Nicholas Van Eman's Will and 
Other Estate Documents

The following transcription was submitted by Donna Mohney of [TBD] for inclusion at the Genealogy in Washington Co., PA web site in January 1999.

The land on which Nicholas settled was taken up by "Tomahawk Improvement" and was received by Virginia Certificate. It was a beautiful tract of 1500 acres, running from the modern_day town of Clarksville to Dunningsville and including a large portion of North Strabane Township. The land was warranted on 23 March 1786 and was called "Oak Plains".

From the plat book of the area:

"A draught of a survey lying on Chartiers Creek, Washington County, containing 388 acres 6 perches without allowance executed 10 January 1786 in pursuance of a certificate in the name of N Venniman granted him by the Commissioners of Virginia appointed to adjust the titles of unpatented lands in the counties of Monongalia, Yohogania, and Ohio, and regularly entered into with the County Surveyor, as appears from the authenticated list of entries transmitted from the Surveyor General's office."

The Surveyor General was Jonathon Lukens, Esquire, and the Deputy Surveyors were Matthew Ritchie and Presley Nevill.

Neighbors were his sons, George, Andrew, and Nicholas, along with James Leiper and George Gillespie. The land was on the East Branch of Chartiers Creek.

His will is on file at the Washington County, PA courthouse. (will book 1, page 5) It was written on 14 September 1779 and proven on 3 January 1782. ( The original will is brown and crumbling but still legible.) It reads as follows:

In the name of God, Amen, the 14th day of September 1779. I, Nicholas Veneman of the County of Yohogania, farmer, being in health and of a perfect mind and memory, thanks being given unto God. Therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say first and principally I give and recommend my soul unto the hands of Almighty God who gave it and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in decent Christian Order, at the discreation of my executors nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God. And as touching my wordly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life. I give, demise, bequeath, and dispose of the same in the following manner and form. I give and bequeath unto Mary my dearly beloved wife the whole and sole government of the plantation whereon I now live to and for her own proper use and benefit during her natural life, together with all my household furniture (except one bed and furniture) also two working horses and one breeding mare, two cows, and calves and six of the best sheep also all my farming utensils wholly and together , and whereas my son John in his lifetime did receive a certain tract of land it lying and being on Little Coneguguoge Creek Frederick County State of Maryland which I do ordain to be in full for his share and that he or his heirs have no right to any part of my present Estate yet notwithstanding I give and bequeath to my grandson John Veneman one Spanish milled dollar and as for my son Garrett he also received a certain tract of land it lying and being on Chartiers Creek in the County of Yohogania, aforesaid but hath sold the same yet I do ordain that it is full for his share and that he hath no right to any further part of my estate and is hereby disbarred from all manner of claim. I give and bequeath unto my son George that tract of land on which he now lives beginning at the place known by the name of Deep Hollow and with a straight line down the same to the mouth thereof and so down to the old shuggar camp and then up the run leader to James Roberts. I give and bequeath to my son Andrew that tract of land which he improved beginning by George Gillespie and so doen the crooked run with a straight line to the mouth thereof and so across that run and across the bottom of the other run and so up the same until it joyns George's line. I give and bequeath unto my son Nicholas that tract of land on which I now live that at the death of his mother he shall enjoy the same to his own proper use and benefit together with 10 half johannas to pay the consideration money for deed and land and I do further bequeathe and ordain that all singular and moveable effecrs goods and chattels not yet willed shall be sold and the money therefrom together with what money is in my possession as all the bonds, bills, notes, or book accounts shall be equally divided among my daughters that is to say Cathrine Wall, Hannah Alexander, Elizabeth Wiley, Susanna Roberts, and Jean Veneman and I do further appoint unto my Daughter Jean one bed and furniture over and above her equal share and be it further provided that if any of the aforesaid Lagatees died before they are of age or having lawful issue in such case then their portion after being sold to be divided equally among the whole of my children including one as well as another. And I do further constitute, appoint, and ordain my sons Garrett and George Executors of the last will and testament. And I do hereby utterly disalow and revoake all testaments, wills legacies and bequests or executors by me in any wise before named willed or bequeathed. Ratifying and confirming this as my last will and testament in witness whereof set my hand and seal the day and year above.

Written_ nicholas (NV_ His seal) veneman.

I do give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Mcolum the sum of 7 s. and 6p. to be paid unto the same Mary MColum by my executor's out of my estate.

Administration of the estate:

In the Orphan's Court Records of Washington County, PA appears the following:

Volume A. page 27 7 February 1786 Came into court, George Venemon, acting executor of Nicholish Venemon, dec'd. and producing an account of his administration, by which it appears that there is a balance of 225 pounds, 12 schillings, and 14 pence in the hands of the said executor and the other executor, Garrett Vanemon, subject to distribution according to the directions of the will of said subject.

Volume A page 43 8 November 1786 Came into court, Garrett and George Venemon, executors of Nicholas Venemon, dec'd, and produced accounts against the estate of the said deceased in addition to the heretofore exhibited. to wit. due Joseph Alexander 7 schillings 6 pence; due Mathew Rue 8 schillings, 2 pence, 1/2 penny; due Garrett Venamon 23 pounds. Further allowance made the executors for their trouble 12 schillings and 6 pence. Clerk fees 12 schillings. When added, makes 40 pounds 4 schillings, 2 pence 1/2 penny and prayed the above account be allowed by the court, which have accordingly when subtracted from the balance in the hands of the said executors leaves 215 pounds 8 schillings 1 pence and 1/2 penny subject to distribution instructions of the will and testament of the said deceased subject.


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