Will of Egbert Woutersen and Engeltje Jans, his wife

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In the year after the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, one thousand six hundred and fifty-two, on the twentieth of June, before me, Carel van Brugge, secretary of New Netherland, residing in Fort Amsterdam, appeared in the presence of Vincent Pieckes and Jan Montaigne, junior, Egbert Woutersz from Isselsteen[1] and Engeltje Jans from Breste,[2] husband and wife, residing on the island of Manhatans, who declared that they, being persons of reasonable age,[3] have considered the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the hour thereof They, the testators, first commend their souls after their decease to the hands of God Almighty and their bodies to a Christian burial. Coming then to the disposal of their temporal means, effects and possessions, they, the testators, declare that as lawful husband and wife they have agreed and provided that in recompense of the faith and love shown each other the survivor of the two shall remain in full possession and ownership of all the property and effects which God Almighty has granted them in this world, without rendering to any of the relatives on either side any account, inventory or any other instrument of the property left behind, but the survivor of the two shall have the right to remain in possession thereof without any claim on the part of any of their relatives until he or she remarries It is also agreed that if Engeltje Jans aforesaid should die first, Eckbert Woutersz shall remain in possession of all the effects left behind as aforesaid until he remarries or until his decease, and that after his death the heirs of Engeltje Jans shall inherit and may take full possession of all the goods which Eckbert Woutersz shall then at his death leave behind, both those which may have proceeded from her mother's side and those from Eckbert Woutersz' side, without being obliged to render any explanation, much less accounting or balance to the relatives or other heirs of the said Egbert Woutersz, but possess them as their own property. Furthermore, if Eckbert Woutersz happens to die, Engeltje Jans shall likewise remain in full possession and ownership of all the goods left behind by him in this country and after her death the heirs of Eckbert Woutersz shall have no right to demand or to claim anything except what is expressly stipulated, without fraud or exception. Whether the said Eckbert or his aforesaid wife, Engeltje Jans, dies first, the property of both of them must at the survivor's death pass to the heirs of Engeltje Jans and be possessed, occupied and used by them in full ownership, provided that the heirs of Engeltje Jans shall turn over to the brother and sister of Eckbert Woutersse, residing in the United Netherlands, one hundred Carolus guilders, which are to be divided pro rata among them. They, the testators, request that the same may take place after their death before all lords, courts and Judges, and they hereby revoke all previous wills, testaments, codicils or other instruments of last will heretofore made and signed by them, and especially the annuity executed under date of the 17th of February anno 1648 in New Amsterdam before Secretary van Tienhoven, declaring and holding the same to be null and void, willing and requesting that this instrument alone shall be of value and no other. Thus done and signed by the testators in the presence of the above mentioned witnesses, this day, the 20th of June anno 1653.

Engeltje Jans
Eckbert Wouters
Vincent Pikes
Jan M. de Lamontangne, Junior


Ysselstein, a small town in the province of Utrecht, Netherlands.

Bredstedt, in Schleswig. Egbert Woutersen was Engeltje

Jans' second husband. See John O. Evjen, Scandinavian Immigrants

in New York, p. 213.

Luyden van Reedelijcken ouderdom; persons of advanced age.


Translation: Scott, K., & Stryker-Rodda, K. (Ed.). New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 3, Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1648-1660 (A. Van Laer, Trans.). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1974.A complete copy of this publication is available on theĀ New Netherland Institute website.