New York Probate Records—A Genealogist’s Guide to Testate and Intestate Records, Second Edition, is a new directory-styled handbook by Gordon L. Remington. Broken down by county, this guide shows where and how to locate New York State probate records. These records cover over 350 years of probate history in the region.

Why might you need a resource directory like this book? In a comment to one of my recent blogs, someone suggested that indexes may not be as perfect as we wish they were. For this reason, among others, the author makes a key point, “The availability of probate [or any] records on the Internet, however, does not obviate the need to consult the original records (at the court house and/or on microfilm) and published abstracts thereof.”  This book provides you the information needed to find and personally examine probate records.

In a nice use of two-color printing, the author breaks information down the available resources, first by county then by courts, special notes, and resource locations. For example, most county sections contain the following subsections and information:

  • Surrogate’s Court – listing includes address, county seat, date formed, phone and email, hours, and website
  • Special Notes – author’s comments
  • Records on Microfilm at the Family History Library – with records by name and indexes
  • Published Records and Indexes – bibliographical type list of published records
  • Records on Internet – name, website, and description of online resources

New York Probate Records is one of the easiest to follow guides of its type I have seen. For those with New York ancestors this handbook will surely help you find any existing probate records.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
Using This Book
Understanding New York State Probate Records
Surrogate’s Courts

  1. New York Counties
  2. Defunct New York Counties
  3. Organizations Helpful in Research
  4. Abstracted Early New York State Probate Material
  5. Working with Published Records


 Copies of New York Probate Records are available at Family Roots Publishing, Item #NE04