Sunday, November 13, 2011

Abstracts of wills don't tell the whole story

Will abstracts are great, but the material is incomplete. Sometimes inferences are made by researchers that cause all sorts of complicated confusion on family trees online.
I find the will of Lucas Teeple to be a good example.

Just one of the problems in putting together the Teeple/Vosseller connection of Somerset, New Jersey, has been the confusion caused by misinterpreting the will abstract.
The  abstract indicates that "Peggy" is a daughter. But somehow this daughter "Peggy" has been identified by researchers as the wife.  She is actually a granddaughter of Lucas.  Mary is the wife. Peggy is the granddaughter.
Sometimes we can't get hold of the wording of a will, and thus we have to rely on an abstract. But the will transcription, or even better, the will scanned,  is always the best option.
Even with the will transcription, I have found two versions. One has Lucas giving guns to his grandsons, and the other has him giving guns and animals to his grandsons.

The abstract:
Lucas Teeple, of Bridgewater, whose will, dated 20 Aug 1764 (codicil, 16 Nov 1773), prob. 26 Jan 1774, names wife Mary and ch.:
      I John and his son, Luke
     II Christopher and his eldest son, Luke
     III Peter and his son, Luke
     IV Ursula, m. John Appleman
      V Peggy and her sons. Sons-in-law John Meyer and Jacob Fusler, and the latter's son, Luke

The will itself, as transcribed:

New Jersey Calendar of Wills, 1771-1780
New Jersey Archives, First Series, Vol 34, 1931

p. 144 (from Lib. L, p. 85)
     1764, Aug 20. Dieppel, Lucas, of Bridgewater Township, Somerset Co.; will of. The 120 acres of land where I live to be sold, and my wife to have 1/3 the amount and £100 more. Eldest son, John, the land where he lives that joins William Graham, and contains 50 acres. After my wife, Mary, has been paid, then the rest to be given to my sons, Christopher Teaple and Peter Teaple, and my son-in-laws, Jacob Fusler and John Meyer. Daughter, Ursula, wife of John Appleman, a silver tankard. Executors - son, Christopher Teaple and John Appleman. Witnesses - Andrew Leake, Daniel Castner, Sidney Berry.

     1773, Nov 16. Codicil. My wife, Mary may live on the place, and my son's daughter, Peggy, who lives with us, to have a good outset when 18. My son, Christopher's eldest son, Luke, to have my gun. My son, Peter's son, Luke, a gun, and my son John's son, Luke, £3. My son-in-law Jacob Fusler's son, Luke, £3. Witnesses - Daniel Castner, Jacob Castner, Philip King. Proved Jan. 26, 1774.

     1774, Jan 19. Inventory, made by John Haas and Daniel Castner. Bond due from John Teeple, Jacob Lang and George Teeple for £70

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