Ross County Court of Common Pleas
2 N. Paint St., Suite A
Phone (740) 774-1179 Fax (740) 774-3711
WELCOME TO THE ROSS COUNTY PROBATE COURT
The Ross County Probate Court is one of the oldest operating courts in the State of Ohio. The Term “probate” comes from the Latin word probatum, meaning “to prove.” In early English religious courts, matters were proven before an ecclesiastical judge. Our early American probate courts may be traced back to the English courts of chancery and ecclesiastical, or religious courts, which had jurisdiction over the probate of wills, administration of estates and guardianships.
The first probate court in the United States was established in Massachusetts in 1794. Similar courts were subsequently established in other stated under the name of surrogate, orphan courts or courts of the ordinary.
The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 provided for the first probate judge and court in the Ohio territory. Chillicothe, located in Ross County, was designated the capital of the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio in 1800. General Arthur St Clair, the Territorial Governor, issued marriage licenses in 1798, when Ross County became a county.
Estate records or inventories of decedent estates were filed locally beginning in 1797. These early records reflect values made in two monetary systems, i.e. American dollars and cents and British pounds, shillings, and pence.
The first Ohio Constitution, written in Chillicothe, in 1802, established Courts of Common Pleas with exclusive jurisdiction of probate matters. The Constitution of 1851 removed probate matters from the jurisdiction of Common Pleas Courts and created a separate Probate Court in each county. Subsequent amendments to the constitution in 1912, 1951, 1968, 1973 and changes in the codified law in 1932 and 1976 have made the probate court what it is today: a special division of the court of common pleas. Each of Ohio’s 88 counties has a probate division of its court of common pleas.
The Probate Division of the Court of Common Pleas has jurisdiction concerning:
The probate Court has the responsibility to maintain records of all the services listed. These records are then delivered to the Ross County Probate-Juvenile Court Archives for records retention. The Ross County Probate-Juvenile Court Archives is a treasure trove of information for genealogy research and the public.
|Adult Protective Services|
|Change of Name|
|Guardianship of Incompetent|
|Guardianship of Minor|
|Estate Tax Forms|
|Inventory of Safe Deposit Boxes|
|Involuntary Treatment for Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse|