Utah Probate Records
This entry was originally written by Patricia Lyn Scott, CA and Gary Topping Ph.D. for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
Probate functions (testate and intestate proceedings; guardianships for males under age twenty-one and females under age eighteen and those incompetent to handle their legal affairs) were shared by county probate courts and territorial district courts between 1852 and 1896. Records for these are generally at the county seat, though some probate records have been microfilmed and are accessible through the FHL and/or the Utah State Archives. Microfilm coverage varies between counties.
After 1896, jurisdiction for probate matters became the sole responsibility of the District Court that operated for the county. There are now eight judicial districts encompassing twenty-nine counties. To determine exactly which district a county belonged to at a particular time there are two finding aids. One is available at the Utah State Archives and the other is a guide that can be obtained by writing the Utah Judicial Council, Administrative Office of the Courts, 450 S. State St., P.O. Box 140241, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-0241, which has an online directory at www.utcourts.gov/committees/index.asp. Since 1 January 1989, all Utah courts were placed under the administration of this office. In trying to determine the county seat that was functioning as the probate court during a particular time period, that office will be the most efficient source.
Currently District 1 includes Box Elder, Cache, and Rich counties; District 2—Davis, Morgan, and Weber; District 3—Salt Lake, Summit, and Tooele; District 4—Juab, Millard, Utah, and Wasatch; District 5—Beaver, Iron, and Washington; District 6—Garfield, Kane, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, and Wayne; District 7—Carbon, Emery, Grand, and San Juan; and District 8—Daggett, Duchesne, and Uintah.
FamilySearch.org collections available for free online: