Sourcing Probate Materials

Note: This was recently posted to my blog, but am reposting it here as it relates to our latest issue.

I’m not really certain that I’m happy with it, but I’ve settled on a working citation for probate materials from collection. My concern was that I needed to indicate the:

  • original creator of the material
  • the site where the records were accessed
    • Because has so much material and so many databases, I used the title of the database from which the probate imges were pulled. I don’t do this for the US federal census because I’ve never done it and locating the census images is relatively easy on There are some states for which has several probate databases and the title makes the location of the material easier.
  • and, because the site holding these records did not make the images from the actual records, I need to indicate who actually copied the actual records–the Family History Library

I ended up with the item shown below–hopefully in the spirit of  Evidence Explained . I spent far too much time concerning myself with where to place the title of the database.

Hancock County, Illinois, Probate Court Files, Box 113, Estate of Mimken Habben, Petition of Antie Habben to be Appointed Administratrix with the Will Annexed, 26 March 1877;, “Illinois, Wills and Probate Records, 1772-1999,” ( : accessed  3 January 2016), citing FHL microfilm publication 1547540.

I’m open to suggestions. This seemed to fit my purpose for the time being.

This item is one that is analyzed in the next issue of Casefile Clues.

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