the county clerk.

Further explanation of the records and laws dealing with probate affairs in the state is in Arie Poldervaart, New Mexico Probate Manual (Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 1961).

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