New York State Court of Probates Inventories and Accounts

Held by the New York State Archives

Overview of the Records


New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

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Albany, NY 12230

This series consists of property inventories and accounts of administrators and executors for those with and without a will. Inventories include decedent's name, occupation, residence, a list and appraisal of personal and real property (including slaves), and signatures of persons compiling and those appraising the inventory. Accounts contain descendants name, executor/ administrator, outstanding debts and credits.
7 cubic feet
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Chronological by three period groupings: 1666-1699; 1700-1775; and 1776-1822. Within each grouping the inventories and accounts are arranged in strict alphabetical order by last name of decedent.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of property inventories and the accounts of administrators and executors for those dying testate (with a will) and intestate (without a will). The Duke's Laws of 1665 first required the taking of an inventory of real and personal property for all decedents in New York and dictated the method by which intestate estates would be inventoried and appraised. Chapter 27 of the Laws of 1692 changed the method of inventorying intestate estates and required that such inventories be filed with the Royal Governor as head of the Prerogative Court. Chapter 12 of the Laws of 1778 transferred the jurisdiction of the Prerogative Court to the Court of Probates. Chapter 38 of the Laws of 1787 required the administrator of an intestate estate and the executor of a will to inventory a decedent's real and personal property. These inventories were to be filed with the court in which the will was proved or the letter of administration granted.

An inventory in this series usually contains the name of the decedent, his or her occupation and place of residence, a list and appraisal of personal and real property, the date the inventory was submitted to the court, and the signatures of those persons compiling and those appraising the inventory. An inventory also contains a statement signed by the court official receiving it that it was duly filed.

Most accounts in this series were filed after 1787 by executors or administrators at the request of a creditor, next of kin, or litigant pursuant to Chapter 38 of the Laws of 1787. These accounts are often filed with an inventory. Accounts contain the names of the decedent and his or her executor or administrator, the date the account was exhibited and filed, a list of outstanding debts and credits with all the decedent's creditors and debtors or with one individual creditor, and the signed certificate of a court official that the account was exhibited before and filed with the court on a certain date. Many accounts are organized in double entry bookkeeping method with debits on the left side and credits on the right. Occasionally a petition for an administrator, a letter of administration, or a receipt relevant to an account is filed with the inventories and accounts in this series.

Items Online

This series is digitized and available to New York State residents for free on To learn how to access the records, go to:

Link to items online How to Use New York

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

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

Alternate Formats Available

Microfilm is available at the New York State Archives, with the exception of 13 inventories that were refiled with this series in January 2015.

Microfilm: 7 reels; 35mm.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series J0038 Probated Wills, and

Series J0033 Administration Papers, contain related records.

Other finding aids

"Genealogical Data from Inventories of New York Estates 1666-1825," by Kenneth Scott and James A. Owre, serves as an index to this series.

The first and second chronological groupings in this series are indexed by Kenneth Scott's article "New York Inventories 1666-1775," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 54, no. 4 (December 1966), pp. 246-259. The article, however, contains a number of inaccuracies and omits a number of inventories which were previously misfiled.

List to inventories refiled in this series is available at the repository.

Processing Information

In January 2015, 13 inventories were identified and refiled in this series as part of a project to integrate unidentified records.

Access Terms

Geographic Name(s):

Detailed Description

Dates Contents Box Roll

Accretion: J0301-82
1666-1698 A - K 1 1
1667-1698 L - Z 2 1
1700-1768 A - E 3 1-2
1700-1770 F - N 4 2
1700-1774 O - Z 5 2-3
1776-1822 A - B 6 3
1777-1822 C 7 3-4
1772-1822 D - Ga 8 4
1774-1822 Ge - H 9 4-5
1777-1822 J - Ma 10 5
1775-1820 Mc - P 11 5-6
1775-1821 Q - Sp 12 6-7
1771-1821 St - Van 13 7
1777-1822 Var - Z 14 7