Finding the minimum information for probate records
Probate records are records disposing of a deceased individual's property and may include an individual's last will and testament if one was made. To find the names of living relatives in probate records, you must at least know the individual's full name at time of death, the approximate date of the death, and the county or town in which the individual lived at the time of death. If you do not have the minimum information to locate a probate record, you can either:
Get help finding some of the minimum information by selecting one of the following items,
click the Back button on your browser to return to the list of other places where you can find the names of living relatives, or
read the paragraphs below for a few additional tips.
Finding probate records
Probate record indexes and abstracts have been created in many counties. These indexes can provide you with the information you need to access the record, even if you don't have the minimum information required to find the original records. Check with libraries and genealogy societies in the area -- they may know if any indexes exist for the records that you need.
Finding living relatives
Ensure that you have asked all of your immediate relatives, such as parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles about any living relatives -- perhaps distant cousins that the family hasn't seen for quite some time. They may also recall the names of relatives that they visited when they were younger and the name of the town where those relatives lived. This information would give you a starting place.
If you have living relatives who, unbeknownst to you, are doing genealogy research and have submitted files to the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you can get their names through the Ancestral File on the FamilySearch computer. All you need to do is look up your common ancestors in the Ancestral File.
Make sure to check photo albums, scrapbooks, diaries, and family Bibles at home. Look particularly close at pictures of large family gatherings. See the topic Finding information at home for more information.
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