||Abstracts of early wills of Queens County, New York
||recorded in Libers A and C of deeds now in the Registers Office at Jamaica, New York, 1683-1744
|Abstracts of early wills of Queens County, New York: recorded in Libers A and C of deeds now in the Registers Office at Jamaica, New York, 1683-1744. (Typescript).|
Typed manuscript at the Queens Borough Public Library in Jamaica, New York.
This manuscript is part of the Long Island Collection and is WPA Project no. 165-97-6999(6115).
As this document was apparently funded by the WPA as a make-work project, it is not clear how much training the workers had in genealogy. It could be they were just secretaries set at typewriters, and turned loose.
Not having the original documents to compare to, I cannot directly assess how good a job was done in preparing these abstracts (but see #Errors below). But here are a sample of observed characteristics that suggest the abstracts were not done by genealogical experts:
- there is very little of typical colonial spelling and capitalization errors, plus commas are seen frequently. It appears that the grammar has been modernized.
- the style of abstracts vary, so John Underhill's will on p. 24 is 4 lines long, essentially giving only the names of people mentioned, whereas other wills, such as Alice Crabb's on p. 5 appear to be nearly complete literal transcriptions. Caleb Wright's will is just names, Richard Harcourt's will is close to literal. &c.
- p. 25, has a date "Dec. 14, 1692/3". This is an invalid date, and I cannot tell if this is a bad interpretation of month number 12 (my suspicion), or if this is what the original document said.
- p. 31, the word "yet" shows up in an inappropriate place, meaning most likely that the colonial "yt was read as "yet", instead of "that".
- p. 4, will of Robert Jackson of Hempstead leaves out the entire section devoted to his daughter Sarah, so that she is never mentioned in their abstract, but should be as shown here. This is ironic because this clause is at the root of a controversy over who married Nathaniel Moore.
- p. 5, will of John Dickinson gives name of his wife was Mary instead of Elizabeth, as shown by this alternative transcript.
The abstracts can be useful, but it would not be wise to rely on them for precise accuracy. For important issues, one still has to take the time to try and track down an original copy. --Jrich 18:21, 21 May 2010 (EDT)
FHL film numbers
May be ordered through the nearest Family History Center.
Help fund new features!