Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Series 3590

District Court (Fourth District : Wasatch County) Probate case files

Dates: 1883-

44.00 cubic feetSkip to Containers

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

Scope and Content

Probate case files from the Fourth District Court in Wasatch 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.


Numerical by case number.

Related Records

Probate record books from the District Court (Fourth District : Wasatch County), Series 1378, more fully document court proceedings as they relate to individual cases.

Probate register from the District Court (Fourth District : Wasatch County), Series 9869, record the date any action was taken on a case and briefly state what that action was.

Access Restrictions

Probate proceedings are public records. However adoption records, which are filed throughout the probate case files, require the permission of the Fifth District Court until 100 years have passed.

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 1 to 8, 221 to 228, 878, and 1511 to 1608 are missing.

Processing Note

This series was arranged and prepared for microfilming by Haynes & Sylvia Gearheart between May and July 2011. Final processing was completed by Jim Kichas in July 2011.

Indexing Terms

Container List

pending 1 1883-1895 1-43
pending 2 1883-1895 44-62
pending 3 1896-1901 9-51
pending 4 1901-1902 49-57
pending 5 1903 58-67
pending 6 1903-1907 68-113
pending 7 1909 114-140
pending 8 1908-1910 141-170
pending 9 1910-1912 171-182
pending 10 1911-1912 183-201
pending 11 1913-1917 202-220
pending 12 1913-1916 229-260
pending 13 1916-1917 261-287
pending 14 1919-1920 288-316
pending 15 1919-1920 317-351
pending 16 1920-1923 352-386
pending 17 1923-1925 387-432
pending 18 1925-1929 433-490
pending 19 1929-1933 491-535
pending 20 1933-1938 536-585
pending 21 1936-1937 586-629
pending 22 1938-1939 630-671
pending 23 1939-1942 672-731
pending 24 1942-1945 732-782
pending 25 1945-1946 783-789
pending 26 1945-1947 790-829
pending 27 1947-1949 830-877
pending 28 1949-1952 879-937
pending 29 1952-1957 938-970
pending 30 1954-1958 971-1010
pending 31 1958 1011-1031
pending 32 1958-1959 1032-1070
pending 33 1959-1961 1071-1124
pending 34 1959-1962 1125-1160
pending 35 1962-1963 1161-1192
pending 36 1965 1193-1230
pending 37 1965-1967 1231-1275
pending 38 1967-1969 1276-1333
pending 39 1969-1971 1334-1380
pending 40 1971-1974 1381-1429
pending 41 1973-1975 1430-1474
pending 42 1975-1977 1475-1510
pending 43 1981-1982 1609-1633
pending 44 1983-1985 1634-1677