Last Will and Testament
Hendrick Doww

This will transcription was submitted to this website by Charles L. Howell of Seattle. Many thanks, Charlie! The description in the will of the testator's lands establish clearly that he resided in that part of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck which lay on the east side of the Hudson River and therefore that he resided in the part of Albany County, NY which, some 40 years after his death, would become part of Rensselaer County, NY. For this reason, I include it here. The will is on file at Albany County, NY Surrogate Court. The testator's land probably lay in the present-day city of Rensselaer and in the present-day town of Schodack. The island mentioned in the will as Papsknees Island is what is today Papscanee Island, now a peninsula attached to the mainland of Rensselaer County; it is today a nature reserve.

There is a question as to the monetary units written in the will, as they did not survive the journey through cyberspace. I have rendered these monetary units as a sign for pounds sterling () because at the time of the writing and the probating of this will, New York was a British colony. But I am pointing this out to you, in case I got it wrong! All corrections are welcome.

Here also is a reminder that the term "son-in-law" in the mid-18th century had two meanings. One was "son-in-law" as we understand it today, that is, the husband of one's daughter. The other 18th-century meaning was what we call today a "stepson". The fact that none of the named daughters has a husband surnamed Van Bergen, added to the fact that all three of the "sons-in-law" bear the same surname, suggests that they are more likely to be stepsons of the testator - sons of the testator's wife by an earlier husband.

The last will & testament of HENDRICK DOWW

In the name of God, Amen, June 6, 1749. I, HENDRICK DOWW, of the Manor of Rensselaerwyck, in the County of Albany, I leave to my eldest son, VOLKERT DOW, JR., 5, in right of his Primogeniture.

I leave to my son JOHANES, all my lands and tenements in the Manor of Rensselaerwyck, on the east side of Hudson river, to the north end of Papsknees Island, Commonly called Kost Velooren; Also all and singular my farm lands and tenements and low lands and meadow ground on the Island called Papsknees Island, with the sheep and horses, etc., and all my wearing apparell, and he is to pay all debts and legacies.

I leave to my son Volkert 5, and 75 more after my wife's decease.

I leave to my daughter DOORTIE, wife of JAN NEWKIRK, 50.

To my daughter PRETITIE, wife of WILLIAM HOGAN, 60, and a negro woman.

My daughter NEELTIE is to live with my son Johanes, and to have diet and lodgings free till married. I leave to my daughter Neeltie the island commonly called Kuypers Island, on the east side of Hudson river, by the island of Papsknees; Also a silver tankard and cup and silver spoons, and household stuff.

All the rest of my lands I leave to my son Johanes, and my wife is to have the use of my lands and her support.

I make my sons in law, GERRITT VAN BERGEN, MARTIN VAN BERGEN, and PETRUS VAN BERGEN, executors.

Witnesses, Martin Gerritsen Van Bergen, Jr., Hitchen Holland.

Proved, April 12, 1751.

[ALTERNATIVE SEARCH VALUES: Kendrick Doww, Hendrick Douwe, Hendrick Douw, Hendrick Dow, Johannes Dow, Johannes Dow, Doortie Dow, Doortje Dow, Doortie Newkirk, Doortje Newkirk, Dorothy Dow, Dorothy Newkirk, Pretitie Dow, Pretitje Dow, Pretitie Hogan, Pretitje Hogan, Neeltie Dow, Neeltje Dow, Cornelitje Dow, Cornelia Dow.]

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Debby Masterson

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