Ohio Probate Records
|Links to Probate-related Topics|
Probate records are court records created after an individual’s death that relate to a court’s decisions regarding the distribution of the estate to the heirs or creditors and the care of any dependents. These documents are important to family history researchers because they usually exist for time periods before civil birth and death records were kept. While probate records are one of the most accurate sources of genealogical evidence, they have limitations.
Probate records were kept in all counties from the time of each county's creation. Until the establishment of separate probate courts in 1852, these records were kept in the courts of common pleas. You can obtain copies of these records by writing to the clerk of the appropriate county. For more information see the Ohio County Probate Records page.
Most Ohio probate records are well indexed and are on microfilm or in published format at the Family History Library. The files date from the creation of each county to at least 1900 and sometimes to the 1970s.
An excellent statewide index to the names found in the earliest files is:
- Ohio Wills and Estates to 1850: An Index 
Probate records are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under OHIO, [COUNTY] - PROBATE RECORDS.
Some counties in Ohio have probate records online. Using a search engine such as www.google.com enter the name of the county you are interested in and the words “probate records” then press “enter”.
- Bell, Carol Willsey. Ohio Wills and Estates to 1850: An Index. Columbus, Ohio: C.W. Bell, 1981. FHL Collection