Writ empowering Maritje Abrahams and Abraham Pietersen to administer to the estate of Thomas Jansen Mingal

Scanned Document:

The director general and council of New Netherland, to all who shall see this or hear it read, greetings.

Let it be known that we have received the humble petition of Marritgen Abrahams, widow, and Abraham Pietersz Moolenaer father-in-law of Tomas Jansz Mingael, deceased now about three weeks, and that the possessions he left behind from an intestate have devolved upon his three minority children, and because the petitioners, mother and grandfather, hence guardians of the aforesaid three children, are concerned that the estate of her deceased husband and his son-in-law might be burdened with many debts, so that the simple acceptance of it might be detrimental to the petitioners, they find it not advisable to accept the same estate except under benefit of inventory (so they the petitioners say). For which reason they request with all due humility that their case be favored and expedited by our open letter to such effect.

Therefore, we have deliberated the aforesaid matter and being in favor of the petitioners' request, we have allowed and permitted the petitioners, as we hereby allow and permit, our letter, which they, the petitioners, may carry under benefit of inventory and place heirs in the aforesaid house of the deceased Tomas Jansz Mingal, and in this capacity take possession and enter upon the same house of the deceased, and the possessions, chattels, securities, debits and credits left behind by the aforesaid Tomas Jansz Mingael, on the condition that a good and honest inventory be made by one of the officers of the district where most of the possessions of the deceased are located, selecting the one who is most appropriate in such matters; and provided that the petitioners be obligated to post good and sufficient bond and security to pay for all the debts, bequests and legacies of the aforesaid deceased as far as the possessions may cover, without the petitioners being obligated in any way to pay anything above the value thereof; unless there still be a relative of the deceased who has simply installed himself or intends to install himself as heir, then summon and order the officer of the city of Amsterdam in New Netherland and also all other magistrates and officers, or their deputies, each one as far as it may concern him, that the aforesaid inventory be honestly completed and the security posted by the petitioners, and received and registered by the secretary of the aforesaid city; making sure that the petitioners are delivered of all assignable and inheritable possessions left behind by the aforesaid Tomas Jansz Mingael, and allowing them to enjoy and use in peace and freedom the contents of this our present benefit of inventory in the aforesaid manner and under the aforesaid limitations and modifications, without causing them any impediments or trouble; on the contrary, we hereby summon, command and commission our court messenger (hereto requested by the aforesaid petitioners) to go to the persons or residences of all creditors of the aforesaid house of the deceased, who are certain and known, in addition to the beneficiaries, as far as there are any, and to summon them on behalf of the high authorities of this province to appear, or to send deputies, before the court of the aforementioned city, where the house of the deceased is located, on a certain suitable day, which he shall indicate to them, in order to see, there or wherever necessary, all the possessions (left behind by the aforesaid Tomas Jansz Mingal) properly inventoried and to see them appraised according to the ordinance and the contents of this, and to post security by the aforesaid petitioners as is appropriate. At the same time we hereby commission the aforesaid court messenger, at the request of the aforesaid petitioners, to summon and invite by public edict or proclamation, at the place where notices are usually posted, the other equivocal and unknown creditors, if there be any, and all others who shall in any way impugn this letter of benefit of inventory and oppose it and those who were to install themselves as creditors and beneficiaries of the aforesaid Tomas Jansz Mingal, authorizing and commissioning him hereby to summon and cite all the same creditors and beneficiaries, and all others who are in opposition, either by edict or summoned and invited by other means, to appear, or to send deputies, before the court of the aforesaid city of Amsterdam in N. Netherland in order to see the aforesaid writ of benefit of inventory approved by them or to speak against the same, with notification if they appear or send deputies; if not, then proceedings shall still be instituted by the aforesaid court for confirmation of the aforesaid writ of benefit of inventory, as otherwise according to law. He is to relate his encounters with those of the aforesaid court whom we hereby expressly commission (having heard the parties) to execute justice in a swift and equitable manner.

Thus done and issued, and confirmed with our seal in red wax impressed thereon in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland the [left blank].[1]


While there is no date on this copy, the widow and her father appeared before the court of New Amsterdam on January 9,1663, with letters of benefit of inventory from the council dated January 2,1663. See RNA,4 :178-79.


Translation: Gehring, C., trans./ed., New Netherland Documents Series: Vol. 16, part 1, Laws and Writs of Appeal, 1647-1663 (Syracuse: 1991).A complete copy of this publication is available on theĀ New Netherland Institute website.