Hemet San Jacinto Genealogical Society
Hemet - San Jacinto
Genealogical Society
Photo: San Jacinto 1st Train 1888
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Probate records refer to wills inventories, letters of administration and guardianship. They are usually held at the county courthouse unless archived.
There are three types of wills: Attested, Holographic and Nuncupative. The attested will is the most common and is prepared for the testator. A holographic will is written by the testator himself. A nuncupative will are the deathbed wishes of the testator, recorded by a witness present at the bedside. All wills must be witnessed.
A person who dies intestate¬Ě dies without a will.
An executor is named by the testator and is required by the court to post a bond. An administrator is appointed to handle the affairs of one who dies intestate (without a will).
A bequest is a legacy, usually a gift of real estate by will.
A Codicil is a supplemental document to a will.
Decedent refers to the deceased person.
A widow's dower is her claim to a portion of her deceased husband's estate during her lifetime for her and her children's support.
When doing research in probate records, request to see the entire file.
Any relationship that results from a legal marriage could be referred to as an in-law. A father-in-law could be a wife's father but it was more likely the person's stepfather. Son-in-law could refer to a stepson (and usually did in colonial times). The same with mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, which often indicates a step-mother, step-daughter, stepsister, and stepbrother, not a member of a spouse's family. You will need to read those old wills and other records carefully and watch for possible relationships you hadn't considered before.