What are Will Books?
Will Books consist of copies or transcriptions of the complete texts of wills probated by the courts.
Will Books do not contain original wills, are not the official records, and cannot be used to create certified copies. Original wills are are found in probate case files, and certified copies can be obtained from county probate courts.
We have Will Books for most* Minnesota counties, though the dates covered by the books varies by individual county. The earliest wills date from 1849 and the most recent are from the mid-1980s. To request a copy of a will from a Will Book, please follow the instructions below.
How do I order a copy?
- Search for a will in the online index to Minnesota Will Books (1849–1985). This index — and indexes to some other Minnesota genealogical records — is available online, for free, through FamilySearch.org.
- Make note of the following required information:
- Name: The full name of the deceased individual
- Event place (county): County where the will was filed (please note that we do not have the Will Books for Hennepin, Marshall, or St. Louis counties*)
- Source reference (volume): Volume number, letter, or full title, for example: "Will Records Volume A, 1883-1907"
- Image #: located on the right side of the screen
- The following information may or may not be present in the index, but please include it whenever possible:
- Page number(s)
- Year of will: listed in the index as "Event Year"
- Complete your order through the MNHS Shop, using the information you found in the index. Note: for each request, staff will search for one will record.
* If you are interested in obtaining a will filed in Hennepin (including Minneapolis), Marshall, or St. Louis (including Duluth) counties, please contact that county’s court records or court administration department.