Will of John J. Van Valkenburgh,
Town of Chatham, Columbia Co., NY
Recorded Febuary 7, 1879
Transcribed by Jane Wood 27-28 Feb 2004
Webpage by Cliff Lamere Mar 2004
All of the people mentioned in the will are in the following alphabetical list below. After some of the names there is a link to an offsite photo or biography of the person. Maiden names are shown in square brackets [ ]. The testator is marked with **.
As recorded in a will book, the will included statements from the Surrogate's Court. To distinguish the two from each other, the actual recorded will is shown below in a different font color.
Will books contain handwritten copies of the original will. Where the testator signed the will, the copy says John J. Van Valkenburgh (LS). The LS means 'legal signature' and indicates that this is not the testator's actual signature (he was deceased when the will was recorded). Sometimes a person could not write their own name, in which case an X (his or her mark) was was made on the will.
Source: LDS microfilm (number unknown) of Columbia County will book Q, page 28. The recorded will is at the Columbia County Surrogate's Court, Hudson, NY.
Notes by Cliff Lamere.
John Jay Van Valkenburgh lived from Sept 16, 1783 to Jan 24, 1879. He was baptized Feb. 15, 1784 at the Kinderhook Reformed Church in Columbia County, NY, the son of James Van Valkenburgh (see will) and Pamela Sutherland. James was recorded as Jakobus at the baptism of John (and another son at the same church), but he was using the name James by the time he made out his will. James is an English translation of the Dutch Jakobus, Jacobus and Jacob. Pamela Sutherland was listed as Amelia at the baptism of the other son at that church.
John Jay Van Valkenburgh (see biography and photo) died in Chatham Center, Columbia County, NY and was buried in the Chatham Center Cemetery. John's wife Catherine Van Alen (see photo) was born May 4, 1787, the daughter of Gilbert Van Alen and Annis Moore. Catherine died April 20,1874, too early to be mentioned in John's will.
James Gilbert Van Valkenburgh (see photo), a son of John and Catherine Van Valkenburgh, was born 1819 and died 1906 (lived in Chatham Center). See a photo of John's brother James who lived 1782-1882. See also a photo of John's brother Sylvester who lived 1792-1875. The is some data about James and Sylvester online.
-- Notes by Cliff Lamere; based mostly on information from Jane Wood.
Wilbur versus Wilbor
Although the name Wilbor was written as Wilbur in this copy of John J. Van Valkenburgs will, it is well documented that the family spelled the name as Wilbor in family bibles in possession of the family, on the signed photo of Samuel Wilbor, and on their gravestones located in Old Chatham, Columbia Co, N.Y.
--- by Jane Wood
People mentioned in the will of John J. Van Valkenburgh
Collier, Isaac N.
& Gardiner [Shaughness & Gardenier] - merchants
Van Alen (farm)
Valkenburgh, Catharine [Van Alen]
Van Valkenburgh, James G[ilbert] [photo]
Van Valkenburgh, John J[ay] **
Record of the Last Will and Testament of John J. Van Valkenburgh, late of the town of Chatham, in the County of Columbia, N.Y. deceased as a will of real and personal estate with the proofs relating there to taken in the Court of the Surrogate of the County of Columbia N.Y.
Recorded Febuary 7, 1879
In the Name of God, Amen,
I, John J. Van Valkenburgh of the Town of Chatham, County of Columbia and State of New York, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, for which I feel devoutly thankful, do publish this my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking and making null and void all other Last Wills and Testaments by me heretofore made, and first I commend my immortal being to him who gave it, and my body to the earth, to be buried with little expense or ostentation by my Executors hereafter named.
It is my will that all my just and honest debts and funeral charges shall by my Executors here after named be paid out of my estate as soon after my decease as shall by them be found convenient.
Item 1. I give, devise and bequest to my son James G. Van Valkenburgh, his heirs and assigns forever the farm or premises on which he now lives, situate in Chatham, and which I purchased from Stephen Lake. Known as the Van Alen farm and Potter farm, lying on the north side of the road or highway, leading from the village of Chatham Center, to the late residence of Winthrop Phelps, deceased, and also two lots of land, belonging to the above named farms, lying on the south side of the before mentioned road or highway, containing about two hundred acres, more or less and also including and embracing a piece or lot of land inherited by my wife Catharine from her Fathers estate, supposed to contain twenty six acres of land more or less which said three several pieces of land constituted and make up the within described farm or premises which I give to my said son James G. with all the buildings and improvements thereon containing in the aggregate. Two hundred and twenty six (226 ) acres of land more or less for which he the said James G. shall allow one hundred dollars ($100.00) per acre in full for his interest or share in my real estate.
Item 2 I give, devise and bequeath to my grandson Samuel Wilbur Jr.(son of Samuel Wilbur) his heirs and assigns forever, the following several pieces of real estate First, the farm known as the David Hudson Farm, situate in the Town of Chatham and near the Village of Chatham, on both sides of the road or highway, leading from said village of Chatham to East Chatham, which I purchased from David Hudson and others containing, one hundred seventy five acres, one quarter, twenty and half rods of land (a-175,1 Qt.-20 ½ R ) for which he the said Samuel Wilbur Jr. shall be charged the sum of Fifty dollars ($50.00) per acre. I also give devise, and bequeath to my said grandson Samuel Wilbur and his heirs and assigns forever the property known as the grist mill property, situate in said Village of Chatham (the mill on which was recently burned) and which I purchased from Misses Thomas and for which said mill property the said Samuel Jr. shall be charged the sum of one thousand dollars ($1000.00). I also give devise and bequeath to my said grandson Samuel Wilbur Jr., his heirs and assigns the saw mill situate and adjoining the grist mill property in the said Village of Chatham, and the same as was purchased by one Samuel Wilbur for which my said grandson Samuel Wilbur Jr. shall be charged the sum of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1500.00) in part pay of his share in my real estate.
Item 3 - I give, devise and bequeath to my grandson John J. Wilbur (son of Samuel Wilbur) his heirs, and assigns forever my home farm together with the farm I purchased from George Robinson situate in the town of Chatham and near the Village of Chatham Center lying on the south side of the road leading from Chatham Center to the late Winthrop Phelps deceased, and also on both sides of the road or highway leading from said Village of Chatham Center to Chatham Village (formerly Chatham 4 Corners) and on which I now live, containing ninety acres (90) of land more or less for which he the said John J. Wilbur shall be charged the sum of one hundred dollars ($100.00) per acre.
I also give, devise and bequeath to my said grandson John J. Wilbur, his heirs and assigns the store and lot called the "Union Store" situate in the Village of Valatie, Town of Kinderhook now occupied by Shaugnip and Gardiner merchants, and as was formerly owned by Daniel Reynolds deceased, and as was conveyed to me by the Misses Vanderpoels and for which said premises he the said John J. Wilbur shall be charged the sum of Four thousand dollars ($4,000.00) in part pay of his interest in my estate. I also give, devise and bequeath to my grandson John J. Wilbur, his heirs and assigns all my village property, situate in the Village of Chatham Center embracing dwelling houses, shops, store and shed, with the land connected therewith (excepting and reserving there from the ground or lot on which the M.E. Church and shed in connection thereunto now stands, and which was conveyed by me, by deed, to the said M.E. Church to be held and used by them, so long and no longer, as was required for the use and purpose for which it was conveyed, and then to revert back as expressed in said Deed of Conveyance for which Village property in gross, he the said John J. Wilbur shall be charged the sum of six thousand ($6,000.00) dollars.
Item 4 It will be discovered from the foregoing that I have now disposed of all my real estate of which I am possessed, to my son James G. and my two grandsons Samuel Wilbur Jr. and John J. Wilbur. To my son James G. one share and my two grandsons Samuel Wilbur Jr. and John J. Wilbur, one fourth share each, and that the shares of my two grandsons in my real estate greatly exceeds the share of my son James G. My will is to make them equal participators in my estate both real and personal, and in order to make the share of my son James G. equal to those of my two grandsons, an amount must be taken from the residuary of my estate, sufficient to make my son James G. equal to their one fourth share respectively.
Item 5 - It will also be discovered that I am the holder and owner of several notes with interest against my son James G. and also a note or notes against my grandson Samuel Wilbur Jr. without interest. Also two notes with interest against my grandson J. J. Wilbur My will is that they be accounted for and included as part payment of their respective shares in my estate.
Item 6 All the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate of whatever name or nature, or where ever situated, I give, devise and bequeath to my son James G. Van Valkenburgh his heirs and assigns, to my grandson Samuel Wilbur Jr., his heirs and assigns and to my grandson John J. Wilbur his heirs and assigns as follows To my son James G. the one half and to my two grandsons Samuel Jr. and John J. Wilbur one fourth share each, my purpose being to make my two grandsons equal to my son James G. in the division of my estate.
Item 7 I will order and direct that in case any misunderstanding should arise as to the true intent and meaning of this my Last Will and Testament prior to the settlement or division of my estate by my Executors herein after named, then and in that case my executors herein after named, and Perkins F. Cady of Chatham shall decide as to the respective rights of the parties, and whose decision when made shall be final and conclusive.
Item 8 On reflection my will and pleasure is that should any loss occur from fire, or any other cause, to the property already disposed of to each of my respective heirs before my decease, then and in that case, the loss to him, or either of them, shall be taken from my estate in proportion to each ones respective share, and applied to the benefit of him who meets with such loss.
Lastly I hereby constitute and appoint my son James G. Van Valkenburgh of the town of Chatham, County of Columbia and State of New York, Samuel Wilbur of the same town, County and State, and John J. Wilbur of the same place, Executors of this my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking and causing all former wills and codicils by me here before made at any time to be utterly null and void, and cause this only to be published and proclaimed as being my Last Will and Testament.
In witness where of I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal at Chatham this the nineteenth day of April in the Year of Our Lord, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Six.
John J. Van Valkenburgh (LS)
Signed, sealed published and declared by the above named John J. Van Valkenburgh to be his Last Will and Testament, in the presence of us who have hereunto set our names as witnesses, in presence of the Testator at his request, and in presence of each other.
Ransom H. Vedder
Chatham Center, Columbia County
Andrew Van Alstyne
Chatham Center, Columbia Co.
Surrogates Court County of Columbia
In the matter of proving the Last Will & Testament of
John J. Van Valkenburgh, deceased
Columbia County SS
Ransom H. Vedder and Andrew Van Alstyne each of the Town of Chatham in the County of Columbia being first duly sworn in open court, on their oaths do depose and say, that they are subscribing witnesses to the instrument now shown to them, purporting to be the Last Will and Testament of John J. Van Valkenburgh late of the Town of Chatham in the County of Columbia aforesaid, deceased and hearing date on the nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy six. That the deponents signed their names as witnesses to said instrument at the request and in the presence of the said John J. Van Valkenburgh and in the presence of each other.
That the deponents saw the said John J. Van Valkenburgh execute the said instrument and heard him declare the same to be his Last Will and Testament, at which time the said John J. Van Valkenburgh was upwards of twenty one years of age, and of sound mind and memory, and not under restraint to the knowledge or belief of these deponents That the said John J. Van Valkenburgh is now dead, and was at the time of his death an inhabitant of the Town of Chatham in the County of Columbia and State of New York.
R. H. Vedder
Andrew Van Alstyne
Columbia County S S Recorded the preceding Last Will and Testament of John J. Van Valkenburgh late of the Town of Chatham, Columbia County, N.Y. deceased, as a will of real and personal estate with the proofs relating thereto. Taken in the Court of Surrogate of the County of Columbia, N.Y. which record is hereby signed and certified by me, pursuant to the provisions of the Revised Statutes of the State of New York, this 7 day of February A. D. 1879.
Isaac N. Collier
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