Kings County, New York, Administration Proceedings (1817–1856)

B-Ann Moorhouse and Joseph M. Silinonte

When anyone dies intestate (without a will), Letters of Administration may be issued authorizing a relative or other individual to settle the estate under the supervision of the county Surrogate's Court. The Letters themselves contain minimal information of value, but for each of these estates the Court may have other papers relating to the estate proceedings, papers which may contain very useful genealogical data. In the case of the Kings County Surrogate's Court at Brooklyn, the files containing these papers date back to 1817. Starting about 1830 they usually include a petition naming all the heirs-at-law and their places of residence.

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Noted genealogist B-Ann Moorhouse,  CG, FGBS, assisted by the late Joseph Silinonte (to whom the book is dedicated), abstracted all the administration proceedings files up to 1856. This was a period of tremendous growth for Brooklyn and Kings County, as thousands of new residents were drawn there from elsewhere in New York, and from other states and countries. At the same time many local residents were leaving Kings County to seek their fortunes elsewhere. These comings and goings are well documented in the abstracts, which name numerous family members living outside the county.

This book could be a genealogical goldmine for anyone researching families who lived in Brooklyn and the other Kings County towns during the first half of the 19th century. And since the court indexes only name the decedents, these abstracts may be only way you'll know the thousands of other names that appear in the files.