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Will of Gerrit Teunissen van Vechten

In the name of God, Amen. Know all men by these presents that I the undersigned, Gerrit Teunisen van Vechten, inhabitant of the colony of Rensselaerswyck, in the county of Albany, healthful in body and of sound mind, memory and speech, considering the frailty of life, the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the hour thereof, desiring therefore to dispose of his temporal effects to be left behind, first and foremost commending his soul to the gracious hands of God, his Creator and Redeemer, and his body to a Christian burial, annulling and canceling all former testamentary dispositions, therefore disposes as follows: 1 That after the death of the testator, his respective wife Grietie Volkertsen Dow shall remain in full possession of his whole estate, whether lands, houses, barns, ricks, money, gold, coined or uncoined, cattle, etc., without inventory to be given to anyone, for the time of one year and six weeks after his decease and then shall all the lands of the testator lying in the colony aforesaid, or elsewhere, having or to have, go to his two sons Johannes and Volkert van Vechten, children of lawful age (the first procreated by the testator's first wife, Antie Janz, deceased, and the second by his present wife) in two like parts, to wit, the land in the colony shall the aforesaid sons divide and if they can not agree, then it shall be done as nearly evenly as possible by four impartial men, with the understanding that Johannes shall have the first choice, to dwell on the south or north side where his part shall be, and then each shall possess his part in fee with his portion of all the structures, cattle, plow and wagon, and all that appertains to the land, except the free residence, etc., which the testator's wife must have as hereinafter written; the remainder of the lands to be divided among his sons without first choice, provided that the same must pay all the debts, the mother being free therefrom, with the express will of the testator that none of his lands shall ever be sold to strangers, but that the same shall always go to and remain in the possession of the lawful heirs. Regarding the land and inheritance which comes to Johannes on the side of his mother deceased, it is his alone; likewise whatever may come to Volkert from his mother's side shall be for him; against this the testator's wife shall have a free dwelling and homestead in the colony on the farm where the testator now dwells, the household furniture and other effects (except the clothing, etc. belonging to the testator's body, which shall go to the sons six weeks after his death); also his wife shall select a negro and negress to serve her and each of his sons shall be holden to deliver to the mother, the aforesaid Grietie, the fourth sheaf of all the grain grown on the lands, free, under proper covering and such that it can be threshed; likewise shall she have four horses, four cows, six sheep, six hogs and six geese with the necessary stabling therefor, all during her widowhood, but at her death all her effects shall go to the aforesaid sons.

2 In case of marriage of his aforesaid wife, she shall, before her marriage day, convey and make over to the sons said dwelling, together with the negro, if either of the sons happen to have no negro and instead of the fourth sheaf she shall receive the just part of the rent for which the land shall be appraised, during her life, and no longer, and the negro woman, horses and other stock specified shall be at her disposition, as well as the negro if she keeps him.

3 Johannes, before any partition, shall have in lieu of his right of primogeniture the sum of five pounds current money of this province.

4 Pieter, the son of Jonas Dow, shall have the negro, Francisco, when he, the said Pieter, marries. All that is hereinbefore written the testator declares to be his last will and testament, requesting of all lords, courts, tribunals and judges tht after his death the same may be observed and maintained in every particular. In witness whereof the testator has subscribed and sealed this with his hand in Albany at the house of Johannes Cuyler, this eighth day of March and in the twelfth year of the reign of our King William, over England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, annoque domini 1700/1.

His mark X
Gerrit Teunisen van Vechten [L.S.]
mark and seal

Signed and sealed in presence of

Wessel ten Brook; justus
Joh: Cuyler, justus

Memorandum that the thirteen words in the last part of the first article on the other side to wit: "but at her death all her effects shall go to the aforesaid sons," were inserted and written, likewise the word "appraised" in the second article was erased, before signing, sealing and delivery, whereupon the testator acknowledges his aforesaid signature and again seals and delivers this as his last will and testament as aforesaid; thus done at the house of the aforesaid testator in the colony of Rensselaerswyck aforesaid, this twelfth day of March 1703/4.

Thus signed, dealed and delivered in presence of,

J. Abeel,Justus
Johannes Cuyler, Justis
Wessel ten Brook

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