Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Some New York Counties Have Death Dates in Their Probate Records Indexes

 This is probably not news to expert New York genealogists, but it was to me as a non-expert.

I went looking for Ann (Donelson) Seaver in the St. Lawrence County, New York probate records on FamilySearch, thinking perhaps she went to live with her sister in that county after 1860.

On the FamilySearch record collection for New York Probate Records, 1629-1971, which is not indexed, I found St. Lawrence County easily, and their probate records had an index for Administrations and another index for Wills.  I searched for Seaver by guessing image numbers and quickly found the pages for "Se" and noted that there were a number of Seaver and Sever entries in both set of indexes.

I expected to see the usual records - the name, the date of administration or will proved, the estate number, plus volumes and page numbers for specific papers in the probate court records.  What surprised me was that both indexes provided the date of death also.

Here is an image of the top of one of the Administrations pages:

On the left-hand page of the image above, there are columns for Date of Death - year, month, day. 

Here is a close-up of part of the left-hand page:

 There are four Seaver people on this part of the page:

*  Bemsley G. Seaver - died 16 October 1913.

*  Bert A. Seaver - died 27 August 1924.

*  Lucia M. Seaver - died 30 Jan 1930.

*  Ruth Seaver - died 22 April 1936.

I am "collecting" those names and death dates in both sets of indexes to try and match them up to Seaver persons in my RootsMagic family tree.  I've already found Bemsley.

After matching them up, I will go look at the probate records themselves to see if they mention children and spouses that I don't have for them in my database.  Then I will source these records in my database, and perhaps even transcribe some of the wills.  

I wonder what other New York counties are using this type of printed index for their probate records.  I don't know, but I'm going to look in a number of others so that I can "collect" more death and/or probate records for Seaver folks.  As I find more New York counties that have death dates, I will add them to this blog post as an update.

So far:

*  St. Lawrence County, 1800-1955

*  Franklin County, 1800-1900

*  Warren County, 1813-1935

*  Orleans County, 1825-1926

*  Herkimer County - no.

*  Jefferson County - no.

*  Lewis County -no

*  Albany County - no

*  Saratoga County - maybe (there are two dates, but no column headings found)


I didn't find a record for Ann (Donelson) Seaver, but I did find something new to me, and perjhaps for you too.  

Who knows what genealogy problems and questions these records will solve?  My guess is that this type of record may be an excellent resource for hard-to-find death dates and probate records.


The URL for this post is:  https://www.geneamusings.com/2021/03/some-new-york-counties-have-death-dates.html

Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

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