Oklahoma Probate Records

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This entry was originally written by Wendy Bebout Elliott Ph.D., FUGA for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the Oklahoma Family History Research series.
History of Oklahoma
Oklahoma Vital Records
Census Records for Oklahoma
Background Sources for Oklahoma
Oklahoma Maps
Oklahoma Land Records
Oklahoma Probate Records
Oklahoma Court Records
Oklahoma Tax Records
Oklahoma Cemetery Records
Oklahoma Church Records
Oklahoma Military Records
Oklahoma Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Oklahoma Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Ethnic Groups of Oklahoma
Oklahoma County Resources
Map of Oklahoma


Probate records filed with the various tribal governments and Indian Agencies for the Five Civilized Tribes and some other Native American tribes in Oklahoma are maintained by the Oklahoma Historical Society. Other tribes’ records are in the National Archives—Southwest Region (see page 12). Territorial probate records were processed and filed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. district court. Most original federal district court probate records are also in the National Archives—Southwest Region, although the Oklahoma Historical Society has some federal district court probate records on microfilm. Some probate packets for the northern section of Cherokee Territory were filed in the U.S. district court. These are indexed and identified in the following volume:

  • Wever, Orpha Jewell. Probate Records, 1892–1908, Northern District Cherokee Nation. 2 vols. Vinita, Okla.: Northeast Oklahoma Genealogical Society, 1982–83.

Since statehood, the respective county clerk of the court has maintained probate records. County probate records may include some wills recorded during the territorial period.

Reliable sources include:

  • Oklahoma Genealogical Society. Index to Probate, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, 1895–1920. Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Genealogical Society, 1983.
  • Oklahoma Historical Society. Indian Archives Division. Probate Records for Saline District in the Cherokee Nation, 1886–1898.

Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1976. Subjects in this publication are Cherokee Indians and nation, Oklahoma court, guardianship, land, property, probate, and native records.

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