It started, as good quests always do, with a family tale.
THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF WILLIAM FAULKENDER
In the name of God amen. I William Faulkender of the Precinct of Wallkill, County of Ulster and State of New York, being weak in body but of sound disposing mind and memory (blessed be God) do this Eleventh day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty three Make and Publish this my last will and Testament in manner and form following (that is to say) Imprimis I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it me and my body to the Earth from whence it came in the hopes of a joyfull resurrection threw the merrits of my saviour Jesus Christ, and as for that worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me I dispose there of as follows ~ First I give and bequith unto my loving wife Mary Faulkender the use of the two back rooms in my House I now live in with a bed and furniture and also her maintenance, together with the use of a horse and saddle for and during the term of her natural life. Item, I give and devise unto my son James Faulkender the Farm he now lives upon and to his heirs and assigns forever Providing he pay all such Debts and Incumberances as doth arise from said place whither from Purchase or otherways. And Providing he shall convey to his Youngest son when he shall arrive to the age of Twenty one Years that Part of said farm formerly occupied by my son Joseph while alive ~ And provided further that he shall give the proffits and benefits arising from said last mentioned farm to such of my children as may then be possessed of the Place or farm I now live upon for and during the term of six years after my decease and no longer. Item, I give and devise unto my son William Faulkender Jnr the farm adjoining the wallkill which I now live upon and to his heirs and assigns forever. Item, I give and devise to my said son William one fifty acre lott on the Long Hill and two hundred acres of my undivided part of that lott of one thousand acres lying in or about the Pine Swamp and to his heirs and assigns for ever. Also I bequeath unto my said son William all my Personal Estate Providing he pay all such Debts and Incumberances as may arise or be due from the said last mentioned divised land. Item, I devise and give unto my son Samuel Faulkender the farm he now lives upon together with one fifty acre lott on the Long Hill and also two hundred acres of my undivided part of that lott of one thousand acres in or about the Pine Swamp aforsaid and to his heirs and assigners forever. Provided he pay all such Debts and Incumberances as may arise or be due out of said last mentioned divised land by Purchase or otherways.
Lastly I do hereby invoke and declare to be utterly null and void all former wills and testaments that may have been made by me declaring this alone to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal as being my said last will consisting of one sheet and do publish and declare it as the same this Day and Year first above written - -- . his
William X Faulkender
mark and seal
Signed Sealed Published and
declared by the said William
Faulkender as and for his
last Will and Testament in the
Presence of us whos names are
here under Written.
- Mary's maiden name is not given, proving the notation on Find A Grave incorrect.
- William had at least four adult sons, three still living at time of writing.
- Other children were referred to as possibly living in the family home, which leaves open the possibility of further research.
- Mary remained in the marital home, which was given to son William Jr, a possible research lead.
- William was illiterate, ending all speculation that the spelling of the surname in this document is a true and accurate representation of the actual spelling.
- There's a bunch of acreage unaccounted for in the Pine Swamp.
- How big was the lot on the Long Hill?
Next: the Surrogate's Letter