Settling William McGinnis' estate

This record pertaining to William McGinnis, my paternal 3rd great-grandfather, was filed in 1899. It is an Administrator's Bond. If you're like me, you have no idea what an Administrator's Bond is. I can see that it's not a will, but what is it? Google to the rescue! Here's what I found out:


Normally, an Administrator is appointed by the probate court when a person dies without leaving a will, to oversee the distribution of the deceased person's assets. The court will often require a bond to insure the assets are properly settled. In this case, the bond was $1,000. (See the transcript below.)

William's son, Charles McGinnis, was appointed as Administrator, with my 2nd great-grandparents, Mary Ellen (McGinnis) Hollenbeck and her husband Jasper Hollenbeck as sureties. The surety bond is required to ensure that the Administrator distributes the assets properly. If no fraud or additional costs are incurred, the bonds are returned, similar to a security deposit.



Surrogate's Court, Cortland County.

p. 357

In the matter of the personal estate of William McGinnis, deceased. Administrator's Bond.


Know all men by these presents, that we, Charles McGinnis as principal, and Mary Hollenbeck and Jasper Hollenbeck as sureties are held and firmly bound unto the People of the State of New York, in the sum of one thousand dollars, lawful money of the United States of America, to be said to said People.

To which payment well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our and each of our heirs, executors and administrators jointly and severally, firmly by these presents. Sealed with our seals. Dated the 25th day of Feb'y, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and ninety nine.

The condition of the obligation is as such, that if the above bounden Charles McGinnis, administrator of all and singular the goods, chattels and credits of William McGinnis, deceased; shall faithfully execute the trust reposed in him as administrator, and shall obey all orders that may from time to time be made by the Surrogate of the county of Cortland, touching the administration of the estate of said William McGinnis, deceased, committed to him then this obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.

(Signed) Chas. McGinnis, Jasper Hollenbeck, Mary Hollenbeck


p. 358

State of New York, Cortland County, ss.:

Mary Hollenbeck, one of the sureties named in the within bond, doth depose and say, that he is a freeholder in the town of Willett in the county of Cortland and is worth the sum of one thousand dollars over and above all the debts and liabilities which he owes or has incurred, and exclusive of property exempt by law from levy and sale under an execution.

(signed) Mary Hollenbeck

Sworn before me this 25th day of February 1899,

(signed) John J. Hickey, Justice of the Peace


State of New York, Cortland County, ss.:

Jasper Hollenbeck, one of the sureties named in the within bond, doth depose and say, that he is a freeholder in the town of Willett in the county of Cortland and is worth the sum of one thousand dollars over and above all the debts and liabilities which he owes or has incurred, and exclusive of property exempt by law from levy and sale under an execution.

(signed) Jasper Hollenbeck

Sworn before me this 25th day of February 1899,

(signed) John J. Hickey, Justice of the Peace


Source: New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999, Ancestry.com Probate Records, 1809-1935; Indexes, 1808-1970; Author: New York. Surrogate's Court (Cortland County); Probate Place: Cortland, New York, Vol. B, 1895-1901, p. 357-358



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