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Following is a description of only some of the records that are available for research in the Probate Court.The staff is helpful and co-operative but please be courteous and patient. Correspondence is answered and please remember to include an SASE for your reply and specify if you wish a certified or non-certified copy. The Probate Court is located on the main floor of the courthouse. Most, but not all of the records which can be researched, are on microfiche. There are 2 microfiche reader/printers available in an adjoining room which researchers may use  The staff prefers to print out the copies. Some records are in individual case numbered file jackets in numbered metal file cabinets which you may take from the file cabinet to research. As an ongoing project, the Muskingum County Genealogical Society is copying the records and indexes and copies are given to the court to further aid the researchers. The Motion Dockets which contain Mental Illness and Adoption Records are closed to the public. At the present time copies are 5 cents but it would be wise to check for current rates when you request information.


These records were not mandatory until 1867 though some earlier information and dates exist. Even though it was mandated in 1867 the information was only recorded if it was reported to the court. After 1908 the records are in the Muskingum County Department of Health. All records are on microfiche.



The very early records do not name the parents. The information given is name of bride and groom,date of marriage and the officiating minister. If the bride or groom was underage a parent or guardians signature will be given. More information is given after ca 1899.All records are on microfiche.


The administration books are recorded by years. For example: Administration Docket A 1817-1837; Administration Docket B 1838-1849,etc. An index prefaces each volume and gives the name and page number where the records are recorded in the docket. Each individual record has a case number which corresponds with a case file jacket which is in the numbered file cabinets. The original records are in a file jacket which can be searched or they can be researched on the microfiche. If there is a will it will also be in the jacket with the estate papers. Remember though, that not everyone may have a will but by checking the administrations you will find the estate papers. A few of the case files are missing. Make a note of the case file number as you will need it to pull the file. All records are on microfiche.


The will books are recorded by years and each volume is prefaced by an index which gives the name and page number where it is recorded in that volume. Since you need a case number to search the original will in the case file jacket it is advisable, therefore, to check the administration index first  to obtain it. The wills are also on microfiche. A few wills are missing.


The guardianship books are recorded by years and an index appears in front of each volume. Check the guardianship index on microfiche for a case number. The original record is in a corresponding numbered file jacket which is kept in the numbered metal file cabinets. The records are  on microfiche.


The earliest Declaration of Intention is 1811. They are the original Declarations handwritten on small pieces of paper and were discovered in the courthouse attic several years ago. They are filed alphabetically in a file box in the room with the metal file cabinets. There are over 2700 names, 32 counties and 21 states referenced. Information varies from very limited such as name,date of application and county or state where the application was made to more detailed information added such as country of emigration and age. For further reference see MUSKINGUM COUNTY FOOTPRINTS, Vol. 1 by Hargrove and Yinger for an index to the names. This can be viewed at the Muskingum County Genealogical Library or by contacting the authors. (See address below)


The earliest is 1812. Before 1850 they are in the unindexed Minute Books. From 1923 to 1953 they are in Common Pleas Court. An application to become a citizen did not need to be applied for in the same jurisdiction as the Declaration of Intention and even though a Declaration of Intention was filed, final naturalization papers were not always applied for. The naturalization laws changed many times through the years and you should refer to a reference about the naturalization process  to better understand it.

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