John and Nancy Moss collected a partial list of Wills information for the Clinton County German names at the Salt Lake City LDS Library. They tried to capture information that would help us in our family genealogy. They were able to get through the first two reels and halfway through the third reel.
The source of the information was the LDS Library microfilms:
- #1007839 – 1857 to 1914 (3 vol)
- #1007840 – 1897 to 1907
- #1007841 – 1907 to 1928 (3 vol).
If you are interested in additional research, the microfilm reels can be ordered through any local LDS Family History Center (FHC). There is one copy of two of the reels permanently at the O’Fallon, IL FHC. The microfilm is photographs of the original bound Will books currently found at the Clinton County, IL Circuit Clerk's office. There is an index in the front of the books and the books contain fairly legible handwritten wills, followed by a short record of the probate court. Sometime after 1900, the Will books also contain death records.
A clerk probably copied all of the original Wills into these books for preservation. We owe a special thanks to that unknown clerk. That clerk could have made a small transcribing error, but the work seems to be pretty accurate. Some of the original Wills could be in a probate box in the Circuit Clerk’s office in Carlyle. The Circuit Clerk (external link) does limited look-ups in his limited spare time. There will be a copying charge. You would enjoy going there and asking to look at the probate box yourself or renting the microfilm, below. You might get nothing, you might get a bonanza.
Melody Reissen provided supplements to the Moss information. She provided an index of names only from the first roll of the FHC microfilm. Melody has also provided us the full text of several wills. Those wills are linked in the index. No changes have been made to the original spelling or verbage. The flavor of the time has been retained.
You could also order microfilms from the FHC of:
- Estate files, dates not given, 11 reels.
- Probate records, 7 reels covering from 1825-1857 and 1862-1875
- Probate Journal, 1 reel, 1867-1875,
- Appraisements & sale bills, 1 reel, 1864-1869.
You are encouraged to contribute
your ancestor’s Will. Please