Monday, November 11, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Post 194: Will of Philip Jacob King (1764-1829) of York, Pennsylvania

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday blog theme many months ago called Amanuensis Monday. What does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition:

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is the will of Philip Jacob King (1764-1829) of Spring Garden, York County, Pennsylvania.  He had 12 children by his first wife, Catherine (Ruth) King (1770-1813), and none with his second wife, Christina (Miller) (Johnston) King (1766-1833).

The probate court clerk's copy of the will was located on FamilySearch in the "Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994" collection for York County, Volume Q. pages 136-141.  Here is the first image of the six pages for this will from the collection:

That is the most beautiful court clerk's handwriting I've ever seen!

The transcription of the will is:

[page] 136

In th name of God Amen. I Philip Jacob King of Spring
Garden township in the County of York and State of Pennsylvania,
being in a weakly state of health, but of a sound and perfect mind
and memory, therefore thought proper to make and publish this
my last will and testament, in manner and form following that
is to say First and principally I commit my soul into the hands
of Almighty God and my body to the earth, to be decently buried
at the discretion of my Executors herein after named and after
my funeral charges and just debts are paid I give and bequeath
unto my beloved wife Christina and to her heirs and assigns all
the household goods and property which I received and she brou-
ght to me at the time of our intermarriage, she can identify and
ascertain the same. I also give devise and bequeath to her the
Western part of my now dwelling house, and part of the kitchen

[page] 137

cellar, garden, bake oven and pup (?) and entry in the house, and pri-
vilege in the yard and about the house during her natural life; al-
so the following articles namely two beds with the beding and
bedsteads a cow with all the necessary fodder and feed & keeping
also sufficient firewood delivered; also my gig also my clock and
case, a ten plate stove and pipe, and all the linen, yarn, help, flax
and tow; and as much other household and kitchen furniture as she
may choose to enjoy the same during her life and what remains
of these articles at the time of her death the same to be sold by my
Executors and the proceeds to be divided as the residue of my es-
tate whereafter directed to be divided; I also give and bequeath
unto her four bushels of wheat, the meat of one hog and such oth-
er eatables as may be left in the house at the time of my decease.

It is also my will and I order and direct my sons Jacob and
Henry to pay her yearly and every year the sum of two hundred
Dollars, one hundred dollars to be paid to her in three months
after my decease, and one hundred dollars in one year after my
decease, and from thence the said yearly sum of two hundred dol-
lars to be paid to her during her natural life, which is to be in full
of her share of my estate real and personal the yearly payment
of two hundred dollars to her to be and remain a charge and lien
on the property hereafter devised to the said Jacob and Henry. Item,
I five and devise to my son George and to his heirs and assigns, my
paper mill and the house wherein he now dwells and all my land
on the south side of Codorus Creek, which I purchased from Doc-
tor Samuel Fahnestock and Solomon Miller, with all the build-
ings, appurtenances and privileges thereunto belonging except my
brick dwelling house and barn and about one acre of land adjo-
ining and which is bounded on the South by the public road
leading to the Borough of York and Westerly by the road ^running^ to and
past the paper mill and Northerly by the garden partition fence,
this course or line to run so far Easterly as to extend two perches Easterly
of the barn and shed and thence a streight line to the public road
aforesaid, for which property devised to my said son George, I hereby
charge him his heirs and assigns with the payment of four thous-
and Dollars which is to be a charge and lien on the premises devi-
sed to him – to be paid as follows, one thousand dollars part the-
reof to be paid to each of them immediately after my decease
and to pay the Interest of one thousand dollars yearly to my

[page] 138

daughter Elizabeth intermarried with Daniel Spangler during her
natural life the first payment to be made in one year after my
decease and at and immediately after her death the said sum of
one thousand dollars, the principal, to be paid to her children sh-
are and share alike and he is also to pay the interest of one thou-
sand dollars to my daughter Anna Mary intermarried with Geo-
rge Kan yearly during her natural life and after her death the
said principal sum of one thousand dollars to be paid and di-
vided equally between my said son George, his two other brothers
and three sisters, Elizabeth to receive only the interest yearly of
her share thereof and after her death the share to be paid and
divided between her children equally. Item, I give and devise
to my two sons Jacob and Henry, and to their heirs and assigns
as tenants in common, my grist mill and tenements and about
thirty acres and a half of land, situate on the North side of
Codorus Creek in West Manchester township, together with the appur-
tenances and privileges thereunto belonging; and also my dwelling
house and barn and about one acre of land as before described,
and excepted out of the land which I purchased from Doctor S.
Fahnestock (reserving and excepting the life estate of my said wife
as before mentioned.) And also about twenty four acres of land, situ-
ate on the South side of the public road leading to the Borough of
York in Spring Garden township and being the same which I pur-
chased from Philip Gossler reserving the water right to my son George
his heirs and assigns as may be necessary for the paper mill and
privilege and liberty to clean and open the ditch race or water cou-
rse when necessary doing so little damage to the land as may be
for which said property they shall pay to my daughters and heirs
the sum of three thousand dollars and which sum is to be a char-
ge on him on the said property so devised) as follows namely seven
hundred fifty dollars to my said daughter Salome and seven
hundred fifty dollars to my aforesaid daughter Barbara, to be
paid to them immediately after my decease and the interest of se-
ven hundred fifty dollars to be paid yearly to my aforesaid daugh-
ter Elizabeth and at her death the principal to be paid to her ch-
ildren in equal shares and also the yearly Interest of seven hun-
dred fifty dollars to be paid to my aforesaid daughter Anna Mary
during her natural life and after her death the principal to be
paid and equally divided between my said sons Jacob and Henry
and George and daughters Salome Barbara and Elizabeth,
Elizabeth to receive the interest of her share thereof yearly during

[page] 139

her life and after her death the principal to be equally divided between
her children, the interest and principal to be a lien on the property devi-
sed. Item I also give and devise to my said two sons Jacob & Henry
and to their heirs and assigns a tract of land situate in Spring Garden
and York township, adjoining lands of John Fahs, Simon Minick,
John Weiser, John Beshore and others containing one hundred and
seventy eight acres more or less. And all the residue of my real es-
tate consisting of a house & part of a lot situate on the North side of
High street and two small tenements and lot of ground on the we-
st side of Beaver street, in the Borough of York – about fifty acres
of land in York township adjoining lands of …. Rohr, Frey Yost,
and others; and also a house and two lots in Wrightsville. I order
and direct my Executors or acting or surviving Executors to sell
the same as soon as may be after my decease and to the best ad-
vantage at their discretion and the money arising therefrom, and
all my other personal estate, I give and order the same to be divi-
ded as follows namely one fourth thereof I give and bequeath to
my said daughter Salome; one fourth to my daughter Barbara,
one fourth to be put out on interest by my executors (taking good
security) the interest whereof to be paid yearly to my said daughter
Elizabeth during her life, and after her death the principal to
be paid and equally divided between her children and the other fo-
urth share or part, I also order the same to be loaned out on interest
(on good security) and the interest thereof to be paid to my said
daughter Anna Mary yearly during her life and after her dea-
th the same to be equally divided between my other six children
Elizabeth's share thereof I also order to be put out on interest and she
to receive the interest thereof yearly and after her death to be equa-
lly divided between her children share and share alike. Item It
is my will and I order that the mill dam to be kept in good repair
and that one half of expences thereof be paid by my son George
and the other half by my sons Jacob & Henry and their assigns.
Item It is my will that my said son George is not to take the
water when low, so as to prevent the grist mill from going. Item,
It is my will that my if son Henry should die under the age of twen-
ty one years then and in that case I give and devise all his share
of my estate to my son Jacob his heirs and assigns and if in case
any one of my sons Jacob or Henry should wish and be desirous
to sell his part of the real estate devised to him. It is my will that
he share first offer the same to his brother, and if they cannot agree
as to the price, they are to choose three respectable men to value the

[page] 140

same. Item I do hereby appoint my soninlaw George Kan to be
Guardian for my son Henry. Whereas I have heretofore advan-
ced to my son George one thousand dollars now I do hereby rele-
ave him from the payment of the same. And lastly I do hereby con-
stitute and appoint my son Jacob and my sons in law George Kan
and Jacob Erhart to be Executors of this my last will and testa-
ment revoking and annulling all former wills by me heretofore
made, ratifying and confirming this and none other to be my last
Will and testament. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my ha-
nd and seal this third day of February in the year of our Lord one
thousand eight hundred and twenty six – (Signed) Philip J. King {seal}

The foregoing last will and testament of Philip Jacob King was dis-
tinctly read to him by us the subscribers and after the same being so
read to him he published and pronounced the same to be his last
will and testament and signed and sealed the same in our pre-
sence, and requested us to sign our names thereto as witnesses
at the same time. (Signed) J. Barnitz & M. Barnitz
April 10, 1828. The testators after interlineations in favour of his
widow on the first page also an alteration on the third page of three
instead of four and other correspondent alterations also the altera-
tions by striking out subject to the claims of the proprietaries aga-
in this day sealed and published the foregoing with said altera-
tions as his last will and testament in our presence who were
called as witnesses.
Chas. A. Barnitz S.M. Barnitz (Signed) Philuip J. King {seal}
York County SS
Before me Jacob B. Wentz, Register for the prob-
of wills and granting letters of administration in and for the
County of York in the State of Pennsylvania personally came Char-
les A. Barnitz and Samuel M. Barnitz Esquires the two surviving
subscribing witnesses to the within and foregoing instrument of
writing who on their solemn oath do severally depose and say
that they were personally present and saw Philip Jacob King the te-
stator in said instrument of writing named on the 10th day of Ap-
ril 1828 sign his name thereunto and seal the same, and heard
him publish pronounce and declare said instrument of writi-
ng as and for his last will and testament that the interlineations
alterations and striking out of sundry words as mentioned in
the memorandum were made before the last signing and seal-
ing of said will. And they the said Charles A. and Samuel M.
do further depose and say that he the said Philip Jacob King

[page] 141

at the time of the doing thereof was of sound and disposing mind mem-
ory and understanding to the best of their knowledge observation and
belief (Signed) Samuel M. Barnitz Chas A. Barnitz. Sworn and subs-
scribed before me at York the ninth day of March AD 1829 –-
J B Wentz Regr
Whereas Philip Jacob King of spring Garden Township in the
County of York lately died having previous to his death made his
last will and testament in writing bearing date the 5 day of Febru-
ary 1826. And said will having been by him republished and
signed on the 10th April 1828. Wherein and whereby he the said Ph-
lip Jacob King did nominate and appoint Jacob King George
Kan & Jacob Erhart the Executors of his said testament and last
will. Now know all men by these presents that I Jacob Erhart
one of the Executors above mentioned for divers causes me thereunto
moving to resign, renounce and quit claim to said appointment,
and desire that letters testamentary on said will may be grant-
ed to Jacob King & George Kan the other executors in said will
named. In Witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal
the 9th day of March AD 1829.
Witness present George Small Jacob Erhart {seal}
York County
On the 9th day of March AD 1829 Before me Jacob
B. Wentz Register for the probate of wills in and for said County came
Jacob King & George Kan the two Executors accepting in the testa-
ment and last will of Philip Jacob King late of spring Garden
township in said County deceased, who on their solemn oath did
depose and say that they will well and truly administer the
goods and chattels rights and credits which were of the said
deceased that they will a true inventory and conscionable app-
raisement thereof make and exhibit the same into the Regis-
ters office in and for said county within one month. And that
they will a true and just account, calculation and reckoning
of their said administration make and render within one year
from the above date.                                J B Wentz Regr
Memorandum That letters testamentary on the testament and
last will of Philip J. King decd were granted to Jacob King &
George Kan the two Executors accepting their appointment
the 9th of March 1829. A true copy taken from and
compared with the original remaining on file.

                                          J B Wentz Regr      

The source citation for this court clerk's copy of the will of Philip Jacob King is:

“Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994,” digital images, FamilySearch (, York County, “Wills, 1818-1833, vol. O-Q,” Volume Q, Philip Jacob King will, on pages 136-141 (images 638 to 640 of 846).

In this will, Philip Jacob King mentions his wife Christina, and his children Jacob, Henry, George, daughter Elizabeth (who married Daniel Spangler), Mary Anna (who married George Kan), daughter Barbara, daughter Salome (or Sarah, married to Jacob Erhart).  The other five children did not survive until Philip Jacob's King's writing of his will.

The will is very complicated, and I sincerely doubt that the distribution of the estate proceeded as Philip Jacob King bequeathed.  It might have taken many years for the heirs of Elizabeth (King) Spangler to receive the interest on the portions of her siblings.  I have not looked for other probate papers for Philip Jacob King yet that might show how this estate was passed to the heirs.

The primary value for me is that this will clearly says that his daughter, Elizabeth, is the wife of Daniel Spangler.  They are my third great-grandparents.  Philip Jacob King is one of my fourth great-grandfathers.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Geolover said...

An interesting will.

The copying clerk might not have read it this way, but on p. 137, your "pup (?)" is probably supposed to be "pass," for the phrase "pass and entry in the house." As in "free passage."

On page 137's 6th line, after "linen, yarn" is "hemp" before "flax". You probably know that hemp was widely cultivated for its fiber, particularly for weaving material for such non-refined items as sacks and ticking.

Jodi Spade Roessler said...

Fascinating! I, too, have York County roots, and recently did a transcription of a York County Will written in 1797, proved in 1799, just before Adams County was created. You might recognize the clerk's surname.

Michael Helfrich said...

Thanks for the transcript. I am researching King's Mill and the adjacent properties.
Let me know if you would like to see the house your ancestor purchased from Solomon Miller in 1792. I live in the house on the north side of the Codorus, one of the "tenements" that went with the Grist Mill. This is where he and Philip Jacob King and his family lived before the "King's Mansion" was built on the property south of Codorus Creek. Michael Helfrich 717-779-7915