Ancestry.com. Essex, Massachusetts Probate Records, 1648-1840 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1997.Original data: Sanborn, Melinde Lutz. Essex County, Massachusetts Probate Index, 1638-1840. Salem, MA, USA: Essex County.
With a collection more complete than many other states, Massachusetts probate records are kept by each county rather than the state. This database is an index to the probate records of Essex County between 1638 and 1840. Each entry shows the name of the person, date of probate, and type of record (will, inventory, etc.). It also provides a brief description of the record that may include the individual's profession, town of residence, and record number. For those Ancestry.com patrons seeking ancestors from northeastern Massachusetts, this can be an informative index.