Wills and Probate Records
This page was last updated 23 Nov 2013.
If you would like to transcribe and contribute wills to this website, they would be very welcome! You may send them to me, Debby Masterson, in plain-text form in the body of an email.
|AKIN, Aaron B.||1857/1858||Clinton [now East Greenbush]|
|ALLEN, Benjamin, intestate||1866||Troy|
|ALLEN, Morgan L.||1851/1857||Petersburgh|
|BARRINGER, John D.||1860/1877||Poestenkill|
|BATEMAN, Hart [Mrs]||1828/1843||Nassau|
|BETTS, Bathsheba [Wright]||1842/1856||[North] Greenbush|
|BROCK, Daniel M.*||1867/1868||Grafton|
|CHAPMAN, John, Jr.||1848/1854||Hannibal, Oswego Co, NY|
|CHAPMAN, Mary [Nichols]||1853/????||Pittstown|
|DEFREEST, David||1857/????||North Greenbush|
|DERICK, Charly [Karel]||1812/1813||Brunswick|
|DOUGHTY, Ezra T. (abstract)||1843/1843||Troy|
|DOWW, Hendrick||1749/1751||Rensselaerwyck Manor|
|DUBOIS, Cornelius||1862/1868||North Greenbush|
|FOLLETT, William (abstract)||1808/1808||Pittstown|
|FRAZEE, Henry||1867/1876||North Greenbush|
|GREEN, James (abstract)||1838/1840||Pittstown|
|GREEN, Benjamin (abstract)||1797/1797||Stephentown|
|GREEN, John (abstract)||????/1841||Berlin|
|GREEN, John G. (abstract)||1843/1850||Berlin|
|GREEN, Pamelia Farnam (abstract)||1833/1841||Troy|
|GREEN, Richard (abstract)||1805/1805||Schaghticoke|
|HAMMOND, William||1801/1810||Pittstown and Hoosick|
|HOAG, Thomas (abstract)||1842/1843||Nassau|
|HYSER, Jeremiah||1873/1880||East Greenbush|
|JOHNSON, Rufus (abstract)||1831/1837||Hoosick|
|KINNEY, Alonzo N.||1869/1893||North Greenbush|
|KOON, Delia (Sharp)||1887/1889||North Greenbush|
|LOHNES, John Nicholas||1786/1792||Rensselaerwycke|
|MCCHESNEY, Samuel R.||1814/1814||Brunswick|
|MILLER, Francis (abstract)||1843/1843||Schodack|
|MORRIS, William H.||1875/1887||Schodack|
|NICHOLS, Asa C.||1885/1893||Hamilton County, Nebraska|
|NICHOLS, Rowland||1812/1813||Essex County, NY|
|OSTRANDER, Jacob||1787/1789||Manor of Rensselaerwyck|
|PHILLIPS, David||1897/1908||East Greenbush|
|PHILLIPS, Dorcas (Vickery)||1813/1813||Greenbush|
|PHILLIPS, Roswell (abstract)||.||Schodack|
|PHILLIPS, Timothy (abstract)||1847/1848||Schodack|
|SCHERP, Peter||1780/1782||The Camp, Albany County, NY|
|SHARPE, Jacob G.||1846/1850||Greenbush|
|SLEAD [SLADE], Philip||1803/1803||Pittstown|
|TOWNSEND, Sally (abstract)||1842/1843||Troy|
|TRAVER, Emma Elizabeth (Phillips)||1892/1902||East Greenbush|
|TRAVER, Margaret E. (Hyser)||1896/1897||East Greenbush|
|UHLEIN / ULINE, Bernhard||1804/1804||Greenbush|
|VAN ALSTYNE, Barbary||1840/????||Troy|
|VAN BUREN, Abiather||1903/1913||Schodack|
|VAN BUREN, Cornelius H.||1810/1811||Greenbush|
|VAN BUREN, Henry P. (abstract)||1841/1843||Schodack|
|VAN BUREN, Hiram||1882/1883||Schodack|
|VAN BUREN, Jan||1795/1796||Greenbush/Troy|
|VAN BUREN, John M.||1799/1799||Schodack|
|VAN BUREN, Peter||1805/1814||Schodack|
|VAN BUREN, Tiney, spinster||1841/1848||Schodack|
|VAN BUREN, Tobias||1805/1814||Schodack|
|VANDER COOK, Simon||1826/1829||Pittstown|
|VAN DEUSEN, Mary E.||1890/1892||Troy|
|WEATHERWAX, David||1830/1831||Peru, Clinton County, NY|
|WEATHERWAX, Peter, intestate (inventory only)||1805||Schaghticoke|
|WETHERWAX, Myron B.||1884/1887||North Greenbush|
|WIDDERWAX / WEATHERWAX, Andreas||1780/1784||Tomhannock, Pittstown|
|WITBECK, John W.||1863/1865||East Greenbush|
Wills recorded after 1791: Rensselaer County, NY was created on 7 February 1791 from Albany County, NY. Wills and probate documents recorded after that date for people who resided in Rensselaer County or who had resided in what later became Rensselaer County were recorded in the Surrogate's Court of Rensselaer County, the address of which is given below. You may research their records in person during normal office hours without making an appointment, but a word of warning: photocopies cost $1.00 per page, and some probate files run into well over 100 pages.
Wills recorded from 1787 to 1791: Wills and probate documents recorded between 1787 and 1791 for people who resided in what later became Rensselaer County were recorded in Albany County; the address of the Albany County Clerk's office is given below.
Wills and probate records from both Rensselaer County, NY and Albany County, NY can also be accessed through the LDS Church's network of Family History Centers (FHCs), and if you have in mind to copy every page of a lengthy probate file, you can save yourself quite a bit of photocopy money by going through one of the LDS FHCs. You do not have to be a Mormon to use their genealogical collection, which is the world's largest. If you do not yet know where your nearest local LDS Church FHC is, it's high time you discovered it! You can search for your nearest FHC as well as for much, much more at the LDS Church's genealogy website, https://www.familysearch.org.
To enable genealogical researchers to find the wills on this GenWeb site more easily, we have introduced "alternative search values" into the bottom of our will files. We prefer to present the wills themselves verbatim, but often, a testator will say, for example, "to my daughter Mary wife of John Smith". A researcher might know her only as "Mrs Mary Smith" because he doesn't yet know her maiden surname. He might key in "Mary Smith" as a search value on a search engine such as Google - but were it not for the alternative search values, the search engine's list of hits would not include this will page, because nowhere does the will say "Mary Smith". The alternative search values add the phrase "Mary Smith" at the bottom of the page, so that the search engine WILL include this page on its hit list, and the researcher will learn, from this online will transcription, the name of Mrs Mary Smith's father. If you have any questions, please email me, Debby Masterson.
For a list of some Rensselaer County, NY testators, click here.
For a list of which will books and which probate files cover which years, click here.
|1791-present||1791 and earlier|
|Rensselaer County Surrogate Court
Rensselaer County Courthouse
Second Street at Congress Street
Troy, NY 12180
Tel: (518) 270-3725
|Albany County Clerk
32 North Russell Road
Albany, NY 12206-1324
(off Central Avenue, next to Westgate Plaza)
Tel: (518) 487-5100
RENSSELAER COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY: Stacy Pomeroy Draper, Curator of the Rensselaer County Historical Society (RCHS), emailed the following to me: "I don't know if you are aware that RCHS has the residual files of the [Rensselaer County, NY] Surrogate Court from 1791 to 1915. We maintain a name index and the original file number from the court, as well as over 31,000 estate files. As you know, these are phenomenal research records, and they are used on a regular basis. The court continues to keep the files from 1916 on and the bound books of wills from 1791 onward. The microfilm is wonderful as well, but there are times when people want access to the actual document. We can provide that access for onsite users or for mail/email requests. We will do look-ups in the index to see if there are any pertinent files, at no charge. If people come onsite, there is only the $5 ($4 for seniors) admission fee, plus any copying costs (25 cents a page). Email or written requests for pulling records are $10, which includes up to 10 pages of photocopying and mailing costs. If people want to contact us via email, they can send requests to email@example.com. Please feel free to add that info to your page." Thank you for this, Stacy!
BARBARA JEFFRIES: Barbara Jeffries, for many years a generous contributor to the Rensselaer County GenWeb site, abstracted and compiled many Rensselaer County wills and made them available online at her excellent website. She no longer maintains her website. From time to time, it can be accessed through such conduits as the Wayback Machine, but it would appear that someone is regularly blocking these conduits. If I should find a new way of accessing what she posted online, I'll post it here.
SAMPUBCO: David Samuelson's Sampubco performs a fee-based service that provides photocopies of wills from the will books of many counties in many states. You can see the full index of the will books so far covered by visiting the Sampubco website, http://www.sampubco.com. For a list of some of the Rensselaer Co NY testators whose wills are available from Sampubco, click here.
BILL MCGRATH'S SURROGATE COURT TIPS: Bill McGrath writes, "If you are researching relatives who died in Rensselaer County, the Surrogate Court in the Court House on Second Street near the Troy Library is a great source. They allow you to see the files in the basement on Rensselaer County decedents. Records are either on 4 x 6 cards or in bound books, as follows:
|1794-1873||One book covers A to Z|
|1874-1881||One book covers A to Z|
|1881-1916||One book covers A to K, and another book covers L to Z|
Index Cards Are in Drawers by Years
Index cards are 4 x 6 and are color-coded:
|Yellow cards - testate (there was a will)|
|Pink cards - intestate (there was no will)|
|Green cards - small estate|
Records on cards and in books have a volume and page reference which directs you to copies of legal documents in bound books on the shelves. Assistance is required if you need photocopies [Note from Lin Van Buren: See above re the cost of photocopies.].