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FamilySearch Wiki:Project New York/Tasks-Probate Records FHLC

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WikiProject New York Gotoarrow.png Progress Chart Gotoarrow.png Wiki Project New York Tasks - Probate Records: FHLC

Description:[edit | edit source]

This task involves searching for original probate records in the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) to be placed on the county pages.

Instruction[edit | edit source]

1. To locate probate records in the FHLC, do a place name search in the FHLC by typing in your county. If you need more instructions on how to search the FHLC, go to Family History Library Catalog Place-name Search.

2. Once you have the correct county, look under the topic of Probate Records. Review the entries for any original probate records (wills, administrations, Inventories, estates). Do not put in book indexes or abstracts. But put in the original indexes attached to the microfilm.

3. After the list of "Online Probate Records," add the following(This should be the list of Historical Records available online. If "Online Probate Records" has not yet been added to the page, put it after "Online Probate Indexes" and it's databases):

''Probate Records on Microfilm''<br>

4. Add each original record under the new heading you created in #3.

i. Bullet each entry you make.
ii. The date should be bolded. Make sure to use the N–dash between the dates and anytime it is used in wiki text. The N–dash is made by holding the alt key and typing 0150.
iii. Put the sources in chronological order.
iv. Use the FHLC template to list the call number or film number.


:*'''1799–1938''' Index to Probate {{FHL|16973|item|disp=FHL film 866336 Item 2}}<br>
:*'''1803–1910''' Probate Records {{FHL|16973|item|disp=FHL film 866330 (first of 14 films)}}<br>

5. Add the following after the FHLC entries you've just entered and before the online probate indexes:

''Online Probate Indexes''<br>

Example[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate records including original estates and wills for New York are held in the office of the county Surrogate Court beginning in 1787, or when the county was formed. Prior to 1787, most are housed at the New York State Archives. See New York Probate Records for more information about using probate records.
Content:  Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.
Record types:  Wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distribution.

Probate Petitions

In 1830, state law required the Surrogate Court clerk to issue a probate petition for a deceased individual with property. This petition, unique to New York, usually lists the deceased's death date. It also lists the heirs, their relationship to the deceased, and their residence. Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 479. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004. Henry B. Hoff, "Navigating New York Probate," American Ancestors 12 (Fall 2011): 57.

These petitions are often found in the estate files and can be obtained from the county Surrogate Court.

Online Probate Indexes

Online Probate Records

Original Clinton County probate records are available online at FamilySearch. To access these records, choose "browse through images". Then, choose your county name, and then the probate record of interest.

Probate Records on Microfilm

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Project New York/Tasks-Probate Records FHLC probate wills in online catalogs like:

  • About Abstracts of Wills, Admins. and Guardianships in NY State, 1787-1835 at New York Ancestors, accessed 8 December 2011,