Hufford's Last Will and Testament
Below is a translation of the will of Casper Hufford (1762-1825). The will was written in German, and Casper's name was spelled "Kaspar Hoffert." The will was dated October 30, 1825; Casper died November 28, 1825. He was 63 years old.
In the name of God. Amen. I, Kaspar Hoffert, residing in Fairfield County, Ohio, am thinking of the mortality of mankind and feeling physically weak, but having a clear mind and all senses for which I am praising the Lord, having considered to bring my worldly affairs in order as to better be prepared to leave this earthly life whenever the All-mighty pleases to call me from temporality to eternity. Therefore I want to make this my last Will and Testament public and affirm it as follows. First, I command my soul into the hands of God, my body to the earth to be buried in a Christian manner, and then it is my last Will and Testament that all the proper burial expenses and so on be drawn from my property left behind. Then it is my last Will and Testament that all my sons, that is Solomon, Abraham, Daniel, Jacob, Johannes, Christian, Michael, and David are each to receive fifty dollars [actual word used was "thaler," a silver coin issued by German states from 1400s through 1800s] which is on hand [earned, collected] as part of their dowry after the debts have been settled, and then it is my last Will and Testament that my widow Catharina Hoffert is to receive her riding horse with saddle and bridle, two cows, two beds and bed furniture, five sheep, her spinning wheel, four chairs, a heating stove, and all the cloth and flax which is now in her possession, and ten dollars, kitchen utensils and the third part of all varieties of fruits and meat presently on hand, hay as much as she needs, after my death on the place on which I now reside and she is to live in the present place of residence for one year after my death without having to pay any rent. Afterward the place is to be put on vendue or public auction to the highest bidder by my executor who is to be mentioned later and who is also building a good house or having one built for my widow Catharina on the land of my son Soloman and where it is suitable, and the costs for it are to come from her third part, namely the third part of the money which comes in through the sale of my above mentioned residence. From all of this she is to receive the third part, and that is also to be taken from the loose money a third part, after the builders and carpenters were paid and my executors see best that she will get all these said articles for which she is to give no account ever, and further it is my Will and Testament after the death of my said widow Catharina for my son Solomon and no one else to get the house which was built on his land, and he is not to pay or have to give any account to anyone about it. And further it is my Will that all my other loose or moveable goods or possessions be disposed of through public sale as fast as conditions permit, and that all of my children -- that is Solomon, Abraham, Daniel, Jacob, Johannes, Christian, Michael, and David, and my daughters Elisabeth, wife of Jacob Henrich, Catharina, wife of Johannes Friessner, Sarah, wife of Daniel Hendrich, Susana, wife of David Biery [Beery] and my youngest daughter Rebecca -- are to inherit in equal shares, and my two youngest children David and Rebecca are to stay with their mother until they are adults, and after the death of my mentioned wife Catharina, her remaining belongings are to be sold and everything that she leaves is to be divided equally between my above mentioned children and heirs. Further, my executors are to ascertain that when the property is sold that the graveyard or cemetery is to be exempted from the sale to remain a free burial place (on the township line) for myself and Johannes Biery [Beery], to remain a cemetery forever, and finally it is my Will and Testament that Heinrich Arnold and Johannes Frey of said county be my truly authorized and confirmed and assigned executors of this my last Will and Testament and they are to destroy and denounce all other and previous wills and testaments which I made before and to certify and to confirm that this and no other is my last Will and Testament. To witness what I have signed on my own and with my own signature and seal this thirtieth day of October, Anno Domini 1825.
Kaspar Hoffert (seal)
Signed, sealed, and declared by the above mentioned Kaspar Hoffert to be his last Will and Testament, in our presence and we signed here on his request as witnesses.
Recorded at Hall of Justice, Fairfield County Courthouse, Lancaster, Ohio.
When Casper died, he left two children under 21: David was 18; Rebecca was 15. A third child (Michael) was just days older than 21. His oldest two children were 39 and 37: Solomon and Abraham.