Wills, like all documents, are social creations and so reflect the beliefs and values of the times in which they are created. I have chosen a few lines from Hendrick’s will to demonstrate this.
Excerpt of Will of Hendrick Laroe (1693-1760), dated 1760 – Grandfather of the Hendrick of interest to this blog.
I give unto my said son Jacobus Laroe three pounds lawful money in right of his primogeniture or birth right.
I give unto my said son Jacobus one fourth of that tract of land lying at Ramapogh in the county of Bergen where I now dwell …. [note: he then gives to each son 1/4 of another piece of land.]
I give unto my four sons, Jacobus Laroe, Lambartee Laroe, Arie Laroe and John Laroe, each of them an equal share of all my rights or title of in and to a certain cedar swamp lying upon the mountain near Statling ….
I give unto my loving wife to possess and enjoy all my estate both real and person during she continue or remain my widow but in case she should happen to come to a new wedlock that then and in that case she shall have a good feather bed with furniture thereunto belonging, both woolen and linen, and in case her husband should happen to die then she shall be reasonably maintained out of my estate by my four sons or the survivors of them.
I will and ordain that my four sons …. shall raise and pay the sum of one hundred and sixty pounds to my five daughters … , four years after the decease of my said wife …
Signed by Hendrick and witnessed.
[ Taken from the disc by of the 1939 genealogy of the Laroe family compiled by Emojene Demarest Champine titled Jacques Lereus, the French Huguenots and some of his descendants. Note you can find this through the web site, Heritage Quest, if your library has access to this or you can order the disc on line.]