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Will of Jacques Cornelissen van Slyck

In the name of God, Amen. Know all men whom it may concern, tht on this eighteenth of May anno sixteen hundred and ninety, at Albany, being in the second year of the reign of William and Mary, king and queen of Great Britain, Jacques Cornelisse van Slyck, residing at Schennechtady, lying here in the city aforesaid sick abed, but having to all outward appearances the perfect use and command of his understanding, faculties, memory and speech, who, considering the frailty of human life and the uncertainty of the hour of death, has of his own motion, without inducement, persuasion or misleading of anyone, but moved thereto voluntarily after mature consideration, though it advisable not to leave this world without first having disposed of his temporal effects granted to him by the Almighty. Commending first and foremost his immortal soul into the hands of God and his body to a Christian burial, he nominates, constitutes and appoints his wife Gerritje Ryckman his sole and universal heir of all his estate and effects, in manner following:

So soon as their son Herman enters the marriage state, she shall first of all let him have by way of gift, fourteen morgens of land lying above Schanechtady, on the first flat, above Sassiasn, the testator's wife to have the usufruct of all the other land, grounds, houses and buildings belonging to him, but the whole of the personal estate and effects she shall be at liberty to use, spend, sell, alienate and dispose of as she pleases, in like manner as the testator in his lifetime could do, without rendering an accounting or inventory, 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, 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 their 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 lands 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 the 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 and 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 humble request, their honors will please take upon themselves, since Christian duty obligates us to assist the widows and orphans by word and deed. All that is hereinbefore 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 enjoyed 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 A C K E S by Jacques Cornelise van Slyck with his own hand (L. S.)

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

In my presence, Jan Becker.

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