Text of Last Will and Testament of Frederick Kerchner
Born 15 Mar 1750 probably in s.e. Pennsylvania
Died 10 Aug 1828 in Longswamp Township, Berks County PA.




18th Century PA German Naming Customs
Kerchner Genealogy Home Page


                  TRANSLATION OF LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
                           OF FREDERICK KERCHNER
                         REVOLUTIONARY WAR SOLDIER
                BORN MARCH 15, 1750 -- DIED AUGUST 10, 1828

            Original German will on file at Recorder of Wills,
                   Berks County Courthouse, Reading PA.
                          Volume 6, page 223-226.

Translation commissioned by Charles F. Kerchner, Jr., fourth great-
grandson. Forwarded to Mr. Antonius Loeffler, a historian in
Germany, to translate old German script into modern German.
Translated verbally using tape recorder from modern German to
English on Sept. 28, 1991 by: Christa Duelberg-Kraftician,
Allentown, PA, formerly of Menden, Germany. Transcription to paper,
research of old words in various German dictionaries, with further
translation and editing by Charles F. Kerchner, Jr., 3765
Chris Drive, Emmaus, PA. Also some help obtained with tough to
decipher words from Ernest Thode. Latest revision:  Feb 23, 2003.

                                 [pg. 223]

In the name of God, Amen. I the undersigned Frederick Kerchner
residing in Longswamp Township in the County of Berks and State of
Pennsylvania though I am frail/fragile, sick, and weak/bedridden
but with sound/complete mind, memory, and faculties/recollections
and my ability to judge still being as in my good days and I am
enjoying what I am very thankful to God for and I am considering
that we all have to die one time and that the time of our death is
unknown and that every human at any time should be ready to leave
this world that's why I make my last will and I'm declaring this at
this time to be my last will and testament.  To the first, I'm
giving my eternal soul to the hand of my God to his eternal mercy
and my body to the earth which is according to the rites of the
Christian church that the body should be buried and everything
considering my worldly goods I am leaving as follows:  It is my
wish that all my worldly debts and the cost for my funeral shall be
paid as soon as possible from my later named executors.  It is my
wish that as fast as possible after my death all of my moveable
goods and inventory as marked in a book/list is to be sold at
public auction to be administered by my executors.  I'm leaving my
beloved wife, Barbara, for the time of her life as follows:  two
beds with canopies, curtains, linens, and everything that belongs
to it of her own choosing.  The oven with the pipe in the living
room and the shovel and tongs that belong with it.  The house
clock, the table and a chest which she can choose, the curtains for
her wash/bathing stand, and the wash basin with pitcher with
everything that belongs to it.  The kitchen cabinets with the
kitchen plates, cups made of zinc, copper, iron, ceramics and wood
which she can choose as much as she wants to keep.  (Translators
note:  She get various farm implements which could not be
translated at this time).  She gets a table and a holder to keep
the bible on and the bible and she gets her spinning wheel together
with all the tools that belong to the spinning wheel.  Chairs which
she can choose, lawn rake, a garden hoe, a spade, a manure hoe, a
manure pitch fork, and a shovel and a  cow of her choice.  She gets
all the linens as much as she can keep and all the flax she can
keep and wool everything he has that he still owns.  She gets 25
pounds in money as soon as possible after his death.  Also 1/3 of
all the money that will be left after everything is sold and
everything is paid off (except 


                                 [pg. 224]

interest/debts of my children which they still have to pay the
estate). It is also my wish that my wife, Barbara, will two years
after my death enjoy the use of the farm which I own at this time.
She will have the room next to the (shop?/shed?).  She will get
half of the room above this one room and the full freedom to go
into the kitchen to cook and wash as many times as she would like
to.  She will also have the freedom to go into the basement and the
attic or to the baking oven, to the well in front by the kitchen
door to get water as much as she needs.  She will have the right to
go in the barn for her food and she can also keep her things in
there as much as she needs.  She has the right to go into the
stables to put the food for her animals there as much as she needs
and she has the right to put her pigs in the pig pen and she can
feed them there and keep them there.  It is also my will that my
wife will have all my cows for the time of two years after my
death. If she likes to, she can also have the pigs which I am
keeping because of the meat and also the pigs born in this two
years on the farm.  She can keep also all the hay and straw which
I still own and the hay and straw which will be grown in the two
years.  She will also have all the pasture/grazing land as much as
she needs for her animals. She can have all kinds of salts for the
summer and winter foods which she still owns and also all the food
which she will grow in the garden and everything that still grows
in these two years shall be hers.  She shall also have during this
time a piece of the kitchen garden and hickory as much as she needs
which has to be given to her by the executors and they have to go
into the woods and cut it for her and bring it to her.  She will
also get all the food which will be growing on my farm during this
time as much as she needs and she likes.  It is also my wish that
my afterwards named executors (if they think its good) that she
will sell all my lying goods/real estate (all the property he owns)
that she can sell this the best as she knows and to the one that
will give the most.  I'm authorizing my executors


                                 [pg. 225]

on my behalf concerning the farm/plantation to act with the power
of attorneys to sell pieces and other assets and in my behalf to
make lawfully binding contracts as necessary.  It is my wish that
200 pounds in money shall stay in this estate as long as my wife is
living from which she will get every year her interest/income.  The
rest of my moving and unmoving goods are going to my six children
and their heirs forever:  Johan, George Kerchner, Wilhelm Kerchner,
Peter Kerchner, Elizabeth which is the widow of Abraham Griesemer,
Jacob Kerchner, Maria married to Jacob Miller.  (Editors note: He
names clearly his six children, 4 sons and 2 daughters, giving
their first and last names.  There is definitely a comma or mark
between the name Johan and George in the original will.  But this
should not be misunderstood as to indicate two separate people. 
Instead this was done in order to clarify the identity of his
oldest son.  This was due to the fact that his oldest son's legal
baptismal name was Johan George but he was known all his adult life
by his middle name, George Kerchner.  His four sons were:  Johan
George, Friedrich Wilhelm, Philip Peter, and Jacob.  His 2
daughters were:  Elizabeth and Maria.)  I want to be understood by
them that I gave already in my lifetime to everyone of my known
children and heirs in-law (this means that he gave them all
property and things already and they have to pay it back as long as
he living and after he dies the debt is paid off). You can see this
in one of my lists of what I gave to which people.  But some of
them got more than the other ones so I got notes and (bonds?) which
are getting interest.  So it is my wish as soon as possible after
my death my known children will be getting everything equal and
they can look it up in the list what has to be done.  All my
moveable goods which I didn't give to my wife will go in equal
parts to my known children or to their heirs.  It is also my wish
that after my wife's death that everything she will leave will be
going to my known children or their heirs in six equal parts.  To
the last I am naming with this my two sons, Wilhelm Kerchner and
Jacob Kerchner to be executors and administrators.  This is my last
will and testament and I am declaring again this is my last will
and testament which is one piece of paper which I am signing by
myself.  This is my last will and testament and every last will and
testament made before is revoked.  To make this the last will he is
signing it himself and he is sealing it.  This is done the first
day in August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred
and twenty-eight. Frederick Kerchner (seal) signs and seals and
declares this is the last will and testament and the above was
signed by Frederick Kerchner in the presence of Jacob Meyer and
Jacob Oberholtzer.


                                 [pg. 226]

Page 226 is in English in the original and it reads as follows:

Registers Office Reading Berks County September 8th 1828 then
appeared Jacob Meyer & Jacob Oberholtzer witnesses to the above
written will who where duly qualified according to Law did declare
and say that they were present together and did see and hear
Frederick Kerchner the testator sign publish pronounce & declare
the foregoing writing as and for his last will and testament and
that at the time of the doing thereof he the said testator was of
sound mind memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge
and as they verily believe and further that they names Jacob Meyer
& Jacob Oberholtzer are of the deponents own hand writing thereto
subscribed as witnesses in the presence of each other and in the
presence and at the request of the testator.

                              Coram me             Rhoads

Frederick Kerchner Letters Testamentary in Common form under Seal
of Office were granted to William & Jacob Kerchner two sons the
Executors therein named they being first duly qualified thereto
according to law.


Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information and/or have corrections or information to share with me about this family. Synergy is the secret to success with genealogy. If you are a Kerchner descendant please contact me and let me know how you connect to this line.

Charles F. Kerchner, Jr.
3765 Chris Drive
Emmaus PA 18049-1544 USA
Email: Contact Me

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Copyright © 2003
Charles F. Kerchner, Jr.
All Rights Reserved
Created - 13 Apr 2003
Revised - 13 Apr 2003