Will of Pieter Jacobsen and Gysje Pieters, his wife

Scanned Document:

in the year ] of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ ], one thousand six hundred and forty-two, the [      ] of June, new style, before me, Corn ]elis van Tienhoven, secretary in New Netherland appointed by the General Chartered West India Company, appeared Pieter Jacobsen from Rensborch[1] with Gysje Pitersen, his lawful wife, residing in Fort Orange, situated on the North River of New Netherland, both in bodily health, up and about and having full possession and use of their senses, memory and understanding, as seemed apparent to us, who declared that they, reflecting on the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the hour thereof, and wishing to anticipate all such uncertainty by certain testamentary disposition, have, of their own free will, full knowledge and deliberate judgment, without inducement, persuasion or misleading on the part of any one, made and concluded, as they hereby do make and conclude, their testament and disposition of last will in form and manner following, to wit: First, after express revocation and recalling of all testaments and other dispositions whatsoever which they, the testators, or either of them, may before the date hereof have in any wise made, executed or concluded, they the testators, commend their souls always and whenever they shall depart out of[2] their bodies to the unfathomable mercy of Almighty God and their bodies to a Christian burial, in the hope of a glorious ] resurrection at the last day ]. And both the testators coming herewith to the disposal of ] their goods, means and ] effects, movable and immovable, without any exception, and ] all other profits and gains, declare that they leave and ] bequeath the same to each other, the survivor to have the ownership of all the property which the testators shall leave behind, without being obliged ] to turn over anything to the blood relations of the one who dies first or to render any accounting to them of the property left behind, except that Pieter Jacobsen, in case his wife here present happens to die first, shall pay her daughter Annitjen Alberts, for her share of her mother’s estate, twenty Carolus guilders and no more, the rest, whether on the one side or the other, remaining therefore without contradiction on the part of any one, for the benefit of the survivor of the two testators. And Pieter Jacobsen and Gysje Pieters[3] above named declare this to be their testament and last will, wishing and desiring that as such, or as codicil, gift among the living or in anticipation of death, or otherwise, as may be most suitable, it shall take effect and have its full force and be observed in all its parts, even though some required formalities may not be observed herein and notwithstanding the existence of any provincial laws or statutes or customs and ordinances of any place whatsoever which may be contrary thereto, all of which they for so far as is necessary hereby expressly derogate and render void. They requested that this might be drawn up and recorded by me, Cornelis van Tienhoven, secretary aforesaid, and that one or more public instruments thereof be made in due form and delivered to them. Thus done and executed by Pieter Jacobsen and Gysje Pieters in the presence of Bastiaen Crol, commissary at Fort Orange, and A. van Curler, witnesses hereto invited, who with me, the secretary, have signed this in the record. Done in Fort Amsterdam, New Netherland.

Gysje Pieters
Bastiaen Krol
Intended for Rynsburch, or Rijnsburg, a village near Leiden. See Early Records of Albany, 3:226, and Van Rensselaer Bowier MSS., p. 822, where the name of Pieter Jacobsen’s wife is given as Gysje (Geesie) Barents, so that she was called Pieters after her husband. Another translation of the will is printed in Annals of Albany, 4:47-48.
The name Lysbet dircks is canceled and replaced by Gijsje piters.
The other signatures are lacking.


Translation: Scott, K., & Stryker-Rodda, K. (Ed.). New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 2, Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1642-1647 (A. Van Laer, Trans.). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1974.A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.