Berne Local

Friedrich Baseler

Testament Or Last Will (1)


I Friederich Baseler declare herewith and with healthy understanding that should it be God’s pleasure (that I) should exchange the timely presence with the eternal, after my death should be done in the following manner.

1. Shall house and land belong to my wife as long as she will live and she will have full control over it.

2. Shall my daughter Maria have 10 £, ten pounds, and Eliesabeth the same, Margaretha the same. Anna however instead of 10 £ shall have 20 £, twenty pounds.

3. Shall my daughter Eliesabeth as well as my daughter Anna have a cow. The two year old ox of Anna is hers in addition to the cow.

4. Shall the horses, wagon, cattle and the harrow and in summary everything that is necessary to farm shall remain in the farm.

5. Of the sheep, Maria shall get one old sheep and one lamb. Likewise Eliesabeth shall have one old sheep and one lamb. Similarly Anna shall have one old sheep and one lamb.

6. As far as Johannes Löb (Loeb) is concerned, he shall retain the land given to him, namely from the head end of the hay land where the great pile of stones is and from there to (Scheilchähnig ?) of the new hay land and to the end of my property.


The above points were thoughtfully set down by me in the presence of my friends who will testify to it. Biverdam the 6 th of December, 1784.

The payment to my daughters will not take place until the passage of two years after my death.


Friederich (2) (3) Baseler


Christian Sand (2)

as witness


X Wilhelm Schneider

as witness


Christian Spilner (2)

as witness


(1) Original document in German.

(2) Document appears to be in the handwriting of

Christian Spilner, except for the “Friederich” and

“Christian Sand” signatures

(3) The “Friederich signature here closely resembles that in the 1749

Philadelphia document of those arriving on the ship Good Intent

and taking the usual oaths to the government.

March 18, 1785: “There being no executors appointed in the will” Anna Baslaer (Wife) was admitted administratrix by the Surrogate.

March 18, 1785: Anna Baslaer Widow, Hendrich Baslaer farmer and Peter Fetterly Blacksmith posted Bond of Administration of one thousand pounds.

March 22. 1785: Wilhelm Schneider appeared before the Surrogate and swore to the validity of the will and that at the time Friederich Baseler was of “sound and disposing mind and memory to the best of his knowledge and belief”


April 28, 1785: The will was recorded in Albany County.


Webmaster Notes:


The attachment is an English translation of the will, done for me by a friend who is a German native.The translation is pretty literal, we did not attempt to recast it into contemporary English. You'll notice that one word, "Scheilehahnig" eluded him.


I also have copies of the Surrogate court documents probating the will and of the Administrative Bond. These are in English and I included brief summaries. I don't have a copy of the estate inventory, which was due to be filed a year later.


I will be glad to mail you photocopies of the will and the court documents which could be scanned and posted together with the English translation of the will on the Berne web site. If you want to do this, send me your mail address and I'll get them to you.


To me, the most interesting thing about this was that Friederich Baseler's signature on the will, and the signature from the 1749 passenger list in Philadelphia appear to be the same, which certainly validates the presumption that they are the same person. I obtained a copy of the Philadelphia list from the Pennsylvania archives, but the quality is poor, and the reproduction in Ralph Strassburger's book, "Pennsylvania German Pioneers" is much better.

Regards, Alex Pausley