Probate Judge James Cissell announced on December 29, 2009 that probate records dating back to 1791 have been digitized and are now available for public use on the Probate Court website. The five-year project to digitize the records was intended to both preserve the original, sometimes fragile, records and provide increased public access to them. Included in the digitized records are indexes and docket books for estates, wills, trusts, marriages, guardianships, births, deaths, and physician certificates as well as minister’s license indexes and probate entries. A list of all available records and the search pages are available at http://www.probatect.org/courtrecordsarchive/bukcats.aspx. Access to these records is important to historians and genealogists who are looking to document the life changing events of family and historic figures.
Judge Cissell’s future plans include considering the digitization of some Probate Court records housed in the Archives & Rare Books Library. As part of the Ohio Network of American History Research Centers, ARB currently holds a number of probate collections, including original wills, citizenship records and estate records for Hamilton County. Indexes for the wills and citizenship records can be found on ARB’s website at http://www.libraries.uc.edu/libraries/arb/archives/collections/ohionetwork_coll.html.
- Janice Schulz