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(Under "Record Synopsis," changed "Various type of records are created throughout the probate process." to correctly read "Various records may be found in probate files." Wills are found in probate files but they are not created during the probate process.)
 
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=== Record Overview  ===
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===Online Resources===
  
Probate encompasses all matters and proceedings pertaining to the administration of estates, whether there is a will (testate) or not (intestate). Various types of records are created throughout the probate process. These may include, wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. These documents are extremely valuable to genealogists and should not be neglected. In many instances, they are the only known source of relevant information such as the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their places of residence. They may also include information about adoption or guardianship of minor children and dependents. Probate records may not give an exact death date, but the death most often occurred within a few months of the date of probate. Wills usually mention the names of heirs and frequently specify how those heirs are related. Names of children are given, as well as married names of daughters.  
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*'''1772 - 1999''' [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=9048 Illinois Wills and Probate Records 1772-1999] at [http://home.ancestry.com/ Ancestry.com] — index and images '''$'''
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*'''1819 - 1988''' {{RecordSearch|1834344|Illinois Probate Records 1819-1988}} at [https://familysearch.org/ FamilySearch.org] — images
  
While probate records are one of the most accurate sources of genealogical evidence, they have [[United States Probate Limitations|limitations]].
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===Record Synopsis===
  
=== Jurisdictions  ===
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Probate is the “court procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid” and encompasses “all matters and proceedings pertaining to the administration of estates, guardianships, etc.”<ref>Henry Campbell Black, ''Black's Law Dictionary,'' 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."</ref> Various records may be found in probate files. These may include wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. These documents are extremely valuable to genealogists and should not be neglected. In many instances, they are the only known source of relevant information such as the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their places of residence. They may also include information about adoption or guardianship of minor children and dependents.
  
Clerk of County's Commissioners' Court (1819 - 1821)<br>County Probate Court (1821 - 1848)<br>County Probate Court (for counties with 50,000+ population) (1870 - 1964)<br>County Court (1848 - 1964)<br>Circuit Court (1964 - present)
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Explore more about the [[United States Probate Process|probate process]], [[United States Probate Limitations|limitations of probate records]],&nbsp;[[Analyzing United States Probate Records|analyzing probate records]], a [[Glossary of United States Probate Terms|glossary]] of probate terms, [[United States Probate Wills|wills]], and [[United States Probate Records]].<br>  
  
=== Obtaining the Records  ===
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===History===
  
'''Indexes'''
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Variations existed within counties as probate jurisdictions and county boundaries changed over the years.
  
[http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/databases.html The Illinois Regional Archives Depositories] includes some online Illinois probate indexes.
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'''Territorial (1787 - 1818)'''<br>County Probate Judge and Clerk (1787 - 1795)<br>Orphans Court composed of Justices of Quarter Sessions (1795 - 1805)<br>Court of Common Pleas (1805 - 1816)<br>Clerk of County Court (1816 - 1819)
  
'''National Repositories'''  
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'''State (1818 - present)'''<br>Clerk of County Court (1816 - 1819)<br>Clerk of County's Commissioners' Court (1819 - 1821)<br>County Probate Court (1821 - 1848)<br>County Probate Court (for counties with 50,000+ population) (1870 - 1964)<br>County Court (1848 - 1964)<br>Circuit Court (1964 - present)
  
The Family History Library has microfilmed many Illinois probate records, generally from the date of the county’s creation until the early 1900s. Probate records may include such documents as wills, letters of administration, guardianships, probate journals, probate packets, and adoptions. The probate packets, which contain all documents pertaining to a probate case, have the most genealogical information, but are not always available at the Family History Library. Probate records can be found in the Family History Library Catalog by using a&nbsp;Place Search under:
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===Searching Probate Records ===
  
ILLINOIS- PROBATE RECORDS
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It is usually best to start a probate search at the county level. Links to county pages appear below. Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche may be available for viewing at [http://www.familysearch.org/locations FamilySearch Centers]. Also find Illinois Probate resources available at [http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=su%3Aillinois+probate+records&qt=results_page many libraries (WorldCat)]. Explore how to search [[Worldcat Online Catalog|WorldCat]] and the [[Introduction to the FamilySearch Catalog|FamilySearch Catalog]].<br>
  
ILLINOIS, [COUNTY]- PROBATE RECORDS
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===Websites ===
  
ILLINOIS, [COUNTY]- GUARDIANSHIP
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*[http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/IRAD/iradholdings.html The Illinois Regional Archives Depositories] includes some online Illinois probate indexes.<br>
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*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/show#uri=http://hr-search-api:8080/searchapi/search/collection/1834344 Family Search Historical records]&nbsp;collection includes free online images of will books, administrations, journals, inventories, guardian's records, and order books from probate courts in Illinois. The content and time period will vary by county. A wiki article describing this collection is found at [[Illinois Probate Records - FamilySearch Historical Records|Illinois Probate Books - FamilySearch Historical Records]].<br>
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*[http://www.deathindexes.com/illinois/index.html DeathIndexes.com] provides links to several Illinois probate records.<br>
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*[http://ilgenweb.net/ USGenWeb, Illinois] is a cooperative volunteer effort with links to resources in the state and counties.<br>
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*Ancestry databases related to [http://search.ancestry.com/Places/US/Illinois/Default.aspx?category=36 Illinois Tax Criminal, Land, and Wills] ($)<br>
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*[http://estate.findlaw.com/probate/probate-court-laws/estate-planning-law-state-probate.html FindLaw] has information on Illinois Probate Courts.
  
'''Web Sites'''  
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'''A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:'''  
  
*[http://www.deathindexes.com/illinois/index.html DeathIndexes.com] provides links to several Illinois probate records.
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[[Illinois Probate Books - FamilySearch Historical Records|Illinois Probate Books - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[http://ilgenweb.net/ USGenWeb, Illinois] A cooperative volunteer effort with links to resources in the state and counties.
 
  
=== Learn More  ===
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===Published Materials===
  
*Anne Roach, ''[https://fch.ldschurch.org/WWSupport/Courses/FamilyHistoryLibraryExport/Goldmine__Beyond_the_Court_Order_Book/Player.html Courthouse Records Overview]'' (35 minute online video) [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/education/frameset_education.asp?PAGE=education_research_series_online.asp%3FActiveTab=2 FamilySearch Research Classes Online], 2010.
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*Eichholz, Alice, Editor. ''Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources.'' Third Edition. Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004, 185. {{FHL|1185723|item|disp=FHL 973 D27rb 2004}}
*Eichholz, Alice, Editor. ''Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources.'' Third Edition. Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004. (See page 185.)
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*Greenwood, Val D. Third edition. ''The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. ''Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 2000, 346. [http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3AThe+Researcher%27s+Guide+to+American+Genealogy.+au%3Agreenwood&fq=yr%3A2000+%3E+%3E+x0%3Abook&qt=advanced&dblist=638 Many libraries (WorldCat)]; {{FHL|960443|item|disp=FHL 973 D27g 2000}}
*North, Levi. ''A Treatise on the Practice in Probate Courts in the Probate of Wills and Settlement of Estates...Illinois....'' Chicago: Callaghan &amp; Company, 1875. Available free [http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924024669115 online].
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*Pease, Theodore Calvin. "The County Archives of the State of Illinois." Clarence Walworth Alvord, editor. ''Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library.'' Volume XII. Springfield, Ill.: Trustees of the Illinois State Historical Library, 1915. Chap. IV, pp. lxxviii-lxxxi. View a free digital version online at [http://books.google.com/books?id=kVVIAAAAYAAJ&pg=PR127&dq=illinois+probate&hl=en&ei=-Q2zTIvZEYu0sAP295T4Cg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CF0Q6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=illinois%20probate&f=false Google Books].
*Rose, Christine.''Courthouse Research for Family Historians: Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures.'' San Jose, California: CR Publications, 2004.
 
  
Click on the following links to wiki articles for additional information on probate records:
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===State Statutes===
  
*[[United States Probate Records|United States Probate Records]]  
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Understanding the Illinois probate laws and how they changed over time can help us learn how the estate was administered, taxed, and distributed and might help to solve difficult genealogical problems.
*[[United States Probate Process|Probate Process]]
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Online digital versions of state statutes can often be found by conducting a search engine search for the term, "Illinois statutes." The following are examples of books related to Illinois probate laws:
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*Pease, Theodore Calvin. ''The Laws of the Northwest Territory, 1788-1800.'' Springfield, Illinois: Trustees of the Illinois State Historical Library, [1925]. [http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3AThe+Laws+of+the+Northwest+Territory%2C+1788-1800+au%3Apease&fq=x0%3Abook&qt=advanced&dblist=638 Many libraries (WorldCat)]; {{FHL|289433|item|disp=FHL fiche}}
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*Brayman, Mason. ''Revised Statutes of the State of Illinois''....Springfield: Walters &amp; Weber, 1845. View at [http://books.google.com/books?id=1JwSAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=illinois+statutes&hl=en&ei=wR-zTK2YGYf4sAPEpozfDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CFAQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q&f=false Google Books] using the search term "probate" for references specific to probate. Available at [http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3ARevised+Statutes+of+the+State+of+Illinois+au%3Abrayman&fq=x0%3Abook&qt=advanced&dblist=638 many libraries (WorldCat)].
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*Hurd, Harvey Bostwick, editor. ''Revised Statutes of the State of Illinois. 1877.''...Chicago: Chicago Legal News Co., 1877. View at [http://books.google.com/books?id=t9gnAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=illinois+statutes&hl=en&ei=wR-zTK2YGYf4sAPEpozfDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CFUQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q&f=false Google Books] using the search term "probate" for references specific to probate. This and other years by this author available at [http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3ARevised+Statutes+of+the+State+of+Illinois.+au%3Ahurd&fq=x0%3Abook&qt=advanced&dblist=638 many libraries (WorldCat)].
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*Jones, William C. ''A Practical Treatise upon the Jurisdiction of...Probate Courts of Illinois....''Chicago: T.H. Flood &amp; Co., 1892. View at [http://www.archive.org/details/jurisdictionofpr00jone Internet Archive].<br>
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*North, Levi. ''A Treatise on the Practice in Probate Courts...in the State of Illinois....''Chicago: Callaghan &amp; Co., 1875. View at [http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924024669115 Internet Archive]. Available at [http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=kw%3Aillinois+ti%3AA+Treatise+on+the+Practice+in+Probate+Courts+au%3Anorth&fq=x0%3Abook&qt=advanced&dblist=638 many libraries (WorldCat)].<br>
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*Simons, Franklin Pierce. ''A Treatise on the Probate Practice and Law of Estates in the State of Illinois''....Chicago: Callaghan &amp; Co., 1907. View at [http://www.archive.org/details/probatepracticel01simo Internet Archive]. Available at [http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3AA+Treatise+on+the+Probate+Practice+and+Law+of+Estates+in+the+State+of+Illinois+au%3Asimons&fq=x0%3Abook&qt=advanced&dblist=638 many libraries (WorldCat)].<br>
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*Starr, Merritt and Russell H. Curtis, editors. ''Annotated Statutes of the State of Illinois in Force January 1, 1885 ....''Volume I. Chicago: Callaghan &amp; Co., 1885. View at [http://books.google.com/books?id=RDwlAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=illinois+statutes&hl=en&ei=uiizTNDDF46gsQOh0Y3zAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CF4Q6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q&f=false Google Books] using the search term "probate" for references specific to probate. Available at [http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3AAnnotated+Statutes+of+the+State+of+Illinois+in+Force+January+1%2C+1885+au%3Astarr&fq=x0%3Abook&qt=advanced&dblist=638 many libraries (WorldCat)].<br>
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Current laws are offered online by the Illinois General Assembly as [http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs.asp ''Illinois Compiled Statutes''].
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Additional information about Illinois state statutes relating to probate matters can be found at law libraries.
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===Learn More===
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*Anne Roach, ''[http://fch.ldschurch.org/WWSupport/Courses/FamilyHistoryLibraryExport/Goldmine__Beyond_the_Court_Order_Book/Player.html Courthouse Records Overview]'' (35 minute online video) [https://www.familysearch.org/ask/landing?search=Getting%20Started&show=lessons&message=true FamilySearch Research Classes Online], 2010.<br>
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*Rose, Christine. ''Courthouse Research for Family Historians: Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures.'' San Jose, California: CR Publications, 2004. Of particular interest are the chapters, "Estates Galore," "Estate Documents," "Milking Every Clue from Estates," and "Strategies that Work." [http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3ACourthouse+Research+for+Family+Historians+au%3Arose&fq=yr%3A2004+%3E+%3E+x0%3Abook&qt=advanced&dblist=638 Many libraries (WorldCat)]; {{FHL|1202197|item|disp=FHL 929.1072 R72c}}
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*Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, editors. ''The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy.'' Third edition. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, Inc., 2006. Of particular interest is the section, "Probate," pages 268 - 277. [http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3AThe+Source%3A+A+Guidebook+to+American+Genealogy.++au%3Aszucs&fq=yr%3A2006+%3E+%3E+x0%3Abook&qt=advanced&dblist=638 Many libraries (WorldCat)]; {{FHL|1211475|item|disp=FHL 973 D27ts 2006}}<br>
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==References==
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<references />
  
 
{{Illinois|Illinois}}  
 
{{Illinois|Illinois}}  
  
[[Category:Illinois|Probate]]
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'''A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:'''
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[[Illinois Probate Books - FamilySearch Historical Records|Illinois Probate Books - FamilySearch Historical Records]]
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[[Category:Illinois, United States|Probate]]
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[[Category:United_States_Probate_Records]]

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Illinois Probate Records DGS Appointment 4595145 75


Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Record Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Probate is the “court procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid” and encompasses “all matters and proceedings pertaining to the administration of estates, guardianships, etc.”[1] Various records may be found in probate files. These may include wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. These documents are extremely valuable to genealogists and should not be neglected. In many instances, they are the only known source of relevant information such as the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their places of residence. They may also include information about adoption or guardianship of minor children and dependents.

Explore more about the probate process, limitations of probate recordsanalyzing probate records, a glossary of probate terms, wills, and United States Probate Records.

History[edit | edit source]

Variations existed within counties as probate jurisdictions and county boundaries changed over the years.

Territorial (1787 - 1818)
County Probate Judge and Clerk (1787 - 1795)
Orphans Court composed of Justices of Quarter Sessions (1795 - 1805)
Court of Common Pleas (1805 - 1816)
Clerk of County Court (1816 - 1819)

State (1818 - present)
Clerk of County Court (1816 - 1819)
Clerk of County's Commissioners' Court (1819 - 1821)
County Probate Court (1821 - 1848)
County Probate Court (for counties with 50,000+ population) (1870 - 1964)
County Court (1848 - 1964)
Circuit Court (1964 - present)

Searching Probate Records[edit | edit source]

It is usually best to start a probate search at the county level. Links to county pages appear below. Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche may be available for viewing at FamilySearch Centers. Also find Illinois Probate resources available at many libraries (WorldCat). Explore how to search WorldCat and the FamilySearch Catalog.

Websites[edit | edit source]

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

Illinois Probate Books - FamilySearch Historical Records

Published Materials[edit | edit source]

  • Eichholz, Alice, Editor. Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources. Third Edition. Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004, 185. FHL 973 D27rb 2004
  • Greenwood, Val D. Third edition. The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 2000, 346. Many libraries (WorldCat); FHL 973 D27g 2000
  • Pease, Theodore Calvin. "The County Archives of the State of Illinois." Clarence Walworth Alvord, editor. Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library. Volume XII. Springfield, Ill.: Trustees of the Illinois State Historical Library, 1915. Chap. IV, pp. lxxviii-lxxxi. View a free digital version online at Google Books.

State Statutes[edit | edit source]

Understanding the Illinois probate laws and how they changed over time can help us learn how the estate was administered, taxed, and distributed and might help to solve difficult genealogical problems.

Online digital versions of state statutes can often be found by conducting a search engine search for the term, "Illinois statutes." The following are examples of books related to Illinois probate laws:

  • Pease, Theodore Calvin. The Laws of the Northwest Territory, 1788-1800. Springfield, Illinois: Trustees of the Illinois State Historical Library, [1925]. Many libraries (WorldCat); FHL fiche
  • Brayman, Mason. Revised Statutes of the State of Illinois....Springfield: Walters & Weber, 1845. View at Google Books using the search term "probate" for references specific to probate. Available at many libraries (WorldCat).
  • Hurd, Harvey Bostwick, editor. Revised Statutes of the State of Illinois. 1877....Chicago: Chicago Legal News Co., 1877. View at Google Books using the search term "probate" for references specific to probate. This and other years by this author available at many libraries (WorldCat).
  • Jones, William C. A Practical Treatise upon the Jurisdiction of...Probate Courts of Illinois....Chicago: T.H. Flood & Co., 1892. View at Internet Archive.
  • North, Levi. A Treatise on the Practice in Probate Courts...in the State of Illinois....Chicago: Callaghan & Co., 1875. View at Internet Archive. Available at many libraries (WorldCat).
  • Simons, Franklin Pierce. A Treatise on the Probate Practice and Law of Estates in the State of Illinois....Chicago: Callaghan & Co., 1907. View at Internet Archive. Available at many libraries (WorldCat).
  • Starr, Merritt and Russell H. Curtis, editors. Annotated Statutes of the State of Illinois in Force January 1, 1885 ....Volume I. Chicago: Callaghan & Co., 1885. View at Google Books using the search term "probate" for references specific to probate. Available at many libraries (WorldCat).

Current laws are offered online by the Illinois General Assembly as Illinois Compiled Statutes.

Additional information about Illinois state statutes relating to probate matters can be found at law libraries.

Learn More[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

Illinois Probate Books - FamilySearch Historical Records