Have you heard the news? 170+ million U.S. Probate and Wills are now digitized and indexed at Ancestry.com!! But wait, there’s more. . . access is free to members and non-members alike (along with U.S. vital records) through Monday. I don’t know about you, but I know what I will be doing this weekend!!
If you are new to genealogy, wills and probates may not be familiar resources to you. Up till now, they were rarely available online. The Chicago Tribune has a great article briefly describing why these records can be a gold mine for genealogists:
To be honest, my own experience with these documents is pretty limited. I’ve browsed through some microfilm, but since many of the ancestors for whom I am searching were the salt-of-the-earth, down-on-their-luck, trying-to-make-ends-meet type, I’m not surprised I haven’t found anything yet. Perhaps I’ll get lucky with this new record set. If I do, I will definitely report back, and I wish you luck with your own search!