Saturday, September 10, 2022

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What Is Your Favorite Research Resource?

 It's Saturday Night - 

time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:

1) What is your favorite genealogy research resource?  Not a website, but a type of record, like census, cemetery, tax, etc. Why is it your favorite?  [Thank you to Linda Stufflebean for suggesting topics!]

2)  Write your own blog post, or add your response as a comment to this blog post, in a Facebook Status post or note.

Here's mine:

My favorite research resource is Probate Records.  

Why?  Probate Records from every state, county, and country are extremely useful to identify heirs, or orphaned children, of a deceased person.  Wills, inventories, distributions, and other documents explicitly identify occupations, locations, real and personal property, etc. of the deceased person and their heirs.  Sometimes, these are the only original source documents that even name an heir.  Sometimes, real property is transferred to an heir and the probate record is the only document that describes the property.  

My best example is the case of Elizabeth Auble (1814-1899), a single person with no children.  See this series of blog posts:

*  Making Progress on My Auble Cousins - Post 1: Finding Elizabeth's Will (25 April 2016).

Why would a will or probate record be of much value if the testator did not have a spouse or any children?  Actually, the will or probate record of a childless person is very helpful, because the heirs-at-law are usually the person's siblings and their descendants, and in some cases, the heirs-at-law may be the person's parents, siblings and their descendants.  

Where can you find online probate records?  American Ancestors has the best and most complete indexed set of Massachusetts probate records. has indexed probate records from every state, but the indexes are incomplete IMHO.  FamilySearch has probate records states, counties, and countries on digital microfilm that can be browsed, but are mostly unindexed (except for the index for each volume of records which shows the name, year, and volume/page number.  The user has to find the index entry, then browse the specific volume to find the record on the specific page.

I have transcribed hundreds of probate records of specific historical persons - see my list by name on  Many on this list are my direct ancestors.


Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

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Linda Stufflebean said...

I'm really early today with my post:

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

It's my second favorite!

ByAPearl said...

Here is a favorite resource

Marian B. Wood said...

Just a few days ago I wrote about my favorite research resource, county history's that link.

Teresa said...

Here's mine - better late than never :)