New York, Bronx Probate Estate Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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New York, Bronx Probate Estate Files, 1914-1931 .
This article describes a collection of records at
Bronx, New York, United States
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Location of Bronx County, New York
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Location of New York
Record Description
Record Type Probate
Collection years 1914-1931
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

This collection includes county probate records for the years 1914 to 1931. It consists of indexes and images of estate files. Currently only adminstration files for 1914-1916 are available. The files may include lists of heirs, oaths of administrators, reports of witnesses, forms about guardians, etc.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for New York, Bronx Probate Estate Files, 1914-1931.

Collection Content

Sample Images

Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees, oaths of executors, forms about guardians and other court documents. Genealogical facts in entries include:

  • Name of testator or deceased
  • Names of heirs such as spouse, children, and other relatives or friends
  • Names of witnesses
  • Residence of testator
  • Lists of belongings, property, and so forth
  • Document and recording dates (Sometimes the date of death will be given. Recording dates are also used to approximate event dates, i.e. a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death.)

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin you search it is helpful to know:

  • The place of residence
  • The approximate death or probate date
  • The name of the deceased

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "Surname Letter"
⇒Select the appropriate "Individual's Name, Year" which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:

  • Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives.
  • Use the document (such as the will) or the recording dates to approximate a death date.
  • Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records since the probates exist for an earlier time period.
  • You may be able to use the probate record to learn about
Land transactions.
Adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census, church, and land records.
  • Use the occupations listed to find other types of records such as employment records or military records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the deceased or the testator.
  • There is some variation in the information given from one record to another record.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

General Information About These Records

The borough of the Bronx remained part of New York County until Bronx County was created in 1914. After the creation of Bronx County, the administered estate files were handled by the Surrogate's Court.

These court documents may be loose papers or bound volumes. They are usually divided into individual estate files or probate packets. Records pertaining to estates may include any of the following:

  • Settlement papers
  • Inventories
  • Receipts
  • Wills
  • Accounts
  • Administrations
  • Appraisals
  • Minutes
  • Bonds
  • Petitions
  • Guardianships
  • Inventories
  • Settlements

Probate records are used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. The probate process transfers the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title to heirs from the deceased to an executor or executrix if the deceased had made a will, to an administrator or administratrix if the deceased had not made a will, or to a guardian or conservator if the deceased had heirs under the age of twenty-one or if heirs were incompetent due to disease or disability.

The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceeding are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members and those who have previously received an inheritance, or the spouse mentioned may not be the parent of the children mentioned.

Citing this Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

"New York, Bronx Probate Estate Files, 1914-1931." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Citing Bronx County (New York) Surrogate’s Court, New York.

Image citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for New York, Bronx Probate Estate Files, 1914-1931.

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

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