Ontario Probate Records
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Online Records[edit | edit source]
- 1793-1858 - Ontario Surrogate Court Index 1793-1858 Look for county and the the year. For some counties a number will also be given.
- Ontario Probate Court Records -
Surnames A to G
Surnames H to N
Surnames O to Z
- 1793-1859 - Probate registers, 1793-1858; and estate files, 1793-1859
- 1793-1869 - Court records : probate court records, 1793-1859 (series 6-1)
- 1795-1953 - Probate minute book, 1795-1847; probate record books, 1789-1901; probate estate papers, 1858-1900; index, 1877-1953
Archives of Ontario Research Guides[edit | edit source]
- This pathfinder explains how to find wills (usually within estate files) that were filed with the Court of Probate and Surrogate Courts between the years 1793 to 1970.
History[edit | edit source]
- Probate records have been kept at the district or county level in Ontario by Surrogate Courts since 1793.
- Between 1793 and 1858, a central Probate Court of the province dealt with estates valued above a certain amount of money. When the Probate Court was abolished in 1858, the Surrogate Courts took over its functions.
- Registers are court order books recording petitions and grants of probate and administrators' bonds.
- In estate files you may find wills, inventories, and letters of administration.
- The original probate records are at the Archives of Ontario and at district land registry offices. The Family History Library and the Archives of Ontario have microfilm copies of many probate records for most Ontario counties. These include wills and indexes to 1930.
- As county and district boundaries changed, surrogate Court records from the original districts were taken over by one of the successor counties.
Wills in Land Records[edit | edit source]
Wills involving land transactions were often not recorded with the court; but they were copied into deed books or general register books filed with registrars of deeds at land offices. See Ontario Land and Property.
Finding an Estate File[edit | edit source]
Finding an estate file is usually a two stage process:
- First, examine the INDEX microfilm in order to find an estate file number.
- Second, find the correct ESTATE FILE microfilm that contains the will and other documentation that you are seeking.
Before 1859[edit | edit source]
Before 1859, wills were probated either by the province-wide Court of Probate or the local Surrogate Courts.
- The Court of Probate handled estates with property valued over £5 or that extended over two or more Districts.
- The Surrogate Courts handled smaller estates with property within one District.
With the abolition of the Court of Probate in 1858 the Surrogate Courts assumed complete responsibility for estate actions.
Indexes[edit | edit source]
Search both indexes:
- Ontario Surrogate Court Index 1793-1858 Look for county and the the year. For some counties a number will also be given.
- Look for the microfilm number: Ontario Probate Court Records -
Surnames A to G
Surnames H to N
Surnames O to Z
Finding the Microfilm of Estate Records[edit | edit source]
- Ordering Estate Files at the Archives of Ontario
- To use Probate Court records at a FamilySearch Center near you, find the FamilySearch microfilm number in the FamilySearch Catalog listing: Probate registers, 1793-1858; and estate files, 1793-1859 These records are digitized, but are restricted for use at a FamilySearch Library or Center, or through other affiliated organizations. The camera icon at the right of the film notes is the clickable link to the records.
1859 to 1970[edit | edit source]
At the Archives of Ontario[edit | edit source]
- If you know the county or district where the estate was probateds, go to the chart entitled "Locating Court Record Listings for Various Counties in Ontario" (scroll down) and click on your county or district.
- If you are unsure which Courthouse handled the deceased's estate, use the Application to Probate Books (Series RG 22-514) which list every 1859-1982 Estate File and the Courthouse that handled it. There are many different ways you will proceed depending on the time period. These are detailed in Ontario Court of Probate and Surrogate Court Records: Wills and Estate Files - A Pathfinder.
FamilySearch Digitized Microfilms[edit | edit source]
Many county probate records, microfilmed and digitized, are available online. To see whether records are available online:
1. Click on FamilySearch Catalog.
2. In the Place search, type in "Canada, Ontario [county name]". Click "Search".
3. Scroll down to the "Probate records ".Click on the title, which is a link.
4. Find the collection entry appropriate for the time period you need. Click on the link.
5. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right the listing for each microfilm. . The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.
6. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations.
After 1970[edit | edit source]
The Archives of Ontario does not hold these estate files. They are available only through the courthouse in the County or District where the will was probated or the estate administered.
How to Access Microfilmed Records at the Archives of Ontario[edit | edit source]
Once you find out there is a microfilm you should search for probable probate records, there are several options:
- Examine the microfilm at the Reading Room provided at the Archives. See Prepare for Your Visit to the Archives of Ontario.
- Order the reel by interlibrary loan through your public library. Quote the appropriate MS or GS microfilm number. These reels cannot leave the borrowing library, so order them through a library that has a microfilm reader. See What is the Microfilm Interloan Service?
- Hire a researcher from the provided list of individuals who are certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists or who are members of the Association of Professional Genealogists: Genealogical Researchers in Ontario