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Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Free access to Ancestry's new 170m US probate records

Ancestry has added more than 170 million wills and probate records dating from 1668 to 2005 and covering the USA. This is the first time these records have been made available online and that process has taken more than two years to be successfully achieved. The company says it has invested $10million in the digitising and licencing of the records.

It's not mentioned in the official press release but Ancestry's Mike Mulligan tells me that the development work for this project was done mostly out of the Dublin office. So applause all round for the guys and gals at Sir John Rogerson's Quay!

More than 100million people are referenced in the collection, either as the deceased, members of their families, friends and others involved in the probate process. Inevitably, a lot of people born in Ireland are included, so this is a bumper collection for Irish family history research.

In a quick recce into the New York and Californian records I've already found three Santrys of interest and there are still dozens of record sets to explore. I just hope I get some spare time this week, because Ancestry has announced five days of free access from today.

Not only is the US Wills and Probates collection being opened up, Ancestry's entire collection of US birth, marriage and death records is included in the free access, which continues until Monday 7 September 10pm MT (I think that's 5am Tuesday 8 September in Dublin/London).

You can search the entire US Probate collection here, or use the links below to search the collections of the individual states.

Alabama, Wills and Probate Records, 1753-1999
Alaska, Wills and Probate Records, 1883-1978
Arkansas, Wills and Probate Records, 1783-1998
Arizona, Wills and Probate Records, 1803-1995
California, Wills and Probate Records, 1782-1999
Colorado, Wills and Probate Records, 1875-1974
Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999
Delaware, Wills and Probate Records, 1676-1971
Florida, Wills and Probate Records, 1810-1974
Georgia, Wills and Probate Records, 1742-1992
Hawaii, Wills and Probate Records, 1822-1962
Idaho, Wills and Probate Records, 1857-1989
Illinois, Wills and Probate Records, 1772-1999
Indiana, Wills and Probate Records, 1798-1999
Iowa, Wills and Probate Records, 1758-1997
Kansas, Wills and Probate Records, 1803-1987
Kentucky, Wills and Probate Records, 1774-1989
Louisiana, Wills and Probate Records, 1756-1984
Maine, Wills and Probate Records, 1584-1999
Maryland, Wills and Probate Records, 1604-1878
Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991
Michigan, Wills and Probate Records, 1784-1980
Minnesota, Wills and Probate Records, 1801-1999
Mississippi, Wills and Probate Records, 1780-1982
Missouri, Wills and Probate Records, 1766-1988
Montana, Wills and Probate Records, 1831-1952
New Jersey, Wills and Probate Records, 1656-1999
New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999
Nebraska, Wills and Probate Records, 1806-1989
Nevada, Wills and Probate Records, 1906-1925
New Hampshire, Wills and Probate Records, 1643-1982
New Mexico, Wills and Probate Records, 1801-1993
North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
North Dakota and South Dakota, Wills and Probate Records, 1800-1985
Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998
Oklahoma, Wills and Probate Records, 1801-2008
Oregon, Wills and Probate Records, 1833-1963
Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993
Rhode Island, Wills and Probate Records, 1582-1932
South Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1670-1980
Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1727-2008
Texas, Wills and Probate Records, 1800-2000
Utah, Wills and Probate Records, 1800-1985
Vermont, Wills and Probate Records, 1749-1999
Washington, D.C., Wills and Probate Records, 1737-1952
Washington, Wills and Probate Records, 1807-1997
West Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1724-1978
Wisconsin, Wills and Probate Records, 1800-1987
Wyoming, Wills and Probate Records, 1864-1915

Ancestry has produced a neat guide to using this collection. It's in pdf format (5.4Mb) and can be downloaded here: Probate Research Guide.