Amanuensis Monday – Last Will and Testament of Jacob Pepperney (1805 – 15 Aug 1888)

Just what is “Amanuensis Monday?” An amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. I’m not employed but by you, my dear reader, and will use the occasional Monday to transcribe family documents. Transcribing forces me to make a very close reading of the text, thus perhaps showing some detail I may have otherwise missed. When printed on the blog, it makes information more findable for search engines and others interested in the same topic.

One way to easily learn about the last years of an ancestor is to read their last will. Many are available online and recently I was able to locate the will of Jacob Pepperney, my 4th great grandfather. Jacob was born in in or near present-day Austria in 1805. He died in Allegheny (present-day Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania on August 15, 1888. One of his last acts before his death was to have drafted in his name a last will and testament. This document is available through the records of FamilySearch and is itself a transcription. Instead of keeping thousands of wills and testaments in different formats, entire probate records were transcribed into journals for record keeping. This ensured a more complete record that was uniformly organized. I’ve transcribed the transcription. While nothing earth-shattering – Jacob wasn’t bequeathing any family treasure – it does show that he left a small sum to his grandson whose father died a few years prior. The details are below; I’ve transcribed it as best I can but apologize in advance for any errors.

Page 1 of 2. Click to enlarge
Page 2 of 2. Click to enlarge
No 307
Last Will and Testament 
Jacob Pepperney
In the name of God, Anew, 
I, Jacob Pepperney of the City of 
Allegheny, County of Allegheny,
 and State of Pennsylvania, being of sound mind, memory, and underst-
anding, do make and publish this my last will and testament, hereby
revoking and making void all former wills by me as anytime hereto
-fore made by me.
And as to my world Estate and all the property, real, personal, or 
mixed, of which I shall die seized and possessed, on to which I shall be 
entitled at the time of my decease, I give, advise, bequeath, and 
dispose thereof in the manner following, to wit:
First, my will is, that all my just debts and funeral expenses
shall by my Executor herein after named, be paid out of my Estate, as
soon after my decease as shall by him be found convenient.
Hence, I give, devise, and bequeath to my grandson John Pepperney
(child of my deceased son John Pepperney) the sum of One Hundred
All the rest, residue and remainder of my Estate, real, personal,
and mixed, of what nature or kind so even and whensoever the
same shall be at the time of my death I give, devise and bequeath
unto my son Frank Peppperney and to my daughter Mary Beck
(wife of John Beck) their heirs and assigns forever share and 
share alike.
And I do hereby constitute and appoint my said son Frank
Pepperney Executor of this my last will and testament.
In witness whereof, I, Jacob Pepperney the Testator, have to
this, my will written on one sheet of legal Cap-paper, set my 
hand and seal, this second (2) day of March A.D. 1882.
Jacob (his X mark) Pepperney
Signed, sealed, published and declared by the above named Jacob
Pepperney, as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us, 
who have hereto subscribed our named as his required as witnesses
thereto in the presence of said testator and of each other.
Joseph Schmid            Adam Hohmaun
Nikolaus Manz            George Roesch
State of Pennsylvania
Allegheny County
Be it known, that on the twentieth day of August A.D.
1888, before me, Samuel P Conner, Registrar of Willis, **** and for the
County aforesaid, came Adam Hohmam and Nikolas Manz and
on August 22nd 1888 came Joseph Schmid three of the subscribing 
witnesses to the foregoing last will and testament of Jacob Pepp
erney deceased and on this their solemn oath did depose and say that
they were present and did see and hear Jacob Pepperney the test-
ator therein named, sign (my making his mark) seal, publish 
and declare the same as and for his last will and testament, and
at the time of so doing he was of sound mind and memory to the 
best of their knowledge and believe and as his request and in his 
presence they subscribed their named as witnesses thereto.
Sworn and subscribed before me the above date:
Samuel P Conner, Registrar
Adam Hohmaun
Nikolaus Manz
Joseph Schmid
Now, August 23rd AD 1888, the testimony of the above named witnesses
being sufficient, I do hereby admit that foregoing Will to Probate, and
order the same to be recorded as such.
Given under my hand the above date
Samuel C Conner
State of Pennsylvania
Allegheny County
Be it known, that on the 23rd day of August A.D. 1888.
Letters testamentary with a copy of the Will annexed upon the Estate of
Jacob Pepperney deceased was duly granted unto Frank Pepperney
the Executor in said Will named who was duly sworn to well and 
truly administered the goods and chattel rights and credits which
were of said decedent and to faithfully comply with the acts of ass-
embly relating to collective inheritances.
                           Given under my hand the above date
                                                                  Samuel P. Conner
“Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994,” images, FamilySearch (,283261801 : accessed 03 May 2014), Allegheny > Wills 1887-1889 vol 33-34 > image 320 of 691.

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