Monday, December 16, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Post 199: Will of Mary Magdalena Spangler (1706-1784) 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 Mary Magdalena Spangler (1706-1784) of York township, York County, Pennsylvania.  It was written 9 May 1783 and registered in the Probate Court on 9 November 1784.  It starts in the middle of the right-hand page on the first image below, and concludes near the top of the right-hand page on the second image below:

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 F, pages 304-306 in the Probate Court Clerk files:

[page 304, near the top of the page]

1 In the Name of God Amen I Mary
2 Magdalen Spangler being Old and Weak in body but thanks be to God of sound
3 Understanding and Judgement think it my Duty to make my last Will and
4 Testament Concerning my Temporal Estate and Goods which I now Posses how
5 they shall be disposed of after my Death. Imprimus I Bequeath my Soul unto
6 the hand of that God who hath Created and Redeemed me and my Body to the Earth
7 to be Buried after a Christian and Decent Manner and Will that all my
8 funeral Charges shall be properly paid. Further it is my Will that all my Children
9 namely Georg Spangler, Balser Spangler. Michael Spangler, Rudy Spangler, Daniel
10 Spangler's Children and the Children that Francis Bikel had with my Daughter
11 Juliana named Magdalena, Hanna, John, and Elizabet Bikel, Elisabeth Spang-
12 ler Married to Francis Kuntz and John Spangler shall all and each of them
13 draw equal Shares of my remaining Estate. Item I bequeath all my Wearing ap-
14 parel and Shirts to my Daughter Elizabet the Wife of Francis Kuntz and
15 Hannah Bikel, the Daughter of Francis Bikel to be equally Shared among
16 them. Item I Will my Daughter Elizabet wife to Francis Kuntz shall
17 take 6 Yds of linen a Sheet and a Table Cloth a feather Covering to a Bed
18 and a Bed Case and two Billows of my Bed. Item I Will and further bequeath to
19 Hannah Bikel the Daughter of my Daughter Julianna with Francis Bikel
20 two Pewter Plates a Small Dish a Pan two Spoons a Smothing Iron a Smal
21 Iron pot the Bed that She Commonly Sleeps in with it appurtenances and a
22 Tabe Cloth. Item I Will that all that I Bequeath to my Daughter Elizabet the
23 Wife of Francis Kuntz and her whole Share shall be put and remain under the Care
24 and Management of my Son John Spangler who shall give it to her by Parcels
25 time after time as often as she shold find Pressing necesity for it should my
26 Daughter Elisabet die before her whole share was given to her according to the
27 above Restrictions the remaining part of it shall from Time to Time be distri-
28 buted among her Children. Item my son John Spangler is Debtor to me by Bond
29 given the 14th of June 1773 65 lawful Money of Pennsylvania of which
30 Bond he has paid five Pounds and some Intress now it is my Will that my son
31 John pay of the whole remaining only fourthy Pounds and the rest shall
32 be Cancelled and the Intresses these forthy Pounds he shall pay four weeks
33 after my Death but at the same Time Share on it with the Rest of my above
34 named Children. I herewith Cancell and Make Void the Bond and the
35 Debt & the Intress excepting the above Mentioned fourthy Pounds Lastly

[page 305]

36 I appoint my Son John Spangler for my sole and only Executor of this my last
37 Will & Testament and herewith annull revoke and make void all former Wills & Test
38 and acknowledge these presents to be my only and last Will & Testament. In Witness
39 whereof I the said Mary Magdalen have hereunto set my hand and Seal the Twenty
40 sixth day of May A.D. one thousand seven hundred & eighty three.
41 Signed Sealed Pronounced & Published as my }   Magdalen   her
42 Last Will & Testament in the Presence of          }             Mary^ M Spangler
43 Christopher Lauman                                                                            mark
44 Jacob Shoffer

45 York County Ss.
46 Before me Archibald McLean
47 Esquire Register for the Probate of Wills and granting Letters of Administration
48 in and for the County of York in the state of Pennsylvania Personally Came
49 Christopher Lauman and Jacob Shoffer the two Subscribing Witnesses to the
50 foregoing Instrument of writing and on their Solemn Oath Respectively do
51 severally say that they were Personally present and saw and heard the afore
52 named Mary Magdalena Spangler make her mark unto and seal and
53 Publish the foregoing Instrument of writing as and for her last Will and
54 Testament and that at the Time of the Doing thereof she the said Mary Magdalena
55 Spangler was of sound disposing Mind Memory and Understanding to the best of
56 their Knowledge and Belief and that they subscribed their names thereto as Witnesses
57 in the Presence of the said Testatrix and at her Request and also in the presence of each
58 other at the same Time.
59 Sworn & Subscribed at York the ninth day } Christopher Lauman
60 of November 1784 Before                         } Jacob Shoffer
61 Arch^d McLean Register }
62 A true copy Compared with the Original
63 Arch^d McLean Register

64 Memorandum That Letters Testamentary in
65 Common form were granted to John Spangler of the Estate of Mary Magdalena
66 Spangler late of York County Widow Deceased Inventory to be Exhibited into
67 the Registers Office at York on or before the Ninth day of December next ensuing
68 And an Accompt or Reckoning on it before the Ninth day of November for the Year
69 of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty five. Given under my hand and
70 the seal of said Office at York the 9th Day of November 1784.
71 Arch^d McLean Registers

72 Memorandum That Letters of Administra-
73 tion in Common form were granted to Barbara Spangler and George Kann
74 of the Estate of Rudolph Spangler late of York County Yeoman Deceased Invento-
75 ry to be exhibited into the Registers Office at York on or before the Ninth Day of De-
76 cember next ensuing And an Accompt or Reckoning on or before the Ninth day of

[page 306]

77 November In the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eight five Given
78 under my hand and the Seal of said Office at York the 9th day of November 1784.
79 Arch^d McLean Registers

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 (, Mary Magdalen Spangler will, written 9 May 1783, registered 9 November 1784; accessed in York County, “Wills, 1779-1789, Vol. E-G,” Book F, pages 304-306, images 378-379 of 649.

The will names her children, including: George, Balser, Michael, Rudy, Daniel Spangler's children, children of daughter Julianna (Magdalena, Hannah, John Elizabeth, all by Francis Bikel), Elizabeth (wife of Francis Kuntz), and John Spangler.  

There's another puzzle.  The last Memorandum is dated 1784, and is for the estate of Rudolph Spangler, administered by Barbara Spangler (presumably the wife) and George Kann (perhaps a son-in-law of Rudolph Spangler).  I don't know if this Memorandum belongs to the probate of Mary Magdalena Spangler or not.  It was heard in court and written in the record book on the same date of Mary Spangler's will and the succeeding memorandums.  

It would be easy to make the assumption that the Rudolph Spangler it refers to is the son "Rudy" named in the will of Mary Magdalena Spangler.  All records I've seen say that the son Rudolph Spangler died in 1811 in York, and was married to Maria Dorothea Dinkel (1748-1835).  

It could be another Rudolph Spangler, of course, and not a son of Mary Magdalena Spangler.  It probably is, I'll have to check the Spangler book to see who the Rudolph Spangler in the last Memorandum is.  
It was interesting to me that the two witnesses signed their name in Gothic script (and I was glad that the probate court document above named them using English script).  My guess is that many of the wills of these German-ancestored folks were written in German in Gothic script and then were translated by someone and written into the probate court record books in English.  I think that explains why many of the names in the records are in German form and the names in the probate books are Anglicized.  for instance, Mary Magdalena Spangler's maiden name was Maria Magdalena Ritter.  

Maria Magdalena (Ritter) Spangler (1706-1784) and her husband Johanna Baltzer Spangler (1706-1770) are my fifth great-grandparents.  I descend 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).

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copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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