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Index to Saint Joseph County Wills 1830 - 1989

Complied by the South Bend Area Genealogical Society with The Cooperation of the St. Joseph County Archives

Saint Joseph County, Indiana was organized in 1830. This index covers original wills and final testaments which were filed for probates with the Saint Joseph County Courts between 1830 and 1989.

The original wills and final testaments contain the names of testators, executors and administrators, heirs, the court in which the will or final testament was filed, and witnesses; conditions, bequests, and codicils of will; location and description of property; volume and page references to the Will Records.

Please note that Will records prior to 1924 are the most difficult to research. Sometimes early records have no file and what is posted in books is all that is recorded.

Copying these records will be at the discretion of Archives staff members due to condition of the records.

Here are the books that are used to search for Wills:
APD1 & APD2 – Appearance Docket Estates, Volume 1 and Volume 2.
DE1 & DE2 – Docket of Estates, Volume 1 and Volume 2.
PED – Probate, Entry, Claim, Allowance Docket Books, Volume 1-Volume 150.
General Index of Estates, Volumes 1-7.

Courts: C = Circuit Court, CCP = Court of Common Pleas, D = Superior Court, D1 = Superior Court 1, D2 = Superior Court 2, J = Probate.

Database Record Fields:

  • Record Book # and RB Page Number – Will copy in book and corresponding page number.
  • Will Box #, the Original Will in box,
  • PED – Wills are entered first in the PED books and are given their Cause (File) number and court.
  • Archives #: Location of Will at the Archives.
  • Cause # – Most Cause or file numbers didn’t start until 1924.
  • Will – Mainly a reminder that these are Will records and not Estate records. Most of the time Will & Estate records share the same cause number.
  • Comments: Many times a ‘Foreign’ Will is filed from another county or state especially if it is about real estate. Most of the time there is no date of death.
  • Court: It is important to note which court. There are duplicate estate cause numbers and courts are a very important factor to locating the records.

The original will and final testaments are located at the Saint Joseph County Archives & Records, 1140 S. Lafayette St., South Bend, IN 46613.

This genealogical database was made possible through the efforts of SBAGS volunteers and archivists.

For more information on the Archives & Records Center and how to obtain the records contained in this index, visit this SBAGS web page:

Archives & Records Center

All requests for records must be placed through the Archives & Records Center. SBAGS does not hold any records.

Search for Saint Joseph County Wills Record(s)

Use the following search form to access the Will Records Index of Saint Joseph County, Indiana.

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