The following is a transcribed version of a photo-copy of a document with the beginning phrase:
I'm not sure what the meaning of this is, as of this date, July 30, 1999, but the document is interesting enough that I'd like to share it with those of you who share my enthusiasm for the Baker/Weigel history and heritage.
It would appear that later generations of the Baker family may have brought protest against this "will" or results of same, since the last paragraph indicates that there doesn't seem to have been a "settling of the estate". It is a "report" that includes a transcription of the "Will of Henry Baker" and a final statement and conclusion by the original writer of this "committee". It can only be concluded that some discrepancy or concern arose and that the Baker heirs requested a group of "Heirs of George & Elizabeth Baker", to act as "the committee", to look into the will of Henry Baker and advise the remaining heirs of the results, such that disbursement was handled properly and justly. It would appear that the descendants felt there had been an "immense fortune", to which they may have been entitled.
I'll place here a couple of observances and conclusions that have been made personally, concerning this document. First, the dates included within the document, i.e. 1761, 1762, 1763, etc., would lead one to conclude that THIS Henry Baker is one of the sons of George Peter Baker who accompanied his father to America on the Ship Peggy, September 25, 1753. This conclusion is drawn based on the above mentioned dates and the fact that the next Henry Baker in the family is Henry G. Baker, son of George Baker (the 2nd). Henry G. Baker was born in 1763 and therefore would NOT be filing a will in 1761. One of the interesting, yet somewhat disturbing portions, talks about a brother Bastian and sister Gertrant. Neither of these names has been found in our family documents. Neither have we found information about "step-sisters" of the original Baker children. I guess we simply need to dig deeper and harder. I'll leave you to make any additional conclusions and observances.
Last Will and Testament of Henry Baker, Will Book M, Page 293, dated Nov 18th, 1761, Registered May 1762.
This is my last Will & Testament, that is to say, I do appoint & empower hereby my Brother Bastian & my Sister Gertrant to be executors & to administer my estate to act with the same power & right as I have myself, as well as with what I take along with me.
When the returns thereof arrives here, & that my brother Bastian shall take possession of my Plantation as his property which contains 70 Acres, for £250 current of Pa, & shall pay the same on the terms of payment which I have agreed upon with John Evans that is to say that on the 27th of May 1763 he shall pay £20 on May 27th 1764, £20, May 27th 1765, £23, on May 27th 1766, £35 on May 27th 1767, £35 & on May 27th 1768, £30. But the charges, that may be at on account of the administration of my estate, he shall pay immediately, & shall repay himself after the said John Evans is fully paid for the land & discount it out of the residual & remainder & not before & whenever the money which I take with me to Germany or the goods for the same shall arrive in return. Then my executors shall pay my debts which I leave, out of the same & whatever may then remain after John Evans is also paid off. Such remainder shall be shared amongst my Brethren & Sisters, but if the debts are paid out of the movables & there is any remainder, then my executors & my Brethren & Sisters shall share such remainder amongst themselves, yet in such a manner that Jacob & Elizabeth shall have as much again as any of the others. But what sum remains from the land, after John Evans is paid, my Brethren & Sisters shall share alike, one to have as much as the other except Jacob, who shall have as much again as any of the others & as to my Step Sisters each of them shall have One Dollar. But if no goods shall arrive here from Germany, being taken by the enemy or being otherwise unfortunate and nothing come in return, then my Plantation shall be sold by my hereinbefore named executors & they shall pay my debts out of the same & whatever the purchase sum amounts to more than what the debts may be, the surplusage of such purchase together with my money movables & goods, after the charges are paid, shall be shared alike among my right Brethren & Sisters but Jacob & Elizabeth then shall each have as much again as any one of the others & my Step Sisters shall each have One Dollar. This is my last will and testament on Nov 18th, 1761.
Signed Henry Baker
No inventory or appraisement is of record, nor does any account appear to be filed showing a settlement of the estate. This will giving to Jacob Baker & Elizabeth a double portion of the estate, giving to the Step Sisters each One Dollar. Referring to land & also to merchandise brought or to be brought from Germany, & being the only will made by either Henry, Jacob or Peter Baker, having any reference to any such matters, the committee are of the opinion that this is the will upon which we, as Heirs of George & Elizabeth Baker, have based our hopes of an immense fortune.