Will of John Seals

Scanned Document:


In the year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, one thousand six hundred and forty-five, on the seventeenth of April, before me, Cornelis van Tienhoven, secretary of New Netherland, appeared Jan Celes,[1] who, being wounded and lying sick abed, but of sound memory and understanding, declared in the presence of the undersigned witnesses that he, reflecting on the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the hour therefore and wishing therefore to anticipate all such uncertainty of death by testamentary disposition, commends his soul after his death into the hands of Almighty God and his body to a Christian burial. Proceeding then to the disposal of his goods and effects, he declares it to be his last will that after his death Tonis Nysen, his brother-in-law,[2] shall first take out of the estate the just half of all the goods and effects which he shall leave behind. The other half, his wife, Marritjen Robbers, shall take to herself and have the use of until she remarry or die, provided that in case she remarry, the property may not be used up, diminished or alienated by her husband or herself, but she shall be entitled only to have the use of the income thereof during her life, the principal remaining intact and reverting after her death[3] to Tonis Nysen or his children or heirs, without said Marritjen Robberts’ relatives being allowed to take possession of the aforesaid property; only, she shall then have power to leave by will two hundred guilders out of the said estate to whoever she pleases. He, Jan Celes, requests in the presence of all these bystanders that this, being his last will, may take effect after his death before all lords, courts, tribunals and judges. Done the day and year above written.

Jan Seles
S John
Thomas Hall
Cosyn Gerritsz
Hendrick Pitersz
Abraham Watson
Jeurien Feratel
Cornelis van Tienhoven
John Seals.
swager; which may mean son-in-law as well as brother-in-law.
The words “provided that in case she remarry ... after her death” are written in the margin, to take the place of “in case she marry, she, Marritjen, shall restore all the property, of which an inventory is to be made, to Tonis Nysen or his children, except two hundred guilders, which she may keep for her benefit, and in case she does not marry, the property...,” which words are canceled.


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.