When an individual dies intestate (without a will) in New York State, the county Surrogate appoints an administrator to settle the estate.
In many cases, the court preserved papers relating to its proceedings for the estate which can be very valuable to both genealogists and historians.
This collection contains abstracts of the Administration Proceedings (1817-1856) for Kings County, and are based on the genealogical information found in the Notes of the Clerk of the Surrogate's Court, who was required to briefly write up the details of a Proceeding.
The notes include:
- The full name and any alias of the Intestate
- Residence at time of death
- Date of death, cause of death
- Length of illness or length of injury
- Names of next of kin
- Ages of Intestate's minor children
- Occasionally the maiden name of the widow
- If in the Service of the United States Military, the branch, rank, etc.
- Place of death-whether local or elsewhere (such as a foreign country, on the high seas, or during a military conflict)
- Cash total of the assets (personal property only) left by the Intestate
- Name and residence of the petitioner to whom the Letters of Administration were granted and the date they were granted
In addition, the notes might include pertinent information from the Proceeding itself, based on Orders of the Surrogate, the depositions of the petitioner for Letters, Citations issued, etc.
The Kings County Administrations concerned only those Intestates, regardless of their residence area, who left assets in Kings County.
Many of the Kings County families of this period remained on the lands or neighboring lands of the earlier generations, so these records can help researchers piece together branches of a local Kings County family.
These abstracts were created from the files of the Kings County Surrogate's Court in Brooklyn, by B-Ann Moorhouse, who was assisted by Joseph M. Silinonte.
In the earliest years, the surviving papers consist primarily of bonds posted by the administrators. Starting in 1830, however, the papers become a genealogical goldmine.
The administration proceedings which are abstracted here cover residents of the City of Brooklyn and all the old towns of Kings County, during a period when the county's population was experiencing very rapid growth.
The abstracts show the older families, largely Dutch, being joined by people from the rest of Long Island, New York City, the Hudson Valley, New England, New Jersey and elsewhere in the United States, and by immigrants from abroad, particularly from Ireland, the German States, and Great Britain.
They also show how some members of Kings County families were moving away to other parts of the country and the world. The locations index to this book offers ample evidence of these widespread migrations.
Suggested citation for this collection:
New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, “Kings County Admin Proceedings, 1817 - 1856” digital images, New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, (www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org), 2019.