New York, Kings County Estate Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
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New York, Kings County Estate Files, 1866-1923
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Kings County, New York, |
|Flag of New York|
|Location of Kings County, New York|
|Location of New York|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing This Collection
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
This collection consists of records digitally obtained from the Kings County Surrogate's Court clerk for the years 1866 to 1923. Probate records were court documents and may have involved loose papers and/or bound volumes. These records were generally known as an estate file or probate packet. These files included all documents related to estate settlement, including settlement papers, inventories, receipts, and other records pertaining to the estates, including accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, bonds, petitions, guardianships, inventories and settlements. The wills for this collection are described separately.
Kings County was created in 1683 as one of the original counties. The county has kept probate records since the time it was created. The records were kept by the Surrogate Court. Probate records are generally recorded in the county where the person resided. Estates were probated for approximately 25 percent of the heads of households in the United States before 1900, whether or not the individual left a will. The percentage of heads of households listed in this collection of estate files will probably be higher than 25 percent because a much larger percentage of the New York population is represented in the estate files than in the will books. Wills are more likely to be found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.
Probate records are used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. The probate process transfers the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title to heirs from the deceased to an executor or executrix if the deceased had made a will, to an administrator or administratrix if the deceased had not made a will, or to a guardian or conservator if the deceased had heirs under the age of twenty-one, or if heirs were incompetent due to disease or disability.
The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceeding are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members and those who have previously received an inheritance, or the spouse mentioned may not be the parent of the children mentioned.
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.
To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]
|You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for New York, Kings County Estate Files, 1866-1923.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees, oaths of executors, forms about guardians and other court documents.
- Name of testator or deceased
- Names of heirs such as spouse, children, and other relatives or friends
- Names of witnesses
- Residence of testator
- Lists of belongings, property, and so forth
- Document and recording dates
- Date of death
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Images[edit | edit source]
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of the deceased
- The place of residence
- The approximate death or probate date
Search the Index[edit | edit source]Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- Click Search to show possible matches
View the Images[edit | edit source]
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
- Select the County
- Select the Surname Letter
- Select the Individual's Name, Year of Probate to view the images.
How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives
- You may be able to use the probate record to learn about adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents
- Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records since the probates exist for an earlier time period
- You may be able to use the probate record to learn about land transactions
- Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census, church, and land records
- Use the occupations listed to find employment records or other types of records such as military records
- Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased, this is especially helpful if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names
- Look for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records
- Search the indexes and records of nearby localities
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of New York.
Related Family History Library Holdings[edit | edit source]
Related FamilySearch Historical Record Collections[edit | edit source]
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.