Probate records and wills are available online from all over the U.S. and are what I consider another hidden gem of information that can assist you in advancing your family history and genealogy research.
What can you find in these records? How about date of death, spouses and children names, birth order, siblings and siblings spouses, parents names, and residence locations for all named persons. Also, ownership of land and/or other significant property, business names and occupation, military service, guardianships, and adoptions. Basically, anything owned by the deceased is typically listed and to whom it is to be assigned.
I won’t pretend to be an expert on the probate process – all I know is that I have discovered an amazing amount of good information from probate records and wills as part of my personal genealogy research.
Here are a few good primers on the benefits of searching probate documents and wills:
Below, listed are links to probate records, wills, and indexes available for free online for the state.
Note: Please be aware that if you find a desired will or probate record in an index, that the holder of the actual materials (e.g., (archive, county court, etc.) may charge a small fee to send you a copy of the material itself.
Note: Some of the links listed below take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections’ images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital.
(Updated August 2020; recently added links are in BOLD)
- Brown County Probate Records and Wills Index
- Jackson County Wills and Probate Documents
- Lincoln County Old Estates Index
- Oconto County Probate Records and Wills Index
- Outagamie County Probate Records and Wills Index
- Outagamie County Records, 1825-1980
- Sauk County Probate Records
- UW-Stout Area Research Center County Court Records Index
- UW-Stout Area Research Center Newspaper Index Probate Notice 1862-1931
- Wisconsin Court System Circuit Court Access
- Wisconsin, Probate Estate Files, 1848-1948
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!
For other Free Wisconsin Links, click on the category of interest:
Probate and Wills