Research


New York State Assembly Petitions, Correspondence, and Resolutions Relating to Estates of Deceased Persons

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
Despite the establishment of the State Court of Probates in 1778 and the Surrogate's Court system in 1787, citizens continued to petition the State Legislature for assistance in settling estates of deceased persons. This series contains petitions to the legislature from heirs to estates and estate executors or administrators. The petitions address a wide variety of probate matters, including settlement of debts owed by or to estates and contested dispositions of estates.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
4.3 cubic feet
Inclusive Dates:
1779-1831
Series Number:
A1817

Arrangement

Series is arranged roughly chronologically.

Administrative History

Despite the establishment of the State Court of Probates in 1778 and the Surrogate's Court system in 1787, citizens continued to petition the State Legislature for assistance in settling estates of deceased persons. In certain cases, the legislature responded by enacting specific legislation or passing resolutions addressing probate matters brought to its attention.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists predominantly of petitions to the legislature from heirs to estates and estate executors or administrators. The petitions request assistance with a wide variety of probate matters including permission to sell estate assets in order to settle debts owed by estates; assistance in collecting debts owed to estates; contested dispositions of estates, sometimes claiming that the intent of a will had not been carried out by the executors or heirs; confirmation of legal title to land left by decedents; payment to creditors of debts owed by estates; assistance in carrying out the intent of decedents whose wills were invalid or who died intestate; inheritance by heirs of persons whose estates had been confiscated during the Revolution (such as widow's dower right to one-third of her deceased husband's estate); bounty lands or other compensation for families of soldiers killed during the Revolution; and authorization to complete transactions, such as sale or purchase of land, begun by decedents prior to their death.

The series also includes scattered other records such as affidavits in support of petitions; briefs giving legal opinions on cases of contested wills; legislative resolutions concerning relief of indebted estates; correspondence concerning administration of estates; and extracts from or summaries of wills.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

These records suffered minor burn damage in the State Capitol fire of 1911. Microfilm copy of series should be consulted initially and original records used under supervision if necessary.

Alternate Formats Available

Microform is available at the New York State Archives through interlibrary loan.

Related Information

Related Materials

Record series J0038, Probated Wills, 1671-1815 and J0043, Record of Wills and Probates, 1665-1787 contain wills and additional records related to the administration of estates.

Other finding aids

Alphabetical name indexes were compiled for each volume when these records comprised Volumes 29, 30, and 31 of the "Assembly Papers."

Custodial History

On April 20, 1830, the Legislative Assembly resolved that Azariah C. Flagg and others be employed to examine the assembly archives, to select from such original papers and documents as judged to be proper, and to deposit the papers in the office of the Secretary of State. In June and July, 1831, the papers selected were deposited and bound in 45 volumes designated as "Assembly Papers." This series was originally bound as Volumes 29, 30, and 31 of the "Assembly Papers." The records suffered minor burn damage in the State Capitol fire of 1911 and were disbound.

Access Terms

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Detailed Description

Dates Contents Box Roll
1779-1805 Assembly Papers Vol. 29 (Entire) 1 1
1798-1813 Assembly Papers Vol. 30, Index and Pages 1-350 2 1
1813-1814 Assembly Papers Vol. 30, Pages 351-676 3 1-2
1814-1820 Assembly Papers Vol. 31, Index and Pages 1-402 4 2
1820-1831 Assembly Papers Vol. 31, Pages 403-882 5 2
1779-1831 Oversized Documents from All Vols. (Microfilmed in Original Order) 6 1-2
1814-1831 Assembly Papers Vol. 31, Additional Index 7 2