Posted By:Jade
Subject:Re: Looking for any information on Capt. John Davis of Reading, Schuyler, NY, b.1711
Post Date:December 09, 2008 at 15:12:00
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Forum:Schuyler County, NY Genealogy Forum
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You'd want to look in person for the estate file (locally called the 'packet') in the Surrogate Court office in Steuben Co, which is where Reading Town was when your man died. Since he appears to have died intestate, there could be a wealth of information about heirs here, such as receipts for estate distributions signed by each one datelined where they lived, or affidavits by one or more relatives as to the identities and residences of the heirs, or 'returns of service' giving name and residence, proving that they were summoned to a hearing regarding the estate.

There may also be helpful deeds filed in the Steuben Co. Register of Deeds office, if heirs sold his land.

If you can't do this yourself you may find it well worth while to hire a researcher to look for you and make the copies. The Town Historian may be able to point you to someone familiar with the available records who is willing to do research for you on a fee basis. You can get contact information through the USGenweb page for Schuyler Co. Remember that the Town Historian probably has a 'day job' and other commitments.

Another vital resource can be the Town Clerk's office. The Town offices sometimes still have such valuable documents as old electoral records, road-survey records, Chattel Mortgage records, in addition to vital records that begin in the 1880s and would be too late for your quest. The Town Historian can give you an idea of what Town Records may be still in existence and still held by the Town Clerk (rather than, say, sent to the NY State Library in Albany, or destroyed by flood or fire.)

Be aware that due to the financial crunch of not only this year but recent decades, some County offices have begun to charge essentially a user-fee for access to records. This is only fair, since genealogical genuine-researchers can take up appreciable staff time with questions. County staff cannot and will not do your research for you, such as looking in indexes.

Good hunting,