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Will and Probate Research Resources for Genealogists

By Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

Books

Inheritance in America: From Colonial Times to the Present by Carole Shammas, Marylyn Salmon and Michel Dahlin (Frontier Press)

The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 3rd edition, by Val D. Greenwood (Genealogical Publishing Co.). In particular, see chapters 15-17.
 

Websites

Cyndi’s List — Wills and Probate

Board for Certification of Genealogists: Analyzing Wills for Useful Clues

DoHistory.org: How to Read Probate Records

England Wills Exchange Database

Ireland Probate Records

National Archives of Scotland — Wills and Testaments

Scottish Archives Network

Wills of Mayflower Passengers

Related Reads

Your ancestors bequeathed you a genealogical windfall in their wills and probate records. Follow these six steps to claim your inheritance.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way to find and use it to fill the gaps in your family tree. Our guide to wills and probate shows you how.
Learn the meanings of that legalese in ancestral wills and probate files.

Updated: January 2021

A version of this article appeared in the October 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

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