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Peter Smith, twn of Ulysses, will 17 Feb 1857

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Peter Smith, twn of Ulysses, will 17 Feb 1857

Posted: 1176659126000
Classification: Will
Surnames: Smith, Schmidt, Aldridge, Wicks, Treman, Post, Lyke, Skinner
Will of Peter Smith of Ulysses, Tompkins Co., NY,
Will Signed: 17 Feb 1857
Probate: 28 Aug 1858

Tompkins County, New York, Will Book: 55-H Pp. 183-189

Surnames: Smith, Schmidt, Aldridge, Wicks, Treman, Post, Lyke, Skinner

Transcribed from SAMPUBCO copy of microfilm of handwritten court records by Lynn Stevenson Fisher, lfisher3149@earthlink.net

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At a Surrogate’s Court held for the County of Tompkins at the office of the County Judge of the said county in the village of Ithaca on the 28th day of August in the year 1858
Present S. P. Misner County Judge

An Instrument purporting to be the last will and testament of Peter Smith bearing date the 17th day of February in the year 1857 was produced in court and shown to each of the persons sworn as witnesses as hereinafter mentioned which instrument is in the words and figures following –
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In the name of God Amen I Peter Smith of the town of Ulysses County of Tompkins and State of New York do make and publish this my last will and testament in the manner following (viz) I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Clarissa after my deceased the use of the house in which we now live together with all the household goods and clothing and one cow during the full term of her natural life.

I give and bequeath to my son Jarid H. Smith the sum of Four Hundred Dollars and to my daughter Polly wife of Watson Aldridge I give and bequeath the sum of Seven hundred and fifty dollars, and allso I have advanced to the said Polly Aldridge fifty dollars on her dower for which I have taken a receipt for the same of her husband Watson Aldridge and I also hold one note against Watson Aldridge for which the said Polly his wife has had the sum of two hundred dollars, which is allso applied on her dower but not to be taken from the seven hund[dred] & fifty Dollars.

To my daughter Harriet wife of Peter Wicks I give and bequeath the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars and also I give and devise to my said daughter Harriet the house and lot of land on which she and her husband
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now lives and resides situated on Lot No. 20 in the Town of Ulysses and containing about ten acres of land and I will and devise that all of the real and personal property that I have bequeath to my said daughter Harriet shall at her decease be and become the property of her present and existing children to be equally divided amoung them and my daughter Harriet shall have only the use and benefit of the Real and Personal property that I have bequeath to her during the full term of her natural life, -- and as to the residue and remainder of all my personal property I will and direct that it shall be sold as soon after my deceased as it may be convenient and proper to sell the same. and the proceeds thereof equally divided amoung my following named sons and daughters {to wit} Phithen H. Smith, Jarid H. Smith, William L. [looks like “L” but elsewhere “F”] Smith and Elias A. Smith and Polly P. wife of Watson Aldridge and Harriett A. wife of Peter Wicks my daughters each of them are to have in equal shares of the said residue and remainder of my said personal property and my grandson Avander S. and my granddaughter Loreta Jane, children of my deceased son Henry Smith, and to my grand daughter Lorretta Jane I give and bequeath the sum of two hundred dollars and to my grand son Avander S. the sum of Four Hundred dollars if providing that the said Avander S. and Loretta Jane will release all wright and title that they have or may have to a certain piece of land containing fourty acres lying in the state of Wisconsin in Dodge County the said piece formerly belonged to Henry Smith their father and since the death of there father Henry Smith it was deeded by Peter Smith the father of Henry Smith to Abner Treman and unless there is a release signed by Avander S. and Loretta Jane they are not to receive the above dower. And the remainder of my personal property I bequeath to all of my before mentioned heirs excepting my two grandchildren Avander S. and Loretta Jane and as to the residue of my lands and real estate of every name and nature whatsoever I direct my coexec-
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utors as soon as it is convenient and proper to sell after my deceased to sell the same and divide the proceeds or ___(?) thereof equally among my three sons Phithen H. Smith, William F. Smith, and Elias A. Smith and I appoint my son William F. Smith and Abner Treman executors of this my last will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand seal this 17th day of February 1857.
Peter X Smith L.S.
His mark

Signed sealed published and declared by the aboved named Peter Smith to be his last will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses in the presence of and at the request of the testator.
David Post Town of Ulysses Tompkins Co.
William Like Town of Ulysses Tompkins Co.
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David Post of the town of Ulysses in the county of Tompkins being first duly sworn deposeth and says that he was acquainted with the above mentioned Peter Smith decd in his lifetime: that he saw the said Peter Smith deceased subscribe at the end th__of the instrument now shown to this deponent purporting to be the last Will and Testament of the said Peter Smith. He wished me to draw his will and I done so. After I got through he signed it. After I got it wrote I read it over to him: he said it was right and he signed it. He said it was his will. He wished Mr. Lyke and myself to sign it as witnesses. He then declared it to be his last Will and Testament. He made this declaration before I signed it. After that he requested Mr. Lyke and myself to sign it as witness. There was no persons present except us three. He was about 80 years old when he signed the will. This took place at my house about a half mile from his house. He came there on foot to get me to draw his will. His health was not very good, some feeble. I had known him some twenty years. I had seen him daily or weekly during that time. At the time
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he executed the will I think his mind was good. He was of sound mind and memory I think, as far as I know he was. I know of no influence being brought to bear on him in making the will. He seemed to have a strong will of his own. I wrote as he told me. We were two or three hours in making the will. This took place Feb. 17th 1857 the time the will bears date. Peter Smith is not now living. He died within the last two months. He resided in Ulysses in the County of Tompkins at the time of his death.

This is the only will I have drafted for him. There was no will that I know of at the time I drew this. Mr. Lyke was not present during the whole of the time occupied in drawing the will. He came in at the last of the proceedings. I think we had got through drawing the will. He was sent for by Peter Smith. Don’t remember who went after Lyke. I had never witnessed any other will for Peter Smith. I never witnessed a will for him but on one occasion. I attached the piece of paper to the end of the will. It was done at the time on the 17th day of February when I drew the body of the Instrument. I attached the piece because the paper was not long enough. I don’t know why I did not go on over the sheet without attaching a piece. It was done at my house. I furnished the paper. This was the only style of paper I had except some little sheets. At the time I drew the will he said what is in the will about the infants. I don’t know as he explained to me the situation of the land any more than what is in the will. I wrote the will just as he told me to: don’t remember as he said they had signed a conveyance of that land. He said nothing about a Mr. Skinner that I remember. Don’t remember that he said he had sold this land. Can’t say what time he was at my house – it was some time in the middle of the day. We were in the kitchen. Can’t say whether Lyke was present when I read over the will but think not. I think Smith made his mark. I don’t know
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whether he could write or not. I had had no conversation with him about drawing a will before this occasion. I retained the will after it was executed until since his death and I then gave it to his son William one of the executors named in the will. I gave it to him within a couple of weeks. There was an alteration made in the will while in my possession after it was executed. It was altered by erasing the words “and grand son
and grand daughter.” This was done about six months after it was executed – perhaps not more than three -- can’t say. It was done by me at the request of Peter Smith in his room at his house. No one was present in the room but he and myself. I was sent for to come there. He said there was one thing that was not right that the words grand son and grand daughter he wished to have taken out and I erased them. He assigned no reason for it that I remember. There was no one present but Smith and myself at the time I made the erasure. I took the will away again. He said nothing about Mr. Skinner in that conversation. There was no other alterations made in the will at that time. There was none before or after that time after it was executed. The interlineations of the words “To be taken from the seven hundred and fifty dollars” was made before the will was executed. The will is in the same condition in all respects as when it was executed with the exception of the erasure of “grand son and grand daughter.”

After Lyke came in he and I signed the will. I think it was signed by Smith before Lyke came. He acknowledged his signature to Mr. Lyke before Lyke signed it I think. I might have told Peter Wicks after the erasure that he was better off that he was before. I don’t remember. I don’t recollect that I told him by the alteration that I had taken two hundred dolls. off Jane’s share I don’t remember what I have said to others about it. At the time of the erasure all that was said or transpired was what was said and done about erasing the words grand son and grand daughter.
David Post

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William Lyke of the town of Ulysses in the county Tompkins being first duly sworn says that he was acquainted with Peter Smith deceased in his lifetime that Peter Smith acknowledged that he signed the instrument now shown to this deponent purporting to be the last will and testament of the said Peter Smith and above described. That he heard the said Peter Smith acknowledge the same to be his last will and testament.I subscribed my name to it at his request as a witness. I done it in his presence and the presence of David Post. He is the other witness to the will there was no others present but us three. The will was signed by all but me when I got there I think can’t be certaind that Mr Post had signed it but am certain Mr. Smith had signed it. I should think from all I saw that Smith was of sound mind and memory at the time I signed the will. He was under no restraint that I know of. Mr. Smith is dead. He died in Ulysses within two (?) months. We were in a room in Posts house in the north part of the house. Should think from what I saw Post used it for a kind of an office. Can’t say whether there was a stove or fire in the room. I think no one came into the room while I was there. A stranger to me came after me a relative I believe of Mr. Posts. I have no recollection of signing my name to a piece of paper attached to the main body of the instrument. It is my signature on the piece so attached. I can’t say that I remember there was a piece attached at the time. I did not notice the instrument as it lay before me. I believe I signed at the bottom of the last page when I came in. I think when I first came in Mr. Smith said he had a paper there he wished me to put my name on. Then I think Mr. Post told me it was Mr. Smith’s will. And then Post asked Smith if that was his last will & testament and his signature to it and Smith said it was. That is all that was said about the will. I then signed it as a witness. Smith asked me to sign it after he had made this acknowledgment. Can’t say what time of day it was. The will
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was not read over in my presence. I have examined the bottom of this instrument since I have been here. I can’t swear positively that this is the instrument I signed. I did not read it or notice it particularly. I don’t remember on what kind of paper the will was written. I don’t remember seeing Post sign his name. His name was there before I signed it but I can’t say whether he signed it in my presence or not. I live about a quarter of a mile from Posts.

David Post recalled by contestant ------ I don’t remember ever saying anything to Mr. Lyke about any interlineations.
David Post

Wm Lyke – I don’t remember as I ever talked with Mr. Post about interlining.

David Post – I don’t remember ever saying in Mr. Lyke’s presence that there was no interlining in the will.
David Post

Wm Lyke – I think Mr. Post said in my presence within the last ten or twelve days that there was no interlining in the will.

Direct – I can’t relate the conversation. Post was talking with some others. I think David Wicks was present. I was busy at work and did not hear the conversation. I only heard Post say there was no interlineations made.
William Lyke

David Post recalled by Executor – I have had several times questions asked me if there was any interlineations with regard to the minors and I have said not. Peter Wicks has asked me questions but I don’t remember was was said.
David Post

William Smith of the town of Romulus in the County of Seneca and State of New York being first duly sworn says: I was acquainted with Peter Smith. He was my father. I have had the custody of his will for some time. I recd it from David Post. I called at his house and got it one week after my father was buried. It has been in my custody from that time until brought in court here. It is in the same condition in all respects as when I received it and has not been
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altered in any particular.

I heard at the time father was buried that Post had the will and that I was one of the executors and I went to get it. I was not here when father died. I came to his funeral. I do not know of fathers making any other will but this. I heard that he had made one previously but know nothing about it except by report or rumor. I had a conversation with Post last Monday about the alteration in the will. I asked him about it. He said he had made the erasure in the will spoken of and that he had seen Esq. Ring and he said it would not injure the will. He said it was reported that he had interlined with regard to the minor heirs but that he had not done so.
William S. Smith

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I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true record of the original last will and testament of Peter Smith late of Ulysses Tompkins Co. deceased and of the original proofs relating thereto --
Ithaca September 8th 1858
S. P. Misner
County Judge

Comments: Peter Smith was born 21 Jun 1777 and died 30 Jun 1858. His wife Clarissa (daughter of David Fithin and Mary Halsey) was born 24 Feb 1778 and died 8 Feb 1859.

I am a descendant of Peter Smith via: James Stevenson, my father; Clinton R. L. Stevenson; S. Frank Stevenson; Nancy Mary Smith Stevenson; Fithen Halsey Smith; Peter Smith; Christopher Smith; Johannes (John) Schimdt (Smith). Peter Smith settled on Ulysses 19 near Waterburg as early as 1802 where the Pine Ridge Farm now is. His brother Elias Smith settled nearby on Ulysses 19 on Podunk Road around 1807. Their father Christopher Smith was an early settler in the town of Covert, Seneca County, N.Y.

The coexecutor Abner Treman appears to have been the son of Abner Treman (founder of Trumansburg, N.Y,) and Mary McLallen, who was born in 1803 in Trumansburg, married Jemina Thomas, and died in 1887 in Waterburg.

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