Will of John Sitler

Knowing his time was short, John Sitler wrote his will on Oct. 12, 1876.  He died of consumption two months later on Dec. 15, 1876 at age 65.  Due to the complexity of his will, it was registered at the Waterloo County Surrogate Court on Dec. 19.

The sadness continued in the family after John's death.  His wife Sarah would follow him to the grave less than 3 weeks later after falling down some stairs.  His eldest son Jonathan, one of his executors, would die 3 years later at age 45 before the estate was closed.

The other executor, John's stepson Aaron Ziegler, was left to complete the sale and distribution of the estate assets by himself.  Aaron had all the surviving Sitler children complete signed affidavits confirming they had received their share of their father's estate and that Aaron was exonerated from his duties as executor.  The estate appears to have been finally closed in 1881.  Aaron died less than 4 years later at age 55.

Images of the Hand-written Will

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Text of the Will of John Sitler

This Indenture Witnesseth that I John Sitler, of the Township of Waterloo in the County of Waterloo and Province of Ontario, Yeoman, being of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, do make, publish, and declare this to be my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former Wills.

My Will is first that my Just debts and funeral and Testamentary expenses shall be paid out of my Estate by my Executors herein after named.

Secondly I will and bequeath unto my wife Sarah Sitler, One horse, and one cow to be selected by her, my Buggy and single harness, and all of my household goods and furniture for the term of her natural life, also the right the right to occupy the buildings on my homestead farm in common with my son Jacob until the said farm will be sold and no longer, and during her stay on my said farm all such fruit not required for the necessary use of my son Jacob, which may grow on the said farm each year.

And I further order and direct that my Executors shall pay unto my wife each year during her lifetime the sum of One hundred and twenty dollars, in the first place out of the rent, and on the sale of my farm aforesaid from the interest of a sufficient sum not less than two thousand dollars to be placed on Interest by my Executors and kept secured by real estate by mortgage, and in case that the said annuity devised to my said wife should prove in any one or more years to be insufficient for the comfortable support of my said wife, in such case I order that my Executors shall support her my said wife from the funds of my Estate to such an extent as they shall judge expedient.

Thirdly, I Will and bequeath unto my son Isaac Sitler all and singular, that certain parcel or tract of land and premises situate lying and being all of lot number Nine in the Eighth concession of the Township of Brant, in the County of Bruce and Province of Ontario, Containing One hundred acres, be the same more or less; To have and to hold the same unto him the said Isaac Sitler, his heirs and assigns forever, Subject to the payment of five hundred and fifty eight dollars, with interest from the date hereof and payable as follows, to wit: The said principal sum of five hundred and fifty eight dollars to be paid by Three successive equal annual installments of one hundred and eighty six dollars each, with interest at the rate of six per cent per annum on the Twelfth days of October 1877, 1878 and 1879 respectively.  The interest at the rate aforesaid on the amount of principal from time to time remaining unpaid, payable with each installment of principal and interest at the same rate on all arrears of principal and interest.  In case the said Isaac Sitler should prefer to obtain a deed for said land before the said term of three years be expired it shall be at his option to obtain a deed, providing the payment of the said sum of five hundred and fifty eight dollars with interest at the rate of aforesaid and payable in the manner aforesaid be satisfactorily secured by mortgage on real estate.

Fourthly, I give and devise unto my son Jacob my best two horse Wagon, one Plow, one harrow, and a set of Harness for two horses, and in addition to it a sum of six hundred dollars in money to be paid to him from the funds of my Estate by my Executors as soon after my decease as circumstances will permit to do so, To have and to hold the same to him my said son Jacob his heirs and assigns forever, which is to equalize him with the rest of my sons.

Fifthly, I give and devise to my son Moses Sitler, first a sum of Two hundred and five dollars to be paid to him by my Executors from the funds of my Estate as soon as he shall attain the age of Twenty one years, which sum he is to receive in place of where all the rest of my sons received of me, horse and[?] wagon and other farming utensils to that amount, And in addition to it I give and devise to him my said son Moses a sum of Six hundred dollars, to be paid to him by my executors as soon as the funds of my Estate will permit to do so, in order to Equalize him with all the rest of my sons, as a portion of heirship in my Estate, to have and to hold to him his heirs and assigns forever.

And it is my will that my son Jacob Sitler shall farm my homestead farm for such a term or number of years as my Executors may think best and most suitable, yielding and paying the yearly sum of One hundred and twenty dollars as rent for each year, to my Executors and to keep said farm in good repair and pay all taxes each year on it, besides said two hundred dollars also all the fruit of the orchard not required for his own family use to be delivered to my wife yearly, And to feed of his own fodder one horse and one cow for my wife and allow my wife to occupy the buildings on said farm, together with him, and no wood allowed to be chopped thereon except such as may be required besides the downwood for his own firewood.

My will further is that my Executors shall sell my homestead farm as soon after my decease as may seem best or most suitable to them, and from the proceeds of such sale to invest at least a sum of not less than two thousand dollars, and keep it secured by mortgage on real estate until the decease of my said wife, and the interest thereof to be applied yearly for the support of my said wife.  My personal property not devised hereby to be sold by my Executors soon after my decease, and on the decease of my said wife my executors shall sell either publicly or privately all my personal property then left of such devise to my said wife during her lifetime, and the proceeds thereof together with all the rest and residue of my property remaining in the hands of my Executors after payment of all just Debts, Legacies, Funeral, Testamentary and Executorship expenses, I give and devise the same unto and equally between all my sons and daughters, share and share alike.

And lastly I nominate and appoint my son Jonathan Sitler of Waterloo Township and my Trusty friend Aaron Ziegler of Woolwich Township, yeomen, to be the Executors of this my last Will.  And I empower them or the survivor of them or the Executors or Executor of such survivor to Execute good and sufficient Deed or Deeds for lands sold or devised by me and for all of my lands they or he may sell after my decease, and execute all such other legal Documents as may be requisite to carry out the true intent and meaning of this my Will.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twelfth day of October A.D. one thousand eight hundred and seventy six.


Signed, sealed, published and declared      }
by the said Testator as and for his last    }
Will and Testament, in the presence of us }           John Sitler [signed]
who in his presence and at his request      }
and in the presence of each other            }
have hereunto subscribed our                 }
names as Witness.                                  }
Menno Gingrich [signed]                         }
Joel Good [signed]                                }

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Documents transcribed by Darren Arndt.

Last updated May 14, 2004