Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Series 3636

District Court (Fifth District : Washington County) Probate case files

Dates: 1896-

28.00 cubic feet and 52 microfilm reelsSkip to Containers

These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Historical Note

An agency history is available.

Scope and Content

Probate case files from the Fifth District Court in Washington County primarily involve the probate of estates for deceased persons and guardianship for minors and incompetent persons. Probate is judicial oversight of property in transition. Probate of estates is the process by which a deceased person's property is identified and maintained, his debts and taxes paid, and then remaining property distributed to beneficiaries as specified in a will or as required by law for persons who die intestate (without a will). In guardianship cases probate is the establishment of a guardian for minors or incompetent adults who hold property that needs management. In addition to probate these case files also include name changes and some adoptions.

Utah's Territorial Assembly established original jurisdiction over the probate of estates and the guardianship of incompetent persons with county probate courts in 1852 (An Act in Relation to the Judiciary. Acts, Resolutions, and Memorials passed by the First Annual, and Special Sessions of the Legislative Assembly. Great Salt Lake City, 1852, Brigham H. Young, Printer. pp. 38-48). That jurisdiction transferred to the probate divisions of District Courts when County Probate Courts were abolished at statehood.

The probate process includes three parts. First, a petitioner must file with the court the documents necessary to have the court appoint a representative. Documents relating to this process include wills, petitions, letters of administration, bonds, etc., and a court order appointing an administrator, executor, or guardian. Second, the appointed representative does all that is necessary to manage the property through the period of transition. Documents filed here might include a court order appointing appraisers, notices to creditors, estate inventories, various kinds of financial statements, receipts, bills, and the court-appointed representative's final report. Finally, when all requirements have been met, such as all bills paid or a minor has become of age, the court mandates a final settlement and releases the representative from any further responsibility.

The Territorial Legislature made provision for formal adoptions in 1884 and assigned jurisdiction to County Probate Courts (Compiled Laws of Utah, vol. II, 1888, part 5, chapter 4). Adoption case files include a formal petition, documents supporting the petition and the court's final decree. In this series adoption case files begin in 1893. Whereas early adoptions were open to the public and sometimes published in the newspaper, adoptions later became private. Most adoption records in this series are closed to public access (see access restrictions note). In addition to probate and adoption, case files this series also include official name changes.

Arrangement

Numerical by case number.

Research Note

It appears that many of the earliest case files in the series contain records that originated in either the Territorial Second District Court or the Washington County Probate Court. Several of the earliest case files from this series originate prior to 1896 and presumably made their way into this series when final action was eventually taken by the Fifth District Court.

Research Note

In October 2009 case file 873 was found in the court and was mailed to the State Archives. The case file has been added to the physical holdings but has not been microfilmed.

Related Records

Probate record books from the District Court (Fifth District : Washington County), Series 18215, more fully document court proceedings as they relate to individual cases.

Probate registers of action from the District Court (Fifth District : Washington County), Series 18217, record the date any action was taken on a case and briefly state what that action was.

Estate administration index from the District Court (Fifth District : Washington County), Series 23780, can be used to locate estate cases found in this series.

Custody History

All case files created between 1896 and 1955 were transferred to the Utah State Archives in 2007. For access to case files post-1955 researchers should contact the clerk of the Fifth District Court in Washington County.

Additional Forms

This series is available on microfilm.

Access Restrictions

This series is primarily classified as Public. The secondary classification is Exempt: Judicial records are public unless restricted under rules of civil procedure (UCA 63G-2-301-[1][f]). Included are custody proceedings, guardianship files, minutes, & probate records. Wills are generally considered private data until probate.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Gaps in Series

Cases 5, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 60, 61, 72, 80, 142, 145, 148, 193, 202, 211, 223, 311, 314, 315, 343, 352, 470, 490, 501, 513, 523, 526, 534, 548, 555, 580, 606, 632, 879, 890, and 1061 are missing.

Processing Note

This series was archivally processed by Jim Kichas and Emily Gurr in December 2007 as part of a NHPRC grant project designed to preserve the historic records of Utah's Fifth District Courts.

Indexing Terms

Container List

REEL BOX DATE DESCRIPTION
1 1 1896-1907 Adams-Batty
2 1 1896-1907 Beachman-Clark
2 2 1896-1907 Collins-Cooper
3 2 1896-1907 Cooper-Graf
4 2 1896-1907 Graf-Hunt
4 3 1896-1907 Huston-Ide
5 3 1896-1907 Isom-Lang
6 3 1896-1907 Larson-McIntire
6 4 1896-1907 McMullin-Mecham
7 4 1896-1907 Miller-Parker
8 4 1896-1907 Parkinson-Pulsipher
9 5 1896-1907 Pulsipher-Ross
10 5 1896-1907 Sager-Seegmiller
10 6 1896-1907 Slade-Snow
11 6 1896-1907 Snow-Sullivan
12 6 1896-1907 Sullivan-Thomas
12 7 1896-1907 Watson-Wooley
13 7 1896-1907 Wooley-Young
13 8 1896-1907 1-12
14 8 1907-1908 13-30
15 8 1908-1909 31-36
15 9 1908-1909 37-50
16 9 1909-1912 51-82
16 10 1909-1912 83-85
17 10 1913-1914 86-105
18 10 1914-1916 106-112
18 11 1914-1916 113-125
19 11 1916-1918 126-152
20 11 1921 153-160
20 12 1921 161-192
21 12 1921-1922 193-208
22 12 1922-1924 209-221
22 13 1922-1924 222-243
23 13 1924-1926 244-268
24 13 1926-1928 269-283
24 14 1926-1928 284-297
25 14 1928-1929 298-323
26 14 1930-1931 324-330
26 15 1930-1931 331
27 15 1931-1933 332-368
28 15 1933-1935 369-400
28 16 1933-1935 401-406
29 16 1935-1936 407-430
30 16 1936-1937 431-446
30 17 1936-1937 447-456
31 17 1937 457-485
32 17 1937-1939 486-498
32 18 1937-1939 499-514
33 18 1939-1940 515-541
34 18 1940-1941 542-547
34 19 1940-1941 548-581
35 19 1941-1942 582-605
35 20 1941-1942 606-609
36 20 1942-1943 610-644
37 20 1943-1945 645-667
37 21 1943-1945 668-671
38 21 1945-1946 672-705
39 21 1946-1947 706-724
39 22 1946-1947 725-737
40 22 1947-1948 738-778
41 22 1948-1949 779-789
41 23 1948-1949 790-826
42 23 1949 827-845
42 24 1949 846-847
43 24 1949-1950 848-874
44 24 1950 875-892
44 25 1950 893-899
45 25 1950-1951 900-928
46 25 1951-1952 929-938
46 26 1951-1952 939-955
47 26 1952-1953 956-977
48 26 1953-1954 978-992
48 27 1953-1954 993-1016
49 27 1955 1017-1046
50 27 1955 1047-1054
50 28 1955 1055-1079
51 28 1955 1080-1092
52 28 1955 1092