Probate Court

UNION COUNTY PROBATE COURT
(1852-PRESENT)

Probate courts existed in the Northwest Territory prior to Ohio’s statehood.  They had authority in probate, testamentary, and guardianship cases, although the probate judge and two common pleas court judges issued all final judgments.  In 1802, Ohio’s first constitution abolished separate probate courts and transferred their authority to the common pleas courts.  Separate probate courts reappeared in 1851, when Ohio drafted a new constitution.  This gave the probate court the powers to grant marriage licenses and control land sales by appointed executors, administrators, and guardians.  As a result of a 1912 constitutional amendment, county voters can decide by referendum whether or not to combine the probate court with the court of common pleas, which they have decided not to do in Union County.

Union County Courthouse c-1890s

Union County Courthouse - Fall 1883

The probate court has original jurisdiction in the settlement of estates.  The court held limited jurisdiction in minor criminal offenses from 1851 to 1932.  The probate judge maintained a permanent record of births and deaths from 1867 to 1908.  Since the 1850s, the court has had jurisdiction over the appointment of guardians for minors and the mentally ill; the judge can also commit the mentally ill to institutional care.  The probate court exercised jurisdiction in naturalization proceedings in the last half of the nineteen century from 1860 until 1906, when the federal government assumed this power.  The probate judge serves a six year term and must be a licensed attorney who has practice law for at least six years prior to election.

RECORDS OF THE UNION COUNTY PROBATE COURT

 Account Records (1852-1961)
 Administration Dockets (1820-1961)
 Birth Records (1867-1908)
 Blind Relief Records (1904-1906)
 Bonds and Letters (1849-1961)
 Cash Books (1852-1966)
 Civil Dockets (RESTRICTED) (1871-1881)
(1913-1961)
 Cost Bill Records (1867-1911)
 Court Calendars (RESTRICTED) (1898-1899)
 Criminal Appearance Docket (1893-1914)
 Criminal Records (1852-1886)
(1893-1914)
 Death Records (1867-1908)
 Epilepsy Records (RESTRICTED) (1896-1940)
 Final Records (RESTRICTED) (1820-1852)
(1916-1961)
 Guardians Dockets (1870-1948)
 Index to Case Files (RESTRICTED) (1852-1999)
 Index to Estates, Civil Dockets and Guardian Dockets (RESTRICTED) (1941-1961)
 Index to Marriages (1820-1904)
 Index to Ministers’ Licenses (1820-1906)
 Index to Naturalizations (1820-1906)
 Inheritance Tax Records (1904-1962)
 Inventory and Appraisement Records (1852-1961)
 Journals (RESTRICTED) (1852-1962)
 Land Sales Records (1876-1879)
 Marriage Records (1820-1951)
 Mental Illness Records (RESTRICTED) (1916-1940)
 Miscellaneous Record (RESTRICTED) (1913-1919)
 Naturalization Records (1860-1906)
 Notice Records (1894-1906)
 Nurse Records (1916-1956)
 Physicians, Surgeons, and Limited Practitioners Records (1896-1996)
 Receipts for Papers (1941-1960)
 Record of Accrued Fees (1907-1924)
 Record of Birth Registration and Correction (1940-1995)
 Record of Guardian’s Inventory (1875-1885)
 Record of Insolvent Debtors (1927-1928)
 Records of Examination of the Treasury (1876-1914)
 Records of Ministers’ Licenses (1871-1914)
 Sale Bill Records (1852-1939)
 Schedule of Claims, Debts, and Liabilities Record (1932-1962)
 Transfer of Real Estate (1932-1961)
 Unclaimed Costs Records (1906-1906)
 Unclaimed Deposits (1913-1937)
 Will Records (1852-1962)
 Witness Records (1888-1931)