default_mobilelogo

Coroner's Inquests Index, 1886-1925
Series 74
2 v. Arranged alphabetically.

Each entry includes the name of the deceased (if known), date of the inquest, date of filing in the County Clerk's office, and the name of the Coroner. Cause of death is not noted in this index. Please note that the records which these volumes index are not in the Archives.

Coroners' Inquest Records, 1805, 1808, 1823-1829, 1832-1843 (gaps), 1853, 1874, 1897, 1905, 1909, 1911 
Series 266
3 cubic ft.  Arranged chronologically in two subseries. Index is available online as a .pdf document.

Inquests, also referred to as inquisitions, by the coroner into causes of death. For the most part, the inquests from the 19th century include the name of the deceased (when known), gender, and presumed cause of death; many note the condition and position of the body when found; and some the date of death. The towns where the deceased were found are noted, but the towns where they lived are not recorded. Each inquest is signed and sealed by the coroner, the foreman, and a panel of witnesses or jurors. The records also include one coroner’s warrant and one ante-mortem inquisition.

A significant percentage of the deceased covered by these records were discovered on the side of a road, lying on a beach, or floating in a body of water, often in an advanced state of decay. Many of the deaths were witnessed, however, and took place in houses, barns, or off of boats. Between ten and fifteen percent of the deceased were not identified. The Coroners’ Inquests are largely devoted to violent, sudden, or unusual deaths. Drowning, accidents and misfortune, suicide, and “the visitation of God” are the four most frequent causes of death. Others include intoxication, syphilis, lightning, and murder. Cases of suicide are usually attributed to bouts of insanity or seduction by the Devil. For ten percent of the legible cases, the cause of death was officially declared unknown. It seems that the determination of cause of death was typically made through visual observation alone; there are only a few inquests that describe autopsies. Due to water damage suffered by the records from the 19th century, part of the page is illegible or nonextant on many of the documents, consequently the cause of death cannot be discerned on about twenty percent of the inquests. Due to the fragile nature of these records, scanned images only are available to the public.

The records available for 1905, 1909 and 1911 are fully intact and in fairly standard format. They include testimony of witnesses who either knew the deceased and/or witnessed the death, the report on the body by the examining physician, and the concluding pronouncement of the coroner as to the cause of death. Sometimes the testimony recounts the lineage of the deceased -- where he/she was born and the names and places of birth of his/her parents.  One of the primary causes of death for the records available for this period was being struck by a train. Other causes of death included accidental drowning and disease.  

Corporation Registers, 1885-1929 (actual dates of documents recorded 1848-ca. 2001) 
Series 292
14 v. Arranged chronologically.

Each of these fourteen registers lists, by company, the documents filed for it with the Westchester County Clerk, for corporations incorporated during the time period 1848-January 1929. Documents listed include initial incorporation papers and all subsequent records filed for each company, such as amendments, changes of stock information, change of names, and dissolutions. Most, but not all, of the original documents listed in Volume 1 of this series are available in Series 279. The records listed in Registers 2-14 are available through the Office of the County Clerk.

County Clerk Correspondence and Memos, 1939-1981
Series 53
Less than 1 cubic ft. Arranged alphabetically. View box and folder list.

Communications between the County Clerk and various County departments.

County Clerk Financial Records, 1956-1982
Series 54
1.5 cubic ft. Arranged alphabetically. View box and folder list.

Incoming and outgoing correspondence, memos and other records concerning budgets, capital budgets, audits and expenditures. 

County Clerk Personnel Records, 1947-1982
Series 56
Less than 1 cubic ft. Arranged alphabetically. View box and folder list.

Directories, job specifications, organization charts, memos and general correspondence about County Clerk personnel. This series does not include records about individual employees. 

County Clerk Property Map Index (Block Index), ca.1766-1992
Series 205
30 v.  Arranged by block number.

Indexing system created by the WPA for all maps filed with the County Clerk's office, from 1766-1992. Under the system the County was divided into 324 geographical sections ("blocks"), and every map was identified and indexed as to which "block" it touched upon. [Note: the "blocks" define in this index are unique to the system and do not correspond to tax blocks or any other "block" identifying system within the county.]  Each page of the index provides the map number, title of map, date of filing, made by (surveyor or engineer), and remarks (may reference a deed or mortgage liber). 

County Clerk Reports, 1940-1980
Series 55
1.5 cubic ft. Arranged alphabetically. View box and folder list.

Annual reports (1974-1980), various monthly reports (1941-1957), and goals and accomplishments reports (1958-1969). 

County Clerk Subject Files, 1940-1981
Series 52
Less than 1 cubic ft. Arranged alphabetically. View box and folder list.

Miscellaneous files which include items such as the County Flag specifications (1978); facilities recommendations for the County Clerk's office (c.1950); files on historical societies, and files on the New York State Association of County Clerks.

County Court, 1823-1870
Series 260
2 cubic ft.  Arranged chronologically by type of record.

Prior to 1846, each county had a Court of Common Pleas and a Court of General Sessions, for civil and criminal cases, respectively. With the judicial reorganization under the new state constitution of 1846, these two courts were combined to form the County Court. It has jurisdiction over lesser civil and all felony cases. For all intents and purposes, this is the existing County Court that exists today. Records existing for this series include minutes and decisions, and the records are organized by type of record rather than by case name. The relationship between these records and those in Series 342 (County Court Minutes) and Series 348 (County Court Case Files) is unknown. Case numbers have not been found on these records.

County Court Case Files, ca.1847-ca.1911
Series 348
42 cubic ft. Arranged by case number.

County Court case files. Files are organized by case number. Note, however, that case numbers do not appear to have been assigned chronologically, therefore the exact date range of this series is only an approximation. Cases are indexed by plaintiff in Series 341 and lists of documents filed for specific cases are available in Series 337.

Related records:  Series 341, County Court Case Index, 1868-1933; Series 337, County Court Registers, 1847-1911; Series 342, County Court Minutes, 1853-1911.

County Court Case Index, 1868-1933
Series 341
7 v. Arranged alphabetically by plaintiff.

Indexes to County Court Cases filed in Westchester County from 1868-1933. County Court case files themselves, through 1911, are available from the Archives. County Court case files for 1912-1933 must be obtained through the office of the Westchester County Clerk.

Related records:  Series 342, County Court Minutes, 1853-1911; Series 337, County Court Registers, 1847-1911; Series 348, County Court Case Files, ca. 1847-ca. 1911.

County Court Minutes, 1853-1911
Series 342
15 v. Arranged chronologically.

Minutes to cases heard by the Westchester County Court. Includes names of jurors, witnesses for defense and prosecution and verdicts. Testimony is not included.  Beginning in 1896 minutes are divided between Civil and Criminal divisions of the County Court. A few of the later books have their own indexes by name of plaintiff (Civil division) / or defendant (Criminal division). County Court case files themselves are available from the Archives.

Related records:  Series 341, County Court Case Index, 1868-1933; Series 337, County Court Registers, 1847-1911; Series 348, County Court Case Files, ca. 1847-ca. 1911.

County Court Registers, 1847-1911
Series 337
10 v.  Arranged chronologically.

Registers to County Court cases listing out all documents filed in cases. Cases are indexed by plaintiff. Actual case files are available at the Archives. 

Related records:  Series 341, County Court Case Index, 1868-1933; Series 348, County Court Case Files, ca. 1847-ca. 1911; Series 342, County Court Minutes, 1853-1911.

County Elections and Appointments Records, 1907-1922, 1935-1981
Series 152
3 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically.

Certificates of election and appointments to office filed with the County Clerk. Included are appointments to the Bronx Parkway Commission (1907 ff.), the County Welfare Department (1917 ff.), and the County War Council (1942).

Related records: Series 140, Elections and Canvasses Records, 1892-1921, 1936-1998; Series 153, Municipal Elections and Appointments Records, 1898-1978 (gaps). 

Court Administration Facilities Records, 1959-1977
Series 151
Less than 1 cubic ft. Arranged alphabetically. View box and folder list.

Records of the County Clerk concerning courtroom assignments, equipment, supplies, courthouse construction and the renovation of courtrooms and chambers.

Related records: Series 24, Courthouse Development Committee Records, 1948-1968. 

Court Administration Financial Records, 1956-1973
Series 71
Less than 1 cubic ft. Arranged alphabetically. View box and folder list.

Audits, budgets, memos and correspondence.

Court Administration Miscellaneous Records, 1948-1981
Series 59
2 cubic ft. Arranged alphabetically. View box and folder list.

Office files of the Administrative Judge. Includes memos and correspondence with State authorities, County departments and City Court officials. Also includes various Court rules and statistics. 

Court Administration Personnel Records, 1957-1977
Series 150
Less than 1 cubic ft. Arranged alphabetically. View box and folder list.

Job descriptions, leave policies and personnel studies for the county court. These files do not contain records of individual employees.

Court Administration Reports, 1952-1977
Series 101
Less than 1 cubic ft. Arranged alphabetically. View box and folder list.

Annual and miscellaneous reports and statistics maintained by the County Clerk as Clerk of the Supreme and County courts. 

Court of General Session, 1768-1857 (gaps)
Series 251
5.75 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically by type of record.

In 1777 the Court of General Session was created as a criminal counterpart to the Court of Common Pleas. Both of these courts operated at the county level under the Supreme Court of Judicature system. The Court of General Sessions could try all criminal cases except those punishable by death or life imprisonment. When the courts were reformed in 1846 under the new state constitution, the Supreme Court of Judicature was replaced by the Supreme Court and the Courts of Common Pleas and General Sessions were replaced by the County Court. The records in this series are individual court filings, including true bills (indictments), affidavits, subpoenas, recognizance, and minutes. Documents relating to the same case are not filed together. 

Court of Sessions Minutes, 1684-1895
Series 43
10 v. Arranged chronologically.

Records of the Court which heard criminal cases between 1684 and 1895. Cases heard by the court include assault, murder, rape, fraud, treason, illegal voting, gambling and matters involving the Overseers of the Poor (public charges, manumission and bastardy). Included are lists of jurors, jury foremen and Justices of the Peace. These records do not usually include testimony. 

Court of Special Sessions, 1812, 1828, 1841-1879, 1889-1890
Series 259
3.5 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically by type of record.

Courts of Special Sessions were criminal courts at the town level. They were presided over by three justices of the peace (after 1845 only one was required) and handled misdemeanors and minor felonies. Though courts of justices of the peace were not normally courts of record, any convictions were required to be filed with the county clerk. Courts of Special Sessions are not to be confused with the Court of Sessions or the Court of General Sessions. These entities were county courts with more complete jurisdiction over criminal matters. The Courts of Special Sessions were abolished in 1896. Included in this series are true bills (indictments) and minutes, along with miscellaneous documents not readily categorized. 

Court of Special Sessions -- Miscellaneous, 1832-1846, 1859-1860, 1891, 1908, 1912
Series 261

Less than 1 cubic ft.  Arranged chronologically.

Includes complaints, examinations, certificates of conviction, minutes, inquest testimony, statements of defendants, arrest warrants, and orders for commitment from the Court of Special Sessions.

Cross Index to Surnames, 1898-1931
Series 127
1 v. Arranged alphabetically.

Lists surnames and alternate spellings of family names common to Westchester County. This volume was used in the County Clerk's office.  View this volume online.