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Ontario County Estate Records

Before 1823, which was the year Yates County was organized, the towns of Benton, Italy, Jerusalem, Middlesex and Milo (the five original towns split off to make the new County) were fully functioning municipalities in Ontario County. People paid taxes, schooled their children, paid labor to the highway system, and carried on governmental business of all kinds. They also died occasionally, and when they did their estates had to be settled.

This function was carried out then as now by a surrogate, who probated wills and saw to the administration of intestacies. When Yates County was organized in 1823, one of the first County officials was the Surrogate. Prior to this the Surrogate for the towns in what would be Yates County was that of Ontario County.

Yates County Surrogate's records are, of course, available here, well-indexed and accessible. However, if a person died or a guardian was appointed before 1823 in any of the five towns listed above, the event was recorded at Canandaigua in the Ontario County records. To see the originals, a researcher has to travel to the Ontario County Archives in the town of Hopewell.

Ontario County has microfilmed the first 17 books of Surrogate's records, which contain papers such as wills, letters of administration, guardianships, accounts and other records before the Surrogate Court up through 1827. The Yates County Historian's Office has acquired copies of these microfilms and transcribed all the papers having to do with persons living in (and in some cases adjacent to) towns later part of Yates County. Accompanying these transcripts is an index to decedents, guardians and "infants" (persons requiring guardians).

Use the tables below to access the single-volume indexes, the transcript files, and the single massive 17-volume index, which is divided into four alphabetical sections.


Indexes to Individual Books

Index Book 1 Index Book 2 Index Book 3 Index Book 4
Index Book 5 Index Book 6 Index Book 7 Index Book 8
Index Book 9 Index Book 10 Index Book 11 Index Book 12
Index Book 13 Index Book 14 Index Book 15 Index Book 16
Index Book 17


Transcripts from Individual Books

1: 1795-1801 2: 1802-1808 3: 1803-1810 4: 1809-1812
5: 1810-1814 6: 1810-1819 7: 1813-1816 8: 1814-1823
9: 1815-1817 10: 1815-1817 11: 1817-1822 12: 1817-1819
13: 1818-1822 14: 1819-1822 15: 1819-1827 16: 1822-1827
17: 1822-1823


Sections of Index to all Transcribed Estate Books