Did the Courthouse Already Transcribe Your Document?

Don’t forget if you have found that will in the packet of probate papers for your ancestor that there might be a “will record” contained with the probate records as well. Not all jurisdictions kept these records, but many did. If the handwritten original will has a difficult to read portion, is partially missing, or is open to interpretation, the transcription in the “will record,” done at the time the will was proved, may answer your questions.

These record copies were the legal equivalent of the original document and were made, theoretically, in an attempt to render the original as closely as possible.