The NC Loose Estates Records indexing project, carried out by volunteers, assigns names to batches of microfilmed images, which can be accessed at FamilySearch.org. (More information about this project can be found on the Home page.)
Taneya Koonce has been creating a master, state-wide index, working one county at a time. We are working on giving this index more visibility by making it available to the general public though this website. While the Estate Files images hosted at FamilySearch are searchable, it can be tedious unless you already have knowledge of names, a specific county, and dates. We believe this index will be of value to researchers who have limited information at their disposal, and that using these indices as a cross-reference may find relationships that are not otherwise apparent. Use of these indices may also give the researcher a more concrete starting point when exploring the images available at FamilySearch.
Each index list found here is based on the surname of the decedent as it is listed on each individual folder of loose estate records. It is not a comprehensive listing of all names that may appear within those records.
The Decedent Index is alphabetical by surname of the decedent, regardless of county, and lists the county that holds each record. Each County Index will have all the names listed for that county. The statewide decedent index is broken into groups to decrease the file size. Click on any grouping to go to that page. To view the entire county, click the appropriate County link.
If the name you're searching for is not in the list, it may not have been indexed yet. Also remember to try alternate spellings - for example, "Brian" as an alternate of "Bryan", which will be in two different index groups.
***This feature is brand-new, and is currently under construction, thus not yet complete. Keep checking back over the coming weeks as we incorporate the indices Taneya has already created, and as she creates more. Questions, suggestions, or general comments may be made to the webmaster.
To browse the actual image files, see the North Carolina, Estate Files, 1663-1979 at FamilySearch. This link is also available on each individual decedent index page. The county name on each County page is a link to the image collection for that county at FamilySearch.
Update: 10 Sep 2013, with four new counties - Alleghany, Anson, Avery, & Beaufort. 2706 new names - every surname group has new entries.
Update: 14 Oct 2013, with five new counties - Bertie, Brunswick, Bute, Camden, & Catawba. The county lists are posted, but the decedent names are not yet in the Decedent Index. This is in the process of being reconfigured to provide shorter lists. Look for changes to the Decedent Index in the coming days.
Update: 24 Oct 2013 - All decedent names from the last 5-county update have been incorporated into the Decendent Index. 6796 new records. The Decedent Index was broken down into smaller groups. The total number of names indexed now stands at 70,272.
Update: 30 Dec 2013 - Five new counties - Gates, Graham, Granville, Jones, and Lincoln. 9673 new names added to the Surname Decendent Index, for a new total of 79,945 names.
*Special notes, 30 Dec 2013:
1. There is one entry of "Two lists of names, chiefly Robinson, Ledbetter, Tillman & others". This entry is not broken down for the specific names in the Decedent Index, but the entry is found on the Anson County list.
2. During this update, it became apparent that the redirect for the "B" group of surnames was off by 1 digit, so all the links were offset by one, and the group "Babb-Balcon" was not visible. That has been corrected.
Update: 15 Jan 2014 - The recent softward upgrade renumbered all of the articles, which in effect, broke all the links in the table below. Each of these has been individually edited, and should work now. Any incorrect or broken links should be reported to the webmaster.
(Image courtesy wikimedia.org under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.)
Decedent Index Links County Links
*Bute County was created in 1764, divided into Franklin County and Warren County in 1779, and ceased to exist.
Researchers should take this into consideration when searching for records in any of those counties.