Johann Köster's Will, 1856

Testament of Johann Köster, drawn up in the home of Johann Köster on August 4, 1856 at 11:45 AM.

When Johann Köster in Struvenhütten informed the undersigned pastor and church elder that he wished to draw up his last will and testament, and since he was not able to leave his home due to illness, he requested that this testament be drawn up in his home. So we went there for this purpose.

We found him in his home, lying in bed, apparently very weak physically, however, in full control of his senses. He explained that he was presently very sick and weak, and therefore did not know how near his end was. After careful consideration he had decided to make a will about his property by which his heirs should be guided.


The property of the testator Johann Köster consists of:

1. cash on hand 613.32 Reichsmarks
2. personal property and all his possessions about 186.64 Reichsmarks
about 800.00 Reichsmarks


The testator was married twice, first to Anna Christina, nee Ahrens who died in 1845; and then to his present wife Catharina Elsabe, nee Dannenberg.

Two children were born to the first union:

1. Joichim Heinrich, born June 20, 1843,
2. Hans, born April 9, 1845,

Of the second marriage:

1. Detlef, born Sept. 7, 1846,
2. Johann, born May 16, 1848,
3. Heinrich, born March 27, 1850,
4. Anna Catharina, born Febr. 17, 1852,
5. Nicolaus, born May 14, 1855

For the children of his first marriage, Thies Pohlmann of Schmalfeld is to serve as legal guardian.


The heirs of his estate mentioned in #1 shall, after his death, be his aforementioned wife and the children of both marriages according to the following stipulations:


After his death, the testator's second wife shall be in possession of the total legacy remaining at that time, and if she does not remarry, she shall be in full charge of all property until her death, and she shall not be obligated to give account to anyone.


However, the testator places upon his wife the responsibility of providing a Christian upbringing for all of his children, to provide them with all necessities of life including food and clothing, to send them to school regularly, and to have them confirmed.


In case his wife marries again, then the remaining estate is to be divided equally among the children of both marriages according to the law.


If the wife of the testator does not marry again, no child shall have an advantage over any of the others; and after her death the children shall inherit the remaining estate.


Testator decrees that after his death this document not be legally sealed, but that it be preserved unsealed in a special place in his home.


Testator reserves the right, during his lifetime, to rescind or amend this testament.

This then is his last will and testament for the specific disposition of his estate after his death. Should such changes not be considered legal, then he wishes to use a codicil or gift at this death, whichever is best, in order to keep the original testament in force.

This testament was slowly and clearly read to the testator, upon which it was signed by him.

In witness thereof we have signed it and affixed the official seal.

Joh. Köster

other signatures are of the pastor and the elder

this will was probated on August 17, 1863

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© 2013 Carole Schwinck Meyer