Difference between revisions of "West Virginia Will Books (FamilySearch Historical Records)"

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''[[United States Genealogy|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[West Virginia, United States Genealogy|West Virginia]] ''
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== What Is in the Collection?  ==
 
== What Is in the Collection?  ==
  
The collection includes the index and images for will books from all 55 counties of West Virginia. The records cover the years 1756 to 1971.
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The collection includes the index and images for will books, for the years 1756 to 1971, from all 55 counties of West Virginia.  
 
 
 
===To Browse This Collection===
 
===To Browse This Collection===
  
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== Collection Content  ==
 
== Collection Content  ==
=== Sample Image ===
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=== Sample Images ===
  
 
<gallery perrow="3" heights="120px" widths="160px">
 
<gallery perrow="3" heights="120px" widths="160px">
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== How Do I Search the Collection?  ==
 
== How Do I Search the Collection?  ==
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Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
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*The name of the deceased
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*The place of residence
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*The approximate death or probate date
  
To begin your search it is helpful to know:
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=== Search the Index ===
*The name of the deceased.
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{{Search Collection Link
*The place of residence.
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| CID=CID1909099
*The approximate death or probate date.
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}}
 
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View images in this collection by visiting the '''{{RecordSearch|1909099|Browse Page|access=browse}}''':
'''Search by Name by visiting the [https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1909099?collectionNameFilter=false Collection Page]:'''<br>
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# Select the appropriate '''County'''
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
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# Select the appropriate '''Record Description''' which takes you to the images.  
 
 
'''View images in this collection by visiting the [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https://familysearch.org/recapi/sord/collection/1909099/waypoints Browse Page]:'''<br>You will need to follow this series of links:<br> ⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page <br> ⇒Select the appropriate "Event County" <br> ⇒Select the appropriate "Record Description" which takes you to the images.  
 
  
 
Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.  
 
Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.  
  
With either search keep in mind:  
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{{Tip|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/1909099 West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971]. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.}}
 
 
*There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.  
 
*You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
 
*Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
 
 
 
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article [[FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks]].<br>br>
 
 
 
{{Tip|Look at an image of the original record, if possible. The index entry generally lists only the most basic identifying information for an individual, so the original record will contain further information which was not indexed. Save or print a copy of the image.}}
 
 
 
 
== What Do I Do Next?  ==
 
== What Do I Do Next?  ==
 
 
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.  
 
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.  
 
 
=== I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now? ===
 
=== I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now? ===
 
 
*Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives.  
 
*Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives.  
 
*You may be able to use the probate record to learn about adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.  
 
*You may be able to use the probate record to learn about adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.  
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*Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1900.  
 
*Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1900.  
 
*There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
 
*There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
 
 
=== I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For, What Now?  ===
 
=== I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For, What Now?  ===
 
 
*Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.  
 
*Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.  
 
*Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.  
 
*Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.  
 
*Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
 
*Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
  
{{Tip|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/1909099 West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971]. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.}}
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For a summary of this information see the wiki article: [[United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)]].
<br> For a summary of this information see the wiki article: [[United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)]].
 
  
 
== Known Issues With This Collection  ==
 
== Known Issues With This Collection  ==
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{{HR Known Issues}}For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached [[West Virginia Will Books (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues|Wiki article]]. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to [mailto:support@familysearch.org support@familysearch.org]. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.  
 
{{HR Known Issues}}For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached [[West Virginia Will Books (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues|Wiki article]]. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to [mailto:support@familysearch.org support@familysearch.org]. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.  
  
==Citing This Collection==
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== Citing This Collection ==
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image. <br>  
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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''':<br> {{Collection citation | text= "West Virginia, Will Books, 1756-1971" Database with Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing county courthouses, West Virginia.}} <br><br>
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;Collection Citation:
  
'''Record Citation''' (or citation for the index entry):<br> {{Record Citation Link
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{{Collection_citation | text="West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971." Database with images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : 22 June 2016. County courthouses, West Virginia.
|CID=CID1909099
 
|title= West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971
 
 
}}
 
}}
'''Image citation''':<br> {{Image Citation Link
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|CID=CID1909099
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{{Record_Citation}}
|title= West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971
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{{Image_Citation}}
'''[[#top|Top of Page]]'''  
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'''[[#top|Top of Page]]'''
  
 
== How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki? ==
 
== How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki? ==
  
 
{{Contributor invite}}
 
{{Contributor invite}}

Revision as of 20:27, 16 October 2017

United States
West Virginia


Access the Records
West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971
CID1909099
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
West Virginia, United States
West Virginia flag.png
Flag of West Virginia
US Locator West Virginia.png
Location of West Virginia
Record Description
Record Type Wills
Collection years 1756-1971
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
County Courthouses, West Virginia


What Is in the Collection?

The collection includes the index and images for will books, for the years 1756 to 1971, from all 55 counties of West Virginia.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971.

Collection Content

Sample Images

Probate records are usually created on a county level and most counties began recording them as soon as the county was created. They fall into two general categories: wills and estate papers.

Probate records are used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. The probate process transfers the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title. The transfer is to an executor or executrix if the deceased had made a will, to an administrator or administratrix if the deceased had not made a will, or to a guardian or conservator if the deceased had heirs under the age of twenty-one or if heirs were incompetent due to disease or disability.

The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceeding are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members and those who have previously received an inheritance, or the spouse mentioned may not be the parent of the children mentioned.

What Can This Collection Tell Me?

Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees, oaths of executors, forms about guardians and other court documents. Information in entries includes:

  • 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
  • Document and recording dates (Sometimes the date of death will be given. Recording dates are also used to approximate event dates, i.e. a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death.)

How Do I Search the Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the deceased
  • The place of residence
  • The approximate death or probate date

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the appropriate County
  2. Select the appropriate Record Description which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives.
  • You may be able to use the probate record to learn about adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.
  • Use the document (such as the will) or the recording dates to approximate a death date.
  • Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records since the probates exist for an earlier time period.
  • You may be able to use the probate record to learn about land transactions.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census, church, and land records.
  • Use the occupations listed to find other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • Compiling a list of the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • Wills are more likely to be found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.
  • The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the deceased or the testator.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1900.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).

Known Issues With This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

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
"West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 22 June 2016. County courthouses, West Virginia.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

Top of Page

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.