Monday, January 6, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - Post 200: Will of Jacob Wilhelm (1705-1773) of Lancaster, 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 Jacob Wilhelm (1705-1773) of Lancaster township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  It was written 17 August 1771 and registered in the Probate Court on 16 October 1773.  It starts in the middle of the left-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 Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Probate Court Records files. The images above are from Volume J, pages 350-353 in the Probate Court Clerk files:

[page 350]

1  Jacob Wilhelm, deceased

2  In the Name of God Amen!  I Jacob Wilhelm,
3  of the Borough of Lancaster, in the county of Lancaster, and in the Province
4  of Pennsylcvania, yeoman, being at present, God be thanks of perfect health
5  and disposing mind, memory and understanding, do on this seventeenth
6  day of August, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and
7  seventy one, make, publish, and declare this my last will and testament,
8  in manner following, to wit:  I commend my, by the blood of Christ,
9  dear redeemed soul into the hands of almighty God, and my body to
10  the earth to be buried in a decent and christian like manner, at the
11  discretion of my hereafter named executors in humble hopes of pardon and
12  remission of all my sins, in and through the merits and intercession of my
13  blessed saviour and redeemer Jesus Christ, and an happy admission in the 
14  region of bliss and immortality.  But as for my temporal estate, I give, 
15  devise and dispose of the same, as follows, to wit:

16  Imprimis, It is my will, and I do order, that all my just debts
17  and funeral expenses be paid off and discharged by my executors herein
18  after named, as soon as conveniently may be done after my God grant
19  happy decease.

[page 351]

20  Item, I give, devise, and bequeath unto my present loving wife Catharine
21  the free use and provilege ofl iving in my present dwelling house, situate
22  in Prince street, in the Borough of Lancaster, and lot thereto belonging, during
23  her life, if she stays my widow; and I will and order, that unto her my said
24  wife Catharine, as long as she liveth and stays my widow, by my two sons
25  Philip Jacob & Adam, and theirl heirs, yearly and every year, shall be given
26  and delivered sixteen bushels of wheat and eight bushels of rye, vizt. each eight
27  bushels of wheat and four bushels of rye; also, each of my said sons shall
28  give unto her one bushel of salt, and each one barrel of cyder, yearly,
29  and apples as much as she shall have need of, to her own use; and to give
30  and haul to her dwelling sufficient firewood; each one wagon load of
31  good hay; and each one hundred pounds of pork to be given to her. I
32  also give and bequeath unto my said loving wife, Catharine, the full sum
33  of one hundred pounds lawful money of Pennsylvania, to be paid unto
34  her by my hereafter named executors out of my estate.

35  Item, I likewise give and bequeath unto my saisd wife Catharine, all my
36  household furniture, bedds and whatsoever kind it may be, during her
37  life.  But after the God grant happy departure of my said wife, I give
38  and bequeath the aforesaid house & lot, as also household furniture left 
39  by the decease of my said wife, unto my five children, vizt. Jacob, 
40  Philip Jacob, Adam, Maria Catharine, wife of Henry Zank, and Maria 
41  Barbara, wife of Philip Jacob King, to be [after the deduction of
42  fifteen pounds lawful money aforesaid, which said sum of fifteen pounds
43  I out of the aforesaid premises give and bequeath unto my said sons
44  Philip Jacob, his heirs and assigns forever, to have beforehand over
45  and above his equaly share; and ten pounds lawful money as aforesaid,
46  which I also out of the aforesaid premises, give and bequeath unto my
47  said son Adam his heirs and assigns forever to have beforehand over
48  and above his equaly share] equally divided amongst them.

49  Item, I give and bequeath unto the poor and needy of the congregation
50  of the German Reformed church, in the Borough of Lancaster, the full
51  sum of fivep ounds lawful money aforesaid, to be distributed to them
52  by my hereafter named executors out of my estate and that to such
53  which shall bring an order from the minister of said congregation being
54  at that time, that they have need of it.

55  Item, I give and bequeath unto Jaco Zank, son of Henry Zank, the full sum of
56  ten pounds lawful money aforesaid, out of my estate, to be directly after my decease
57  laid out upon interest, to and for the use of said Jacob and care be taken
58  thereof by my hereafter named executors or either of them, and to be paid
59  by my executors, or either of them, or caused to be paid unto him the said
60  Jacob, at the time of his age of twenty one years, or day of marriage which
61  shall happen first, together with the interest than due thereon.

62  Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Jacob, being the eldest, the full
63  sum of ten pounds lawful money aforesaid, the same to have beforehand,
64  over and above his equal share out of my estate, to be paid to him my said
65  son Jacob, his heirs and assigns, by my hereafter named executors.

66  Item, I also give and bequeath unto my said son Jacob, the elder, one
67  hundred and sixty acres of land, situate in Tulpehoken township, in
68  the county of Berks and Province aforesaid, together with all the improve-
69  ments, rights, titl;es, deeds, writings, buildings, interests, properties, claims, &
70  demands of, in, and to the same belonging or in any wise appertaining the
71  same, To have and to hold unto him my said son Jacob, his heirs and assigns

[page 352] 

72  and to his and rtheir only proper use, benefit, and behoof forever, which siad tract of
73  land and premises, I myself unto my said son Jacob, for three hundred pounds
74  lawful money aforesaid.

75  Item, I give, devise, and bequeath unto my son Philip[ Jacob, that moiety or
76  one half of the plantation where the new stone house is build on, situate in Manheim
77  township in the county of Lancaster, being one hundred and fifty acres of land,
78  together with all & singular the improvements, hereditaments, deeds, rights, titles,
79  writings, buildings, interests, properties, claim & demand, of, in and to the same
80  belonging, or in anywise appertaining, and together with the right and privilege
81  to the water on the other moiety of my said plantation, which I shall herein
82  after bequeath to my son Adam; and to have the said water on the south
83  side five days in the week, vizt. from Monday till Friday included; and on
84  the north side two days weekly, vizt, Mondays & Tuesdays to water to water his meadows;
85  and my son Adam, his heirs and assigns, shall for that purpose keep open and
86  make or cause to be made and kept open the water ditch on his land till
87  to the fence or line of my said son Philip Jacob's land; but in case my son Adam
88  should not keep open, and make or cause to be made and kept open said
89  ditch eighteen inches broad nor could by law be forced thereto, than I give
90  and bequeath the right and privilege to my said son Philip Jacob, his heirs
91  and assigns, to go on Adam's moiety and make the said ditch of eighteen
92  inches broad or cause it to be made, to lead the water on his moiety as
93  aforesaid, without hindrance or molestation.  To have and to hold the
94  same to him, my said son Philip[ Jacob, his heirs and assigns, and to his and
95  their only proper use, benefit & behoof forever.  Which said one hundred and
96  fifty acres of land or messuage I myself value unto him my said son Philip
97  Jacob, for six hundred pounds lawful money aforesaid.

98  Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Adam, that moiety or one half
99  part of my said plantation whereon the old stone house stands, situate
100 in Manheim township as aforesaid, it being also one hundred and fifty
101 acres of land, together with all and singular the building, improve-
102 ments, hereditaments, rights, titles, deeds, claim, & demand of the same
103 belonging or in anywise appertaining, together with the full provilege
104 of using the present land to pass and repass to the road without any
105 molestation or hindrance of him by my said son Philip Jacob, his heirs and
106 assigns.  To have and to hold the same unto my said son Adam, his heirs
107 & assigns, and to his and their only proper use, benefit, and behoof forever.
108 Which said one hundred and fifty acres of land or messuage I myself
109 value unto him for six hundred pounds lawgul money aforesaid.

110 Item, I will, order, and direct, that all my aforenamed five children
111 shall receive equal shares and portions of both my real & personal estates,
112 except that what is bequeath beforehand as aforesaid.  I therefore will
113 and order that my said sons Philip Jacob, and Adam, each of them, shall
114 pay yearly after my decease to the rest of my said five children, which 
115 are to short yet twenty five pounds, being fifty pounds jointly lawful
116 money aforesaid, and that as long till they are equal in their shares &
117 portions.  But after the death of my said two daughters Maria Catherine
118 and Maria Barbara, I give and bequeath the share or shares due to them
119 to their left issues or children, equally divided amongst them.  To 
120 have and to hold the same to them their heirs and assigns forever.

121 And lastly, I nominate and appoint my said son Philip Jacob &
122 my said ___ Adam, exors of this my last will and testament.  Hereby declaring
123 this and no other to be and contain my last will and testament.

[page 353] 

124 In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal on the day and
125 year above wirtten                                             Jacob Wilhelm {seal}
126 Signed, sealed, published & declared by the said
127 Jacob Wilhelm as his last will and testament in
128 the presence of us, who in his presence and at his
129 request have set our names thereto as witnesses.
130 Dieterich Heise, J.J. Loser

131 Dieterich Heise & John Jacob Loeser, the two witnesses sworn and the two
132 exors sword, beofre me the 16th of October 1773.  Edwd Shippen, D. Rr.

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 (, Jacob Wilhelm will, written 17 August 1771, registered 16 October 1773; accessed in Lancaster County, “Wills, 1747-1830, Vol. I-K,” Book J, pages 350-353, images 424-425 of 786.

The will names his five children, including: eldest son Jacob, son Philip Jacob, son Adam, daughter Maria Catherine wife of Henry Zanck, and daughter Maria Barbara, wife of Philip Jacob King.

Jacob Wilhelm (1705-1773) and his wife Catherine ????? (about 1706-????) are my sixth great-grandparents.  I descend through the daughter, Maria Barbara Wilhelm (about 1740-about 1779) who married Philip Jacob King (1738-1792), whose son Philip Jacob King (1764-1829) married Catherine Ruth and had daughter Elizabeth King (1796-1863), who married Daniel Spangler (1781-1851).

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

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