Washington Probate Records

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United States Probate RecordsGotoarrow.pngWashingtonGotoarrow.pngProbate Records

Probate Courts

In the territorial era, probate courts were established in each county to keep records of wills, bonds, orders, and the administrations of estates. When the superior courts succeeded the probate courts in 1891, all of the records of the clerks of the probate courts were transferred to the county clerk in each courthouse. Some probates were filed in the superior court.

The Family History Library has acquired copies of probate records for a few counties in Washington. However, they are also available at the various county courthouses, or the county may have transferred early records to the Washington State Archives at http://www.secstate.wa.gov/archives/.

Record Content


Account of Administrator (partial)

Links to Sample Images

Case File, 1891 (images 1-43; various documents)

Most probate records include

  • Name of the deceased
  • Death date
  • Death place
  • Residence
  • Heirs (these are usually family members)
  • Executor
  • Witnesses
  • Court where the estate was probated
  • Court location
  • Court date of probate

Genealogical Facts in Probate Case Files

  • 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
  • Various documents
  • Recording dates
  • Sometimes the date of death

Genealogical Facts in Bequeath Statement or Will

  • Name of deceased
  • Date of will
  • Heirs and relationships
  • Witnesses

"Genealogical Facts in Petition"

  • Name of deceased
  • Name and location of Court
  • Date of court probate
  • Name of petitioner

"Genealogical Facts in Probate Publication Statement"

  • Name and location of court
  • Public notice of probate statement
  • Date of recording with court

"Genealogical Facts in Witness Statement"

  • Name of deceased
  • Name and residence of witness
  • Date will witnessed

Genealogical Facts in Petition for Administratrix

  • Name of court
  • Name of and residence of applicant
  • Name of deceased
  • Death date and place
  • Heirs
  • Property of deceased


  • Name of Court
  • Name of deceased
  • Death date
  • Name of heir and relationship to deceased
  • Date of probate filing
  • Date of probate court

References

Washington Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.

NOTE: All of the information from the original research outline has been imported into the FamilySearch Wiki and is being updated as time permits.


Wiki articles describing online collections are found at: