The Minutes of the Court of General Sessions of the Peace provide a detailed record of the proceedings of the Court as it dealt with both criminal and civil matters. The names of the presiding judges, as well as the list of persons proclaimed as Grand Jurors, are included in the Minutes of each sitting of the Court. Lists of both Grand Jury and Petit Jury defaulters are frequently included as well. In civil matters, the Minutes record the appointment, for each year, of all parish officials, and the names of those individuals who have been granted retail and tavern licences. In addition, there are petitions from the Sessions Court to the Legislature; reports from the committee of public accounts; assessments for the poor; petitions to the council from groups and individuals on many topics; a record of payments by the Court to individuals for services rendered to the county; a list of parish schools, which includes the teacher's name, length of the school session and the number of students; committee appointees and reports; and numerous orders and regulations that were issued by the Court in the conduct of county affairs.
Reel 1 contains the earliest records of the Court of General Sessions for York County that have survived. The Minutes date from January of 1789 and continue until June of 1817.
Reel 2 begins with three unrelated pages, including the first page of the 1789 Minutes. The pages are followed by the Minutes of the Court for 1818-1827, which has been called Volume 2; and the years 1828-1839, which has been designated Volume 3. The first two years of Volume 4, 1840-1841, have been microfilmed at the end of the reel. The remainder of Volume 4, 1842-1850, is microfilmed on a separate reel, which is not included in the Loyalist Collection.