Thursday, October 05, 2006

What's the Value of a Daughter?

From the Chester (Pa.) Times of Dec. 15, 1882:

A very curious will found its way into the office of the Register of Wills of Chester county at West Chester a few days ago, in which the testator does not seem to have had anything but his daughter to bequeath. The following is an exact copy of the curious document:

September 16, 1882,
Coleraine Township,
Lancaster County, Penna
Know all men by these presents that I, Morris E. Jones, do hereby give and bequeath unto Mary E. Whiteside, my Daughter Della Jones, to have and to hold and to clothe and to keep as her own child and to do for her and with her as thinks best until she becomes of full age.

This is my last will and testament and I desire the same to be recorded as such.

Witness my hand and seal this 16th day of September, 1882.
Morris E. Jones.
Witness Present
Milton Keech

When this singular will was presented for probate the Register refused to probate it, on the ground that he could not make an appraisement nor could he grant letters of administration or testament. The legatee through her attorney, E. D. Bingham, Esq., of Oxford, has appealed from the decision of the Register. The latter has certified the appeal into the Orphans' court, where it will be argued at the next argument court.
Here's the Jones family in 1880.

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