Hopefully, you’ve had some time to start looking through the new U.S. Wills and Probate Records collection on Ancestry. And I hope you’ve found something good that maybe smashed a brick wall or made you gasp with delight or dismay. I know I have!
When I first started looking through these collections, I noticed that there were lots of images in my counties of interest, but I wasn’t always finding everything I was looking for. So I started browsing, and then I located my family.
So I chatted with our content people to get the scoop on what was indexed and what wasn’t. Many wills are indexed but just for the person who wrote the will. Which means there are also names and records in the Wills and Probate collection that aren’t currently indexed. That’s no surprise, considering it takes a while to index these records―they are mostly hand written and some, quite frankly, are hard to decipher.
So what is a searcher to do? How do you find what you are looking for?
I’ve put together a FREE Ancestry Academy class to help you out: Navigating Wills and Probates on Ancestry.
I walk your through searching and browsing and give you a couple of examples to demonstrate each. Check it out and then go apply what you’ve learned. There are more than 170 million images in this new collection, so who knows who’s waiting for you?
And be search to check out Juliana Szucs’ research guide: 5 Things to Help You Get the Most from U.S. Probates on Ancestry as well as Judy Russell’s Ancestry Academy class: The Records of Death: Using Probates in Family History