Research: Topics: Legal & Correction Records: Probate Records

Probate Records

2. Surrogate's Court (1787+) (New York County)

Certain New York County Surrogate's Court records were located at the Historical Documents Collection, Queens College, CUNY, between the mid-1960s and the late '80s, and after that at Queens Borough Public Library. Inventories and accounts for 1783-1844 were transferred to the New York City Municipal Archives in 1990. Recorded and original wills (series J1038-92 and J1043-92, below) were transferred to the State Archives in 1992.

J1038-92 Probated Wills, 1787-1829 (3.5 cu. ft.; 2 rolls microfilm)

Contents: Original wills and scattered other documents relating to probate. Arranged by assigned file number. Documents are fragile; use may be restricted.

Microfilm: Filmed by Genealogical Society of Utah. New York State Archives has a copy of the film.

Index: Kenneth Scott and Leo Hershkowitz, "Index of Original Wills (1776-1829)," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, 55 (1967), 119- 45.

J1043-92 Record of Wills and Probates, 1787-1879 (128 vols.; 75 rolls microfilm)

Contents: Recorded wills and grants of administration; proceedings to determine authenticity of disputed wills; a few letters of attorney, letters of administration with will annexed, and letters testamentary issued when an executor was unavailable to act. Some wills are in foreign languages, with translations. Starting 1823 many volumes contain wills of out-of-state residents. Some volumes are missing. Volumes are in good condition but some pages are brittle.

Microfilm: Filmed by Genealogical Society of Utah. New York State Archives has a copy of the film.

Preferred indexes:

  1. Ray C. Sawyer, "Index of New York State Wills, 1662-1850, on File at the Office of the Surrogate for New York County," 2 vols. (typescript, 1931-32), available on microfilm in New York State Archives (series A4699-99) and in NYS New York State Library;
  2. Ray C. Sawyer, "Index to Wills Probated in New York County, New York from 1851 to 1875, Inclusive," 2 vols. (typescript, 1950), available in New York State Archives (series A4700-99) and in   NYS New York State Library;

Other indexes:

  1. series J2043-92 Index to Record of Wills and Probates (see below);
  2. each liber has a contemporary index to testators in front.

Related Records: New York County Surrogate's Court retains official transcripts of records. Transcripts have been filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah.

J2043-92 Index to Record of Wills and Probates, 1665-1870 (17 vols.)

Contents: Index to testators in series J0043-92 and J1043-92. Index volumes for letters I-L are missing. Many volumes are fragile.

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