An Official Copy of that Difficult to Read Will?

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 (which are actually transcriptions of the will and served as the legal equivalent thereof), but many did. Perhaps if the will has a difficult to read portion, is partially missing, or open to interpretation, the transcription in the “will record,” done after the will was admitted to probate, will answer your questions.

In the United States, probates are local records typically maintained originally at the county court given jurisdiction over probate matters. In some states they are recorded at another local level besides the county–generally in New England states and independent cities in Virginia.

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