Jacob Bretz' Will


The last Will and Testament of Reverend Jacob Strickler Bretz (1800-1879)

In Her Majesty's Surrogate Court in the County of Oxford.

Be it known that on the eleventh day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty, the last Will and Testament of Jacob Bretz, late of the Township of Blenheim in the County of Oxford, Yeoman, who died on or about the seventeenth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy nine at the said township of Blenheim, and who at the time of his death had a fixed place of abode at the Township of Blenheim in the County of Oxford was XXX and registered in the said Surrogate Court of which a true copy of said last Will and Testament is hereto annexed and that the administration of all and singular the personal estate and effects, rights, and credits of the said deceased, and any XXX his XXX was granted by the aforesaid court to Jacob C. Stauffer of the township of Blenheim in the County of Oxford, Yeoman, the surviving Executor named in the said Will, he having been first sworn well and faithfully to administer the XXX by paying the just debts of the deceased and the legatees contained in his Will so far as he is thereunto bound to by law and to exhibit a true and perfect inventory of all and singular the said estate, and effects, rights and credits and to render a just and true account of this Executorship whenever required by law to do so.


In the name of God, Amen, I Jacob Bretz the elder of the Township of Blenheim in the County of Oxford and the Province of Ontario, Yeoman, Considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being of sound and disposing mind, memory, and judgment, Thanks be to Almighty God for the same, do make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following, that is to say:

I will and desire that all my just debts, funeral, and Testamentary expenses be paid by my Executors as soon as conveniently may be after my decease, and as to my worldly estate wherewith it hath pleases God to bless me, I give and dispose of the same as follows:

I give and devise to my beloved Wife all of my household goods and furniture, plate, linen, china for the term of her natural life as much as she may choose to take, and out of the farm stock a cow if she shall see fit to take one and keep it or another so long as she may see fit. Also I give and devise to my said Wife an annuity or XXX early sum of seventy five dollars [about $18,000 today] of lawful money of Canada being the lawful interest at six per cent per annum of twelve hundred and fifty dollars [about $300,000 today] to be paid to her half yearly in lieu of XXX of my real estate. And I also direct and desire that as long as my farm remains in possession of any of my family, and she my said Wife so desires, she shall have her home and shelter at my house and homestead in Blenheim.

I direct that soon as be convenient after my decease my Executors make sale of my personal estate or such portion thereof as has not been herein before devised or bequeathed, and out of the proceeds or the sale to defray expenses and pay debts so far as the same may thereunto extend, and if there should be an over XXX then to let it form part of my personal estate.

I direct that my Executors consult with my sons and if one or more of them wish to take or buy the farm and pay my widow's annuity as aforesaid and pay the several shares or legatees herein after mentioned allowing reasonable time to pay the same I will my Executors sell him or them my said farm at fair valuation that valuation be made by any two disinterested freeholders called for that purpose by my Executors.

But in the eventuality of any one or more of my sons refusing to take up the farm as aforesaid, then my will is that my Executors proceed to make sale thereof either by public auction or private sale as they may see fit, and after mXXX some of the proceeds thereof as shall be necessary to secure to my said wife her amount, shall apply the whole of the remainder thereof (except what shall be needed to pay my Executors a fair re numeration for their time and services in this trust and execution) as hereafter directed.

Whereas my children from time to time received certain sums and amounts which are entered in a Book kept by me for that purpose I hereby direct my Executors in settling my estate amongst my heirs that those amounts be taken and dealt with as part of my estate and to be accounted for without interest.

In the distribution of my estate I will and direct that all my surviving children have share and share alike and that the same rule be observed in regard to the principal sum herein before be invested for the benefit of my wife after her decease.

And I hereby authorize and empower my Executors hereafter named to make and execute and deliver all and every such Deed, Mortgage, Lease release discharge receipts or other writing instrument as may be necessary and XXX for fully carrying out the purposes and intentions of this Will as fully and completely as I could myself XXX in the premises formally.

And hereby nominate my good and trusty friends Jacob G. Stauffer of the township of Blenheim in the County of Oxford, Yeoman, and Jacob C. Stauffer, of the same place, Yeoman, to be the Executors of this my last Will and Testament. Confiding in their fidelity and ability to execute the trusts confided to XXX herein. And resolving all other Wills or Writings, Testamentaries, executors legacies or bequests by me in anywise heretofore made named or executed I declare this to be my last Will and Testament.

As witness my hand and seal this twenty seventh day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy two. This Will is written on three half sheets of paper.



Jacob Bretz Senior