Joseph “Yost” Miller (1748-1811): Last Will & Testament

Somerset County, Pennsylvania, Will Book, Vol. 1, page 432
Transcribed for readability mostly as written,
with [commentary] by
Larry Pearce

In the name of God, Amen. I, Joseph [“Yost”] Miller, Sr. [not to consider his father Joseph as Sr.] of Stonycreek Township, in the County of  Somerset and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, in manner following and form: That is to say,

First, I will that all my just debts, as well as all my funeral charges be paid by my Executors hereinafter named. I also will and order that I may be interred in a decent and Christian manner, and to have a tombstone erected to my grave according to the discretion of my Executors, and the expenses to be paid and discharged by them.

[Second,]I will, give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Mary, all her wearing apparel, her bed, and all such bed clothes she makes choice of. Also [I give] the bedstead and cord, her chest, her choice of a spinning wheel, the wheel, all the wood, also all the linen cloth, my large Bible, her choice of one of the hymn books, my tin-plated stove with pipe and all thereto belonging, a Dutch oven, the small iron pot and skillet, two water buckets, her choice, a ten gallon cask and the wine pipe, three pair cups and saucers, six tablespoons and all the teaspoons, a cream jug, a quart bottle, two chairs, her riding saddle, meaning the old one, seven milk crocks, her choice, a churn to be purchased by my Executors, three breadbaskets, her choice, and the small large baskets, the cotton cords, a pair of smoothing irons, a candlestick, a bridle, one milk cow, her choice, a cow chain, and the bell, one [wheel]barrow, and all the poultry. Also [I give] all the rent profits or incomes of the plantation for this present year if, in case, I should die.

And further, [third] I will and devise and order that my Executors afterwards shall lease my plantation for the term of three years time to commence in the month of April, One-thousand eight-hundred and twelve [1812] for and upon the following reservations, performances, and rents to wit, to pay my widow each and every year during said term, the sum of forty dollars [$40], the garden adjoining the dwelling house, the small lower room, and the one -half of one of the upper rooms and privilege in the cellar. [I will] twenty-five bushels of apples and six bushels of peaches, provided the trees bear well; and if not, in proportion he bares [what they bear?]. [Also I will] good stable room for one cow for her and in the summer, pasture for her cow, and [I will] my Executors to have plenty of good firewood ready cut and hall [hauled], conveniently for my widow during said term, and the tenet to have the whole [rest of the] place against the expiration of the said [lease ] in good repair and order.

And further, [fourth] I will, order, and desire that my Executors shall endeavor to have the plantation sold in fee simple [cash] to the best advantage either at private or public sale against the expiration of the aforementioned term, and to retain in their hands the one- half of the whole of the purchase money, by them to be made use of in manner following to wit to pay the rout [rest?] of and therefrom to my widow the sum of forty dollars [$40] yearly and every year without fail during her widowhood. And if in case my Executors cannot sell my plantation to the best advantage that then and in such case they shall rent out the place till such time they can sell the plantation. Provided always as long as the plantation is rented or leased, my widow shall receive such and every year the same as is provided and mentioned in the first three years renting of the place.

[Fifth,] I further will, order, and desire that my Executors, as soon as can conveniently be, to dispose of all my personal estate at public sale (that is not otherwise willed and bequeathed by me), according to their discretion, and [from] the moneys arising out of the sale, that one-half of the money out of the sale of the plantation shall by my Executors equally be divided and paid to my children to wit: to my son Joseph, one equal share; to my son Peter, one equal share; to my son John, one equal share; to my daughter Catherine that is intermarried with Philip Okeley, one equal share; to my daughter Elizabeth that is intermarried with Peter Lenhard, one equal share; to my daughter Susanna that is intermarried with Alan Berkey, one equal share; to my daughter Christina that is intermarried with John Mostoller, one equal share; and to my daughter Barbara that is intermarried with George Lore, one equal share.

Provided always that whatever any of the aforementioned legatees have heretofore received from me, stand[ing] charges shall be first deducted. And all of the overplus [extras] that shall remain after the death of my widow, shall also be equally divided  by my Executors and assigned in the same manner as before mentioned. That is to say and mean [that] each and every[one] of them to be and stand [with the understanding to] share in [and] share [alike] with each other.

And lastly, [sixth,] I do hereby nominate, constitute, and appoint my beloved brother Jeremiah Miller and my beloved son-in-law John Mostoller as my legal Executors of this my last will and testament, revoking all former wills by me heretofore made.

In witness I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 18th day of June in the year of our Lord, 1811.

[signed and sealed] Joseph Miller

Signed, sealed, published, pronounced, acknowledged, and declared by the Testator as his last will and testament who at his request and desire have subscribed our names as witnesses hereto.

[signed and sealed] Michael Maurer, Peter Maurer [in-laws sometimes spelled “Mowry”], and Henry Shaffer [son Joseph A’s father-in-law].   

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