Research

New York State Court of Probates Letters of Administration

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:
After 1686 the royal governor possessed final jurisdiction in probate matters. The provincial secretary or his deputy served as the governor's delegate or "surrogate" and presided over what was called the Prerogative Court. This series consists of letters that were issued by authority of the royal governor in his capacity as judge of Prerogative Court of Probates. Each letter designates an administrator and contains the name and residence of the decedent.
Creator:
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Quantity:
0.1 cubic feet (2 microfilm reels)
Inclusive Dates:
1743-1783
Series Number:
J1032

Arrangement

Chronological.

Administrative History

Between 1665 and 1686 wills were usually proved (determined to be authentic), and administration granted in a local court of sessions or the mayor's court in New York City, or by the governor. After 1686 the royal governor possessed final jurisdiction in probate matters. The provincial secretary or his deputy served as the governor's delegate or "surrogate" and presided over what was called the Prerogative Court. After 1670 wills and grants of administration were required to be recorded in the secretary's office. A 1692 act exempted from this requirement wills for estates valued at less than 50 pounds, and located in the counties "remote" from New York City. All wills from New York, Kings, Richmond, Westchester, and (until 1750) Orange County were to be recorded in New York City.

Starting in the early eighteenth century a deputy surrogate was appointed in each county to perform routine duties in relation to settling estates. The Prerogative Court continued to operate in British-occupied New York City, Long Island, and Staten Island during the Revolutionary War.

Scope and Content Note

These letters were issued by authority of the royal governor in his capacity as judge of Prerogative Court of Probates. Each letter designates an administrator and contains the name and residence of the decedent.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

This microfilm is not available for duplication or interlibrary loan.

Alternate Formats Available

This microfilm is not available for duplication or interlibrary loan.

Microfilm: 2 reels 35 mm.

Related Information

Other finding aids

Microfilm roll list and indexes to decedents are available at the repository.

Acquistion Information

This microfilm was obtained from the Genealogical Society of Utah.

Access Terms

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