About the Oregon Historical Records Index

Probate Records - including estate and guardianship

Probate records have consisted of several subsets over the decades. While these records may include actions related to change of name, abandonment, apprenticeship, and indenture, the following two types are most often found in this index:

Estate case files consist of the papers filed with the county's probate court during an estate proceeding. Typical files may include: the deceased's will; the petition to settle the estate in probate court; an inventory and appraisement of the deceased's property; the final order; various orders from the court pertaining to the case (for example, the appointment of an executor or appraisers; or the fixing of a date and time to hear the final order); bonds; citations; creditors' claims and vouchers relating to charges to the estate; and other items.

The volume of material in these files can vary from only a handful of pages to some that number in the hundreds. Many researchers who examine these records are primarily interested in listings of the deceased's heirs. If you wish to specify in your request we can limit the copying to certain types of key documents, or we can provide you with copies of every item in the file.

Guardianship cases concern situations in which the court determines if and how a person should hold the lawful power and duty to care for the person, property, and rights of another individual considered incapable by reason of age, understanding, or self-control. Records may include petitions, affidavits, accountings, reports, orders, bonds, receipts, and related documents.

State Archives • 800 Summer St. NE • Salem, OR 97310

Phone: 503-373-0701 • Fax: 503-378-4118 • reference.archives@state.or.us