Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Step-by-Step Process for Accessing and Finding New York Probate Records on FamilySearch

In my blog post FamilySearch Needs to Make it Easier to Find "Browse Images" Collections (14 April 2014), I pointed out that there are many record collections on FamilySearch that are not indexed, and need to be "browsed" to find records that may pertain to your ancestor or family member.

Reader Saskey commented:  "I have found 'Browse Images' for areas of interest, but I find it a bit daunting beyond the "Browse through 1,459,098 images" page (with no index)."

I completely understand the statement and initially felt the same way when I first saw the number of images listed in a collection.  However, once a user figures out the main steps of finding records, it becomes manageable, but you need a lot of practice to be proficient at it.  

For my New York Research workshop and research group participants, I made a step-by-step description of how I search New York probate records, but in a fairly generic way.  

I thought my Genea-Musings readers, including Saskey, might benefit from the list:

Now 24 steps may seem a bit daunting (again and still), this is the process I use.  I tried to identify each step in the process without being overly specific about the examples.  You can see some examples of following these procedures in my blog posts for:

*  Finding Genealogy Gems in the New York Probate Records on FamilySearch (8 April 2014)

*  Finding James Vaux Probate Records in Erie County, New York (5 July 2012).

I've done similar searches in Pennsylvania for:

*  Pennsylvania Probate Records on FamilySearch! (27 June 2012)

*  Finding Daniel Spangler's Probate Records on FamilySearch - the Russell Index System (15 October 2012)

NOTE:  If you want a PDF of my two page step-by-step process above, please email me at and put "New York Probate step-by-step" in the title and i'll try to respond as quickly as possible (I'm away almost every day this week doing something with the grandgirls).

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copyright (c) 20145, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Ann Hinds said...

Caroline Pointer mentioned you in her post today. I did send an email for a copy of your tips but it is nice to know that someone out there has taken the time to break down the research in bite-sized pieces. Thanks!