October 10, 2013

George Hollabaugh's Will - 1877

(I'm taking a little break from the Case family as I wait for some documents to arrive and perhaps a photo. Later, I will continue with the story of siblings, Dexter Rival Case and Martha Case Dilley.)

Great-Great Grandfather, George Hollabaugh, lived in Adams County, Pennsylvania.  Married to Elizabeth Bittinger, their story may be read here and part two is here. 
Recently, on www.familysearch.org, I browsed through unindexed probate court records of Adams County and found George Hollabaugh's will, filed in the year 1877.  (For those who want to see the real deal, follow this path:Search, United States -at bottom of page, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Probate Records, Estates 1877-1879, Adams, Image 109 -  131.) 
But for those who don't, I present it here, with some added punctuation for clarity, but spelling as it appeared. It does bring up a few questions.

Filed August 22, 1877 

In the name of God Amen, I, George Hollabaugh of the Township of Butler, being of sound mind, memory and understanding and considering the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death, do make and publish this, my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills and testaments and declaring this only to be my last will and testament.
First, I desire that my body be buried in a decent and Christian like manner and as to such worldly estate whereof I am possessed, I dispose of the same as follows after

First directory - that my just debts and funeral expenses be paid out of the first moneys that come into the hands of my executors.
It is my will that all my estate real and personal be sold by my executor as soon as conveintly can be after my dec. and further, my will is that after all my Estate is converted into money, Excep what the law setts appart for the widow, is to be paid to my children share and share alike, first, however, taking off each one what they have already received as a legacy which is charged against them in my ledger.

My will is that my wife is to have the third of my estate during her widowhood; if she intermarries again, my will is that she shall have nothing of my estate and further the money coming to my daughter, Sarah, intermarried with Robert Haverstick, is to be paid into the hands of John A. H. Deathen(?) who is nominated as a trustee for her, and I instruct him to pay her the interest annualy during her natural life.  After her decease, the trustee is to pay the princable to her children, share and share alike, as they become of age.

I do hereby grant to my executors, hereinafter named, full power and an authority to make sale of my real estate and to execute and deliver to the purchasers as purchasers thereof good convvey and in the case of my hole right and title thereto, as fully as I could if living, the same to be sold on such terms, as their judgment is best for the interest of my estate.

I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint my friend, J. C. Markley and my son, Levi Hollabaugh to be the executors of this, my last will and testament, with full power to sell and convey my real estate and to settle my estate.
In witness whereof, I, the testator, have hereunto set my hand and seal this 19th day of August A.D. 1876.
 Signed, sealed, published and delivered by the said Testator, George Hollabaugh as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presents and at his request and in the presence of each other, have hereunto Subscribed our name as witnesses therein.
Wm. Bossermant and Isaac Rice
Came before judge with will and testimony to register will on 22 August 1877."

Great-grandfather, William Levi Hollabaugh, was assigned as an executor, but he lived in Dekalb County, Indiana, approximately 500 miles away. He was a young man of about 35 with a wife and young children. Perhaps it was a hardship for him to travel back home to serve, financially and perhaps because it was almost harvest time on the farm. It would have been a very long trip for him in 1877.
So he sent a decline to the role of executor.

"Renunciation in the Estate of George Hollabaugh, filed September 8, 1877.
In the matter of the last will and testament of George Hollabaugh, late of Adams County, Pennsylvania, deceased.
To the Register of Wills of Adams County, aforesaid, I, Levi Hollabaugh, son of said George Hollabaugh, deceased, and one of the Executors named in said last will and testament, living at Spencerville, Dekalb County, Indiana, hereby decline to act as executor aforesaid and request that Letters Testamentary be granted to the remaining Executor named in said will.  Witness my hand and seal..."

In this packet of information was included an affidavit of death for George Hollabaugh, indicating that he died on "15th August 1877 at about 12:30 A.M."  Also included was an inventory of all his goods, the auction bill of sale and notes of money that were due him and that he owed.  In the end, the sum of $112.15 was in the hands of the accountant.  

So the questions that I am left with are these:
1. Why does he take away everything from his widow if she remarries?  Was that a common practice?  Elizabeth would have been about 62 when her husband died.  As far as I know, she never remarried.
2. Why was the trustee appointed for Sarah Hollabaugh Haverstick, his daughter?  Why was she given only an annual payment while the others received their inheritance?  Did she or her husband misuse money?  
3. Why did he appoint Levi as an Executor when son, Jacob, at age 25, was still at home?  At the auction, Jacob purchased many of his father's possessions.
I would love to know the answer to these questions - any ideas?

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