Will of Robert Mendenhall, 1785
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The Last Will & Testament of Robert-2 Mendenhall (Benjamin-1), 7 Sep1713-23 Jun1785

 NOTE:  The following last will and testament was transcribed by me in 1986 from a Xerox copy of a two hundred one (201) year old document.  I obtained the copy from Chester County Archives & Records Services, 117 West Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380.  The will was written on three sheets of paper and had been folded for storage rather than copied into a book (ledger) which became the practice later.  Time had taken it's tollŠthe ink had bled through the pages, there were torn places where the script couldn't be read, some words couldn't even be guessed at.  So there are brackets ([]) around anything that I added and there are blanks with question marks ( __?__ ) when I couldn't make out the word.  Everything else is exactly as it appears in the copy (barring any proof-reading mistakes).  Robert Mendenhall died as the result of a fall from his carriage and never signed the will.  His son, Philip filed a caveat (a formal notice to a court or magistrate to suspend or prevent probate before the dissenting party could be heard) on July 2, 1785.  He recanted the caveat on July 6, 1785. We can only imagine the family drama that transpired during those four days.ŠLeona L. Gustafson, Guses2@aol.com


 I Robert Mendenhall of Concord Township Chester County in Pennsylvania Being far advanced in Years but of Sound mind and Disposing Memory Praises be Given to the God of all my Sure Marcies and Favours Which have been many all that is Sensoble within Me is Bowed in Revrent-aw at the Penning of these Lines; Do Make and ordain this as My Last will for the beter Disposal of what temporal Estate I have & am blessed with or to my mind however my Children & others may think as they Please first act for my Execs. After my body is Decently Buryed to Pay all my Just Debts 2d, I give My Beloved wife all ye [torn] Bed Money and Bonds She Brought to me I also give her one Horce & one Cow which She Shall Chuse forever also the west End of my Dwelling hous below stairs with the stove that is in it the North west Room above stairs with ye __?__ and of ye S__?__ one half of my gardin on ys South side of small Stable of ye Barn with privlege to house her Cow Hay & __?__ for her Cow and horse Winter and Sumer on Swine to Run on ye Primices & my riding chair or Shais with ye __?__ ye Sowing of one peck of flaxseed every year on ye primices apples for her own use winter & sumer & to Drye provided alwais they grown on ye Primices fire wood cut & Drawed to ye Door for one fire & oven wood when wanted as also Twelve Pound a year and every year to be paid as heareafter Directed which Privleges & annuetes from ye word __?__ forever are to continew During ye time She continew my Widow and no longer all which privleges gifts & annuetes are & shall be _?_ in lew of Dower or and Th[i]rds that she mite otherwise Recover by any Law or Custom whatsoever Provided allwais & my will is that if my widow should through Age or Infirmity it be nessery for a further sum for [her] to Recover he[r] Life more happ that then and in that Cae onely my Exec. Advance Such Sum or Sums to her as my Trustees or a majority of them heareafter Named Shall think nesesary out of my Personal Estate futher my Will is & I give my Beloved wife ten Pounds to be paid to her Soon after My Deceace for her Support until her annueties comes Due   3d, I give My Son Philip Mendenhall fifty acres of ye East End of My Tract where he now lives he Paying to his Stepmother two pound a year & Every year During her widowhood & no longer Igive my sd. Son this fifty acres During his Life onely & to his no wife Mary During her widowhood he nor they Counting [?] mo want & after my sd. Sons Death & his widows Marriage or Death the said fifty acres shall Return to my other estate and be Devided as heareafter Directed   My Exec. Paing to his Daughter Mary if Living & of 18 years of age thirty Pound 4th, I give my Son Joseph Mendenhall if Living Two hundred poud he being in part advanced if he Dye before me I give one Hundred Pound to be Devided amongst his Children ye boys forty shillings & ye girls Twenty 5th, I give my Son Nathan Mendenhall one Hundred & fifty Pounds if Living if my sd. Son Shall Die Before me I give one Hundred pounds to be fevided amongst his Children ye boys forty shillings & ye girls Twenty __?__ have bee advanced But no _?_ for his or Josephs advance 6th, I give my son William Mendenhall my Clock & Cace 7th, I give my son Adam My Desk & Book Case 8th I give my Daughter Elizabeth Mendenhall the sum of fifty Poounds 9th, I give my Dauighter Phebe fifty Pounds to be paid when She arrive to ye age of Eighteen years 10th, I give my sd. son William one Hundred Pounds to be paid at Twenty one years of his age 11th, I give my sd. son Adam one hundred Pounds to be paid at 21   12th, I give my Plantation I now Live on to my Son Stephen During his Stepmothers Widowhood he being Subject to her Privleges & Paying five Pounds a year & every year to her & keeping of Mill & Buildings & __?__ in Repair 13th, I give my Son John my [ink blot] Close Press Robt ye Other of them & Stephen my open Stove; ye other five Pounds yearly [several words unreadable] to my Widow I order my exec. To pay out of my personal estate after my widows Death or marriage all of Rest __?__ of My Estate both Real & Personal I give to be Devided as heareafter Directed Between my Nine Children to wit. Ann the wife of Caleb Pierce Rebekah wife of Caleb Way John Stephen Robert Elisa. William Adam & Phebe Mendenhall And I nominate my Trusty friends Thomas M__eer & William __?__ of West Town William Trimble [?] __?__ of Concord Joseph Pennell & Abraham Sharpless of Ashtown in Chester County or a majority of them to have Power to order Convaince of Land & all other things as hearin Directed  They shall valew the Land (not too high) & order _?_ Part to which Son or Sons _?_ to be Sold out of ye family and what convances to be made & by whome onely Stephen to have ye Old Place with Specal orders not to valew ye Buildings to High Some of which he Bult all other thing or things as to wood Watter && and shall have Power to Direct as to the Division as I myselfe Could if Living & the money arising ther from to be Devided as foloweth amongst my sd. Children to wit Ann Pierce Rebekah Way John Stephen Robert Elisa. William Adam & Phebe the Daughters to have one half as much as the sons or _?_ to ye Boys 20 _?_ and all the advance of thease Last mentioned nine Children to be Record as so much of thier shares which _?_ of them is Conciderable as by accounts to be made But Hawly [?] & Mercer to Prais My Go[o]d[s] __?__ and my Widow & Children to take them at ye praisment I give Robert & Moses Mendenhall Sons of My Son Moses Deced, ten pounds Each to be paid at ye age of 21 years   Lastly I nominate and appoint My Sons John Mendenhall Stephen Mendenhall & Robert Mendenhall Executors of this my Last will Revoking all other Confirming this as my Last Will and By Signing Sealing and Pronouncing this to be my Last Will in the Presents of  WS the Legucies Left to Elizaabeth William Adam & Phebe are to be Reco[u]n[t]ed to them as Advance __?__ before Signing __?__ with my own hand What Personal Estate is Left after Debts & Legusies is paid Be devided amongst ye nine as above Directed _?_ also before Exeicuted