Knowing his time was very short due to sickness, Peter Stover dictated his will on March 30, 1813. Based on the hand-writing of the witnesses, it appears that Abraham Beam wrote down Peter's will for him. Another witness, Heinrich Lichti, was the father of Peter's daughter-in-law Elizabeth, wife of Jacob Stover. Heinrich may have been a long-time friend of Peter's going back to their days in Pennsylvania.
Peter's executors were his son Jacob Stover and son-in-law John Hamilton. They travelled south to the town of York (now Toronto) and presented the will to Robert Baldwin, Esq., Surrogate of the Home District, on April 26, 1813. Their sworn statement records that Peter Stover died one day after he made this will.
(The very next day, on April 27, 1813, the Americans invaded and captured Fort York.)
This document has been the key to building the family tree of Peter's descendants, as it is the only known evidence listing Peter and Margareth's children.
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In the name of God amen I Peter Stover of the Township of Markham in the County of York in the Home District in the Province of Upper Canada, Yeoman, being sick and weak in body but of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, considering the certainty of death, and the uncertainty of the time thereof, and being desirous to settle my worldly affairs, and thereby be the better prepared to leave this world when it shall please God to call me hence, do therefore make and publish this my last will and testament, in manner and form following; that is to say:
First and principally I commit my soul into the hands of Almighty God, and my body the earth, to be decently buried at the discretion of my executors herein after named, and after my debts and funeral charges are paid I devise and bequeath as follows:
I give and bequeath unto my beloved Wife Margareth all my household stuff and moveables and likewise one cow, six sheep, two hogs. And it is my will and desire that my son John shall give her his Mother yearly and every year through her natural life as much good and clean wheat as will sufficient bread her and hay as much as will keep one cow and six sheep and corn and buckwheat and of all the income and produce of the farm where I now reside as much she wants or stands in need of.
I give and devise unto my son Jacob all and singular that certain tract or parcel of land situate lying and being composed of seventy acres of the east end or part of Lot number six in the ninth concession of said Township of Markham. To him the said Jacob Stover and his heirs and assigns in fee-simple.
Item I give and devise unto my son John all singular that certain tract or parcel of land situate lying and being composed of seventy acres of Lot number six in the ninth concession of the said Township of Markham adjoining on the east his brother Jacob's tract or parcel of the same Lot and includes the improvement to him the said John Stover and his heirs and assigns in fee-simple. And it is my will that he shall give or pay to his Mother two hundred dollars to be paid to her yearly when she requires it or stands in need of and if he does not consume the whole amount before her decease the rest and residue shall be equally divided between my son Matthias and daughters Molly Anne Elizabeth and Susanna.
Item I give and devise unto my son Matthias and my daughters Molly Anne Elizabeth and Susanna all that certain tract or parcel of land situate lying and being composed of sixty acres of the west end or part of Lot number six in the ninth concession of said Township of Markham which said tract or parcel of Land or the value of it shall be equally divided between them all as they can agree or thing proper.
And it is my will that as soon after my decease and after my widow has taken out share and that as soon as possible a true inventory and appraisement may be taken of all my moveables and effects outstanding debts and further personal property which shall be sold at public or private sale by my executors.
And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my son Jacob Stover and my son in law John Hamilton to be executors of this my last will and testament, revoking and annulling all former wills by me heretofore made ratifying and confirming this and and none other to be my last will and testament. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal, this thirtieth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred an thirteen.
[signed with an X]
Signed sealed published and declared by Peter Stover the above named testator, as and fore his last will and testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.
Heinrich Lichti [signed]
S____ Lehman[?] [signed]
Abraham Beam [signed]
Before me Robert Baldwin Esq. Surrogate for the Home District of the Province of Upper Canada.
Personally came and appeared Jacob Stover and John Hamilton, Yeomen who being duly affirmed declareth and sayeth that Peter Stover departed this life on or about the 31st day of March last past and they are the persons named in the will of the said Peter Stover -- as Executors of the Estate --
Jacob Stover affirmed and John
} Jacob Stover [signed]
Sworn before me at York } John Hamilton [signed]
26 April 1813
Robert Baldwin Esq. [signed]
[other signature and scrawled notes --
possibly those of a clerk]
Documents transcribed by Darren Arndt.
Original documents from the Ontario Archives, microfilm MS638 reel 102.
Page last updated May 14, 2004