Research

Bonds of administrators

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:
Administrators of estates were required to give bond for the good performance of their duties, including making an inventory of the personal property of deceased and to render and account to the court. This series consists of bonds relating to estates in New York Province and New York State.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
0.1 cu. ft. (2 microfilm reels)
Inclusive Dates:
1753-1776, 1782-1798
Series Number:
J1033

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 in the secretary's office. A 1692 act exempted from this requirement wills for estates valued at less than 50 pounds, and located in 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.

In 1778 the State Legislature established a Court of Probates, which assumed most of the colonial governor's powers in probate matters. A 1787 statute established a Surrogate's Court in each county. The Court of Probates' jurisdiction was limited to hearing appeals from the Surrogate's Courts; supervising estates of New York residents who died out of state, and of non-residents who died within the state; and issuing certain types of orders. The Court of Probates was abolished in 1823, and its remaining jurisdiction was given to the Surrogate's Court.

Scope and Content Note

These bonds relate to estates in various parts of New York Province (1753-1776) and New York State (1782-1798). Administrators of estates were required to give bond for the good performance of their duties, including making an inventory of the personal property of deceased and to render and account to the court.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

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

Alternate Formats Available

Microfilm: 2 reels; 35 mm.

This microfilm is not available for duplication or interlibrary loan.

Related Information

Other finding aids

Reel list.

Access Terms

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