Washington, County Probate Case Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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Washington, County Probate Case Files, 1832-1950
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Washington, United States|
|Flag of Washington|
|Location of Washington|
|State Archives, Olympia, Washington|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing This Collection
- 7 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?
The collection includes probate records for the years 1832 to 1950. This collection includes probate records created in the following county courts:
- Grays Harbor
Each county began keeping probate records from the time the county was created.
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 Washington, County Probate Case Files, 1832-1950.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?
The following information may be found in these records:
- Name of the deceased
- Death date
- Death place
- Heirs (these are usually family members)
- Court where the estate was probated
- Court location
- Court date of probate
How Do I Search This Collection?
You can search the index or view the images or both. Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- Name of the person
- The location or date of the event
Search the Index
View the Images
View images in this collection by visiting the
- Select County
- Select Surname Letter
- Select Individual's Name, Year
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. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?
If these are indexes, the original records may contain additional information than was not indexed, or the information might have been indexed incorrectly. You may want to search for the original record at the Washington State Archives.
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?
- Use a Probate record to identify adoptions, guardians, heirs and relatives
- Use the age or estimated birth date to find birth, baptism, and marriage records
- Use the probate dates to approximate a death date and search for death or burial information
- Use the information found in the record to find land and property records
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?
- If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
- If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching in nearby locations
- Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
- Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Washington.
- Washington Guided Research
- Washington Record Finder
- Research Tips and Strategies
- Step-by-Step Research: 1850-1907 | 1907-Present
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
- "Washington, County Probate Case Files, 1832-1950." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. State Archives, Olympia.
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.
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.