James Family Archives


•  Researching the Past

•  Education for the Present

•  Preservation for the Future


Will of Alexander Henderson of Philadelphia County, PA (June 3, 1769)
Will Book “P”, No. 60, Pages 87-89

     Alexander Henderson is the grandfather of Daniel James (1750-1817) through his mother Sarah Henderson.  In this will, Daniel is bequeathed forty pounds upon his marriage. Daniel's brother Jonathan is bequeathed fifty pounds.  Note that Daniel and Jonathan's three older half-brothers Enoch, Leah and Elias are not mentioned here.  That is because although sharing the same father, they were the sons of Mary Jones, Thomas James' first wife.  This document also indicates that after the death of Daniel's father Thomas in 1753, Daniel's mother Sarah would go on to marry Andrew Crawford.

      In the name of God Amen this third day of June in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Nine I Alexander Henderson of Upper Merion in the County of Philadelphia & Province of Pensilvania[sic] Yeoman being weak of Body but of Sound & disposing Mind & Memory thanks be to God therefore and calling to mind the Mortality of this Body, and knowing it Appointed for all Men once to die do make and Ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner & form following Vizt Principally and firs[sic] I recommend my Soul to God who Gave it and my Body to the Earth to be Buried in a Christian like manner at the discretion of my Executors hereafter named And as to the Worldly Estate it hath pleased God to bless me with in this World I give & divise and dispose thereof as Followeth that is to say. Imprimis my Will is that my Just Debts & funeral Charges be fully paid. Item I give and divise to my loving Wife Jane during her natural Life the Sole use & income of the Plantation whereon I now Live being about two Hundred Acres of Land with all the moveables & improvements thereto and after her Decease I do give and devise the said Plantation & improvements thereto belonging to my Grandson Alexander Henderson & the Male Heirs of his Body & failing of such to the next state Heirs of Kin to said Alexander & their Male Heirs for- ever and if my Wife should Die before the said Alexander Henderson shall come of Age that the Plantation shall be rented by my Executors for the space of Fifteen Years or till my Grandson comes of Age and the Rent disposed of in the following manner the first four years Rent at the Expiration of said four years shall be paid my Son Johns Creditors in proportion to the Sums due to them by him provided the said Creditors will accept the same in full satisfaction of their several debts Dues[?] & demands that are now against the said John Henderson and if the[sic] refuse to accept it in the manner aforesaid the said four years Rent shall be divided among my Grand Children each receiving their share when the[sic] arive[sic] to the age of Twenty one Years & the remaining Rent till my Grand son comes of Age shall be thus disposed of viz Five years Rent among the Children of my Daughter Elizabeth Long; two years Rent equally divided between Elijah and Elizabeth Stinson, one years Rent to my Daughter Mary & three years Rent for the three Younger Children of my Son John Henderson & so in proportion if they should not be so many years as fifteen after my decease & the decease of my Wife before my Grandson comes of age it also is my Will that if my Daughter Mary should hereafter become a Widow that she shall have the Small dwelling House near my Mansion House also the little Field by the Barn, Pasturage for one Cow one Acre of meadow [p 88] in such part as she shall Choose, the Priviledge of cutting & Hauling her firewood with a Garden at the Head of the Orchard for and during the time of her Widowhood & no longer. Item I give and devise to Samuel Henderson another of my Grand sons all that Plantation situate in the Township affordsd adjoyning Edward Powells Land One hundred and twenty five Acres (the said twenty five Acres being part of fifty Acres conveyed to me by Edward Roberts & to be taken out of said fifty Acres to the Westward so as to be most Convenient to the said Hundred Acres) to hold the said Plantation of One hundred and Twenty five Acres to the said Samuel Henderson & his Heirs Male & failing of such to the Heirs Male of my Daughter Elizabeth Long & their Heirs Male forever. And it is my Will that till the said Samuel Henderson shall come of age the Rents & Profits arising out of the said Plantation shall be laid out at the discretion of my Executors for the Support of my Son John Henderson & his Wife and Children. Item I give & bequeath to my Son John the Sum of Five pounds, to my Son in Law Andrew Crawford five Shillings, to my Daughter Sarah Crawford the Sum of Five pounds, to my Son in Law William Long One hundred pounds, to my Grand Son Alexander Crawford Five pounds & to my Grand Daughter Sarah Crawford Five Shillings. All which Legacies I Will & order to be paid to the Respective Legaties within on year after my Decease unless my Wife should Survive me & then in one Year after her Decease. Item I do Will & Give the Sum of Fifty pounds to my Grand Son Jonathan James and the Sum of Forty pounds to my Grand Son Daniel James to be paid them by my Executors on the day of their Respective Marriages and if they or either of them Dye[sic] before Marriage the Money of both if both should Die or the Share of such of them as may Die before Marriage shall be divided equally among all my Grand Children. Item I give to my Grandson [sic] Alexander Henderson my Clock to be in his Fathers care until he is of age. Item I give to my Daughter Elizabeth Long my Brass Pann[sic] with the Second best Bed in my House with the Furniture belonging thereto and to my Grand Daughter Jane Henderson I give the best Bed and Furniture also my Chest of Drawers & a Spinning Wheel and all the rest & residue of my real Estate whatsoever in the said Province of Pensilvania I give to my Grand Son Alexander Henderson & his Heirs Male under the Limitations afforsd and all the rest and residue of my Personal Estate Goods & Chattels of what kind soever I give and bequeath to my Son John Henderson my Daughter Mary & my Daughter Elizabeth Long And do nominate Constitute and Appoint my Loving Wife Jane & my Son in Law William Long and Joseph Inglis to be the Sole & Joynt Executors of this my last Will & Testament and I do hereby disanull and revoke all other Wills & Testaments Legacy, and Executors at anytime before this made Willed or Bequeathed by Word or writing Ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be my last Will and Testament. In Witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and Seal /
      Alexander X Henderson
                   Mark                    Seal

Sealed Published by the said Alexander Henderson / in the presence of us
Jonathan Roberts
Samuel Holstein
George George

     Philada March 30th 1771 Personally appeared Jonathan Roberts and Samuel Holstein two of the Witnesses to the foregoing Will and the said Jonathan Roberts on his Solemn Affirmation according to Law and the said Samuel Holstein on Oath did respectively declare that they saw and heard Alexander Henderson the Testator [p 89] Testator therein mentioned Sign, Seal, Publish and declare the Same Will for and as his last Will and Testament and that at the Execution thereof he was of Sound disposing Mind Memory and understanding to the best of their Knowledge & Belief

     Coram Benjamin Chew Reg Genl

     Be it Remembered that one the Thirtieth day of March 1771 the last Will and Testament of Alexander Henderson deceased in due form of Law was proved and picked[?] and Letters Testamentary thereof were Granted to Jane Henderson, William Long and Joseph Inglis Executors in the Said Will named being first duly Sworn well and truly to Administer the said deceaseds Estate and bring an Inventory thereof into the Register Generals Office at Philadelphia on or before the Thirtieth day of April next and render a True and Just Account of the Said Administration on or before the Thirtieth day of March 1772 or when thereto Legally required. Given under the Seal of the Said Office

         Benjamin Chew Reg Genl