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
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