Question: I am wondering what is involved in researching Probate records? Ideally I would like to find a will or estate inventory for Bishop Parker, who died in Boston in 1804 or for his son, Richard Greene Parker, who died in Waltham in 1869. Do I need to go to the Probate Courts or the Massachusetts Archives? Thanks for any direction you can lend.
Answer: At NEHGS we have microfilm of probate and deeds for many of the Massachusetts counties, therefore we can offer you stop research assistance. A quick search of the published index for Suffolk County Probate 1636-1893 does not produce a match for a Bishop Barker of Boston. On our website we have the index for Middlesex County Probate 1648-1909 (this includes Waltham) www.americanancestors.org/Search.aspx?Ca=94&Da=133.
I have located a match for a Richard G. Parker who died in Watertown, Massachusetts (neighboring town of Waltham) in 1869. His Administration is # 38937, and you can order copies of the original images from our microfilm. Simply go online to www.americanancestors.org/research-services/ to place an order with our Research Services Department. This will save you a trip to the Archives and the County Courthouse.