Searching for Probate Records at the State Archives
Researchers are welcome to search probate records held by the State Archives onsite free-of-charge. Numerous indexes are available onsite to assist in this process. Self-service copies made from microfilm are $.10 per page. Copies of records available in paper format only may be ordered (no self-service copying of paper records is allowed) at a fee of $.25 per page. Use of personal digital cameras in the reading room, using available light (no tripods), is strongly encouraged.
Researchers unable to visit the State Archives in person may request a search of probate records by State Archives staff. In order for staff to search the records, researchers must provide, at minimum, the full name of the deceased person, date of death, and the location where the death occurred or where the will was filed. State Archives staff will advise researchers of results and if records of interest are located, copies will be provided for a fee of $.25 per page. Given that the records are in manuscript format and often faded due to age, best-available copies will be provided.
Researchers who can not visit the State Archives, or who lack the basic information necessary to conduct a search, may seek the assistance of a certified genealogist. Upon request, the State Archives will provide via U.S. Mail (no email) a list of certified genealogists you may hire to conduct research for you.
The State Archives public research room is located at the 11th Floor of the Cultural Education Center on Madison Avenue in downtown Albany, NY. The reading room is open for research from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday (except state holidays). We ask researchers to call several business days in advance of visiting to allow us to reserve a work space and retrieve any materials you wish to use from storage. You may do so by email to ARCHREF@mail.nysed.gov or by phoning the archivist on duty at (518) 474-8955.