Research


New York State Court of Probates Probated Wills

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:
This series consists of wills probated with the provincial secretary, the Prerogative Court, or the State Court of Probates. Some wills include a letter of administration or a property inventory. Wills typically include the dates the will was executed, proved, and probated; names of the testator, witnesses to the will, heirs, and executor; testator's occupation; how the estate was to be divided; and proceedings for how the will was proved.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
34.5 cubic feet. Copies: 11 microfilm rolls; 35mm.
Inclusive Dates:
1665-1815
Series Number:
J0038

Arrangement

J0038-82: Alphabetical by name of testator and then numerical by file number (e.g. A1, A2, A3, . . . B1, B2, B3).

J0038-92: Arranged in two subseries and therein numerical by assigned file number.

Administrative History

The Duke's Laws of 1665 gave the Courts of Sessions and the Mayor's Court of New York City the authority to probate wills. A 1670 ordinance by the Court of Assizes required all probated wills and grants of administration to be recorded in the provincial secretary's office. Pre-1686 wills included in this series reflect this procedure. When New York became a royal colony in 1686, probate jurisdiction was granted to the royal governor.

Chapter 27 of the Laws of 1692 established a Prerogative Office or Court with the royal governor as its head. This court exercised sole probate jurisdiction over all estates in the southern district of the province (New York, Westchester, Orange, Richmond, and Kings counties) and over estates worth over 50 pounds everywhere in New York. (In these latter districts, wills for estates worth less than 50 pounds were probated in the Courts of Common Pleas; these wills are now filed with the county clerks.) This jurisdiction was transferred to the state's Court of Probates by Chapter 12 of the Laws of 1778. Wills in this series which were probated between 1686 and 1787 are for individuals who resided in the southern district or possessed estates worth 50 pounds or more.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of wills, originals or copies, probated with the provincial secretary, the Prerogative Court, or the State Court of Probates. Around five percent of the wills are in Dutch (some include English translations) and a small number are in German or French. With a few wills a letter of administration or a property inventory is filed.

Not all wills originally probated by the Prerogative Court or the Court of Probates are included in this series. Pursuant to Chapter 64 of the Laws of 1799, many pre-1787 wills were transferred to the New York County Surrogates Court. This transfer was supposed to include only the wills of persons who had resided in the southern district. However, at present many wills from other districts are on file in New York County while this series includes a large number of wills from New York City and surrounding counties. Pursuant to Chapter 38 of the Laws of 1787 are wills of individuals who died out-of-state or who were non-residents. This law transferred original probate jurisdiction in all other cases to the county Surrogates Courts. (One will dated 1828 and another dated 1837 are obviously misfiled from the New York County Surrogates Court.)

The following information is usually contained in each will: the dates the will was executed, proved, and probated; the names of the testator, witnesses to the will, heirs, executor, and the official before whom the will was proved; the occupation of the testator; how the testator wished the estate to be divided; and a short statement describing the proceedings at which the will was proved, signed by the probate officer.

Letters of administration included in this series contain an abstract of the proceedings proving the will and the official appointment of the administrator by the royal governor or judge of the Court of Probates. The property inventories contain a detailed listing of real and personal property owned by the testator.

J0038-92: These are probated wills (ca. 4,100 wills) dated 1665-1787. They are organized in two subseries. Subseries 1 spans years 1665- ca. 1738. Subseries 2 spans years ca. 1739-1787. Wills may be of special interest for the study of under-documented people such as women and African Americans. A detailed description of accretion contents is available.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the material.

Alternate Formats Available

Microform, except for subseries 2 of accretion J0038-92 (ca. 1739-1787), is available at the New York State Archives.

The wills in this series also appear on microfilm produced by the Genealogical society of Utah.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series J0033 Administration Papers, and

Series J0301 Inventories and Accounts, contain records relating to some wills in this series. Series J0043, Record of wills and probates, contains records from the New York Colony.

Other finding aids

Container list for each accretion.

Microfilm copies of the following indexes to wills are available: "Record of Wills, Albany, New York from a Collection of New York State Court Records: Index"; Ray C. Sawyer, "Index of New York State Wills, 1662-1850..."; and Ray C. Sawyer, "Index to Wills Probated in New York County ..., from 1851 to 1875."

Series A4700, Testator index to probated wills, 1671-1815, indexes accretion J0038-92.

Berthold Fernow's Calendar of Wills (New York, 1896) indexes and abstracts the wills in this series as well as wills filed with the Albany County Clerk and at other locations.

Access Terms

Corporate Name(s):
Geographic Name(s):
Subject(s):
Genre(s):
Function(s):

Detailed Description

Contents Box Roll

Accretion: J0038-82
Aretse, Rutt - Alworth, James (files AA1 - AA38); Betts, William, Jr. - Bevier, Samuel (files AB1 - AB40) 1 1
Bayles, Joseph - Brower, Nicolas (files AB41 - AB120) 2 1-2
Barker, William - Brevoort, Elias (files AB121 - AB162); Croon, Catrina - Cuyper, Tunis, (Thones) (files AC1 - AC40) 3 2
Cornell, Richard - Cruger, Nicholas (files AC41 - AC120) 4 2-3
DuFour, David - DePuy, Jacobus (files AD1 - AD70) 5 3
Duryee, Abraham - DeSeGur, V. Compt Louis Antoine (files AD71 - AD130); Earle, Edward, Sr. - Eltinge, Josia (files AE1 - AE20) 6 3-4
Eckersen, Cornelus - Everitt, Richard (files AE21 - AE40); Fowler, William - Fitzgerald, Thomas (files AF1 - AF41); Glen, Jacob Sanders - Gardiner, Andris (files AG1 - AG35) 7 4
Glenn, Johanns - Gego, Francis (files AG36 - AG68); Hutchinson, Ralph - Helling, Elizabeth (files AH-1 - AH45) 8 4-5
Holland, Hitchen - Hepworth, Thomas (files AH46 - AH129) 9 5
Jansen, Mathys - Jayne, Daniel (files AJ1 - AJ27); Kettell, Jeremy, Sr. - Kniffin, Natham (files AK1 - AK49); Lamberts, Thomas and Jannetje, Jans - Lane, Henry (files AL1 - AL10) 10 5
Lansingh, Gerrit I. - Leake, John G. (files AL11 - AL70); Meyer, Martin Janse and his wife, Hendrikje - McNeall, John Jr. (files AM1 and 2 - AM15) 11 6
More, Robert - McNeil, Donald (files AM16 - AM106) 12 6
Noell, Thomas - Neely, Samuel (files AN1 - AN22); Outhout, Hendrick - Owen, Jonathan (files AO1 - AO19); Pawling, Henry - Pates, Gilbert (files AP1 - AP40) 13 7
Peters, George - Pulteney, (Sir) William (files AP41 - AP63); Quackenbos, Johannes - Quackenbos, Margritje (files AQ1 - AQ3); Ryerse, Gerrit - Richard, Elizabeth (files AR1 - AR45) 14 7-8
Riker, Abraham - Regnier, Daniel (files AR46 – AR63); Salisbury, Silvester - Smith, Joseph (files AS1 - AS70) 15 8
Stevens, Timothy - Stocker, Hugh (files AS71 - AS170) 16 8-9
Titus, Hana - Tully, John (files AT1 - AT82); Urquhart, William - Upham, John (files AU1 - AU4); VanRensselaer, Killian - VanElmendorp, Grietjen (files AV1 - AV5) 17 9
Van Ness (E), Garrit - VanBenthuysen, Jacob (files AV6 - AV95) 18 10-9
Vernooy, Cornelius - VanCortlandt, Stephen (files AV96 - AV157); Wick, John - Westbroeck, Jonathan (files AW1 - AW32) 19 10
Wing, Jedediah - Winthrop, John, Esq. (files AW33 - AW98); Youngs, Henry - Youngs, Abimael (files AY1 - AY13); Zunicher, John (file AZ1) 20 11

Accretion: J0038-92
Subseries 1: Files 1-63 1 1
Subseries 1: Files 64-127 2 1
Subseries 1: Files 128-188 3 1-2
Subseries 1: Files 190-246 4 2
Subseries 1: Files 247-310 5 2
Subseries 1: Files 311-369 6 2
Subseries 1: Files 421-480 7 3
Subseries 1: Files 481-540 8 3
Subseries 1: Files 541-602 9 3
Subseries 1: Files 603-660 10 3-4
Subseries 1: Files 661-714 11 4
Subseries 1: Files 715-773 12 4
Subseries 1: Files 774-830 13 4-5
Subseries 1: Files 831-892 14 5
Subseries 1: Files 893-959 15 5
Subseries 1: Files 960-1020 16 5
Subseries 1: Files 1021-1079 17 5-6
Subseries 1: Files 1080-1140 18 6
Subseries 1: Files 1141-1205 19 6
Subseries 2: Files 1-65 20
Subseries 2: Files 66-162 21
Subseries 2: Files 163-279 22
Subseries 2: Files 280-375 23
Subseries 2: Files 376-473 24
Subseries 2: Files 474-581 25
Subseries 2: Files 582-687 26
Subseries 2: Files 688-786 27
Subseries 2: Files 788-900 28
Subseries 2: Files 901-1002 29
Subseries 2: Files 1003-1110 30
Subseries 2: Files 1111-1215 31
Subseries 2: Files 1216-1313 32
Subseries 2: Files 1314-1425 33
Subseries 2: Files 1426-1537 34
Subseries 2: Files 1538-1644 35
Subseries 2: Files 1645-1743 36
Subseries 2: Files 1745-1852 37
Subseries 2: Files 1853-1950 38
Subseries 2: Files 1951-2052 39
Subseries 2: Files 2053-2165 40
Subseries 2: Files 2166-2273 41
Subseries 2: Files 2274-2394 42
Subseries 2: Files 2395-2499 43
Subseries 2: Files 2500-2625 44
Subseries 2: Files 2626-2742 45
Subseries 2: Files 2743-2861 46
Subseries 2: Files 2862-2965 47
Subseries 2: Files 2966-3075 48
Subseries 2: Files 3076-3184 49
Subseries 2: Files 3185-3312 50
Subseries 2: Files 3313-3407 51
Subseries 2: Files 3408-3525 52
Subseries 2: Files 3526-3633 53
Subseries 2: Files 3634-3740 54
Subseries 2: Files 3741-3851 55
Subseries 2: Files 3858-3955 56
Subseries 2: Files 3959-4050 57