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WILL OF JOHAN PETER LENHART (1708-1774)
Dated: 21 March 1774
Probated: 8 April 1774
Will Book C, p. 214-216 (1)
York County, PA
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The below presentation is a composite. Nancy Lenhart Thomas transcribed two versions of the will. (2) I merged these and compared the results to a copy I have (3) and to a transcription by Arlean Lenhart Childs.(4) The versions of the will vary only slightly (primarily spelling and punctuation differences). Despite our best efforts, errors are possible.

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I Peter Leonhart of Dover Township in the County
of York and Province of Pennsylvania Farmer, being Sick and Weak in Body
but of perfect, Sound and Disposing mind and Memory Do make and ~
publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following
/to wit/ I commend my Soul to God who gave it, and my Body to be Buried
in a decent Christian like manner by my Executors herein after named ~
and as [t]ouching Such Worldly Goods where with it hath pleased God to
Bless me with . my will and Desire is that first of all, all my just Debts
and Funeral Expences be Honestly paid by my Executors as Soon as possible
after my Decease. And I do give unto my dear and well beloved Wife ~
Margaret all the Profits and Interest arrising from my personal Estate, over
and above all the Houshold furniture, her Bed and Beding, and what my Son
William is bound by Article to give us Yearly, during her natural life, And
After her Decease, I order the Remaining part of my Estate to be divided in
The following manner among my Several Children herein after named
(to wit) I give to my Son Philip the Sum of Twenty Pounds Lawful money of the
Province aforesaid. Item. I give to my Son Jacob the like Sum of Twenty pounds.
Item. I Give to my Son George the Sum of Thirty pounds like lawful money.
Item. I Give to my Son Christopher the Sum of Ten pounds like lawful money.
Item. I Give to my Son Henry the Sum of Thirty pounds like lawful money.
Item. I Give to my Son Peter the Sum of Twenty pounds like lawful money.
Item. I Give to my Son Frederick the Sum of Thirty pounds like lawful money.
Item. I Give to my Son Godfrey the Sum of Fifty pounds like lawful money.
Item. I Give to my Son William Two Horses or Mares which he Chuses out of all I
have, with the Gears and Tackling, also two Cows which he Chuses, as also the
Wagon Plow and Harrow, all which he is to have and enjoy Imediately after
my decease any thing above said to the Contrary notwithstanding, and what
Remains /if anything/ my Will is and I do order the Same to be Equally ~
Divided between my said Children. And I do Nominate and appoint,
my said Son William Leonhart and my Trusty Friend Daniel ~
Messerley both in Dover Township aforesaid to be the Executors of
this my last Will and Testament, in trust for the intents and purposes
in this my Will contained. And I do hereby Revoke disallow and make
Void all other and former Will and Wills by me heretofore made. In
Witness whereof I the said Peter Leonhart the Testator have hereunto Set
my Hand and Seal this Twenty first Day of March in the Year of our
Lord one Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy four.
Signed, Sealed, published and declared by                             )
the above named Peter Leonhart the Testator as for                  )
his last Will and Testament in the presence                                )
of us, who in his presence and at his Request have                    )          [Petter? L-- - - - t]
hereunto Subscribed our names as Witnesses to the Same.       )
Daniel [Ragen]
[Adam Dehl ]
[Gerhart Gneff]
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The signatures in brackets are illegible; names entered above are from the probate entries based on the Thomas versions. Childs transcribes the names as: Daniel Pragen, Adam O'Dah ? (Yihl) - Adam O'Dahl, and Gerhart/Girhart Groff. The following probate entry is based on the Thomas transcription. Childs' version is similar; notable differences: the entry in [ ] is missing from Thomas, the word in { } does not appear in Childs, the spelling of the names of the witnesses (as mentioned), and Childs' transcription uses contemporary punctuation, etc. (5)
==============================================================================
(Seal) York County ss.

Before me Samuel Johnston Esquire [Deputy for the probate of wills and granting letters] of Administration in and for the County of York in the Province of Pennsylvania personally appeared Daniel Ragen Adam Dehl and Gerhart Gneff the three Subscribing Witnesses to the above Instrument of Writing and the said Adam Dehl on his solemn Oath taken according to Law and the said Daniel Ragen and Gerhart Gneff on thur Solemn Affirmations taken according to Law they conscientiously {Scrupling} the taking of an Oath do respectively say that they were personally present and saw and heard Peter Leonhart the Testator above named sign seal Publish and Declare the above Instrument of Writing as and for his last Will and Testament that at the doing thereof he was of sound disposing Mind Memorey and Understanding according to the best of the Deponant and Affirmants knowledge and belief that they subscribed their names as Witnesses to the same in the presence of said Testator and at his request.

Sworn Affirmed and Subscribed before me       )          [Daniel Ragen]
at York the 8 Day of April 1774                       )          [Adam Dehl]
Sam Johnston Dep. Reg                                   )          [Gerhart Gneff]
A true Copy compared with the Original at York.

MEMORANDUM That Letters Testamentary in Common form were Granted to William Leonhart and Daniel Messerly of the Estate of Peter Leonhart late of York County Yeoman Deceased. Inventory to be Exhibited into the Reisters Office at York at or before the eighth day of June next and an Account or Reckoning at or before the eighth Day of April next Given under my Hand and the Seal of said Office at York the 7th Day of April 1774 Samuel Johnston Dep. Reg

_____________________________________

(1) Apparently the will is recorded in Will Book C, p. 214-216. An April 2000 post on the Lenhart listbot (now extinct) by Nancy Lenhart Thomas, listing PA wills in "York Co. 1749-1900 by Closson Press," includes, under LENHART: "Peter Vol C p 214 (1774)." In one of her transcriptions, Nancy refers to pages 214, 215, 216. Rinkenbach cites: Register of Wills, York, Pa.; Will Book C, p. 214.

(2) Nancy Lenhart Thomas: two e-mails to the Lenhart listbot (now extinct) in November 1999. After the first transcription (1st version) she found another version (2nd version) and posted additional information. The 2nd version posting was primarily the information in the probate section.

(3) My version is a copy obtained from the Historical Society of York County (now known as York County Heritage Trust); there is no citation on this copy. The handwriting in the probate section of my copy is almost illegible.

(4) There's Gold in Them Thar Hills by Arlean Lenhart Childs. Childs' transcription is in a contemporary style; for example, "sick and weak in body" in Childs is "Sick and Weak in Body" in Thomas.

(5) "A true Copy compared with the Original at York" appears in Thomas but not Childs and does not appear to be on my copy. Wills could be copied more than once in the probate process. It is not clear if Childs and mine are identical to each other and/or to any of the Thomas versions. However, the content of the will is essentially the same in all versions and the differences should pose no problem for family history enthusiasts.

See also Wills Q & A - Robert L. Riffle's answers to questions about the will process

(GKBopp - 6 May 2002)

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