Finding Original Will Documents by Jeannette Holland Austin

The original will document is more valuable than one abstracted for genealogists. Also, it is preferred over the county clerk's recording of it because makes are made, viz: names omitted, mispellings, and the date of probate is not always recorded. (To find the date of probate, look in the county's minute book for the same time period where a notation should be found that the document was filed on a date certain) During the 1960's as I tracked from court house to court house there were always a collection of some original wills, usually filed away in cabinet drawers. As time passed I noticed that such documents were no longer in the record room but had been relegated to (unseen) storage areas. Considering the fact that hundreds of thousands of original documents were once available in county court houses, one wonders what happened. Security is always a problem. Some could have been carted off while county employees were busy elsewhere, but I suspect that the major portion went to storage areas where they were ultimately destroyed in the interest of space, damaged goods, and other reasons. Some wills found their way to local genealogical and historical societies as well as state archives. Locating the precious original is a boon to the researcher, but second choice is to have the clerk's handwritten recording of it in a local will. Of course many such records were already well-faded and water-damaged long before they were microfilmed. Forsyth County, Georgia will books is an example too many blank pages. It is amazing how the ink virtually disappeared off the page making virtually impossible to see anything. If you have trouble with Forsyth County's microfilmed will books (all wills could not have been microfilmed because of the blanked pages), you can try those which I have recently filmed with my camera and placed online. Even though I could not anything on the blank pages, I filmed them anyhow and was thrilled to see that the camera eye was able to capture the old disappeared ink.

Will Bk B, 1856-1892 Allen, William O.; Bacon, W. H.;Barnett, Casander;Bell, Augustus C.;Bettes, Phillip;Black, Joseph M.;Bladen, John M.;Bottoms, John B.; Brown, Robert;Cochran, Nevell M.;Cornly, Francis;Creamer, Matthew; Dollar, James;Dollar, Tempy;Echols, Charles R.;Ezzard, John T.; Fowler, S. W.; Garrett, Jacob;Harding, William;Harrell, Edward; Hawkins, Frederick M.;Hawkins, John S.;Heard, James L.;Hope, Ellison; Hughes, Sterling P.;Hutchins, A. J.;Hutchins, D. B.;Jackson, James; Jay, Mary A.; Julian, George H.; Lindsey, Isaac; Lummus, Andrew J.; Martin, Peter H.; McAfee, Alexander; McCormick, Hester D.; McGinnis, Sarah; Merritt, William; Mills, William E.; Monroe, Dugald; Morgan, Crawford C.; Monroe, Jesse; Murphy, C. N.; Nichols, James; Orr, Samuel; Owens, Sanford; Owens, Wiley; Parks, James W.; Pilgrim, Thomas J.; Pool, Young P.; Rice, Benjamin; Roper, William; Samples, Jesse; Sewell, Joshua; Strickland, Joel; Townly, John R.; Westbrook, Samuel; Williams, William S.; Willis, William; Wills, Andrew J.; Winn, Jeremiah;

Forsyth Will Book C, 1892-1936 Allen, H. A.; Allen, Hester;Bacon, William A.;Bell, George W.;Black, Joseph M.;Bottoms, John B.;Bruton, Young J.;Ezzard, John F.; Hendrix, William;Hughes, Sterling P.;Hutchings, A. J.;Jackson, James; Jackson, Madison C.;Jackson, William C.;Jay, Henry A.;Julian, George; Kellogg, George;Merritt, William G.;Mills, William E.;Monroe, Dougald; Murphy, Elisha;Owen, Sumpter L.; Owens, Wiley;Pilgrim, T. J.;Strickland, Joel;Youngblood, James W.

Jeannette Holland Austin, Georgia Author of Genealogy Books

Georgia County Records (digital images) wills, estates, marriages

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