William Wilson, the pioneer ancestor of this family, emigrated from Stewardstown, County of Tyrone, Ireland, in 1732, when 19 years of age. The Town of Stewardstown is in the parish of Donagheny in the province of Ulster and eighty-two miles northwest of Dublin, long noted for its very superior linen cloth.
Abstracts of wills on file in the surrogate’s office city of New York 1660-1680. From May 1787 to the present, county surrogate’s courts have recorded probates. However, the court of probates and court of chancery handled estates of deceased persons who died in one county but who owned property in another. An 1823 law mandated that all probates come under the jurisdiction of the county surrogate’s courts. Each surrogate’s court has a comprehensive index to all probate records, including the unrecorded probate packets. Interestingly enough, there are wills existing and on record at the Surrogate’s Office in New York City for the time-span of 1660-1680. Genealogical extracts of these wills have been provided below.
“Whereas Mr. PETRUS STUYVESANT, heretofore Governor of these parts, for the States Generall, of the United Provinces, and West India Company, deceased, did in his last will and testament declare and appoint Mrs. Judith Bayard, his widow and Relict to be his whole and sole executrix.” And the said will having been presented in ye Mayor’s Court, and proof made according to Law, the said Judith Bayard is confirmed, March 7, 1671/2. LIBER 1-2, page 89