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Will Books

Will Books, 1749-1973.

Description: Will Books contain copies of wills recorded in York County. Original wills are found in estate files. They are organized chronologically by filing date and are indexed separately in the Will Book Indexes. The Register of Wills Office only holds paper copies of the wills after 1973; therefore there are no Will Books after 1973. The indexes held at our office run from 1749-1958. There are no will indexes after 1958, use estate file indexes.

Content: A will is an instrument by which a person makes disposition of his property to take effect after his death. It may list where the person lived, burial arrangements, names of heirs, and a description of real estate. Will Books hold copies of original wills, translations of some early German wills, codicils and notes that wills have been filed in the Register of Wills Office. Further information may include the names of the witnesses of the will, date of probate, memorandums including the date of death (starting in the late 1800's), letters testamentary granting executorship and the names of the executor(s). Early Will Books may also include the dates of filing for administration accounts and inventories, as well as letters of administration and any renunciations filed in the office. The name and seal of the Register of Wills concludes the entry.

Indexes, 1749-1958.

Content: Indexes are organized chronologically in alphabetical order by the decedent's surname. Each entry will provide the name of the decedent, residence of the decedent, date of probate, the executors named in the will and the book and page number reference.

Note: See estate files for a glossary of terms.
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