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Dedicated to Providing Affordable Genealogical Research in New York City

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Wills & Probate

Research in the Will, Probate and Letters of Administration files of your ancestors might be the most valuable research you can engage in. In the original files held in the various Surrogate's Courthouses of the Counties of New York City, information on your ancestor's surviving relatives may be found. This information can include the names and addresses of surviving offspring and spouses, married names of daughters, and, occasionally, the names and addresses of relatives still living in "The Old Country" where the immigrant testator originally came from. This information can be immeasurably valuable to those trying to establish ties to the survivors of the deceased.

Of course, the files will reveal the extent of the deceased person's possessions, whether they be monetary or in Real Estate. And a person did not have to be "rich" to have made out a Last Will and Testament. Many people of modest means had Wills simply to direct their survivors as to the way their affairs were to be handled after their demise. Money was not always the prime consideration.

Do not confuse the materials which were microfilmed by the LDS Church purporting to be Probate and Administration files with the actual materials available at the Surrogate's Court Record Rooms. The LDS filmed the Court transcripts, not the actual files. The transcripts often have had the addresses and other genealogically useful information excised from them. The LDS Court transcripts are better than nothing, but are usually not nearly as revealing as copies of the original documents are.

Contact me for more details on Will, Probate and Administration file searches. My search fees are quite affordable, especially when compared with the fees the Courts charge for a mail-order search.


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Last Updated: 14 February 2003