Will of Captain Johannes Clute - 1683

In the name of God, Amen. On this day, the twenty-third of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and eighty-three, before me Robert Livingston, secretary of Albany, colony of Renselaweswyck and Shinnechtady, and the hereinafter named witnesses, came and appeared Capt. Johannes Cloet, being at present weak in body, but in full possession of his mind, memory and understanding, as clearly appeared, who, considering the shortness and frailty of human life, the certainty of death and the uncertain hour thereof, and whishing therefore to forestall the same while the Lord God still leaves him time by proper disposition of his temporal estate to be left behind, he hereby declares that deliberately, without inducement, persuasion or misleading on the part of any one, he has ordained and concluded this, his present last will and testament, in form and manner following.

First and foremost, he commends his immortal soul to the gracious and merciful hands of God, his Creator and Redeemer, and his body to a Christian burial. And whereas, on the 17th of April 1677, he made a certain testamentary disposition, he hereby cancels and makes null and void the same and all other donations made in writing, by whatever name they may be called.

And coming now to his principal disposition, last will and final desire, he hereby appoints and institutes his nephew, Johannes Cloet, Jun., his sole and universal heir to all his property, real and personal, Negroes, Negresses, money, gold, silver, coined or uncoined, jewelry, clothes linen, woolens, household effects, etc., which upon his death he shall vacate and leave behind, both in this country and elsewhere, but with the express condition and reservation that his said heir shall have no right to sell, alienate, trade, convey, or mortgage the farm at Canastagioene, with the house, barn and hay barracks, under any usufruct [sic] thereof as long as they live, and when he Johannes Cloet, shall be dead, his present wife, Bata van Slichtenhorst, alone shall enjoy the income or rent thereof as long as she lives, behoof of the children whom the said Johannes Cloet, Jun., has, or during his marriage may procreate, to be equally divided among them after the death of the father and mother aforesaid.

Likewise, it is the testatorís will and desire that his aforesaid heir, Joh. Cloet, Jun., shall at the first opportunity pay the debts here in this country and then within the space of six years after the death of the testator make over a sum of eight hundred guilders Holland money as a donation to the testatorís brothers and sisters at Niewen Roy, in the Lant van der Marken, to wit. Jacob Cloet, Barent Cloet, Evert Cloet, and Clement Cloet, his brother and Annetje Cloet, and Engle Cloet, to be equally divided among them or their heirs.

All of what is hereinbefore written, he, the testator, declares to be his last will and testament, desiring that after death the same may have its full force and effect, whether as will, codicil, donation, gift in anticipation of death, or otherwise, as may be most suitable, even though some formalities required by law or custom should have been omitted, neglected or not inserted or observed herein, requesting that before all lords, courts or tribunals where the decedent's property may be located he may receive the utmost benefit hereof and that by me the secretary, one or more instrument therefore may be delivered to be used as may be proper.

Actum in Albany, at the house of the testator, dato ut supra, at about nine oíclock in the forenoon, in the presence of Mr Cornelis van Dyk and Mr. Dirk Wessells, commissaries, as witnesses hereto invited, and signed and sealed by the testator.


Will dated July 23, 1683. Proved on December 11, 1684. Printed in Court Minutes of Albany volume 3, pp. 499-501. Some spelling has been corrected and paragraphing supplied!

Transformed from an online resource (beginning on p. 499) by SB

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first posted 2/10/04; recast and revised 12/19/17