Métis Nation of Ontario
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Ontario Probate and Surrogate Court Records

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Not everyone had a will and not all wills are found in court records. Wills that involved real estate are likely found in the local Land Registry Office because it would have been used to transfer the land to heirs. While a copy of the will may be interesting it is important to examine the estate file that has a copy of the inventory or assets and how the estate was eventually divided. Family relationships will be detailed in this part.

Ontario Probate and Surrogate Court Records from 1793 – 1963 are found in the Archives of Ontario. Research Guide 206 “How to Find a Will in Court Records” will guide you through the process. A number of people have compiled indexes to probate and surrogate court records for counties and districts. Check library catalogues or genealogical society websites for details.

Estate Files 40 Years Old or Less

Estate files that have been probated within the last 40 years are at the local courthouse. Indexes for the following records are found at the Archives of Ontario:

Kenora to 1973 Lennox & Addington to 1970
Ontario to 1970 Parry Sound to 1986
Rainy River to 1977

Further Reading

  • Archives of Ontario Research Guide 206: How to Find a Will in Court Records.
  • Gibson, June, compiler, Elizabeth Hancocks, indexer and Shannon Hancocks. Surrogate Court Index of Ontario, Canada, 1859-1900. 27 volumes. 2nd edition.
    Campbellville, Ontario: Global Heritiage Press, 2005.
  • Merriman, Brenda Dougall. Genealogy in Ontario: searching the records.
    Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 2008.
  • Shepard, Catherine. Surrogate Court Records at the Archives of Ontario: a genealogical research guide.
    Toronto, Ontario: Ontario Genealogical Society, 1984.
  • Zufelt, Bill, editor. Court of Probate: Registers and Estate Files at the Archives of Ontario (1793-1759).
    Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 1986.
 
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