Monday, December 2, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Post 197: Will of Baltzer Spangler (1706-1770) 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 Baltzer Spangler (1706-1770) of York township, York County, Pennsylvania.  It was written 9 October 1770 and 17 October 1770 and registered in the Probate Court on 3 December 1770.  It starts at the bottom of the right-hand page on the first image below, and includes all of the second and third images:

A transcription of the will and codicils of Baltzer Spangler is (this is a probate court clerk transcription, and the original is in York County, Pennsylvania Probate Court Records, Volume C, pages 9-13):

[page 09]

1 In the Name of God Amen.

2 I Baltzer Spangler of York township in the County of York and province of Pennsylv-
3 ania Yeoman being sick and weak of Body but of sound and Disposing mind memory and
4 understanding Blessed be the Lord for the same and calling unto mind that all flesh is as

[page 10]

5 Grass and the Goodliness thereof as the flower of the field and Remembering what the
6 Lord said unto Hezekiah Set thy house in order for thee must die and not Live have this
7 ninth day of October In the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy
8 made and ordained this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following.
9 In the first place I Recommend my immortal Soul into the Hands of Almighty God
10 my Creator Who Gave it trusting in the merits of my Ever Blessed Saviour and Redeemer
11 Jesus Christ for pardon and Remision of all my sins and an happy Admision into
12 the Regions of Bliss and Immortality and for my Body I commend it to the Earth to
13 be decently Buried at the discretion of my Executors hereafter mentioned Nothing doubting
14 but I shall receive the same by the almighty Power of God and as touching such Worldly
15 Estate wherewith it hath pleased Almighty God to bless me with in this life I give devise
16 and Bequeath and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.

17 Item My Will is that all my Just debts and funeral charges be paid off and discharged
18 as soon as conveniently may be after my decease by my Executors herein after Named.

19 Item I Give and Bequeath unto my dearly Beloved Wife Magdalena Spangler the
20 Cloaths press and all the Linnen and Sheeting and Ready money in the house at the time
21 of my decease together with two feather Beds and furniture as they now Stand a tea kettle
22 and tea furniture two pewter Basons two pewter dishes six pewter plates one pewter porringer
23 one pewter Quart Measure One dozen pewter spoons, one small Walnut Oval Table, four
24 Chairs, two delf Bowls two small Iron potts one Iron Ladle one Iron Shimmer one Large
25 Copper Ladle for dipping Water one Iron pott Rack, the Copper kettle and Spinning wheel
26 and Reel the Clock and Cease, one Looking Glass one small Walnut Box, the Close Stool Chair
27 a Large Iron pan with feet one small Washing tub one Bucket one pail one Brass-
28 Bucket one Glass Lantern, two Quart Bottles a Psalm Book and two prayer Book, one Grid
29 Iron, one Garden hoe, two Cows of Her own Choice, the Big Roan Mare Saddle and Bridle
30 the Negro Man Jacob and the Negro Woman Tammer her Choice of four sheep and of two
31 Beehives and of two hogs. My will is that my said dearly Beloved Wife shall have the
32 produce of my dwelling Plantation and all that thereon is for one full year after
33 my decease and that She Shall also have the Kitchen Cupboard.

35 Item I give devise and bequeath Unto my Eldest Son George Spangler the plantation
36 and Tract of Land whereon he now Lives being part of any Original Tract as the
37 same is more Laid out Containing one hundred twenty Acres or thereabouts he
38 paying thereout to my Executors hereafter named the sum of twenty five pounds Lawful
39 Money of Pennsylvania to hold to him, my said son George Spangler his Heirs and
40 Assigns forever Which sum of twenty five pounds Tender to be paid in one year
41 after my decease.

42 Item, I give devise and Bequeath unto my son Baltzer Spangler for the house and part
43 of the Lott whereon he now Lives, Situate on the north side of high Street in York town
44 Extending Back the wealth of his Buildings forty feet and then the whole Lott 6 be Equally
45 divided Between Him my said son Balzer and his Brother Daniel by an Eight foot
46 Alley to be Run through the remainder to the twenty foot Alley at the north End of the
47 said Lott To hold to him my said son Baltzer his Heirs and Assigns forever
48 and I also Give and Bequeath unto him my said son Baltzer the sum of twenty pounds
49 Lawfull money of the province aforesaid.

[page 11]

50 Item, I Give and Bequeath unto my son Michael Spangler the sum of fifteen pounds Lawfull
51 money of pennsylvania to be paid him or his order Yearly and every year during his Natural
52 Life to be paid by my son John as is herein after mentioned.

53 Item, I Give Devise and Bequeath unto my son Rudy Spangler the house and Lott he now lives
54 on Situate and being in high Street in York town of aforesaid Number 118 adjoining the
55 Lott of Teeter Uley deceased and William Mathews to hold to him my said son Rudy
56 Spangler his Heirs and Assigns forever, he paying thereout to my said hereafter named
57 Executors the sum of fifty pounds Lawfull Money of Pennsylvania, the sum of twenty
58 five pounds in one year after my decease and the other Remaining twenty five pounds
59 in the next Year following.

60 Item, I also give and Devise unto my said son Rudolph Spangler a certain Small
61 piece of Land containing one Acre and an half more or lesss as the same is now.
62 fenced adjoining the Town Land and Land of my son Baltzer to hold to him my
63 said Son Rudolph his Heirs and Assignes forever.

64 Item, I give devise and Bequeath unto my son Daniel Spangler the house and Parts of
65 a Lott of Ground he now Lives on Situate on the North Side of High Street in York town aforesaid adjoin-
66 ing the house and Ground Bequeathed to my son Baltzer the half Lott to Contain the Weadth of
67 the dwelling house and to be Equally divided off the said Baltzer's part by an Eight foot
68 Alley to be Run from the twenty foot Alley at the North End of the said Lott towards high
69 Street aforesaid one hundred and seventy three feet the Extent of which distance I allow to
70 be the middle of another Eight foot Alley to Lead into the publick Square of the said township
71 of York for the use and Convenience of my said Son Baltzer Spangler his Heirs and
72 Assigns forever, to hold to him my said Son Daniel Spangler his Heirs and Assigns
73 forever.

74 Item, I also Give devise and Bequeath unto my said Son Daniel Spangler a Small piece of
75 Land off my Original tract Adjoining my son Baltzer Spangler and Land hereafter
76 Bequeathed to Francis Koontz Containing one Acre and an half more or less as the same
77 is now fenced to hold to him my said Son Daniel Spangler his Heirs and Assigns
78 forever and I also Bequeath him my said Son the Sum of twenty pounds Lawfull
79 money of Pennsylvania.

80 Item I Give devise and Bequeath unto my son John Spangler the dwelling plantation on
81 Which I now Live with its appurtenances Situate in the Township aforesaid Adjoining
82 the Land of James Smith, Francis Bickle, Geo. Stevenson Conrad Holsbaum Geo Spangler
83 and Containing two hundred and twenty five Acres to hold to him my said Son John his Heirs
84 and Assigns forever, Upon Condition that he provides for his Mother my Dearly Beloved
85 Wife twenty Bushels of Wheat twenty Bushels of Rye twenty five Bushels of Oats fifty
86 pounds of heckled Hemp one hundred pounds of Beef one hundred and fifty pounds of pork
87 her Choise of four Rows of Apple trees Yearly and every year during her Natural Life
88 and allow her to Live in this my dwelling house as long as she shall think proper
89 and if she should not Choose to Dwell with him he shall Build her a Good and sufficient
90 Dwelling house upon such part of my said plantation as she shall Choose at her Requital

[page 12]

91 and shall also deliver her Sufficient fire Wood at her door And that he my said Son John
92 Shall pay unto my son Michael Spangler beforenamed the sum of fifteen pounds Lawfull
93 Money of Pennsylvania Yearly and every Year during the Term of his my said Son Michaels
94 Life and the sum of two hundred and seventy five pounds Lawfull money aforesaid in
95 manner following Vizt: twenty five pounds thereof on the decease of my beloved Wife
96 Magdalena and the sum of two hundred fifty pounds the Remainder thereof at
97 the decease of my said Son Michael Spangler Which said Sum of two hundred and Seventy
98 five pounds I order and direct to be Equally divided amongst all my Children the Children
99 of my Daughter Juliana only Excepted.

100 Item, It is my Will and I do order that notwithstanding the above bequest to my said son John
101 that should he my said son John depart this Life Without Lawfull Issue of his body
102 and he Possessed of the Lands above Bequeathed then and in such Ease the said Lands
103 to him Bequeathed shall become property and Right of all my Children Except the Children
104 of my aforesaid daughter Julia.

105 I also Give and Bequeath Unto my said Son John Spangler the New Waggon and Gears
106 the horse Called Pumer and the Youg Roan Mare the plow and harrow a Lock Chain two
107 Collars & two pair of Iron traces.

108 Item, I Give and Bequeath unto my Grandchildren Born on the body of my Daughter
109 Juliana deceased Vizt: Frederick Magdalena Hannah John and Elizabeth Bickle the sum
110 of ten pounds Lawfull money of Pennsylvania Each to be paid to them as they arrive to the
111 age of twenty one years.

112 Item I Give and Bequeath unto my Daughter Elizabeth now the wife of Francis Koontz the sum of
113 two hundred pounds Lawfull money of Pennsylvania to be paid her by my Executors in manner
114 following Vizt: the sum of fifty pounds part thereof in one Year after my decease and the
115 sum of fifty pounds Yearly until the whole is paid.

116 Item I give devise and Bequeath Unto my said daughter Elizabeth Koontz a small piece of
117 Land part of my Original tract Containing one Acre and an half more or Less as the same
118 is Now Laid out and fenced to hold to her my said daughter Elizabeth her Heirs and Assigns
119 forever.

120 And all the Rest & residue and Remainder of my Estate Real and personal not
121 herein before disposed of I order and direct the same to be Equally divided to and amongst
122 all my Children Excepting thereout the Children of my aforesaid Daughter Juliana.

123 And Lastly I do hereby Nominate Constitute and appoint my son Baltzer
124 Spangler and my trusty and well Beloved friend Michael Swoope Esquire my only and
125 Sole Executors of this my Last Will and Testament hereby Ratifying and confirming this
126 and no other to be and Contain my Last Will and Testament. In Testimony whereof
127 I have hereunto Set my hand and affixed my Seal the day and Year first mentioned

128 Baltzer Spangler {seal} Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and
129 Declared by the said Testator Baltzer Spangler as and for his Last Will and testament
130 who in his presence and at his request Signed our Names as Witnesses to be the Same
131 (Yearly and every Year during her natural life being first Interlind) George
132 Weller Michael Hahn Christopher Lauman Joseph Boude.

[page 13]

133 Be it Remembered that on the day of the date hereof I the above named Baltzer
134 Spangler do Will Order and direct my said son John Spangler to feed and find and provide the
135 Cows Mare and Sheep Bequeathed to his Mother with Good and Sufficient fother during her
136 Natural Life and as this was Omitted in the foregoing Will I have thought fit to
137 place it on this Codicil. Baltzer Spangler {seal} Sealed signed Published
138 and Pronounced by the testator as a Codicil to his Last Will and Testament in our presence
139 George Weller Michael Hahn Christopher Lauman Jos. Boude.

140 Be it Remembered that on the 17th day of October 1770 I Baltzer Spangler the
141 Testator Within Named do hereby Impower authorize and direct my Executors in my
142 Last Will and Testament Named to Wit: Baltzer Spangler Junior my son and
143 Michael Swoope Esquire or any or Either of them to make Execute and deliver deeds and
144 other proper Conveyances in fee to my Several Children for the Several Houses Lotts
145 and Land Which I have in my said Will Bequeathed to them and also to make Execute
146 and Deliver a Conveyance or Conveyances in fee to such Other person or persons as I am
147 by Articles of Agreement or otherwise Obliged to do and Execute for Lands Sold them as
148 fully and to so good intent and purpose as if I myself were personally present and I do
149 Order and direct that all my Cloathing be given to my son Michael by my Executors at
150 any Reasonable time after my decease, together with a feather Bed he now lays in.
151 Baltzer Spangler {seal} Signed Sealed published pronounced and declared by the
152 said Baltzer Spangler as and for a Codicil to his Last Will and Testamt in the presence
153 of us George Weller Michl Hahn Jos. Boude Christopher Lauman

154 York County SS
155 Before me Samuel Johnston Esqr Deputy Register for the Probate of
156 Wills and granting Letters of Administration in and for the County of York in the Province
157 of Pennsylvania Personally appeared George Weller Michael Hahn Joseph Boude and
158 Christopher Lauman the four Subscribing Witnesses to the foregoing three several Instr-
159 uments of Writing and the said Michael Hahn Joseph Bounde and Christopher Lauman
160 on their Solemn Oaths respectively taken according to Law and the said George Weller on his
161 Solemn affirmation taken according to Law according to Act of Parliament (he being of the
162 People called Unitis Fratrum and conscientiously scrupling the taking of an Oath) do
163 severally say that they were personally present and saw and heard the above named Baltzer
164 Spangler sign seal publish and Declare the first of his within Instruments of Writing as and
165 for his Last Will and Testament and also say that they were personally present and saw and
166 heard the said Baltzer Spangler sign Seal publish and declare the two foregoing Instruments
167 of Writing last mentioned as and for Codicils to his said Last Will and Testament and
168 that at the Times when the said Baltzer Spangler executed the said Several Instruments of
169 writing in manner aforesaid he was of a Sound and disposing mind and Memory and further
170 that the said Deponents and affirmant Subscribed their Names to each of the said Instruments
171 of Writing respectively as Witnesses to the same in the presence of the said testator and at his request
172 Sworn & Affirmed and Subscribed before me at York this 3d Day of } George Weller
173 December 1770. Saml Johnston Dept. Regr.                                     } Michl Hahn
174                                                                                                        Jos. Boude
175                                                                                                        Christopher Lauman

176 A True Copy compared With the Original &c
177 Saml Johnston Dept Regr.

The source citation for this will, entered into the Probate Court clerk record book and accessed on, is:

"Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994," digital images, FamilySearch (, Baltzer Spangler will and codicils, written 9 October and 17 October 1770, registered 3 December 1770; accessed in York County, “Wills, 1749-1783, Vol. A-D,” Book C, pages 9-13, images 331 to 333 of 647.

The will names his wife Magdalena (maiden name was Maria Magdalena Ritter), eight children and several grandchildren, including:. eldest son George, son Baltzer Jr., son Michael, son Rudolph, son Daniel, son John, daughter Elizabeth Koontz, children of daughter Juliana Bickle.

My ancestry is through the son, Rudolph Spangler (1738-1811), who married Maria Dorothea Dinkel (1748-1835), and their son Daniel Spangler (1781-1851) who married Elizabeth King (1796-1863).

The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

UPDATED:  Thank you to Geolover for the corrections - I proofread that twice (MEGO) and missed several items.  I didn't know about freckled vs. heckled... I corrected the items that Geolover noted, and found another one also.  When I'm transcribing this, I noticed that LibreOffice writer often autocorrects words at the end of a line for some reason...especially the word "the" become "thereafter" and I've seen others.  I need to turn that off somehow...


Geolover said...

What a lovely will. To think that Baltzer took the trouble to fence off the small lots bequeathed to specific children, rather than giving vaguely difficult place-descriptions. I wonder if he painted signs identifying whose lots they were to be!

In your transcript, at the end of wife Magdalena's allotment on p. 10 it is "the new" cupboard rather than "Thomas."

On p. 11, 4th line from bottom, the hemp was not "freckled" but "heckled," so nearly ready to spin into weaving yarn. If interested you can look up "heckle," "hatchel" and "hackel" or "hackle," a dangerous piece of wood with many sharpened nails embedded. Drawing a handful of hemp or flax across the nails/teeth removes coarse/woody outer fibers of the stems, and begins to align the spinnable fibers.

Thanks for posting this very interesting document :D

Anonymous said...

This is useful information. I am writing a book on slavery and the Underground Railroad in York County, PA and I had included some information on Baltzer Spangler. Your post nicely filled on some of the details I was missing, such as the names of the two slaves. Thanks so much!

Scott Mingus
Civil War author
York PA