Dekalb County was formed in 1836 from Cherokee Lands. It is also one of the parent counties of Etowah County, Alabama, established in 1868. Dekalb’s probate records are housed at the county courthouse in Ft. Payne, and they date from the county’s inception. The same records are also available on microfilm. The work at hand, abstracted by Dorothy S. Duff and arranged in two volumes–each with its own index–encompasses the genealogical essence of all extant Dekalb County wills and estates.
The arrangement of these abstracts follows the organization of the originals themselves: alphabetical according to estate record name. For each record Mrs. Duff provides the name, box number, file number, year of probate, and all other names in the will or estate. In many cases the abstracts designate the status of persons named in the probate records–for example, widow, deceased, minor, administrator, bondsman, creditor, attorney, apprentice, and so forth. In all, this groundbreaking work names more than 30,000 individuals who appear in the wills and estates of Dekalb County during nearly its first century of existence.