Sunday, December 09, 2007

More about Friend Curtis

In a previous post I added my thoughts about the question "Is Friend Curtis the father of Benjamin?" Included in that post was a partial transcription of the Last Will and Testament of Friend Curtis, filed in the St. Joseph County, Michigan probate courthouse. The original copy of the will was obtained sometime during the 1980's. Last month I ordered another copy of the will to see if we could get a better copy. While placing that order, I discussed the situation with the probate clerk and she informed me that the original documents were microfilmed years ago and the original documents were destroyed after the film copy was made. So our only hope of reading the whole will was to get a better copy from the microfilm.

When the package arrived in the mail, I quickly began the transcription. When completing the transcription, I did not look at the old transcription that I did in the 80's. After the new transcription was made, I compared the two to see how much more we learned from the Will. Following is the new transcription with the additional information I was able to read in blue text:

Last Will and Testament of Friend Curtiss
I Friend Curtiss of The Township of Moottville Township in the County of St. Joseph and State of Michigan. I make and publish this my Last Will And Testament hereby revoking and making void all former wills by me at any Time heretofore made And first I ensist that my body be decently intered _____ _____ burying of the Township of Mottville in said County of St. Joseph and State of Michigan. And as to such worldly _____
____ entire line is hard to read _____
____ entire line is hard to read _____
out of the first money that shall shall come into the hands of my wife _____ from the sale of my funeral estate, I do hereby direct and bequeath to my beloved wife all my _____ Estate being all _____ and Estate belonging to me as this time is to remain to her use and benefit while she shall remain my Widow and at her _____ I direct and bequeath _____ my daughter Sarah all _____ _____ to be and remain to her use and benefit and I _____ direct that ____ Keys my Step son shall have out of my estate to the amount of one hundred dollars Provided that he shall remain with my wife Melissa Curtis, until he arrives At the age of twenty one years and in said time shall assist his mother in _____ the family and I further direct that my daughter Elizabeth _____ and my sons Seth Curtis, Wiliam b. Curtis and Francis _____ Curtis each two dollars to be paid to them as soon as the _____ can be made from the produce of the farm or as not to distress the family I also direct that my executors shal remove or _____ to be removed the bodies of my former wife and family now laying in the Grave Yard in York Township in the County of Elkhart State of Indiana and deposit the same in the grave yard in Mottville township In the State of Michigan by the side of my _____ and that they erect _____ tombstone _____ friend Benjamin Blossom residents of B_____ County and State of Michigan and my wife Melissa Curtis Executors of this my last Will and Testament in Witness whereof I Friend Curtis the Testator _____ to this my Will Written on one sheet of paper _____ my hand and seal this Sixteenth day of August One thousand eight hundred and fifty

Friend Curtis (Seal)

_____ and Sealed and delivered in the presence of _____
_____ in the present of _____ _____

Absom Goble
B. F. Donnells
A. H. Moon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

THere is a court case summay in the online Northwestern Reporter for Friend Curtis and Heirs. Do a google book search for "Friend Curtis" of Mottville.

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