Monday, December 9, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Post 198: Will of Rudolf Spangler (1738-1811)

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 Rudolf Spangler (1738-1811) of York township, York County, Pennsylvania.  It was written 1 June 1800 (?) and registered in the Probate Court on 26 August 1811.  It starts in the middle of the left-hand page on the first image below, and concludes near the top of the second image below:

I struggled to read the handwriting of the amanuensis here, and some words or letters "did not compute" for me). This is a probate court clerk transcription, and the original will is probably in the York County, Pennsylvania Probate Court Records files. The images above are from Volume M, pages 348-350 in the Probate Court Clerk files:

[page 348, middle of the page]

1 In the Name of God amen. I Rudolf Spang-
2 ler of the Borough of York in the County of York & State of Penn-
3 sylvania yeoman, being weak in body but of sound mine memory
4 and understanding through the mercy of God and considering the
5 uncertainty of this transitory life, do make and publish this my
6 Last Will and Testament in manner and form following to wit -

7 I give and devise to my beloved wife Dorothy all my Estate -
8 both Real and Personal, to her for her sole use and Enjoyment
9 during her life; and I do hereby fully authorize and empower
10 my said wife, at any time after my decease, to sell and dispose
11 of the whole, or any part of my said Estate at her Will and
12 pleasure, and to execute ????? conveyances and assurances as
13 may be necessary in the law for Conveying and assuring this
14 ?????? to the Purchasers, and Generally to do and of Perform-
15 ming Act, matter and thing touching the sale and disposal, or
16 conveying and assuring of my said Estate or any Part thereof
17 that I myself might or should do while living, and further
18 touching all that remains of my Estate, both Real and
19 Personal, which may remain at the decease of my said
20 wife, not having been otherwise disposed of by her dureing

[page 349]

21 her lifetime, my Will is and I hereby order and direct that the
22 same be equally divided amongst all my Children, to wit, my four
23 Sons Jacob, Jesse, Daniel & Peter, and my five Daughters Catharine
24 the wife of George Barnitz, Elizabeth the wife of William Nes,
25 Mary the wife of Peter Small, Margaret the wife of Joseph Slagle,
26 and Magdalena the Wife of Charles Fisher, share and share alike
27 to hold the said Equal shares to my Children aforesaid respective-
28 ly and to their heirs and assigns for ever, and further, in
29 case any of my Children beforenamed should die before the
30 decease of my wife, my Will is that this share allotted to such
31 Child be equally divided amongst his or her Children of the said
32 deceased have S????, but if such deceased shall have left no
33 Issue, then the share allotted to him or her to be equally
34 divided amongst the survivors of the heirs aforesaid
35 according to the said intent and meaning of the foregoing
36 Provisions. And lastly I do hereby nominate, constitute
37 and appoint my beloved wife Dorothy beforenamed to be the sole
38 Executor of this my Last Will and Testament; hereby revoking all
39 other Wills, Legacies and bequests by me heretofore made. And declar-
40 ing this and no other to be my Last Will & Testament. In Witness
41 whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the first day of
42 June, in the Year of Our Lord one thousand and eight hundred and.

43 Rudolf Spangler {seal} Signed, Sealed Published &
44 Pronounced by the said Testator as his Last Will and Testament
45 In the Presence of us, who in his Presence, and in the Presence
46 of each other, have at his request subscribed as Witnesses –
47 Frederick McFarland, George Rothrock, Thomas Whittaker
48 York County SS, Before me Jacob Barnitz Register for the
49 Probate of Wills and granting Letters of administration in and
50 for the County of York in the State of Pennsylvania. Person-
51 ally came George Rothrock and Thomas Whittaker Esq. Two
52 of the subscribing Witnesses to the foregoing Instrument of Writing
53 and the said Thomas Whittaker on his solemn oath, and he the said
54 George Rothrock on his solemn affirmation (he conscientious
55 complain the taking of an oath) Do severally say that they were
56 Personally Present and he the said Thomas Whittaker did see and
57 he the said George Rothrock believes he did see the said ??????
58 Rudolph Spangler sign his name and also both saw him ????
59 and also heard him Publish the foregoing Instrument of

[page 350]

60 Writing an and for his Last Will & Testament and that at the time
61 of the doing thereof he the said Rudolph Spangler was of a sound
62 and disposing mind memory and understanding to the best of their
63 knowledge and belief, and that they subscribed their names thereto
64 as Witnesses in the Presence of the said Testator, and at his
65 request, and further that they also saw Frederick McFarland
66 the other Witness sign his name thereto as a Witness at the same
67 time. Thomas Whittaker George Rothrock.

68 Sworn, affirmed and subscribed before ???? At York the 26th day
69 of August A.D. 1811. J Barnitz Regr. A true Copy taken
70 from & compared with the Original at York. J. Barnitz Regr.
71 (???? the agreement between the heirs Recorded).

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 (, Rudolph Spangler will, written 1 June 1800 (?), registered 26 August 1811; accessed in York County, “Wills, 1803-1818, Vol. L-N,” Book M, pages 348-350, images 429-430 of 800.

The will names his wife Dorothy (maiden name was Maria Dorothea Dinkel), and nine children, including: sons Jacob, Jesse, Daniel and Peter, daughter Catharine (wife of George Barnitz), Elizabeth (wife of William Nes), Mary (wife of Peter Small), Margaret (wife of Joseph Slagle), and Magdalena (wife of Charles Fisher).  

The will is written in English by the amanuensis, Jacob Barnitz, but the script in many places is unlike most of the other wills transcribed into this volume.  

The Spangler book calls the last named daughter Helen Dorothea Spangler, wife of Charles Fisher.  I wonder which name is correct?   

Rudolf and Dorothea (Dinkel) Spangler are my fourth-great-grandparents.  My ancestry is through the son, Daniel Spangler (1781-1851), who married Elizabeth King (1796-1863), and had Rebecca Spangler (1831-1901) who married David Jackson Carringer (1828-1902), my great-great-grandparents.

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copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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