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* Finding a maiden name with probate records

Probate records are records disposing of a deceased individual's property and may include an individual's last will and testament if one was made. Probate records often list an individual's maiden name. You can usually find probate records in the county where the person lived at the time of their death.

If you have some guesses as to what her maiden name may be, you could also try looking up wills that may have belonged to her father. Often you can find lines such as "to my daughter Jane, wife of Henry Smith." This may help you verify her maiden name. However, if the supposed maiden name is common, this method may not be practical.

To get a copy of an individual's probate packet or probate estate papers, contact the county clerk, town clerk, or probate clerk where the individual lived at the time of death. For county courthouse phone numbers and addresses, see our Resources by county. The Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also has a large collection of probate records on microfilm, both from the United States and from foreign countries.

For more information about court records, see the topic Court records.

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