This was not unusual in the southern states during the civil war as often entire county courts would volunteer for service, as well as administrators. Some never returned. Filing of court documents were often delayed for years, even after the war. Whether they were recorded at all, or recorded in the proper books often is impossible to determine.
You should get more responses on the General Forum at http://genforum.genealogy.com/gen/, but you should mention the state or states because probate terminology and recording methods can be different between the states.
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