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Text of Harmon's Last Will and Testament

In the name of God Amen, the five and twentieth Day of June, 1692, I Harrama Hendricksa Roosekrance of Mumbacos in the County of West Yeomanboorg, sick in body, but of good and perfect memory, thanks be to Almighty God and calling to remembrance the uncertain Estate of this transitory life, and and [sic] that all flesh must yield unto Death when it shall please God to call, do make Constitute ordaine and Declare This my Last will and Testament in manner and form following, revoking and adnulling by these presents all and every testomens heretofore by me made and Declared either by word or writing and this to bee taken onley for my last will and testament and none other, and first being penitent and Sorry from the bottom of my hart for my sins past, most humbly desiring forgiveness for the same I Give and Commit my Soul to Almighty God my Saviour and Redeemer in whome, and the merritts of Jesus Christ I trust and assuredly believe to be saved, and that my soul with my Body at the general day of resurrection Shall riese againe with joy and through the merritts of Christ, Death and passion possess and inheritt the kingdom of heaven prepared for the Elect and Chosen, and my Body to bee buried in such place where it shall please my Executors hereafter named to appoint: and now for the following of my temporall Estate and such Goods Chattels Land and Debts as it hath pleased God fare above my desires to bestow uppon me I do give order and dispos of same in manner and form following (that is to say) first I will that all those Debts and Duties as jowe in right Concsiene any manner of person or persons whoever, shall bee well and trewly Contentd and paid, and Ordained to be paid within Convenient time after my death by me Executors hereafter named. Then I give and bequeath to my well and beloved wife Maddelean all my whole Estat Dewring whir life, and in case she come again to marry that then she shall deliver unto my Eight ["eight" inserted above text as a correction by originator] Childerin Just half of all my Estate to be equally Divided Amongst them, and none other, & that my Eldest son Ellicksander shall have fifty schepels of wheat out above and among aney of the Rest of my said ["said" inserted above text as a correction by originator] Chillderin to be delivered him (and) [End of first side; "and" occurs below the text] And that my wife if she will out of the other half of my Estat at her death Deliver her Daughter Mary the wife of Lendart Cole and Equal portion with my said Chillderin in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of Day And yeare first Written___


Signed sealed & Delivered
in the presents of [signature of HHR] [wax seal]
Mosys de Pue
Rolloff [X] Kersted
his Marke
Humphrey Davenport



by James Post Rosenkrans, IV
(descendant of James Post Rosenkrans, #832)

The will is handwritten in an old style, and the ink is fading. The paper is of a heavy stock, but it is beginning to disintegrate, and there are dropouts here and there. I found two other attempts to transcribe the will among my fatherís papers. I did not recognize the handwriting and have no idea whose work they were. Between these two efforts and my own, I believe that the text above is fairly close to the original.

The signature on the will was illegible to me, as it was to one of the earlier transcribers. The other transcriber interpreted it as "Harman Hendricksz Rosekranz", which represents yet another spelling of the name.

I had expected the will to be in Dutch or Norwegian, given Harmonís background. However, the English took over New Netherlands in 1663, and a will written in 1692 would be in that language. It was almost certainly composed by a lawyer.

In the chapter entitled "Family Traditions", sub-section "Orthography of Names ó The Rosenkrans Name," Allen Rosenkrans states that "...No original writing of the family name by Harmon Hendrick has been found..." Allen Rosenkrans visited my great-grandfatherís family (James Post Rosenkrance, #642) in Pittston, Pennsylvania, in 1893. This visit was described in the section on his daughter, Lillian May Rosenkrans, #831. I have to conclude from this that Harmonís Will was not in the possession our branch of the family as of March 1900, when the book was published.

I inherited the original Will from my father. Unfortunately, I had little interest in genealogy when I was younger, and never asked him how the will came to be in his possession. He took the answer with him when he died in 1991. If the will is authentic ó and I have no reason to suppose that it is not ó then it represents the first and possibly only specimen of Harmonís full signature which has survived.

My grandfather (#832) moved back to Newburgh, New York circa 1910, where he remained until his death in 1932. His son, my father, was born in August 1900, and lived in Newburgh most of his life. Newburgh is about 50 miles from Rochester (Mumbacos), where the original tract of land owned by Harmon was. My  guess was that the will was found in a trunk in an attic somewhere in the area, and offered to my family, possibly my grandfather, since he was on the Board of Supervisors of Orange County and well known in the area.

My daughter, Jennifer, discussed this with my father. From her description, it may have been given to my father by David Vernooy Bennett when he interviewed him in connection with his articles on Magdalen. But we will probably never know.


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This page was last updated on February 26, 2007 .
Copyright ©1998, 1999 by James P. Rosenkrans, IV.  All rights reserved.