Presentation of a wills section on the site has been a long-time plan. The value of wills in straightening out family relationships, in the absence of official birth, marriage, and death records, can't be underestimated. Individual wills and Letters of Administration will be placed directly on this page. Other wills that belong in groups will have their own subsections. To contribute your own ancestor's will or Letter of Administration to this valuable online resource, contact the coordinator.




The petition for final settlement of Harlon P. Walrath's estate was contributed by Jerome A. Walrath. " Melcena, his wife, was Milcena Hilligas. The Walraths listed as creditors were his father (Martin Walrath, Sr.) and brothers (Martin, Jr. and Rugene, the petitioner)."

Montgomery Surrogate's Court
In the matter of the Final Accounting of
Harlan P. Walrath
Petition For Final Settlement,
January 14th 1875

To the Surrogate of the County of Montgomery.

The Petition of Rugene Walrath
Respectfully Showeth, That Letters, of Administration of the goods chattels and credits of Harlan P. Walrath late of St. Johnsville in said County deceased, were granted to your Petitioner on the twenty seventh day of September 1873; that the persons interested in the estate of said deceased, as creditors, legatees, next of kin, or otherwise, and their place of residence, to the best of the knowledge, information, and belief of your Petitioner are as follows, to wit:

Melcena Walrath widow of dec., St. Johnsville, NY
Willie D. Walrath minor child of dec., St. Johnsville, NY

Amas Klock, St. Johnsville, Montg. Co., NY
John Merchamm, Oppenheim, Fulton Co., NY
Charles Buckingham, St. Johnsville, Montg. Co., NY
Jacob Chawgo, St. Johnsville, Montg. Co., NY
James Burke, St. Johnsville, Montg. Co., NY
H. Cuitep, MD, Smith Brothers
Herbert Lebiffer, Jacob Failing
John P. Knuskern, L. P. Wilson,
Henry Wilson, George Baumgard,
Jane A. Dilliebeck, M. Walrath, Jun.,
A.A. Lauders, Pickard & Sanders,
Alex Aynes M.D.(crossed out),
Stewart Keller, Jas H. Egan,
Mrs. Laura Easterbrooks, R. Walrath,
M.Walrath Sen., Ambrose Klocks all of St.Johnsville, Montg. Co. N.Y.,
Alex Aynes M.D., Fort Plain, Montg. Co. N.Y.,
Loucks & Markell, Inghams Mills, Herk. Co. N.Y.,
Sylvester Derring, Utica, N.Y.

That more than twelve months have elapsed since said appointment, and your Petitioner is desirous of rendering a final account of all his proceedings to the Surrogate of the County of Montgomery, by whom your petitioner was appointed, and for that purpose pray that a citation issue to all persons interested in the estate of said deceased, to attend a final settlement of the account of proceedings of your petitioner as such Petitioner-

Dated January 12th 1875
   Rugene Walrath

Montgomery County, ss:
I Rugene Walrath of said County the Administrator of Harlan P. Walrath deceased, being duly sworn, do depose and say that I have read the above Petition, subscribed by me, and know the contents thereof, and that the matters of fact therein stated are true, and that the matters therein stated of my information and belief, I believe to be true.
Sworn to before me,
this 12th day
of January 1875}   Rugene Walrath
         A. M. Grems Notary Public

I attempted to transcribe the handwritten entries as best I could. The spelling of some names may be incorrect. - J. Walrath


The Will of Heinrich Conrad Walrath, one of the 1710 Palatine immigrants, was contributed by his descendant Jerome A. Walrath.


The Letter of Administration on the Estate of Jeremiah Walrath was contributed by Jerome A. Walrath. Jerry also provided us with a copy of the Walrath Cemetery and the profile of Elizabeth Catherine Bowman Walrath.

Montgomery County Surrogates Court
In the matter of the application for letters
of Administration on the Estate
Jeremiah Walrath deceased

To Hon. S. Pulver Heath County Judge of Montgomery County acting as the Surrogate thereof -
The petition of Mary Walrath respectfully shows that Jeremiah Walrath late of the town of Minden in Montgomery County departed this life at the town and county last aforesaid on the 21st day of March 1873 intestate - that at the time of his death he was an inhabitant of this State of New York of full age, residing in the town of Minden in the County of Montgomery & Sate aforesaid - that he left him Surviving your petitioner as his widow, & Maggie Walrath, Harrison Walrath & Carrie Walrath his children, all of full age & Seward Walrath another child under 21 years & over 14 years of age - that this said widow & children all reside in the town of Minden in the County of Montgomery aforesaid - that said deceased at the time of his death was possessed of certain personal property in the State aforesaid not exceeding in value the sum of $1200 as near as your petitioner can ascertain & estimate the same - that your petitioner has made diligent search & inquiry for a last will & testament of said deceased but has not been able to find any, or to learn that he made or left any, & that she verily believed that he died intestate - that she is informed that the Surrogate know all men by these presents that we Mary Walrath of the town of Minden Montgomery County & State of New York widow, & Solomon Diefendorf & Abram Diefendorf of the same town county & State aforesaid, are held & firmly bound unto the people of the State of New York in the sum of twenty-four hundred dollars lawful money of the United States of America, to be paid to the said people; to which payment, well & truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our & each of our heirs, executors, & administrators, jointly & severally firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals, dated this 29th day of March 1873 -
The condition of this obligation is such that if the above bounden Mary Walrath shall faithfully execute the trust reposed in her as administratrix of all & singular the goods, chattels & credits of Jeremiah Walrath late of the town of Minden deceased intestate, & also obey all orders of the Surrogate of the county of Montgomery touching this administration of the estate committed when, then this obligation to be void, else to remain in full force & virtue - In presence of H. Baker

Mary (her mark) Walrath
Solomon Diefindorf
Abram Devendorf

State of New York
County of Montgomery

S S on this 29th day of March 1873 personally appreared before me Mary Walrath, Solomon Diefendorf & Abram Diefendorf severally known to me to be the persons described in & who executed the forefoing bond & severally & respectively acknowledged that they executed the same.
JE Smith
Notary Public

The Wills of William Cory of Russia and Lavinia Cory of Salisbury were contributed by Marcia Douglas.

The Will of Jennet McMichael was contributed by volunteer Michelle Bartels. The original is at the Montgomery County Archives in Fonda, NY.

"The person being referred to is Jennet Arnot, who married Daniel McMichael. She came to Florida with her parents Robert Arnot and Janet (Brown) and brother James, in 1803 from Scotland. "

To the Hon. the County Judge of Montgomery County as Surrogate

The petition of Daniel McMichael of Florida in the county of Montgomery respectfully showeth that he was the eldest son of Jennet McMichael late of said town of Florida deceased, that the said Jennet died in said town on the 6th day of November 1868 in testate as you petitioner believes that he has made inquiry & cannot ascertain that said deceased left or ever made any last will & testament.

Your petitioner further shows that the said deceased was at or immediately previous to her decease an inhabitant of the county of Montgomery, that he has to the best of his ability estimated the value of the personal property of said deceased & that the same does not exceed the sum of six hundred dollars.

Your petitioner further shows that the said Jennet left her surviving the following named persons her next of kin, to wit, Robert McMichael, William McMichael, Barbary Billings wife of Russell Billings, Charlotte Morey wife of Silas Morey & your petitioner children of said deceased, all of full age residing in said town of Florida. William Serviss, James B. Servis, Antoinette Jewel wife of Abraham Jewel, Jennet Beveridge wife of John Beveridge, children of Christiana Servoss deceased who was a daughter of said in testate, all of full age & residing in said town of Florida & Harriet Ingraham wife of William Ingraham, who was also a daughter of said Christiana deceased is of full age & resides in Canestobar [?] New York. John McMichael a son of said in testate residing in the state of Illinois also of full age, also Henry N. Gibson, Erastus Gibson, Emma Gibson, children of Isabella Gibson deceased who was a daughter of said in testate of whom the said Henry is of full age & the said Erastus & Emma are minors, all residing at Vernon in the county of Oneida.

Your petitioner prays that letters of administration of the goods, chattels & ______ of the said deceased Jennet McMichael who at the time of her decease was a widow be granted & issued to heirs by the surrogate at said county Montgomery according to the statute in such case made & provided & your petitioner will ever pray so.
Daniel McMichael

State of New York
Montgomery County
On this 28th day of December 1868 personally appeared before me Daniel McMichael who being first duly sworn did depose & say that he is the petitioner above named, that he has heard the foregoing petition _________ by him read and knows the contents thereof & that the ________ is true of his ________ knowledge _____ as the matters therein stated to be _______ information & belief and as to those matters he believes it to be true.

Jas L. Vorhees, Justice of the Peace

The Will of Johannis Kasselman was sent in by contributing editor Jo Dee Frasco. Onondaga County will abstracts from Liber A.

KASSELMAN, Johannis, of the Town of Palentine, Montgomery County, New York. Will dated January 20, 1807. Probated October 31, 1808.
Mentions wife, Anner Eve; sons, John, Barthlomew, Wilhelm, Leverinus, Adam, Jost and Christian; daughters, Gertrant, wife of John Fetterly, and Anna, wife of George Christman; granddaughter, Mary Fetterly.
Executors, wife, Anna Eve, and sons, Christian and Jost.
Witnesses: Peter Van Loan, Peter R. Young and Richard Young

The Will of Henry Ritter, Revolutionary War veteran, was contributed by Sue Thompson. Sue also recently sent in Henry's 1832 pension application.


In the name of God Amen. I Henry Ritter of the town of Manheim in the county of Herkimer being of sound mind and memory blessed be almighty God for the Same. do make and publish this my last Will & Testament this 19th day of May 1836. FIRST- I hereby give devise and bequeath to my beloved wife a full entire and ample support & maintainance out of my estate during her life to be furnished & provided in all times fit useful & proper for her in sickness & in health and at her decease a decent Christian burial by my Son Joseph Ritter for the devise herein to him made. SECOND- I give & bequeath unto my said beloved wife Mary two Cows & four sheep to be kept for her in and order for her use and benefit by my said son Joseph and he to replenish & at all times if any of them die replace others in there stead so that my said wife at all times during her life has two good milch cows & four sheep for her exclusive benefit all to be done & furnished by my Said Son Joseph for the bequest & estate herein to him given & made. THIRD- I give bequeath & devise to my daughter Annasse a full and ample support & maintainance out of my estate in sickness & in health until she shall marry & in case she is married then I give devise & bequeath to her the sum of on hundred dollars to be raised out of my Estate & the above to be furnished & paid by my Said Son Joseph from the property herein bequeathed to him. FOURTH- I give devise and bequeath into my daughters Catherine wife of Baltus Strough, Margaret wife of John Boyer, Delia wife of Stephen Newman, Mary wife of Adam Petrie, Elizabeth wife of Jacob H. Petrie the Sum of thirty dollars each and every of them out of my estate to be paid also by my Said Son Joseph Ritter for the bequest herein to him made. FIFTH- I give devise & bequeath unto my daughter in law Susan Ritter widow of my Son John Ritter deceased the Sum of five dollars & to each of her children by my Said Son John & the children of Such as are dead the Sum of ten dollars out of my Estate to be paid by Said Son Joseph for the bequest herein to him made. SIXTH- I give devise & bequeath unto my Son Joseph Ritter & to his heirs & assigns forever all & Singular my lands tenements & real Estate all my personal property & good chattles & chasis in action of Every kind and nature whatsoever to have & to hold to him his heirs and assigns forever he & they fulfilling & keeping and paying all and each of the above devises bequests so that he pays to each of said devises ten dollars at the end of one year after my decease & so the like Sum annually until the whole is fully paid.
      Henry Ritter

Signed sealed and declared by the said Henry Ritter to be his last Will and Testament who has signed the same in our presence & we have witnessed the same in his & in each other presence. May 19, 1836
Jacob Markill, of the town of Manheim Herkimer County.
Robert Hinchman, town of Little Falls Herkimer County.
George H. Feeter, town of Little Falls Herk. County


Herkimer County}
Surrogates Office} To all whom the presents Shall Come or may concern. Greetings. Know Ye, that I Ezra Gravis Surrogate of the county of Herkimer pursuant to the power in me vested by the laws of this State have this day appointed and do hereby appoint Henry S. Clark of the town of Herkimer Special Guardian to Ezra Stough and Franklin Stough, Loyd Smith and Samuel Smith minor heirs of Henry Ritter deceased under the age of twenty one years for the special purpose of taking care of their interests in the matter of the proving the last Will and Testament of Henry Ritter the said Henry S. Clark having first consented and agreed in writing to be appointed and to act as such Special Guardian.
In witness whereof I have hereinto Set my hand and affixed my seal of office this 15th day of June in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and forty seven.
    Ezra Gravis    Surrogate

State of New York
Herkimer County
Surrogates Court} Be it remembered that on the ninth day of August A. D. 1847 the annexed last Will and Testament of Henry Ritter was admitted to probate as a will of personal property and probate there of was there upon granted and the same time said will was duly proved as a will of Real property upon and by the testimony of George H. Feeter and Jacob Maskill two of the subscribing witnesses to the will was executed and attested in the manner prescribed by law and that the Testator at the time of executing the will was in all respects competent to make a will devising Real and personal Estate and was under no restraint. The said will and said proofs and examinations have been duly recorded in the proper book provided and kept in the office of the Surrogate of Herkimer County.
   In testimony whereof I have herein set my hand affixed my Seal of office this Ninth day of August A. D. 1847.   Ezra Gravis Surrogate
   I certify the foregoing to be a true record of the original will of Henry Ritter and the proofs and examinations thereof.   Dated August 9th 1847.   Ezra Gravis Surrogate

The following abstract of a will, found in the "New York Biographical & Genealogical Record", Vol 4, April 1925, was contributed by Hess researcher Laura Perkins.

Hess, Hendricks of Canajohary, will dated August 26, 1801, probated June 13, 1810.
Mentions -- wife Mary Elizabeth; sons, Henry & George; daus., Susanna, Magdalen, Elizabeth, Catherine, Margaret, dau. Maria dead and her daus., Anna, Maria, Elizabeth and Susanna.
Executors: wife, George W. Gerlach, Henry Failing; Witness: Roger Dougherty, Hendrick Diell, Christopher P. Yates.

The following entry isn't a will but a deed, sent to us by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. The deed abstracts and notes appeared in " The Ontario Register", 1970, Vol 4, pp 126-8, in an article titled "A Note on the Anguish Family of New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario" by Thomas B. Wilson.

Luzerne Co, PA Deeds, Vol 7, p.130

11 Feb 1800 - a half proprietor's right, late the property of Jacob Enguish, deceased, to Joseph House of Minden, Montgomery Co, NY. Grantors: John Enguish and Peter Eigenbradt & wife Maria, all of Montgomery County, NY; Jacob Enguish, Henry Enguish, Frederick Garrison & wife Barbara, Henry Putman & wife Hannah, and Peter Law[r] & wife Elizabeth, all of Lincoln County, Upper Canada.

Luzerne Co, PA Deeds, vol 28, p.235

27 Sep 1831 - Grantors: Joseph House & wife Susannah, Huntington, Luzerne Co., PA [same Joseph as above?]

"Jacob Anguish, the head of the family, owned considerable property in the Wyoming Valley. On 7 July 1772 he was described as being of Pittstown at which time he conveyed some land at Capouse Meadow. On 2 July 1773 he was described as being of Plymouth, and on this date he conveyed 300 acres in Providence Township. [Luzerne County Deeds, v.3 p.468]. "

"Jacob and part of his family were at Niagara in 1783. John Enguish of the above mentioned deed would appear to be the same as the John Anguish of Butler's Rangers who was at Niagara in 1783 with wife Hannah and a daughter Hannah".

The Will of Amos Golding was contributed by our German Flatts section editor, Beverly Crim.

The last will and testament of Amos Golding of the town of Little Falls, County of Herkimer and State of New York. I Amos Golding considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being of sound mind and memory do make & publish this my last will and testament, in manner and form following, that is to say:

First, I declare and make known that I have advanced and given to my sons, John, Justus and Sylvester Golden all their share and portion of my real and personal estate that I intend to give them respectively, this same being in amount equal to what I have for my other children.

Item, I give, devise and bequeath unto my daughters Doreas Golding, Darrinda Golding, Betsey Golding, Mary Golding, Alvira Golding, Emily Golding, Sarah Golding, and to their heirs & _______ forever all my real estate being the farm on which I now live and reside and a wood lot of about twenty acres of land _____ the same containing in all 150 acres of land, my said daughters to hold the said real estate and trusts in common.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughters Doreas, Darrinda, Betsey, Mary, Alvira, Emily & Sarah, all the personal estate and property of a ___________ ________ of whatever kind the same way as of which I _______ die _________ subject to the payment of my just debts and funeral charges to be divided equally among them respectively share and share alike. It is expected by me that my beloved wife should she survive me will be entitled to her dower out of my estate.

And lastly I do hereby appoint my brothers Abraham and Isaac Golding Executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made i in writing whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Sixteenth day of May in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty.

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the above named Amos Golding to be his last will & testament in the person of us who have hereunto subscribed our names or writings in the person of the testator and at his request and in the presence of each other.

signed: T. S. Burton Little Falls, Herkimer County (NY)
Thomas Pehie Little Falls, Herkimer County (NY)

The will of Ann Van Buren was sent to me by a friend some time ago. If you have information about the people mentioned below, please email the coordinator.

According to Hardin's History of Herkimer County, pp. 113-114, one Jacob Van Buren of Dolgeville was born in Oppenheim Center, 25 Jan 1827. His father and grandfather, "brother to Martin's father", were both born in Coxsackie. Jacob moved to Brockett's Bridge in 1834 with his father, who was then engaged in an interesting variety of pursuits: "the manufacture of lead pipe, furniture, undertaking and millwright business, etc." Between 1851 and 1877, when Jacob returned to Herkimer County, he held machinist jobs in Plynouth Hollow, CN (1851), Utica (1852), the "West" (1854), Ottawa, IL (1864), Chicago, IL (1874), and Joliet, IL (1875), and was credited with several inventions.

No Coxsackie birth records have been found for this Jacob's father or grandfather. There were many Martin Van Burens who could have been his grandfather's brother. The 1830 Oppenheim census shows two Van Burens in town - William & Henry. Are they the father and grandfather (or uncle) of Jacob? Jacob's mother did leave a will from which her first name can be gleaned:


In the name of God, Amen. I Ann Van Buren of Brockets Bridge Herkimer County New York being of sound mind and memory and considering the uncertainity of this life Do therefore Make Ordain Publish and Declare this to be my Last Will and Testament that is to say. First-

After all my lawful debts and funeral expenses including a decent and plain Grave Stone suitably lettered , placed at the head of my Grave, I hereby give devise and bequeath unto my son Jacob Van Buren and his heirs all my estate both Real and Personal to have & to hold the same: that so much of said Property as my said son shall deem necessary in all things, besides over and above the annual Income and use and Profits of my said Property during his natural life my said son shall further use and appropriate from said Property so much as he shall deem necessary for his own personal use and Comfort during his natural life. And at his Death all the rest residue and remainder of my said Property both real and Personal , which shall remain at the death of my said son, I hereby give devise and bequeath to the Children of and heirs of my said son him surviving, to be equally divided between them share and share alike.

Second- And I hereby also authorize and empower my Executor hereinafter named and appointed to sell the whole or any part of my real Estate and Personal property and to make execute and deliver to the purchaser or purchasers Good and sufficient Deeds of Conveyances transferring the title thereof.

Third- I hereby nominate & appoint my said son Jacob Van Buren who is a Resident of Brocketts Bridge aforesaid the Executor of this my Last Will & Testament and I hereby order & direct that no security shall be required of him for the execution of said Trust: And I do hereby revoke all former Wills by me made. In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Eleventh day of June in the year or our lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy nine.

Ann Van Buren
Wit: Wm D Loucks, Manheim, NY
Geo E Keller, Little Falls, NY

PROBATE: 9 Jan 1889

An Olmstead Genealogy states that this Jacob Van Buren married Sarah Olmstead, born 1827, and their children were Charles Henry, Mary, Frederick, Catherine, b. Apr 1854, Joliet, IL, & Herbert Van Buren.

Mannheim vital records reveal that the son Charles was born 27 Feb 1848 and the dau Mary was born 24 Feb 1850. Nothing else is known of the family. Who is this Jaob Van Buren?

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