Friday, June 24, 2011

Ah, Yes! John Rupert...

[Originally published on 24 June 2011 - minor correction made on 7 March 2019]

After a fruitless search for the estate of John Rupert in the microfilm of “Estates 1834-1837” I returned to viewing land records. There was quite a list and many more that I wanted to look at and it was in my last week at the Family History Library.

As luck would have it, the next deed that I looked at was the cause of this incredible "Happy Dance" moment. The big find wasn't for John Rupert, in some ways it was actually better, as it had to do with the wife of Jacob Switzer, discovering her full name and the name of her father, Andrew Brinker! (More on that in a future post.) Why am I mentioning this now?

Well, basically to let you know that I didn't work in a straight line, I used more of a zigzag methodology, skipping around from one type of record to another and from one ancestor to another and then back again. Perhaps not the best approach but there were so many things that I wanted to find on different people.

I think I “shut down” for a while after the “big find” and didn't get much accomplished the rest of the afternoon. This was on a Saturday and the library was closed the next day. Though it didn't seem like it at the time, that was probably a good thing - it gave me time to absorb what had been found and devise a plan for the three remaining days that I had left for research at the library.

Saturday evening and Sunday was spent searching for family trees online for Andrew Brinker and using the Library Catalog to see if any of the sources mentioned in those trees were available at the library. A new “to do” list was also created with the desired film and call numbers for microfilm and books to be checked.

Monday morning I found the books I wanted, barely looked at them, quickly scanned the desired pages for future reference, and then returned to the estate records. In addition to looking for the estate of John Rupert who presumably died before July 14, 1836 (though I didn't know how much before), I was now also looking for Andrew Brinker who died in 1828. And there was another ancestor, Detrick Hoffman, who died in 1826. So I was looking for his estate record too. If you're looking for one, it doesn't really take any longer to look for three on the same roll of film!

On Saturday I had viewed the film for estates in 1834-1837 so I pulled out the film for 1832-1834 (packets numbering 1514 to 1693). A little over an hour later I had nothing. Except negative results. Sure would have been nice if those packets were indexed! Then it was on to the next roll for 1830-1832, which included estate packets 1355-1513. Time was in slow motion, it was taking forever to go through those films!

After a short break to relieve crossed eyes and blurred vision about midway through the roll, I resumed cranking away. And then, there it was! The Estate Packet for John Rupart! (#1439) Hooray! Hooray!

Included amongst the 24 images in his “packet” were some small miscellaneous financial papers, the estate inventory, the sale bill, and most important to me a document dated October 17, 1828 – his will.

Anything that appears inside square brackets [ ] has been added by me. Emphasis has also been added in several spots using bold face type.

[first page]
“In the name of God Amen the Seventeenth day of October Eighteen hundred and twenty Eight. I John Ruppart of Columbiana county in the State of Ohio, being in perfect mind and good memory although weak in body, therefore calling to 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 principally and first of all, I give and recommend my Soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it, and my body I recommend to the earth, to be buried in a Christian like manner, nothing doubting but at the General resurrection I shall receive the Same again by the mighty power of God, and as touching such worldly estate as it has pleased god to endow me with, I do devise and dispose of in the following form (Item) I do allow all my Lawful debts and funeral charges to be paid out of my Estate after my decease. (Item) I do allow and bequeath unto my wife Barbara all her clothing bed and beding her Spinning wheel and reel all my household furniture which I may have at my decease, during her natural life time and also all the rents interest and income of my place for her Support and maintenance during her natural life, and after her decease I allow my real and personal property to be sold by my executor and the money Collected to be paid equally divided”

[second page]
Children namely Elizabeth, Barbara, Margaret, Sarah, Catharina, Eva, Lea, Rachel, Ruppart excepting Richard Rupart I allow and bequeath unto him the Sum of one dollar to be paid first by my executors as I have given him his share of my estate in my life time. (Item) I do Likewise nominate constitute and appoint my Son in law, Conrad Yerion and David Ehrhart [the latter name was inserted above Yerion] to be my whole and Sole executors of this my last will and Testament Investing him [two words crossed out] with full power to execute this my last will and testament, I do hereby utterly dis allow revoke all and every former wills or bequeathments by me in any wise before named ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament In Witness whereof I John Ruppart have hereunt set my hand and seal the day and year aforesaid in the presence of those Witnesseth present. mb [?] David Ehrart interlined before signing.”

Signature of Johannes Rupart [in German and his seal]
[witnesses] Jacob Watson and Joseph Swinger

The signature of John Rupart from his will dated October 17, 1828.

The signature of John Rupert from Deed Book 9 page 48 dated August 24, 1824. Is this the actual signature of John or was it written by the recording clerk? Quite a difference in four years, but then I don't write my name the same every time either.

First page of the will of John Rupart. Estate Packet 1439.
Family History Library microfilm 2032592.

Second page of the will of John Rupart. Estate Packet 1439.

Third page of the will of John Rupart. Estate Packet 1439.
Declaration of the witnesses.
Signed by Charles D. Coffin, Clk. Com. Pleas

Cover page of the will of John Rupart. Estate Packet 1439.

Is the date in the upper left corner ( August 7, 1831) the date the will was admitted to probate or the date of death of John Rupart? How soon after death is the probate process started? There was nothing in the estate packet to indicate when John had passed on.

The will tells us that his wife Barbara was still living when the will was written on October 17, 1828 and that he had seven eight daughters and one son living at that time: Elizabeth, Barbara, Margaret, Sarah, Catharina, Eva, Lea, Rachel, and Richard Rupart.

Now why didn't he include the married names of his daughters as many testators do? I should be happy that we got the names of two of his sons-in-law (or is it son-in-laws?): Conrad Yerion and David Ehrhart. After all, the naming of Conrad Yerion provides that definitive link for me to John! Seems like we always want more though.

In the post Father of Eva Rupert :: Is it John or Adam? we found that Hannes and Barbara Ruppert/Rubbert had three children baptized in the Bermudian Church in what would have been York County, Pennsylvania at the time (now Adams County): Eva, Jacob, and Salome. The latter two are not named in John's will so do we assume that they had died without heirs prior to the time John wrote his will? Were there other children that were not named in the will?

If you are a descendant of John Rupert or researching the Rupert Family, PLEASE contact me at

1 comment:

Carol said...

Have to note, the scans are looking nice. Well done!