Conrad Ritter / Rutter:  Pennsylvania Pioneer

Joseph Rutter’s 1775 Will

The last will and testament of Joseph Rutter, son of Conrad Rutter, dated Feb. 7, 1775, and proved April 11, 1775.

Source:  Lancaster County Historical Society, Lancaster, PA, Lancaster County Will Book B, Vol. 1, pg. 735


Will:  Joseph Rutter, decedent

Be it remembered that I, Joseph Ritter, of Leacock Township, Lancaster County, in the province of Pennsylvania, yeoman, being sick in body but of sound mind and memory, I thank God.  I therefore make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following.  That is to say, I will and allow that first all my just debts and funeral charges be fully paid and satisfied out of my personal estate undivided except wherein I am bound for any of my children.  I also allow to my beloved wife, Barbara, her riding mare, saddle, bridle, my best bed and furniture and generally all my household goods and two cows in lieu of her dower of my personal estate and before any division thereof.  I further allow to my said wife a free residence in my dwelling house during her natural life or her own pleasure she remaining my widow, and allow her my negro wench called Eve and likewise absolutely the sum of two hundred pounds money of said province payable to her in three distinct and equal quotas yearly, the first commencing one year after my decease, the one half of each gale or quota to be paid by my son George Ritter out of what he has got from above his share for he has so got.  I give and devise to my son Joseph Ritter all land singular my plantation and tract of land whereon I dwell in said township to hold to him, his heirs and assigns forever and likewise the residue of my personal estate, all under and liable as well to the payment of the other half or hundred pounds to my said wife, as also to the payment of the sum of five shillings to my son Henry Ritter and the sum of one hundred pounds money aforesaid to and amongst the children of my said son Henry, share and share alike, and payable as they arrive at age respectively.  And also to the payment of one hundred pounds money aforesaid to each of my daughters, to wit, Barbara, the wife of John Lightner, Margaret, the wife of Nathaniel Lightner Jr., and Catherine, the wife of Andrew Hershey, payable first to Catherine in two equal yearly payments the first to commence two years after my decease.  Secondly to Barbara in two equal yearly payments the first to commence four years after my decease.  And then to Margaret in two equal yearly payments the first to commence six years after my decease; and likewise liable to the payment of the money which was borrowed for the use of my son Andrew Ritter and; and to the payment of the sum of 5 shillings to my son Andrew and as much to my son George Ritter aforesaid. And lastly I nominate and ordain my said wife and son-in-law John Lightner to be my executors of this my last will and testament.  And confirming this above to be my last will and testament, in witness whereof I hereto set my hand and seal this 7th of February, 1775.  Joseph Ritter [his mark and seal]  Sealed and published in the presence of us:  Stewart Herbert, David Glen, Maget [Margaret] Evetts.

On the eleventh day of April anno domini 1775, before me the subscriber personally appeard the within named Stewart Herbert and on his solemn affirmation according to law and Margaret Evets another of the witnesses to the will, and on her corporal oath did depose and say that they were present and saw and heard Joseph Rutter the testator within named sign, seal, publish, pronounce and declare the within writing as and for his last will and testament, and that at the doing thereof he was of sound mind, memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge, observation and belief.

Be it remembered that on the eleventh day of April anno domini 1775 the last will and testament of Joseph Ritter, late of Leacock township, in the county of Lancaster, yeoman, deceased, was proved in due form of law and letters testamentary were granted to Barbara Ritter and John Lightner, the executors, they being first duly qualified well and truly to administer in the estate of the testator and to exhibit a true and perfect inventory thereof into the Register Office at Lancaster on or before the eleventh day of May next and to render a true and just account of their administration when then lawfully required.  Given under the seal of the said office.