David Samuelson is the proprietor of SamPubCo, and it is a business venture. If you order something from the site, you will have to pay for it. My understanding is that Mr. Samuelson has access to the LDS Family History Library microfilms and provides digital or paper copies of over 230,000 records for a fee.
The home page of the website looks like this:
There are links on the home page to Wills, Guardianships, Naturalizations, Letters of Administration, Letters Testamentary, Surrogate's Records/Probate Files, and Census. For each category, there are links to the states available, and on the state pages there are links to the counties available. Within a county, there are links to alphabetical lists of the records, along with the list of record volume numbers for the county.
If you see a record that you want, you write down the type of record, the state, the county, plus the volume and page number of the record. You then fill out a text-based order form (either by hand or in a word processor) and submit it to SamPubCo (either by email or by snail mail - email is cheaper!). You pay with either a credit card, PayPal or an echeck online, or a personal check if by mail.
I was interested in the KNAPP surname in Dutchess County, New York. Here are the available Wills:
The available Surrogate's Records/Probate Files for Dutchess County were:
On the page with the Wills is a link for the list of volumes for Dutchess County (http://www.sampubco.com/wills/volumes/nydutchess.htm) which provides a list of the volume numbers and years:
The other record types have similar listings of record volumes.
SamPubCo seems to have concentrated on New York, and on Wills. However, check all of the record types to determine if your ancestors of interest are available.
The alternative for all researchers who want these records is to either travel to the State/County of interest and access the records in a County office, go to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and access the records on microfilm, order microfilms from the FHL at a local FamilySearch Center and read/copy them there, or to hire a local researcher to find and copy the records for you. SamPubCo gives you a fairly cost effective option if your ancestor is listed in his files.
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2012/04/tuesdays-tip-sampubco-has-probate.html
Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver