of Nicholas (Claus) Erb
In the Name of God, Amen. This twenty-fourth day of August in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Nine. I, Nicholas Erb otherwise called Clous Erb of Lebanon Township in the County of Lancaster and Province of Pennsylvania yoeman being at present sick and weak in body but being of perfect and disposing Mind Memory and Understanding Thanks be to God therefore calling unto mind the Mortality of my Body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament, That is to say Principally and first of all I recommend my Soul into the Hands of God who gave it Trusting through the Merits of Jesus Christ to receive remission of all my sins and an happy Admission into the Regions of Bliss and Immortality. And as to my body I recommend it to the Earth to be buried in a Christian like and Decent manner. And touching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life, I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.
Imprimis, It is my will and I do order that in the first place all my just debts and funeral charges be paid and satisfied as soon as convieniently may be after my decease.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Anna all my Beads, Bedsteads, Linens, Cloths, Chests, Clock and Kitchen furniture, together with all and singular my Household Goods, one mare and one Cow Allowing her my said wife the Choice among my Creatures and an Iron Stare.
Item, I give and bequeath unto Jacob Erb the eldest son of my elder brother Hans Erb the sum of five pounds Lawful money of Pennsylvania in full for his part or share of my Estate both real and personal to be paid to him out of my Personal Estate.
Item, I give and bequeath to and for the use and Benefit of the Amist Meeting to which I now belong the sum of Ten Pounds Lawful money of Pennsylvania to be paid out of my Personal Estate.
And my further Will is that after my Just Debts and the above Legacies be paid out of my Personal Estate that then the remainder of my personal Estate after the same be converted into Cash shall be kept in the hands of my Executors in order to help and assist the Relations of my wife which we expect to come from Germany, And if my wife's Relations Do Come at any time within the term of three years and six months after the date hereof that then they shall have the use of such money for the term of three years without paying any interest for the same. And at the expiration of the said three years the relations of my wife shall pay such money as they have received to my Executors hereafter named, and they my said Executors, shall give the one half thereof unto my beloved wife Anna and shall divide the other one half amongst my Brothers and Sisters or their representatives to equal shares amongst them. But if the relations of my wife should not come to this Country within the term of three years and six months as aforesaid. That then and in such case my Executors shall divide such money in manner as above is directed.
My further Will is and I do order that Christian Blough shall enjoy my Plantation according to the agreement that I have made with him and the rents arising out of my Plantation shall be devided in Manner following that is to say my beloved wife Anna shall have the first years rent and my Brothers and Sisters the second years Rent and so on during the time of Bloughs lease. That my said wife gets the one half of the rents and my Brother and Sisters the Other half.
Item I give and bequeath unto my beloved Wife Anna the Liberty and Privilege of living upon my Plantatation during her natural Life and I do give unto her the Room behind the Kitchen, for her to live in sufficient Kitchen Garret and Cellar Room in my house Sufficient Stableing for her Creatures and room for her to put her food and water and yearly such straw as she shall have need of to feed her Creatures the Liberty of Cutting as much firewood upon my Plantation as she shall have occasion for. The use of the one half of the Garden before the House and one Quarter of an acre of Meadow Ground, the Garden and Meadow Ground shall be sufficiently dunged annually. And the use of two appel trees Length ways through my orchard allowing my said wife the Choice yearly. But if my said wife would incline to live in a house by herself she shall have the privilege of living in the small house upon my said Plantation. All the above Articles and Priviledges my beloved wife Shall have during her Natural Life, from the Possesor of my Plantation, And my Plantation shall be sold subject to the Same.
Item, it is my will and I do order that my executors hereafter named shall as soon as convieniently may be (after the Expiration of Bloughs Lease) sell and dispose of my Plantation and Lands situate in the Township of Lebanon aforesaid for the best price that may be gotten (Subject to what I have herein given and bequeathed to my beloved Wife.) to such person or Persons as shall be willing to purchase the same Hereby empowering my said Executors or the Survivor of them to make such Deed or Conveyances for the same as will vest a Fee Simple Estate in such Purchaser or Purchasers.
And my further Will is and I do order that the money gotten for my Plantation shall be divided in manner following, That is to say, That my beloved wife Anna shall have the full one half thereof as the same shall become due that my youngest Brother Christian Erb shall have one hundred pounds Lawfull money of Pennsylvania paid to him out of the other one half of the money gotten for said Plantation and that out of the first money that shall become due and that the remainder of the other one half of said Money after deducting the aforesaid sum of one hundred pounds shall be equally divided to and amongst all my Brothers and Sisters Share and share alike. Allowing the said Christian an equal share with the Rest, But the money at the same shall be payable for my Plantation in Gales, my Beloved Wife shall receive the first Gale and my Brothers and Sisters the second and so on until the whole money is paid.
And my further Will is that my wifes Creatures shall have the Right to Graze with the Creatures of the same Kind belonging to the Possesor of my Plantation in Summer Season.
And my further Will is that if my wife Anna shall not Remain my Widow that then she shall acquit my Plantation and be forever debarred of her Widow Seat. Any thing before contained to the contrary therof in any wise not withstanding.
And lastly, I nominate and Appoint my Trusty and
Loving Brother Jacob Erb and my Trusty Friend John Geneagy Senior to be Executors of this
my last Will and Testament hereby revoking Disannulling and making Void all wills and
Executors heretofore made by me Ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be my last
Will and Testament. In Witness whereof I the said Nicholas Erb have hereto Set my hand
and Seal the day and year first above written.
Signed Sealed Published pronounced and declared by the said Testator as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us the Subscribers.
I, Clous Erb, the within Testator having taken to Consideration a certain Claus contained in my will and Testament within written which claus is Expressed in the following words Viz- And my further will is that if my wife Anna shall not Remain my Widow that then she shall acquit my Plantation and be forever debarred of her Widow Seat which clause I do hereby make Void and disannulled to all intents and purposes. And I do hereby order and direct that whatsoever I Have Given and bequeathed unto my beloved wife by virtue of the within Testament shall be kept and performed to her without any Reservation whatsoever whether she shall remain my widow or not anything within contained to the contrary thereof in any wise not withstanding. In Witness whereof the said Claus Erb have hereunto set my hand and Seal the thirteenth day of November 1769.
Signed Sealed Published pronounced and Declared by the said Claus Erb as a codicil to
the within written Will and Treatment in the presence of
LANCASTER COUNTY SS: On the twentyeighth day of November Anno Domini 1769 Before me the Subsciber personally appeared the above named Christian Blough Junior and Abraham Drexell the two Subscribing Witnesses to the above codicil and on their Solemn Affirmation according to law did declare and saw that they were present and saw and heard Claus Erb the Testator above named Sign Seal Publish pronounce and declare the above writing as a Codicil to his last Will and that at the doing thereof he was of sound and well disposing Mind Memory and understanding to the best of their Knowledge Observation and belief.
LANCASTER COUNTY SS: On the Eleventh Day of December Anno Domini 1769 Before me the Subscriber personally appeared the within named John Philip de Haas Esq. and Phillip Marsteller two of the Subscribing Witnesses to the within will and on their Corporal Oaths did depose and say that they were present and saw and heard Nicholas Erb called Claus Erb the Testator within named Sign Seal Publish Pronounce and Declare the within writing as and for his last Will and Testament and that at the doing thereof he was of sound and well disposing Mind Memory and Understanding to the best of their Knowledge Observation and Belief.
Source: The Wills of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania,
1769, Bk B, Vol 1, Page 565, Erb, Nicholas
This is the will of Nicholas (Claus) Erb Jr. (1721-1769), the second son of Nicholas (Claus) Erb (1680-1740).
Claus Jr. had no children, so the people mentioned in the will are his wife Anna, her parents in Germany, his brothers Hans (b.1713), Jacob (b.1724), and Christian (b.1734), his sisters (not specifically named), his nephew Jacob (son of Hans), and his tenant Christian Blough (who was also a witness to the will).
Claus's description of Christian as "my youngest Brother" refutes the frequently-encountered assertion that Claus Sr.'s son Christian was Christian Erb (1703-1810?) -- mistakenly said to be the father of Christian 1734. But the 1703 birthdate would make the elder Christian the oldest brother -- ten years older than Hans. Christian 1734's status as the youngest brother is confirmed by his name being on the children's ship list of the 1736 "Charming Nancy" and also (with the 1734 date) on the Swiss parish birth records researched by Richard Warren Davis .
In this online version of the will I have retained the original spelling and old-style capitalization, but added paragraphing, initial capitals, and bold face for readability. It comes from what is probably an English translation of the original handwritten German.
For a list of other Lancaster County ERB wills, go here .
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