Thursday, July 5, 2012

Finding James Vaux Probate Records in Erie County, New York

I noticed yesterday that Leah, on her Leah's Family Tree blog, provided an excellent tutorial on using the New York Probate Records, 1629-1971 on FamilySearch - see Navigating New York Probate Records on FamilySearch.  I missed this record collection when it was released on 23 June 2012.  

I wanted to find any information on the Vaux family that settled in the late 1830s in Aurora, Erie County, New York.  James and Mary (Palmer) Vaux are my 4th great-grandparents, and their son, Samuel Vaux, married Mary Ann Underhill there.  

In the New York Probate Records, 1629-1971 collection, there are a number of collections for Erie County.  Here is a list of the collections available at present:

There are four sets of records:

*  Estate Index, 1800-1929
*  Letters of administration, 1826-1901
*  Letters of testamentary, 1832-1900
*  Wills and administrations, 1819-1832

In the Estate Index list, I selected the "Estate Index, 1800-1929, Sm-V" collection and tried to find the list for the Vaux surname, by plugging image numbers into the search box.  Here is the top of Image 349:

The first listing on this page is for a James Vaux, in Probate Case Number 23181, filed 30 September 1839.   It notes that there is an entry in the Letters of Administration files, Volume 2, Page 340, and an Inventory filed in 1840.

I went back to the Erie County list of collections, and selected the "Letters of Administration, 1826-1840, Volume 2" collection.  I found Volume 2, Page 340 on Image 690 of 765:

This is the Letter of Administration naming Mary Vaux (wife), James Vaux (James), and John P. Vaux (son)  as the administrators of James Vaux, recently deceased.

Unfortunately, the actual contents of the Probate Case File are not available.  Perhaps they will be added as more records are added to this collection in later volumes of the Wills and Administrations.  

One thing I noticed was that the records in the Estate Files index is that the surnames are not in alphabetical order.  They are in date order for a given letter combination - in the case of Vaux it was VAR through VAY.  All of the VAN names were listed on earlier pages.

I listed all of the Vaux and Underhill entries in the Estate Files list and will check them all to see if I can glean vital information and relationship information from them.  When the Wills and Administration files are available, I will look through them.  Hopefully, the James Vaux records will be found and will help define his family members.

My thanks to Leah for finding the collection and providing an excellent tutorial.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Neat. You are really good a following up on something like this. Makes following your blog so fascinating. Your write-ups are always good reading, as well. Thanks, again! ;-)

Magda said...

I agree . A gem to discover in research materials !

Magda said...

Randy, Your treatise on the Erie County probate records have been keeping me busy redoing all my citations. Question : Did you also put the IMAGE numbers on your citations or do you find they change too much to be consistent ?