This post has been updated due to changes in the North Carolina State Archives website. Please read my updated post here.
I consider Mitchell’s “Will Index” to be my #1 resource material to researching NC families. It is a two volume set that sits out on the main counter at the NC State Archives. It can be searched online using the NS State Archives MARS search Engine. This is how I went about finding the last will and testament for Henry Williams:
Click on the MARS Catalog link on the left side and a new window will open. It may take a couple of minutes to completely load. You will see the main search page. I have included a screen shot below:
Next I type in “Henry Williams” in the search box and I put a check mark beside the Mitchell Will Index listing. Then I click on the search button.
The database loads the Mitchell Will Index and reports back that there are 7 hits in the County Records Part 1 section and 9 hits in the County Records Part 2 section. This index is alphabetized by county name. Counties starting with a letter in the first half of the alphabet are in County Records Part 1 and those in the second half of the alphabet are in County Records Part 2. The actual published copy of the index is alphabetized by last name.
If I wanted to look for a will for Henry Williams in Caswell County, NC only, then I could type in “Henry Williams Caswell” into the search box and it would bring up 1 hit in County Records Part 1.
Click on the County Records Part 1 link and I get a display of 1 record for Henry Williams.