Series 18217
District Court (Fifth District : Washington County) Probate registers of action

Dates: 1902-1990.

3.00 cubic feet and 5 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 registers of action list each action taken in the cases presented to the probate division of Fifth District Court: Washington County. In addition to handling the estates of deceased persons, the probate division also dealt with adoptions, guardianships, and insanity and incompetency cases. The court was responsible for adjudicating and conveying ownership of town site lands (Utah Code, 57-7-19,1953). Occasionally, the court handled name changes and inquests regarding the cause of a death. In each case the probate register indicates the name or names of the individuals involved, the kind of case, and the name of the petitioner's attorney, followed by a list of each action taken in the case and the date that action was taken.

Some examples of the kinds of actions recorded for estates might be petitions for admitting a will or appointing an administrator; orders fixing time of hearings, for appointing administrators, for publication of notice to creditors, for the sale of real or personal property or for assignment of the estate to a widow. The court closed estate cases with a final decree of settlement or distribution.

Guardianship cases might include a petition for an order appointing a guardian, then include an order appointing a guardian and finally a decree of discharge. Adoption cases might include a petition for adoption, consent and agreement of adoptive parents, findings of fact and conclusions at law, and finally an order of adoption. Insanity cases might include an application for order of hospitalization at Utah State Hospital, an affidavit or physician's certificate, a warrant of commitment, and finally a notice of the patient's release. Town site cases begin with a petition for a deed and end with an order authorizing a deed.


Numerical by case number.

Probate registers are arranged in numerical order according to case number. Cases are arranged in date order based on the first date any action was taken in the case.

Research Note

The first case to be recorded in the registers of action was opened in June 1902. The next few cases were opened in 1905 and 1906. It appears that in 1907 the clerk began to keep a more complete record of the cases presented before the court. When one page was insufficient to list all court actions pertaining to a case, the clerk continued the register on a nearby page at the end of a shorter case.

Related Records

Guardianships and adoptions record from the District Court (Fifth District : Washington County), Series 13505, contain guardianship and adoption records referred to in the registers of action.

Probate record books from the District Court (Fifth District : Washington County), Series 18215, contain many court orders, petitions and decrees referred to in the registers of action. Since probate record books are arranged chronologically, the registers of action provide access to them by supplying dates.

Register of actions from the District Court (Fifth District : Washington County), Series 23737, is a register of actions for 1895-1899, which includes probate as well as other court actions.

Estate administration index from the District Court (Fifth District : Washington County), Series 23780, is a register of action for estates administerd by the probate division of 5th District Court: Washington County and the Washington County Probate Court before 1903.

Additional Forms

This series is available on microfilm.

Access Restrictions

Probate proceedings are public records. However adoption records, which are referred to throughout the registers, require the permission of 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.

Processing Note

Fifth District Court probate registers of action were microfilmed by Utah State Archives in September 1966 and March 1982 and were processed by Rosemary Cundiff in December 2000. A separate filming of books D, E, and F took place in 2007 as part of a grant project designed to preserve the records of Utah's Fifth District Courts. Archival processing of new holdings was completed by Jim Kichas in January 2008.

Finding Aids

Indexes: Each probate register includes an alphabetical name index to the cases included in that book. The index appears at the beginning of probate registers A, C, D, E, F and at the end of register B.

Indexing Terms

  • Court records--Washington County (Utah).
  • Probate records--Washington County (Utah).
  • Adoption--Washington County (Utah).
  • Guardian and ward--Washington County (Utah).
  • Washington County (Utah)--Trials.

Container List

1 A 1902-1938 1-498
1 B 1938-1950 499-865
2 C 1950-1955 862-1082
3 D 1955-1968 1083-1674
4 D 1968-1978 1675-2274
4 E 1979-1985 2275-2874
5 F 1986-1990 2875-3474

Page Last Updated October 18, 2012.