New York Probate Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known IssuesEdit This Page

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Known Issues

NOTE: FamilySearch has made every effort to copy all available records. If you find a volume missing you may contact the appropriate county clerk’s office to see if the records are available. The phone numbers and addresses of the offices can typically be found by doing an online search.

Question #1: I am seeing images that are blurred an unreadable. How can I view these images?
Answer #1: In many cases the image was refilmed on the next image. Check to see if that is the case. If not, the microfilm can be checked to see if the image is clear on the original filming. You can check the catalog for the film in question and order (See Ordering Microfilm or Microfiche ) it into a FamilySearch Center near you for viewing.

Question #2: While searching Chautauqua County I find that what is listed as Wills is actually Probate of Wills. Which are Records of Wills and which are Probate of Wills?
Answer #2: The following files should be listed as Probate of Wills:

Wills, v. 3-4 1863-1872 Wills, v. 12 1891-1893
Wills, v. 5-6 1872-1879 Wills, v. 13 1893-1895
Wills, v. 7-8 1879-1884 Wills, v. 14 1895-1897
Wills, v. 9-10 1884-1889 Wills, v. 15 1897-1899
Wills, v. 11 1889-1891 Wills, v. 16 1899-1901

The following are Records of Wills:

Wills, v. 1-3 1830-1877
Wills, v. 4 1866-1870
Wills, v. 5-6 1870-1878

Question #3: I find the following problems with Dutchess County in the General index 1751-1934 A-D, E-K, L-R, and S–Z:

  • The left side of the page containing the First and Last names of the individual has been cut off.
  • There are also missing images in these browse points.

Is there a way to view these records?
Answer #3: The book containing these records is an oversized volume. The right side of the page was scanned and then the left side was scanned. What makes going through the images confusing is that there are several duplicates and at times the first half of the image follows the second half. For example Image 15 is actually the second half of the record and image 17 is the first half of the record with image 16 being a duplicate of image 15.
The workaround: The best way to search these records at this time is by looking at the page number found in the upper right corner of the page on the right. Then look for the number, located in the “Filing Box #” column found on the immediate right of the “Surname” column, and comparing it with the previous or following image. This will show whether the image is the left side of the record, the right side or a duplicate of either.
In most cases the missing images were missing at the time of filming and are not available for viewing online or through viewing the original microfilm. Among those missing are pages 303 and 305 in Dutchess Co, NY General Index, E-K, 1751-1934

Question #4: Can you clarify what the “Ancient Documents” are in the Dutchess County browse point?
Answer #4: According to the catalog, these includes probate records, warrants for arrest, court cases, statements of debt, bonds, etc. They are included in this collection without further breaking down in an effort to give patrons access to them as quickly as possible. In time, with indexing and other fine tuning, they will be separated out into other browse points. But for now, they are browseable as is.

Question #5: In the Erie County > Estate index 1800-1929 A-B through Estate index 1800-1929 W-Z browse points, the title boards show Niagara County Courthouse as well as Erie County Surrogate Court. To which county do these records belong?
Answer #5: These records are all from Erie County and are located in the correct browse point

Question #6: I am finding Madison County records inMonroe County. Can you clarify the correct location of these records?
Answer #6:

  • The Madison County Dower records were mistakenly placed in Monroe County. You will find them listed in the file titled: Monroe > Dower Records 1830-1880. We do not have Dower records for Monroe County.
  • The Letters of Testamentary for Madison County were incorrectly filed with the records from Monroe County. The following Letters of Testamentary filed in Monroe County are for Madison County.
  1. Letters of Testamentary 1885-1894
  2. Letters of Testamentary 1847-1870 vol B-C
  3. Letters of Testamentary 1875-1885
  4. Letters of Testamentary 1894-1899
  5. Letters of Testamentary 1806-1890

Question #7: When searching New York County Letters of Administration 1808-1811 volume 10, I find images from volume 11 and volume 9. How can I find the records I am searching for?
Answer #7: Many of the sections labeled as Letters of Administration contain files from years other than those listed. Each document has a date near the end of the letter which can be helpful as you browse through these records. It would be wise to search the adjacent file folders if you cannot find the letter you are searching for. The misfiled letters appear to be grouped together in chronological order and are mixed in throughout the files. We apologize for the difficulty this causes when searching these records.

Question #8: Can you clarify what is located at the browse points New York > Wills 1698-1703 vol 41035 and Wills 1724-1733 vol 41193?
Answer #8: The browse point New York > Wills 1698-1703 vol 41035 should read Wills 1698-1703 Vol 5-6, and the browse point New York > Wills 1724-1733 should read Wills 1724-1733 Vol 10-11.

Question #9: There are different types of will records in New York County. Can you clarify these?
Answer #9: The original will books -Wills and Administrations (New York County, New York), 1680-1804 were NOT complete with recording of wills. The 2nd type is from the Record of Wills, 1665-1916; index to wills, 1662-1923 (New York County) and is much more comprehensive with many recorded wills not found in other set. The originals are Wills and Administrations. The 2nd set –Record of Wills- has wills only, NO administrations. The following sets are Wills and Administrations:

Wills v. 3-4 1684-1694
Wills 1698-1703 Vol 41035
Wills 1710-1716 Vol 8
Wills 1724-1733 Vol 41193
Wills 1730-1740 Vol 11-13

The other sets marked Wills are from the Record of Wills.

In the browse point Wills, v. 8 1710-1716 in the New York County the two types of records have been loaded together. The first part of the folder is original wills from Wills and Administrations with NO index in front (they're in the back of the original wills, beginning at image 228). The Records of Wills begins at image #237.

Question #10: In Ontario> Wills 1795-1814 Vol. 1-5 there are pages which are upside down and some images in reverse order. Can this be corrected?
Answer #10: This is not a filming error. In the original record there are upside down images and some of the pages were numbered in reverse order.

Question #11: There are duplicate records in the browse points Oswego County > Guardianship Index 1847-1905 and Oswego County> Guardianship Index 1873-1892, and the dates do not match the contents with the browse points names. Can you explain this?
Answer #11: Though the images are the same in both browse points, the title boards have them labeled differently. They were filmed at different times. The images in the browse point Oswego County > Guardianship Index 1873-1892 were filmed first. There are no dates on any of the images so it isn’t possible to verify the exact dates of the records at this point. Images 3-127 are duplicates of images 5-117 in the browse point Oswego County > Guardianship Index 1847-1905, that are shown to be from 1896-1905 on the title board image. There is an additional set of records in this browse point on images 121-161 that are shown as a Guardian index from 1881-1891.
The Catalog identifies the images in Oswego County > Guardianship Index 1847-1905 to be from film 0872925 (DGS 5116309) and titled Guardian Indexes 1847-1905. It identifies the images in Oswego County > Guardianship Index 1873-1892 to be from film #0866847 (DGS 5116275) Item 2- images 85-212, and titled Guardian Index.

Question #12: The images for Saratoga Wills for 1888-1890 are light. Is there a way to improve the legibility of these images?
Answer #12: When you find that images are too light, it sometimes helps to view the negative of the image. This is done by clicking on the word ‘Invert” found on the dark gray bar just above the image. In addition, clicking on the + by the word Zoom, found in that same dark gray bar, can enlarge the image and make it more legible.

Question #13: I am looking for the Saratoga > Wills, vol 7-9 1826-1836. Can you tell me where to find them?
Answer #13: These records are online, but are listed out of that sequence because they also have Wills for 1791-1799. Look for them in the Wills 1791-1799, 1826-1836 vol 7-9 browse point.

Question #14: When searching Saratoga > Index 1799-1893 vol 1 the type of record images jump around? Is there a solution for searching these records?
Answer #14: There are three folders that contain images from other files.
In the file titled: “Index 1799-1893 vol 1” you will find the index beginning with image 939. At image 1021 the title changes to Wills 1905-1911 Vol 41-43, and the numbering changes to image 1 of 880. Images 1-110 are not wills but are a continuation of the Index to wills.

In the file titled: “Letters of administration 1909-1929 vol 12 – 14” you will find duplicates of the images found in “Index 1799-1893 vol 1”. The letters of administration begin with image 1 and continue through image 938 where the images from the aforementioned index begin.

In Wills 1905-1911 Vol 41-43 you will find that the first 110 images are a continuation of the” Index 1799-1893 vol 1” file. The Wills begin with image 111 and continue through image 880.

Question #15: I am looking for Wills in St. Lawrence County for the years 1905-1910. Can you clarify what records you have for these years?
Answer #15: The browse point St. Lawrence > Wills 1905-1910 vol 37 has been labeled incorrectly. It contains Wills vol 37-39.

Question #16: Can you clarify the correct location of the records in the browse point Ulster > Wills 1787-1822 vol 1-2?
Answer #16: The records in the browse point Ulster > Wills 1787-1822 vol 1-2 are records from the Ulster County Surrogate Court as shown in the catalog for these records. They are housed at Queens College in Queens County, Flushing, New York.

Question #17: A search in Westchester County for Wills and Letters brings up the images for the records of the wrong person. How can I view the correct images?
Answer #17: The only way to view these images currently is to order film # 1562406 and view it at your local Family History Center. See Ordering Microfilm or Microfiche.

Question #18: In Wyoming County there are some missing pages in the Wills V. 1-2 1841-1859 browse point. Are they available to view somewhere?
Answer #18: Some pages were missed in the digitization of these records. The only way to view these images currently is to order the film #0817092 and view it at your local FamilySearch Center. We recommend you call ahead to verify if they have the equipment for viewing the film and their hours of operation.

Question #19: There are different types of will records in Wyoming County. Can you clarify these?
Answer #19: The two types of records are the actual Original Wills, and the Record of Wills which is a record of proceedings AND transcribed wills, and is much more comprehensive with many recorded wills NOT found in other set. The Original Wills are found in the following browse points:

Wills 1841-1866 vol 1
Wills 1866-1883 vol 1
Wills 1884-1885 vol 2
Wills 1885-1893 vol 2
Wills 1893-1894 vol 2
Wills 1895-1900 vol 3
Wills 1890-1900 vol 3

The other browse points marked Wills are Record of Wills.
The browse points titled Petitions, Probate Records are Petitions, Proofs of Wills.

If you encounter additional problems with this collection, feel free to report them at Please include the following information:

  • If browsing this collection: please include the full path you followed to where the problem occurred. The browse path is located above the Image viewer window.
    For example: New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971 > Albany > Wills 1929-1802 vol AA-AB > Image 27 of 854.
  • If you are reporting a technical issue, please include your operating system and browser version, such as Windows XP and Internet Explorer.

Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Return to the New York Probate Records (FamilySeearch Hisotrical Records) Learn More page.

Return to the New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971 collection at


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