At the 2013 Rootstech in Salt Lake, Ancestry CEO Tim Sullivan announced that Ancestry.com and FamilySearch will work together to capture 140 million pages of U.S. probate records. That would include images and indexes. It would create a national registry of wills, letters of administration and other probate records that would span from 1800-1930. It was announced that it would be a 3 year project.
Fast forward to this morning and I heard a commercial on the news-talk radio station in Washington DC - WMAL, for a free availability starting Wednesday of Ancestry's new probate collection.
I am reporting on this all that I can find on the subject (nothing yet on any of the Ancestry websites I can find) indicates that they will be releasing more than 170 million name-searchable images of probate and wills records. The most comprehensive collections of its kind, these records will provide access to almost all wills probated in the United States from the mid 19th century to 2000 – an unprecedented treasure trove of information.
I have been waiting for this release for a long time. Those of you who have taken my beginner classes know the emphasis I place on finding and using these important genealogical records, especially when you are researching in "dark territory" (you would have to attend a class to get the full meaning of that Larry-ism term). This is some pretty exciting stuff.