Will of Teunis Teunissen Metselaer and Egbertie Egberts, his wife - 1685

In the name of the Lord, Amen. Teunis Teunise d'Metselaer*, farmer, dwelling in the colony of Renselaerswyck in the county of Albany, at present sick in body but of sound mind and memory, and Egbertie Egberts, sound in body and mind, married people, who, considering the shortness and frailty of human life, the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the hour thereof, deliberately and advisedly, without inducement, persuasion or misleading of anyone, declare that they have made, ordained and determined this their respective and reciprocal last will and testament in form and manner following:

First and foremost committing their immortal souls, whenever they shall be separated from their bodies, to the gracious and merciful hands of God, their Creator and Savior, and their bodies to a Christian burial, likewise revoking, canceling and annulling all and every testamentary disposition heretofore made either jointly or severally, and herewith arriving at the principal disposition of their temporal effects to be left behind, these testators have nominated and constituted, as hereby they do reciprocally nominate and constitute the survivor of the two as his and her sole and universal heir of all their estate, real and personal, claims, credits, money, gold and silver coined and uncoined, jewels, linen and woolen clothing, household furniture, etc., nothing whatsoever excepted or reserved, thereof to dispose, so long as the survivor lives, without interference or contradiction of any person, and whenever the survivor shall decease

It is the will and desire of both the testators that the estate and effects left behind which shall then be found shall be equally divided among their seven children or their heirs, to wit: Maritje, wife of Harme Lievese; Egbert Teunise; Gerrittje, wife of Andries Hanse; Dirkje, wife of Bastian Harmense; Willemtie Teunise, aged 23 years; Anna Teunise, aged twenty-one years; and Martyn Teunis, aged nineteen years; that is, each to inherit and receive a just seventh part, one no more than another, provided nevertheless that the survivor be holden properly to support and provide for their three unmarried daughters and whenever they shall enter into the marriage estate, to give to each of them a proper outfit such as the other married sisters have had, without being holden to do more.

But in case the survivor of the testators marries again, the same shall beholden to divide and apportion the whole, namely the just half of the whole estate, to the behoof of their aforesaid seven children, to be divided equally among them, no one receiving more than the others, and the other half shall be for the behoof of the survivor.

Finally, the testators hereby exclude and debar (saving all honor and respect) the honorable orphan masters of this place and of any other place where the testators may die from the supervision and administration of their aforesaid children and property, not wishing that the same shall meddle therewith, but instead appointing as guardians of the same the survivor of the two, with power one or more persons to choose and take as fellow guardians.

All that is hereinbefore written they, the testators, declare to be their last will and testament, desiring that the same after the death of either of them shall have full force and effect, whether as will, codicil, donation, gift in anticipation of death, or otherwise, as may be most consistent with the contents, notwithstanding that certain formalities of law or custom may herein be omitted, neglected, or not included or observed, requesting of all lords, courts and judges, wherever the testators may die, the enjoyment of the utmost benefit herefrom; one or more copies hereof to be made and delivered by me, the secretary, as the case may require.

Done in Albany, at the house of Eghbert Teunise, son of the testators, on this, the seventh day of August, in the first year of his majesty's reign, Anno Domini 1685.

Teunis Teunise Metselaer

Egbertien Egberts

Signed and sealed in presence of,
Cornelis van Dyck
Myndert Harmense

In my presence,

Robt. Livingston, Clerk].


Will dated August 7, 1685. Printed in Early Records of Albany vol. 4, pg. 117-19. Copied from an online printing. Most spellings have been presented as printed. But some paragraphing and punctuation has been provided. At this point, a probate date (legally closing down the lives of the testators) has not been found.

* = footnote of unknown origin = "Literally: Teunis Teunise, the mason."

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first posted: 7/30/04; recast and revised 12/5/17; last updated 3/31/18