With the launch earlier this week of our U.S. Probates and Wills collection, we have been fielding many questions about how best to navigate the more than 30 million records and 170 million images.
Because there is such a wide variety of documents included in an estate file, sometimes it's tough to know exactly what you're looking at. Understanding the probate process can help. We've put together some tips to help guide you through the maze of probate research. In it you'll learn a little about the process and why certain records were created, the importance of getting familiar with the places your ancestor lived and its part in the probate process, how laws can impact the records that were created, and how to learn about the arrangement of the records so that you can find your ancestor in unindexed portions of the collection (plus some search tips!).
For those researching African Americans during the slavery era, these records can be very helpful, especially when used in conjunction with other records.
Download the free guide, 5 Things You Should Know to Get the Most from the Probate Collection on Ancestry.