It’s Getting Easier to Find NC Estate Records

The North Carolina Genealogical Society (NCGS) is currently in the process of indexing original estate files held at the North Carolina State Archives and they are doing a phenomenal job!  Done in partnership with FamilySearch, the records are available online and society volunteers are creating name-specific way-pointers to facilitate finding records.  As it stands, records can be searched by name, or browsed by county.  The indexing at is approximately 70% completed. 

Probate Court record for Elizabeth Koontz – Davidson County (1877)

As I personally began working with this database, I quickly realized I wanted a better way to browse.  The surname index is a great asset for the online collection, but browsing is limited to one county at a time and you can’t see the entire alphabet at once.  So, to make it easier to see a list of names within any one county, and to make it easier to look for records across counties, I am partnering with NCGS to create a master index to the collection.   For example, while I know that there were Koonce families in Jones County, NC – I could use the master index to see what other Koonce persons there were across the state who are represented in this collection.   


The master index is hosted on the NCGS website and can be viewed at It is a work in progress, but you can view the list by surname or by individual county. Additionally, the county lists will eventually be shared on some of our NCGenWeb sites too! Please stay tuned as we add more and more counties to the master index in the upcoming months. 




7 thoughts on “It’s Getting Easier to Find NC Estate Records

  1. Gee, you’re at it again!! What a great resource this index has become! Family Search is great but not very user-friendly when trying to find a particular image. This index will take care of the estates! I’ve just added a link to it on my 5 websites but now I can’t do anything else but go from image to image. I have company coming at the end of the week but this index has captured my full attention when I should be cleaning house and washing clothes. 🙂 I’m LOVING this!
    Kay Lynn

  2. Yes, these are great. I have found that if once you enter the NC Estate Records, when you put in a surname and your ancestor does not show up, try going to the county (i.e. Jones Co.) then look under the initial the surname starts with (i.e. S) then find the surname: (i.e. Small) Sometimes the surname in a search does not show up unless you search under the county itself. Why this happens I don’t know; but it is worth the extra effort.

  3. Go to “Browse Images” under “Search Collection”
    Once you click on “Browse Images” the county list will show up, then initials for surnames completed.

    • Yes Sloan – that’s exactly how you find them under each county. However, I found that process too tedious and slow for my personal like, hence, the reason why I created index. Plus, you can’t see all the names for all letters at once, so the index is helpful for that too!

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