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Will of Teunis Teunissen Metselaer and Egbertie Egberts, His Wife

In the name of the Lord, Amen. Teunis Teunise d'Metselaer,1 farmer, dwelling in the colony of Rensselaerswyck in the county of Albany, at present sick in body but of sound mind and memory, and Egbertie Egberts, sound in body and mind, married people, who, considering the shortness and frailty of human life, the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the hour thereof, deliberately and advisedly, without inducement, persuasion or misleading of anyone, declare that they have made, ordained and determined this their respective and reciprocal last will and testament in form and manner following:

First and foremost committing their immortal souls, whenever they shall be separated from their bodies, to the gracious and merciful hands of God, their Creator and Savior, and their bodies to a Christian burial, likewise revoking, canceling and annulling all and every testamentary disposition heretofore made either jointly or severally, and herewith arriving at the principal disposition of their temporal effects to be left behind, these testators have nominated and constituted, as hereby they do reciprocally nominate and constitute the survivor of the two as his and her sole and universal heir of all their estate, real and personal, claims, credits, money, gold and silver coined and uncoined, jewels, linen and woolen clothing, much less furnishing bond or security, to any relatives, to the guardians of his children or children's children, to the honorable orphan masters or constables, to the inferior and supreme courts of this government, or to any person whomsoever, all and singular of whom he excludes and shuts out, notwithstanding that some law or laws may direct otherwise, which he wills shall in this case be inoperative and of no effect, appointing her as executrix and administratrix during the time of her widowhood; but if she again enters into the marriage estate, she shall to the children begotten by them, to wit: Susanna, Grietje, Herman, Cornelis, Geertruyt, Marte, Helena, Fytie, Lidia and those who may still be procreated by them, apportion and relinquish the just half of all the estate and effects to said children then living, wherein each child shall equally participate without any difference by reason of sex, without prejudice to the donation of fourteen morgens of land to Herman as hereinbefore written. And although the daughters have likewise heir interest in the lands, the testator wills that said lands shall remain in the possession of the sons subject to a proper appraisal, and the value of each daughter's portion be paid within the five following years, each year a just fifth part; which land also may not be sold or alienated by the sons but must descend to each son's male child or children, and failing of these, to the nearest relatives in the male line, who may lawfully bear he name of Van Slyck and be of the testator's lawful seed; but the male lineage failing, the nearest female line shall inherit and succeed to the aforesaid estate even as the male line, because the testator expressly wills and desires that the aforesaid land shall not be alienated from his future blood and lineage but must always return thither again.

But if his aforesaid wife marries again, she shall immediately, before the solemnization of such marriage, cause to devolve upon those who are of age their portion and (under sufficient security) retain the minor's portion and enjoy the use and profits thereof until the time of the majority of each, with the understanding that whoever is of age may demand his portion without waiting until the majority of the younger; therefore she is holden to do by those under age in all ways as an honorable, faithful mother ought to do by her child or children, without any reserve or exception.

And in order that all the aforesaid conditions may in honest simplicity and justice be carried out, the testator appoints Mr Pieter Schuyler, Mr Dirk Wessells and Johannes Glenn as guardians over his minor children, who also shall be joined with his aforesaid wife, to act as mediators in case any difference or misunderstanding arise between her and the children and to settle the same in love and friendship, so that the maternal and filial affection be not extinguished and that the testator's aforesaid will be not broken and violated; which burden, by the testator's humble request, their honors will please take upon themselves, since Christian duty obliates us to assist the widows and orphans by word and deed. All that is herebefore written the testator declares to be his testamentary disposition and last will, which he desires to have effect from the weightiest to the least article thereof, whether as will, codicil, gift in anticipation of death or among the living, or any other bequest however it may be named, notwithstanding that all the formalities required by the laws of this government may not be observed herein, desiring that the utmost benefit of the law may be employed herein for the maintenance of the same.

Thus done, signed and sealed on the 8th of May, 1690, at Albany as aforesaid.

This is signed ACKES by Jaques Cornelise van Slyk with his own hand (L.S.)

Signed and sealed in our presence, A. Appell, Jacob Staets, Jan Becker.

1Literally: Teunis Teunise, the mason.

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