Last Will and Testament of Claus Johnson
Claus Johnson lived in Perkimon and Skippack Township, Philadelphia (now
Montgomery County), Pennsylvania. He was my 6-greatgrandfather. The source is:
Klaus Johnson will (1 June 1739, probated 30 October 1745), Will Book H: 65-68, no. 40, City Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107. Microfilm 0021723, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. The will was transcribed in German script, but is legible.
The transcript of the Will read:
Be it known unto all whom it may concern That I Klaus Johnson of ye Township of Skippack and Perkeomy in ye County of Philada. yeomd. being aged and Infirm in Body and considering ye ffrailty of my Life and knowing my Memory and Understanding perfect do make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament this first day of June in ye Year of our Lord one thoufand seven hundred and thirty nine & in ye following manner and form vizf.-----
Impris. my will is that all my just debts both by publick and private Contracts together wth my ffuneral Charges be duly paid by my Exetes.
I give and Bequeath unto my dear and well beloved wife Catherine Johnson ye Use of all ye Land and Plantation also Buildings and Improvements whatsoever whereon I now dwell (Towards ye Bringing up of my Younger Children) untill my Son Peter arrives to Twenty one Years of Age and when my said Son arrives to ye age abovesaid She shall quietly and peaceably surrender up ye same to him to and for the Use hereafter mentioned. I also give and bequeath unto my said wife in Lieu of her Thirds or dower out of my Estate Reall and personal ye Third part of ye profits arising yearly from my said plantation during the Term of her Natural Life and Likewise my Bed and Bedding with ye Third part of my Personal Estate (my debts and Charges being first paid as aforesaid) to be to her her Exrs Admes and assigns for ever.
I Likewise Constitute and appt my sd wife and Son Peter to be my Sole Exes of this my Last Will and Testament to Raise and Levy all my Rights & Credits as also to pay my abovesaid debts.
I also give and bequeath ye Book called "the Book of Martyrs" to my sd. wife. I give and Bequeath to my Eldest Son John Johnson one shilling Sterb Money or value thereof in coin currt to be paid him his Exrs. Admls within one Year next from ye day of my decease which sd Legacy shall be paid unto my sd Son John in Lieu of all other Legacys out of my Estate Reall and personal which he may or can Claim either in Law or Equity whatsomever.
I give and devise unto my sd Son Peter Johnson ye above mentioned Land plantation Improvemts and appurts whatsoever Estimated to contain one hundred and fifty three acres (part of Three hundred and Six acres which I bought of Matthias vanbebber) to be freely and fully Enjoyed and pofsefsed when he arrives to Twenty one years of age by him, his heirs and assigns thenceforward and for ever. I also give and Bequeath unto my sd. Son Peter ye other two Thirds of my personal Estate (the debts and charges being first deducted as abovesaid) To hold ye Same to him his ExEs. Admes and afss from ye day of my decease thenceforward and forever.
I Give and devise unto my Son Nicholas Johnson ffifty nine acres to be Laid out of the NorthEast End of one hundred and Eighteen acres (which I bought of Job Goodson) with ye Improvements and appurts thereunto belonging or in any wise appert:g to be fully and freely Enjoyed and pofsefsed from ye time that he arrives to Twenty one Years of age by him his Heirs and assigns thenceforward and for ever. I will that the Yearly Rent arising from ye Improvemf made on ye said Land be applied as ye Trustees hereby appointed think fit best for ye advantage to and for my said Son Nicholas untill he arrives to ye age abovesaid.
I Give and -bequeath- devise unto my son Benjamin Johnson ffifty nine acres of Land (to be Laid out on ye South West End of ye said Land which I bought of ye sd Job Goodson) with all ye Improvemts and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining to be freely and fully Enjoyed and pofsefs'd from ye time that he arrives to Twenty one years of age by him his heirs and afss for Ever and if my sd Trustees thinks fitt to Set or direct some Improvemt to be made on the Last devised Land before my sd Son Benjamin arrives to ye age abovesd. they may provided they do not suffer thereby any to Injure ye same and furthermore it is my will that if either of my Last mentioned Sons to wit Nicholas or Benjamin dieth before they arrive to ye age abovesd without Leaving Lawfull Ifsue of his Body then ye Survivor and his heirs of my sd two Youngest Sons shall pofsefs and Enjoy his Decedf Brothers part or Share of ye sd Land (except Eighteen acres of ye Southwest end thereof the which I give and devise on ye said provisor unto my Son Peter aforenamed to be held by him his heirs and afss forever and if both of my sd two Youngest Sons dieth before they attain to ye sd age without Leaving Lawfull Ifsue as aforesaid then all ye Land hereby devised for them shall be and remain to and for ye Use of my sd Son Peter his heirs and afss for ever and if in Case my Son Peter dieth before he attains to ye sd age nor leaving Lawfull Ifsue as aforesaid then ye sd one hundred and fifty three acres hereby devised to him shall be Equally divided in Value between his Two Younger Brothers vizt Nicholas and Benjamin who shall freely and fully Enjoy and pofsefs the same to them or ye SurvE of them (if he that dieth of my Two Last mentioned Sons doth not attain to ye sd age nor have Lawfull Issue to Survive him) their heirs and assigns for ever (on which said provisor then to ye sd SurvivE his heirs and afs:s forEver.
I give and bequeath ye Sum of Eighty pounds current Lawfull Money of Pennsylva, to be paid by my Son Peter or his heirs at ye end of ffour years next from ye day of my decease in Equal proportion between my Eight daughters or their Lawfull Ifsue born of their Body as followeth. vizt: to pay ten pounds to my Eldest daughter Kuethin in manner aforesaid and Ten pounds unto my Second daughter Mary in manner aforesd. Ten pounds unto my Third daughter Agnes & Ten pounds to my fourth daughter Catherine. Ten pounds to my fifth daughter Elizth. Ten pounds to my Sixth daughter Catherine. Ten pounds to my Seventh daughter Margaret and Ten pounds to my Eighth daughter Hannah all which said moneys shall be paid them or theirs in manner aforesd.
I do _____ nominate John Cunrad and Harmonus Kufter my Loving Relations to be Guardians over such of my Children that are in their Minority at ye time of my decease giving them thereby full power and absolute authority to Command and Compell that this my sd Will be duly observ'd perferm'd fulfilled according to ye purport meaning and true Intent thereof ffinally revoking & disannulling all other former Wills Testamts. Legacies and Excts by me in any manner of ways before now by me named willed and bequeathed ratifyg and confirming this and no other to be my Last Will & Testament.
In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal dated ye day and Year first above written.
Claus Johnson (SEAL)
Signed, Sealed and declared by ye sd. Claus Johnson that ye above written is his Last Will and Testamt. in ye presence of Us the Subscribers.
Ann (her mark) Jones
Salford ye 30th. day of October 1745. Then personally appeared Robert Jones and William Jones two of ye Witnefss to ye foregoing Will and on their Solemn Affirmation according to Law did declare they Saw and heard Claus Johnson ye Testator therein mentioned Sign Seal publish and declare that the same Will to be his Last Will and Testamt. and that at ye doing thereof he was of Sound Mind Memory and Understanding to ye best of their Knowledge. Coram.
Jacob Reiff, By Authority from Wm. Plumfted, R. Gen.l
Be it Remembred that on ye 30th day of October 1745 The Last Will and Testamt. of Claus Johnson deced was proved in due form of Law and probate and LrTes. Testamentary were granted to Katherine and Peter Johnson Excts. in the sd. Testamt. named being first Solemnly affirmed well and truly to Adml ye said decedts: Estate and to bring an Inventory thereof unto ye Regr Genls office at Philada: at or before ye 30th day of NovE next and render a true Account when thereunto Lawfully required. Given under ye Seal of said Office
Wm Plumsted, R. Genl.
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on 25 May 2006 at 08:10 pm.