Will of Killian Van Rensselaer - 1718

Killian Van Rensselaer. In the name of God, Amen. I, Killian Van Rensselaer, of the manor of Rensselaerwyck, Gentleman, being of sound memory.

My body is to be buried in the burying place to the northward of the Old Fort at Albany. I leave to my eldest son Jeremiah all that my manor of Rensselaerwyck with all the rights and appurtenances, and every part and parcel thereof, together with the said burying place or lot of pasture ground now in the possession of John Rosie. And all my stock of negroes, cattle and utensils (except as I give to my wife and younger children) to him and his heirs male, and in default of such, then to my second son Stephen.

I leave to my wife Mary the use of all my estate during her widowhood, and she is to give my sons the best and most liberal education that this Province and Boston can afford, and to take care for their maintenance and that of my daughter. But if she marries she shall have the use of the Island and the pasture over against, now in possession of Andries Ganse. And also the saw mill standing on Normans Kill, now in the possession of Dirck Harmense Visher. Also 3 negroes, 12 horses, and 10 cows, and liberty of cutting saw logs and timber on the manor.

My plate, jewels, and household goods are to be divided into three parts, one-third to my wife and two- thirds to my children. My daughter Mary is to have 500 from the rents of the manor, 300 when she is of age, and the rest after my wife's decease. Also 200 acres of woodland. But if she or her heirs sell the same, the purchaser shall be obliged to pay to the Lord of the manor, the tenths, according to the custom of the manor, but if they hold it they are to pay three shillings rent.

I leave to my son Stephen the sum of 500 from the rents of the manor when he comes of age. I leave to my son Jacobus the creek called Scotack Creek, on the east side of Hudsons River, about eight miles below Albany, with a grist mill on said stream. And my heir-at-law is to put him in possession when of age, and he and his heirs are to pay to the Lord of the manor as a rent forever one hundred good and merchantable deal boards yearly. I also leave him all the woodland lying on or near said creek, that is to say all the woodland lying between the bounds of Johanes Beekman and Moss Van Buren, running all the way from the river into the woods till it comprehends 1,500 acres, with right to cut saw logs and timber for said mill out of any part of the manor, and liberty of commonage of pasture. Also 200 acres more of woodland in any part of the manor. But if he or his heirs sell the same the purchasers are to pay to the Lord of the manor the tenths according to custom; But if they retain it they shall pay three shillings rent.

I leave my fourth son, John Baptist Van Rensselaer, 300 acres of land upon Pastin Kill to the north of Van Bruyhns farm, with the meadow that lies by it, with right of commonage, with right of cutting fire-wood and fencing; I also leave him 500 out of the rents of the manor. The 300 acres of land are to be taken at the head of the kill and its branches.

I leave to my daughter Gertrude 500, part when of age, and part at the death of my wife. Also 200 acres of good woodland. I also leave to my son Stephen 300 acres of land at Hosick, being lowlands lying on Hosick Creek. The above legacies are secured by the rents of the manor.

I leave to Rensselaer Nicoll, the youngest son of my sister Anne Nicoll, all that farm at Bethlehem now in possession of William Van Allen, with the island called Nieffes Island, beginning at the south side of Bethlehem Creek and extending to the bounds of Barent Peterse Coeymans, and backwards into the woods from Hudsons River, one English mile, And the farm on the north side of Bethlehem Creek, 10 or 12 acres, as in fence, where the house and barn of Coysome lately stood, with the right of keeping a saw-mill on the south side of the creek, where a sawmill now stands, with privilege of bringing to the said mill 300 logs yearly. And he and his heirs are to have no further claim as heirs of my sister Anne.

I release to my brother, Henry Van Rensselaer, the tenths of his land in the manor for 21 years, and to my nephew, Rensselaer Nicolls, and my other nephews, Jeremiah and Peter Schuyler, the tenths for their lands during the minority of my heir. My executors are to build a grist mill on the Fifth' Kill near my now dwelling house on which my other mills now stand. It is my will that none of my heirs shall lease any old settlements or the mills for a longer period than for their own lives; my executors are not to lease for a term of years any land within two miles of Hudson River on the north side of Fifth Kill between the said kill and the Stone Kill which lies to the north of the farm of Colonel Peter Schuyler called the Flats. Nor any meadow fit to make hay ; but they shall be and remain for the encouragement of new settlers.

I appoint my wife Mary, my brother, Henry Van Rensselaer, and my brother-in-law, Philip Van Cortlandt, and my friend, John Collins, of Albany, executors. "

This my last will, being written on twelve sides of three sheets of paper, sewed together with blue silk, the ends of said silk being fixed in hard wax under my seal, and being signed by me on every sheet in the presence of the witnesses in New York."

June 11,1718. Witnesses, John Troop, Oliver Teller, T. Meeks, David Jamieson.

Codicil, September 4, 1719. My son, John Baptist Van Rensselaer, and his heirs may build a saw-mill on Pastin Kill [Poestenkil] on the east side of Hudson River.

Witnesses, Hendrick Hanson, I. Baker, Abraham Staats, Melgert Van Dusen.

Proved, May 10, 1720



Will dated June 11, 1718. Probated May 10, 1720. Printed in Abstract of Wills (for the year 1893), pp. 216-19. Some spelling and punctuation corrected. Paragraphing supplied.

Transformed from an online resource by SB

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first opened: 4/20/09; posted: 3/15/10