Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

Typed and Donated By Herbert R. Groff


Ca. 1771-1842
December 29, 1841

I, Christian Groff of the Town of St. Johnsville Montgomery County, N.Y., being sound of mind, memory and understanding, blessed be God for the same, but knowing the uncertainty of life and the propriety of being in all respects prepared for it do make this my Last Will and Testament in respect to the disposition of both my Real and Personal Estate, which I may own at my decease in manner following to wit.  First my son Benjamin is to pay all my just debts owing at my decease, except in those cases herein otherwise stated.  I hereby give and devise to my son Benjamin in his being and assign forever the following, the farm of land with its appurtenances situated in said Town and partly in Oppenheim, whereon I know reside in the said Town including my interest and Title in the Land, thereto belonging, which was purchased by me, and my said son Benjamin of Daniel I. Klock.  And I also give to my said son Benjamin, all my personal Estate, left at my decease and not otherwise here disposed of.  I do hereby give and devise to my daughters named Betsey, Caty, Margaret and Mary and to their heirs forever, equally all that certain piece of land situate in said town bounded Northerly by lands of  John Klock, Easterly by the land owned by the heirs of the late Robert Kennedy, supposed to contain about sixty acres, which was purchased by me of Frederick Getman, subject however to the right of my said son Benjamin and his heirs using and enjoying the said land devised to my daughters aforesaid for the period of three years from the date if this my Will, to enable him the more easily paying my debts as aforesaid.  He my said son Benjamin is not however to commit any wastes, but may use such Timbers and firewood there from as he may want for his use.  I give to my said daughter Mary the sum of seventy five dollars to be paid equally by my said daughters Betsey, Caty and Margaret within one year after my decease; and I do declare that the same is and shall be a lien the said land devised to my daughters as herein before stated until same is fully paid to said Mary.  In respect to my daughter Nancy I hereby order and direct my said son Benjamin is in all things, in health and sickness to take care of, support and maintain her the said daughter Nancy in all the necessaries and comforts of life and such support to be a lien upon the land devised to said Benjamin.  I hereby order and direct that my daughter Mary, for so long as she remains unmarried, is to have for her use the East room in the new house now building upon the farm, herein before devised to said Benjamin, with the said room in the East part thereof, with the privilege of using water and getting same from any part of said land and of using such space in the cellar of said new house as shall be necessary and proper for her and my said son Benjamin is during his life and while she remains unmarried to furnish her with necessary firewood.  I hereby order and direct that my said son Benjamin is in all things necessary and suitable to the condition of life of my said wife Catherine, to support and maintain her in a comfortable manner during her lifetime, in clothing, meat and drink as she is used and accustomed to have in my lifetime.  And my said son Benjamin, I charge to take care of and use well his said Mother.  And I give to my daughter Mary four cows and seven sheep and such household furniture as my other daughters had of me at a setting out, to be furnished to said Mary by said son Benjamin after my decease, on same being demanded, but such of said cows, sheep and furniture that I shall give to my said daughter Mary during my life time all which I intend doing is no fee considered the same as if furnished by my said son under this article of my said will, and therefore he need not to furnish such things.  As to my sons Christian and Daniel, I have already given them all that I can and ought in justice to my other children and therefore I have not given anything to them herein.  I hereby nominate and appoint my said son Benjamin and my friend Jacob H. Flander, Executors of my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all other wills by me made.  In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this 29th day of December. 1841.


                                                                          Christian  X  Groff     [ LS]


Signed, sealed, published and declared by the Testator to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of us, who at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses,

The words “situated in said Town and partly in Oppenheim” and “of my said wife Catherine” interlined before Execution hereof.

John Nellis of St. Johnsville, Mont. Co., N.Y.

Aaron Putman         Do                   Do


I, the herein named Christian Groff being desirous to alter my foregoing Will and Testament, Dated 29, December, 1841 and witnessed by John Nellis and Aaron Putman. I do therefore make this as my codicil to said Will, and to be taken and considered as part thereof.  Whereas in my said Will I did devise unto my said daughters named Betsey, Caty, Margaret and Mary and to their heirs the certain piece of land therein mentioned. I do hereby give and devise the portion and interest in said land (devised to Margaret who is now deceased) to my Grandsons, the sons of said Margaret, equally in fee simple and my said Grandsons are to pay their sister Catherine two hundred dollars when she is eighteen years of age; and the same to be a lien said land devised to said Grandsons until said $200 is fully paid. I give all my household furniture and cooking utensils, excepting what shall be wanted and necessary for my wife to my said daughters Betsey, Caty and Margaret and the children of my daughter Margaret, to have her share in same as if she had also been named -----------of my personal Estate.  I give to my son Benjamin and my said Grandchildren,  the children of said daughter, Margaret are to pay the portion that their mother was to pay to my daughter Mary as mentioned in my said will, and the lands devised to said Grandsons to be liable and same to be a lien therein until said portion is paid.  And I authorize my said Executors to sell the portion of the land herein devised to my said Grandsons to pay what they are to pay and is a lien thereon. In witness whereof I have hereto put my hand and seal this 21st Oct. 1842 and my said Will in other respects not inconsistent herewith to be in full force and virtue, Signed, Sealed, published and declared by the Testator to be his last Codicil to said will in the presence of us who at his request and in his presence and the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses.


John Nellis of St. Johnsville, Mont. Co.                      Christian  X  Groff

John Storms             Do                                                   mark

THE PEOPLE of the State of New York, by the Grace of God Free and Independent: To all to whom these presents shall come or may concern, especially to Catherine Groff the widow of and Catherine Schram widow of Jacob Schram, deceased,  Mary Groff, Nancy Groff, Elizabeth Flander wife of Jacob N. Flander all residing in theTown of St. Johnsville in Montgomery County.  Daniel Groff residing in the Town of Palatine in said county and Anthony Beekman Special Guardian of Catherine Beekman, Ruben Beekman, Groff Beekman, Benjamin Beekman and Naomi Beekman all residing in the said Town of St. Johnsville. Noah Beekman who resides in the Town of Syme in Jefferson County, Hiram Groff, Catherine Groff, Hester Ann Groff, Sarah Groff and ------ Groff an infant daughter of Christian Groff, just deceased, whose Christian name cannot be ascertained, all residing in the Town of Shelbee in Orleans County, all minors the heirs at law of and next of kin to Christian Groff, late of said Town of St. Johnsville, deceased.

You are hereby cited and required personally to be and appear before our Surrogate of our county of Montgomery, at the County Court House in the Village of Fonda in said county, on Monday the fifteenth day of April next at two o’clock in the afternoon of that day then and there to attend the Probate of the last Will and Testament and the Codicil thereto of the said Christian Groff, late of the said Town of St. Johnsville, deceased, both of which relate to both Real and Personal Estate.  Jacob H. Flander and Benjamin Groff, Executors named therein having applied for proof of the same.

In testimony whereof, we have caused the seal of office of our said Surrogate to be hereunto affixed. Witness, Giles F. Van Vechten, Esquire, Surrogate of our county of Montgomery, at the village of Fultonville, in said county the 25th day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty four and of our Independence the Sixty Eighth.

                                                   Giles F. VanVechten

In the matter of proving
The Will of Christian Groff Deceased ------

I hereby consent to act as Special Guardian of Catherine Beckman, Groff Beckman, Ruben Beckman, Benjamin Beckman, Aaron Beckman, Noah Beckman, Hiram Groff, Catherine Groff, Sarah Groff, Hester Ann Groff and another daughter whose Christian name unknown to me, minor heirs at law of and next of kin to said Christian Groff, deceased. for the sole purpose of appearing for and taking care of their interest in the proceedings on the proof of the last Will and Testament and the codicil thereto of said deceased.
Dated March 16th 1844

                                                    Anthony Beekman

Typists Note:  Special Guardianship was created due to the death of Christian's daughter Margaret and his son Christian before the will was probated.

In the matter of proof
Of the last Will and Testament
Of Christian Groff, deceased

Montgomery County for Catherine Groff widow of said Christian Groff deceased, being duly sworn deposes and says that a few days previous to the death of her said husband and after the Codicil or written instrument purporting to be a Codicil to a written instrument ---?--- to the last Will and Testament of said deceased was drawn and Executed by said deceased. The said Codicil and Will were delivered to--?-- --?--for safe keeping. That she continued in possession of the same until such time after the death of the said deceased when she delivered the same to Jacob H. Flander an Executor named in said Will. That she was present or about at the time of the execution of said Codicil and that the same was drawn up by John Nellis---?---who was likewise present at the time of execution to the best of her knowledge and belief - that no alterations have been made to said Will and Codicil when the same was in her possession as aforesaid.

Catherine X Groff

Sworn before me
The first day of June 1844
B. Schram, Justice

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