Blog Update – Ancestry’s New Wills & Probate Records

Hello to my readers,

You have not seen a new blog post from me in several weeks but it is for good reason. Just recently, released newly digitized records that include U.S. wills and probate records. This is truly a groundbreaker, especially for North Carolina researchers, and especially for Granville County researchers. Previously, some wills from Granville County were accessible for free at, but it was a very limited collection and did not include records for most years. Here is a direct link to Ancestry’s North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998.

The new North Carolina Wills and Probate Records collection is what has been keeping me busy over the last several weeks. The records for Granville County are quite revealing.
The new North Carolina Wills and Probate Records collection is what has been keeping me busy over the last several weeks. The records for Granville County are quite revealing.

And it gets better! Not only does this new collection include estate records and wills for Granville County, it also includes apprenticeship records and other court documents. Apprenticeship records are created when children are “bound out” by the court to a non-parent. The children become “indentured servants” where they are required to serve a specific number of years and learn a trade. Children from the Native community in Granville where frequently “bound out” and so we are quite overrepresented in these records.

However…..and this is what is taking me so long to get through these records….this new collection is not indexed properly and some parts are not indexed at all. The wills and estate records are indexed but Ancestry did a poor job with the index. Frequent problems are that the records from separate individuals are mixed in together and some names are grossly misspelled. The apprenticeship records are not indexed at all, and there are thousands of pages. So I have created a makeshift index of the apprenticeship records pertaining to children from the Native community.

The exciting news is that I have found a wealth of information in this new collection and it is helping me clarify and correct genealogical relationships. So my next several blog posts will certainly be about these discoveries. I am really looking forward to sharing this new information with you, so stay tuned.

In the interim, it is a good time to catch up on my previous posts. I have 19 published blog posts and they all relate to one another in some way. These are some of my favorite blog posts:

“mind and body that are unmistakably Indian” – Historian Oscar W. Blacknall on the “free negroes” of Granville County

Evans Family of Granville County – descendants of Jane Gibson “a free Indian woman”

Colonial Records of Saponi Indians in Granville County

Identifying the Saponi Indians living next to Col. William Eaton

The Nansemond Indian Bass Family of Granville


7 thoughts on “Blog Update – Ancestry’s New Wills & Probate Records

  1. Thanks so much for the update, Kianga. I hope all is well. Kind regards,

    Prof. Paul Krause
    African-American & U.S. History; Theories & Methods of History
    Department of History, The University of British Columbia
    Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T1Z1
    604.822.5168 – office
    604.732.4690 – home

    Home page, with links for H548D, H331, H334, & H335: or

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG! what work! I know the ancestors sent you to do this work and you are doing a fine job. I’ve been thinking about you and meaning to get in touch it’s just sooo much on my plate but things are starting to be resolved but I have to calm my nerves! I wanted you to do something for me like look into Freeman Jackson Jr. from Washington, D.C. I’ll send you more info later as I have lots of stuff but can’t find the living!!! Let me know how much you will charge me after I send more info. I’m done with Rosetta I think she’s a liar. I will send her a letter soon. I deleted her from my Facebook page. I think the paper dust mites ate into her brain what she had anyway. She lead me down the garden path and dropped me! Anyway hope you are well. Powwow trail hasn’t been good for me either. A new life for me! Catch up later. All the best. Hugs & Love!!Candece


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