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New Jersey, Probate Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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New Jersey Probate Records, 1678-1980
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
New Jersey, 
United States
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Flag of New Jersey
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Location of New Jersey
Record Description
Record Type Probate
Collection years 1678-1980
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in This Collection?

This collection consists of images of probate records from various court houses in New Jersey. Most records cover the years 1678 to 1920 but some counties have records up to the year 1970.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for New Jersey Probate Records, 1678-1980.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees, and other court documents.

  • Name of testator or deceased
  • Names of heirs such as spouse, children, and other relatives or friends
  • Name of executor, administrator, or guardian
  • Names of witnesses
  • Residence of testator
  • Document and recording dates (Used to approximate event dates i.e. A will was usually written near time of death.)

Collection Content

Sample Image

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the deceased
  • The place of residence
  • The approximate death or probate date

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the County
  2. Select the Volume Title and Year to view the images.

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives
  • Use the document (such as the will) or the recording dates to approximate a death date
  • Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records, since the probates exist for an earlier time period
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census, church, and land records
  • Use the occupations listed to find other types of records such as employment or military records
  • You may be able to use the probate record to learn about
land transactions
Adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
  • Wills are more likely to be found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas
  • The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the deceased or the testator

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties

Research Helps

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of New Jersey.

Known Issues

Click here for a list of known issues with this collection.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records/Guidelines for Articles.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.