Probate records and wills are available online from all over the U.S. and are what I consider another hidden gem of information that can assist you in advancing your family history and genealogy research.
What can you find in these records? How about date of death, spouses and children names, birth order, siblings and siblings spouses, parents names, and residence locations for all named persons. Also, ownership of land and/or other significant property, business names and occupation, military service, guardianships, and adoptions. Basically anything owned by the deceased is typically listed and to whom it is to be assigned to.
I won't pretend to be an expert on the probate process - all I know is that I have discovered an amazing amount of good information from probate records and wills as part of my personal genealogy research.
Here are a few good primers on the benefits of searching probate documents and wills:
- FamilySearch - United States Probate Records
- Wills and Probate Records are Genealogy Riches
- How to Use Wills and Estate Records to Learn About Your Ancestors
- Probate Records Could Be the Key to Unlocking Your Family’s Hidden Past
Below, listed by state are links to probate records, wills, and indexes available for free online.
Note: Please be aware that if you find a desired will or probate record in an index, that the holder of the actual materials (e.g., (archive, county court, etc.) may charge a small fee to send you a copy of the material itself.
Note: Some of the links listed below take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections' images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital.
(Updated October, 2019; recently added links are in BOLD)
- Assumption Parish Inventory estates, original acts, 1788-1852
- Assumption Parish Will Book, Successions, 1841-1880; General Index to Probate matters, 1813-1971
- Calcasieu Parish Succession files, 1840-1927
- Evangeline Parish Donation Index, 1911-1946 ; Donation Book, 1911-1939
- Iberia Parish Index to Successions, from 1868
- Iberia Parish Miscellaneous Book, 1868-1892
- Iberia Parish Probate Book, 1868-1886; Index to Probate matters, 1861-1971
- Jefferson Parish Minutes, 1825-1836
- Louisiana, Miscellaneous Records
- Louisiana, Collection of Early Court and church Records
- Louisiana, Early Court Records and Wills
- Louisiana, Marriage Records and Miscellaneous data, 1951
- Louisiana, Miscellaneous Records
- Louisiana, Miscellaneous Records, 1700-1900
- Morehouse Parish, Index of Probate Records, 1870-1900
- Morehouse Parish, Index to Probate Records, 1870-1900
- Orleans Parish : Eighth District District Court Cases, 1866-1872
- Orleans Parish : Fifth District Court Case Papers, 1846-1880
- Orleans Parish : First District Case Papers, 1813-1846
- Orleans Parish : First District Case Papers, 1842-1854
- Orleans Parish : Fourth District Case Papers, 1846-1880
- Orleans Parish : Second District Case Papers, 1876-1880
- Orleans Parish : Seventh District District Court Cases, 1868-1873
- Orleans Parish : Sixth District District Court Cases, 1853-1880
- Orleans Parish : Third District Case Papers, 1835-1880
- Orleans Parish Estate Files, 1804-1846
- Orleans Parish Will Books, 1805-1920
- Orleans Parish Index to Wills and Successions 1807-1846
- Orleans Parish Probate Cases, 1823-1845
- Orleans Parish, General Index of all Successions, 1805-1846
- Orleans Parish, General Index of all Successions, emancipations, interdictions, and partitions, 1894- 1902.
- Orleans Parish, Index to Successions 1805-1880
- Orleans Parish, Court Cases, 1813-1851
- Orleans Parish, General Index of all Successions (Wills) 1805-1880
- Ouachita Parish Probate Records, 1800-1870
- St. Helena Parish, Succession Records 1804-1854
- St. Landry Parish Index to Successions, 1808-1971
- St. Landry Parish Miscellaneous Record, 1843-1889; Index, 1854-1900
St. Landry Parish Probate Records, 1889-1893
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!