Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Crestleaf.com’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds -- October 2015: New Jersey Probate Records

I am participating in the Crestleaf.com "12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds" contest - see the blog post Crestleaf.com’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds Challenge for details.

My most fascinating family find from September 2015 was:  Finding the probate records for 18 ancestors who died in colonial New Jersey, and whose probate records were in the pre-1901 Secretary of State estate packets and libers.  

These New Jersey wills and probate records were in the New Jersey, Wills and Probates, 1656-1999 searchable database that Ancestry.com released on 7 September 2015 with over 170 million records across the United States.

I zeroed in on New Jersey immediately, because I knew I had a number of ancestors with probate records, but had been able to obtain only probate abstracts for them because the original wills were not available except in New Jersey.  

I managed to download many will and probate pages from the Ancestry collection for these individuals (along with a blog post about them if available to date):

*  Balthaser Pickel (1687-1765)
*  Henry Pickel (1729-1765)
*  Jediah Higgins (1657-1715)
*  John Kinnan (1736-1784)
*  John Martin (1620-1687)

*  Mercy Cutter (1698-1760)
*  Mulford Martin (1713-1744)
*  Nathaniel Fitz Randolph (1642-1713)
*  Nicholas Bonham (1631-1684)
*  Richard Cutter (1682-1756)

*  Samuel Fitz Randolph (1668-1754)
*  Samuel Hale (1639-1709)
*  Thomas Martin (1737-1767)

After I had downloaded these probate records, Ancestry.com removed the pre-1901 Secretary of State portion of this record collection because, apparently, they did not have permission to provide them.  I wrote What Happened to the 1656-1785 New Jersey Probate Records on Ancestry.com? .  I received several comments with possible reasons, and then Michele Tucker Chubenko provided authoritative information about it - see Here Yesterday, Gone Today: the New Jersey Wills and Probates 1656-1801 Records.

So now, none of the wills and probate records for my 18 ancestors noted above are available in the renamed database, New Jersey, Wills and Probates, 1785-1924.  I'm glad that I took the time to search for, find, and download the probate records for my ancestors noted above.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2015/10/crestleafcoms-12-months-of-fascinating.html

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.

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