On the hunt for more information on George Myrise

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So now we have an idea as to what George left behind after his death in 1799, we can reassemble the children and grandchildren he left behind at that time, but where does George’s tale start?

A Johan Georg Meyreiss is found on a list of passengers aboard the ship Friendship, under Captain Charles Ross, arriving in Philadelphia in October 1754. It originated from Amsterdam, carrying passengers from Franconia and Hesse.  At that day and time, male immigrants over the age of 16 were taken directly to the court house, the state house, or even the local magistrate’s home, and obliged to take the Oath of Allegiance. We know then, that the Johan Georg Meyreiss listed on that passenger list, and most likely our George Myrise, was at least 16 years old on the 21st of October 1754 when the ship’s passengers were qualified, giving us an estimated birthdate of 1738 or earlier.

You can see the list of the “List of Foreigners Imported in the Ship Friendship, Capt. Charles Ross, From Amsterdam. Qualified 21 Oct 1754” on the website Internet Archive. The list starts on page 441, with Johan Georg Meyreiss’ name found on page 442 near the end of the list.

Thoughts on the Estate Inventory of George Myrise

What in the world is a “Clivish?”

I posted the Inventory of the Estate of George Myrise previously. Going through the transcription, there is a lot to be learned about George from what he left behind. Going line by line, we can “see” that the appraisal started in the house with the household goods and then moved to including various tools and farm implements, likely found in a barn or similar structure. In his will, George refers to his home place as a plantation, so it is reasonable to assume that his land was farmed, and could possibly have had one or more structures on the land for various purposes.

The household goods of George Myrise included the chest he mentioned in his will (that apparently housed his money, according to the will), a large iron kettle,  a pot, an old frying pan, a large straw barrel and a half bushel (containers for storage, possibly?).

We then move to the tools and such. “Sundrys of old iron” is, I believe, a collection of bits and pieces of the metal. Two augers, a chisel, a pair of “nipers” (tong-like tool?),  a “syth hammer” (I know what a sythe is, but a syth hammer?), and one gimblet (gimlet, an auger-like tool). George owned two horse chains, a log chain, and a cow chain. The next few items I am unsure of; one large “clivish,” a pair of small stilliards (possibly a small scale?), and a “Grubing hoe (Exclusive of its being laid),” what does that mean? A couple of dung forks and a dung hook. Two old muskets. Next we have some weaving tools: a heckle (a comb like device used to straighten fibers like flax, often used in weaving), a loom and tackling. Also listed are an old table and a grind stone. A “cuting box, without a knife” might be an object like this, used to cut wheat.

Back to the house we may have gone, where an old wall stove, about 5 lbs of old feathers (at the current rate of 1 shilling 10.5 pence per pound), and 9 shillings worth of “wearing apparrel.” I find it intriguing that almost everything is categorized as “old.” What was considered “old” in 1799? 

We find granddaughter Elizabeth Sponseller, now Elizabeth Krise, and the cow she was willed, it being worth £3 15 shillings. The three sheep willed to George, Lovis and Rachel Sponsaller are also listed, at £1 2 shillings 6 pence, though it is unclear (to me) if that is the worth of the combined three sheep or separate. Notably missing is Catherine Sponsaller, who was also owed a cow according to George’s will. Where did the cow go? No other livestock are listed, so had Catherine already obtained her inheritance prior to the estate inventory? There are of course other possibilities… did she pass before her grandfather’s inventory? Wouldn’t there still be a cow though? Unless, of course, the cow no longer lived…

Next is a section on Bonds and Notes still due to George at the time of his death. He was owed money by several individuals (both in the will and in the estate inventory), which possibly shows us George’s character as a kind neighbor, or a penchant for being a Lender. His Bond with Jacob Long, in which George was owed £15 every April 15th for the years 1800-1805 (I don’t know if this is a “normal” Bond schedule, but the fact that it’s due every April 15th made me think of the IRS of today), seemed to be a long-standing agreement, and is detailed out in his will as to to whom that money goes to (John and Adam receiving the money on alternate years until their inheritance sums, £50 and £60 respectively, be paid). Others owing money to George as of November 1799 included: John Weikert, Adam Winterode Esq, Jacob Winterode, Jacob Little, Frederick Little & Joseph Stealy, and Abraham Kuntz. In total, with listed interest, equalled out to just over £230, which sure sounds like a lot of money to me! An estimate from the National Archives puts it over £7,400 (from 1800 money to 2005 money). George also had £15 in his possession at the time of his death, half of the willed sum intended for his granddaughter Christina Gray, the remainder due to her as bonds and notes were collected.

The Inventory provides us with quite a bit of insight into George’s life. While he had few personal items, we can tell that he may have been a weaver by trade, and that he farmed, as most people in that day and location likely did. It also suggests that he was relatively prosperous, and came to the aid of many in his community with bonds and notes. I am eager to someday research the court records of his area to see if George was mentioned within them.

The Estate Inventory of George Myrise

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What we leave behind, and to whom we leave it, tells its own story.

When I contacted the York County Archives, I was excited to receive not only the Will of George Myrise, but also his Estate Inventory. Both the Will and the Inventory were filed with the York County Registrar on the same day, 20 November 1799. The Inventory was appraised on 13 November 1799 by K McIlhinny and Jacob Little. On 16 November 1799, it was put before the Justice of the Peace, Adam Winroth (several variations I’ve seen of his name as well; in the Will, there is an Adam Winteroth who has 30 pounds of George Myrise’s in hand (“Fifthly” section)). Following is my best effort at a transcription of the Inventory, monetary denominations are in Pound (£), Shilling (s), and Penny (d):

Cover: Inventory of the Goods & Chattels rights and Credits which were of George Myrise late of Germany Township — deceased
Filed Nov. 20th 1799
no copy wanted

Page 1: Inventory and appraisement of the Goods [and] Chattels Rights [and] Credits which were of George Myerice late of Germany Township deceased
as follows. Viz —
To 1 old chest @ — 0. 11. 3
1 Large Iron Kettel — 0. 12. 6.
1 pot @ — 0. 3. 9.
1 old frying pan — 0. 1. 6.
1 Large straw barrell — 0. 10. 0
1 half Bushel — 0. 3. 9.
Sundrys of old Iron — 0. 12. 6.
1 hand saw @ — 0. 3. 9.
2 Augers 1 Chissel & 1 pair of nipers — 0. 6. 0.
1 old Syth hammer & 1 Gimblet — 0. 1. 3.
2 pair of horse Chains — 0. 13. 1.
1 Log Chain — 0. 5. 0.
1 Cow Chain @ — 0. 2. 0.
1 old Syth hammer & 1 Gimblet — 0. 1. 3.
2 pair of horse Chains — 0. 13. 1.
1 Log Chain — 0. 5. 0.
1 Cow Chain @ — 0. 2. 0.
1 Large Clivish — 0. 1. 6.
1 pair of small stilliards — 0. 3. 9
1 Grubing hoe (Exclusive of its being laid — 0. 3. 9.
2 Dung forks & 1 Dung hook — 0. 6. 0.
2 old muskets @ — 0. 10. 0.
1 heckle — 0. 10. 0.
1 loom & tackling @ — 2. 10. 0.
1 old table — 0. 5. 0.
1 Grind stone — 0. 4. 0.
1 Cuting box , without a knife — 0. 3. 9.
1 old wall stove — 0. 10. 0.
About 5 lb old feathers @ 1s 10.5p — 0. 9. 4(1/2).
Wearing apparels — 0. 9. 0.

Willed to Elizabeth Krise
1 Cow @ — 3. 15. 0.

Page 2: Willed to George Lovis and Rachel Sponsaller
To 3 Sheep towit to Each one 1. 2. 6.

Bonds & Notes & a/c [?]
To 1 bond on Jno [John] Weikert, Due 30. 0. 0.
Interest on the same 1. 2. 0.
1 ” on Adam Winterode Esq 22. 8. 8.
Int on the same 0. 18. 4.
1 ” on Jacob Winterode 50. 0. 0.
Int due 3. 0. 0.
1 ” on Jacob Little (not Due) 20. 0. 0.
1 Note on Frederick Little & Joseph Stealy of … 3. 15. 0.
Interest on same 0. 2. 7 1/2.
1 ” on Abraham Kuntz 8. 9. 0.
Interest on same 0. 10. 5.
1 Bond on Jacob Long due April 15th 1800 15. 0. 0.
1 ” on ” due 1801 15. 0. 0.
1 ” on ” due 1802 15. 0. 0.
1 ” on ” due 1803 15. 0. 0.
1 ” on ” due 1804 15. 0. 0.
1 ” on ” due 1805 15. 0. 0.

Cash in the house 15. 0. 0.

Apprised by us the 13th day of November AD 1799 
[signed K McIlhinny]
[signed Jacob Little]

York County
the aforesaid apprisors personally appeared and was Duly sworn to the truth of the aforegoing apprisement of the goods & chattels in the above Inventory to the best of their skill and knowledge the 16th day of November 1799 Before me one of the Justices of the Peace for said county
[signed Adam Winroth]

Exhibited into the Register’s Offie at York the 20th Day of November 1799 By
George Sponseller
Margaret [her mark] Sponseller

—————————————————————

What can we conclude from George’s Estate? What did George do for a living, is it clear from his possessions?

Using George Myrise’s Will to Find His Family

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In my previous post, I transcribed the 1797 will of George Myrise. So now what?

We can reconstruct George’s family using the names mentioned in the Will. From that, we learn that he is very likely widowed by 1797 as there is no mention of a wife, and he mentions his daughter and her family living with him, “for their care and attendance of me these six years past” (“Fifthly” section, page 3). I have no current knowledge of who George’s wife and the mother of his children was, but it is presumed that she passed before January 1797.

The known children, listed in the will, of George Myrise include:

  • John Myrise
  • Adam Myrise
  • Margaret Myrise, married George Sponsaller
  • unnamed daughter, married John Gray

George’s will does not tell us anything about John or Adam’s families. Were they married by 1797? Did they have children before George passed in 1799? I know they have to at some point, as my line descends from John. We do know Margaret’s family. Margaret married a George Sponsaller (many spellings of that surname), and they had at least five known children: Elizabeth, Catherine, Lovis, George, and Rachael. They are listed twice in the will (“Fourthly,” page 1, and “Seventhly,” page 2) and both times in the exact same order. Does this suggest that they have been listed in age order with Elizabeth as the eldest and Rachael as the youngest? Possibly. We do know that Elizabeth and Catherine were gifted 1 cow each, and the other three were gifted sheep. George also gifts them “all and singular the money & Bonds not herein bequeathed to be equally divided amongst the children of my daughter Margaret Sponsaller… to be paid them as they arrive at age or marry…” and I know from the Estate Inventory (post coming soon), that Elizabeth had married a Hrise (I believe it is actually Grise) by the inventory date of 13 Nov 1799. Catherine is not named in the Inventory, but George, Lovis, and Rachael all get their sheep!

The mystery in this will is the unnamed daughter who married a John Gray. They had a daughter who is named in the will as “my GrandDaughter Christina Gray Daughter of John Gray” (“Thirdly” section, page 1). The wording of this immediately suggests to me that Christina’s mother is deceased. We know that she is not yet “of age” (21? Does anyone know what the legal age was in the late 1790s in Pennsylvania? Thanks!) in January 1797 when the will was written, but we do know she is set to receive a healthy sum of 30 pounds, with interest, upon George’s death. Seems better than a cow, to me! 

I have found an old church that is still in existence in the area that George lived, that his family may very well have attended. I very much hope that some of the loose ends left unclear in the will (John and Adam’s families, Christina’s mother, birth and marriage information of Margaret and her family, George’s wife) might just be found there. Wish me luck!

The Will of George Myrise

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Myrice. Ever heard the name before? I’ve found several variations on the name, but so far, they’re all part of one Myrice family.

My great grandmother was born a Myrice, and the name is rather interesting and distinct, but I knew no one from my great grandmother’s family. A few years ago, I made contact, via the internet, with some Myrice cousins. Since then we have exchanged loads of info and I have been blessed by their branch’s photo collection. Sadly, my branch’s photos are still absent, or potentially, nonexistent. They also sent me a transcription of the Will of the oldest Myrice ancestor we have been able to find. His name, in the Will, is GEORGE MYRISE (it is spelled MYERICE consistently by the Registrar). The Will is dated January 2, 1797! I contacted the York County, Pennsylvania Archives, and was sent copies of not only the Will, but also the accompanying Inventory. Here is my attempt at an accurate transcription of the Will:

Cover: Nov. 20th 1799
Last Will & Testament of George Myerice dcd [deceased]. Proved Nov. 20th 1799 both Exrs [executors] Sworn Inventory in Two Months of Reckoning in a Year or when loyally thereunto required.
[signed J Barritz (?)]
Inventory filed same day
Letters Testamentary granted to Ers [Executors] same Day with Copy annexed.
[signed J Barritz (?)]
Recorded in Vol. 10 page 117 H

Page 1: In The Name of God Amen
I George Myrise of Germany Township in the County of York and state of Pennsylvania being weak in body but of sound mind and Disposing Memory do this second Day of January in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Ninety seven Make and publish this Instrument of writing as [and] for my last will and testament, that is to say, first of all I order [and] allow all my just debts to be well and truly paid.
Secondly, I will and Bequeath to my son John Myrise the sum of sixty pounds, and to my son Adam Myrise the sum of sixty pounds to wit part of the money in due me by Jacob Long, by bonds, my son John receiving the money of the first Bond unpaid at my Decease, and my son Adam the second and so on alternately untill their sums Respectively be paid.
Thirdly, I Give and Bequeath to my Grand Daughter Christina Gray Daughter of John Gray the sum of thirty pounds to be paid her when she arrives at age, with Lawfull Interest from my Decease to be paid out of the money now in my Chest if not lent out, if lent out then only to bear interest from the time it can be got in.
Fourthly, I Give Grant [and] Bequeath to my Grand Daughters Elizabeth and Catherine [Christine crossed out] Sponsaller and to Each of them one Cow now in my possession, and to my Grand Children Lovis George and Rachiel Sponsaller and to Each of them one sheep now in my possession.

Page 2: Fifthly, I Give Grant to my son in Law Goerge Sponsaller and my Daughter Margaret Sponsaller wife of the said George my Dwelling plantation in Germany township adjoining to Lands of Thomas Biddle Petter Busse Lands of McSherry [and] Shriver [and] Jacob Little Containing Eighty Acres more or less to be holden of them their heirs [and] assigns xxxxxx [cannot read what was crossed out] or the survivor of them their heirs [and] assigns for Ever for their former Care and attendance of me these six years past, and for the keeping and attendance of me until my Decease I Give and Bequeath to my son in Law George Sponsaller the sum of Thirty pounds and the Interest thereon in the hands of Adam Winteroth Esq and Abraham Kuntz, Also the remainder of the money Coming from Jacob Long after payment of my two sons the sums aforesaid, to be holden of him absolutely he nevertheless making no Charge for my funeral [?]
Sixthly, I order will and allow that my household Furniture be Equally Divided amongst my three Children john [and] Adam Myrise and Margaret Sponsaller
Seventhly, I Give and Bequeath all and singular the money [and] Bonds not herein Bequeathed to be Equally Divided amongst the Childrem of my Daughter Margaret Sponsaller towit Elizabeth Catherine [Christina crossed out] Lovis George [and] Rachael Sponsaller to be paid them as they arrive at age or marry without Interest to be holden of them absolutely

Page 3: And Lastly, I Do Constitute ordain and appoint my son in Law George Sponsaller Executor and my Daughter Margaret Sponsaller Executrix of this my Last will and testament in trust to Execute the same Agreeable to the true Intent and meaning thereof In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand [and] seal the day and Year first above written
Signed published pronounced [and] Declared by George Myrise as [and] for his last will and testament in our presence who were in presence of Each other and witnesses at his request
George [his marks] Myrise
N[?] the name Christina being twice struct out and the name Catherine Inserted before signing
[signed Henry Klein]
[signed Thomas Bittel]
[signed George Garner]

York County – Before me Jacob Barnitz Register for the probate of wills and granting Letters of Administration in and for the County of York in the State of Pennsylvania Personally came Henry Klein and Thomas Bittel Two of the Subscribing witnesses to the foregoing Instrument of writing and the said Henry Klein on hi Solemn affirmation and he the said Thomas Bittel on his Solemn Oath Do severally say that they were personally present and saw and heard the above named George Myerice make his mark unto and Seal and Publish the foregoing Instrument of writing as and for his Last Will [and] Testament, and that at the time of the doing thereof

Page 4: the said George Myerice was of Sound and disposing Mind Memory and Understanding to the best of their knowledge and belief; and that they subscribed their names thereto as witnesses in the Presence of the said Testator and at his request and further that they also saw George Garner the other witness who is now deceased Sign his name thereto as witness at the same time.
[signed Henry Klein]
[signed Thomas Bittel]
Sworn [and] affirmed [and] Subscribed before me at York the 20th Day of November AD 1799
J. Barnitz Regr [Registrar]

Dear Callie, Jameson, and Blake…

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This blog is for you. While I very much hope to find others who have interest and connections to these many lines, you are the common thread, the tie that binds all of these lines together. These are your roots, biologically and emotionally.

I would gladly start blogs for each of these 9 lines so that each family is highlighted and the McConnells don’t get bored hearing about the Myrices, and vice versa (and etc), but for now, for my sanity, this seems like the best idea.  A catch-all.

At the start of this, I don’t have a strategic plan for how my posts will go, who will be covered when, or why. I hope that my efforts are appreciated by at least one of you, someday (doesn’t every family historian/genealogist on any level?). Cherish your roots. They are a part of you whether you realize it or not. I hope that you will know your family and their many stories, family and stories that I was not raised with, that I often had to find for myself.

Let’s go on a journey. An adventure. Won’t it be cool to know how long you’ve been here, how deep your American roots are? What cultural backgrounds your ancestors possessed? What historical events they lived through and how it affected them? I hope to discover all of these answers for you. I hope to find the stories of these many people, not just the mundane dates and places. All of the people I will research and document with this blog have culminated in you becoming you. And you are amazing.

Love,

Mommy

A tangled, disorganized, loved, mess.

I became interested in family history/genealogy in high school, while on the search for that elusive Native American connection that so many families have passed on… you know the one.

The infamous Indian Princess.

Was it close enough to assist me in obtaining some scholarships to college as my mom (hoped) wondered? Well, it never panned out for college. We got stuck in those early attempts at my great grandfather’s birth on Big Ditch Rd.

Because, didn’t you know, the family lost a lot of records in The Great Chicago Fire.

And all of that is just my mom’s side of the tree. And, no, despite a brief stint in Chicago, the Great Chicago Fire has yet to affect their records that I’ve found.

My interests increased when my husband and I moved from Ohio to Arizona in 2005, and I met a woman who helped me to really get started on researching my entire tree. That started a passion, some might even call it an obsession, that I have plugged away at ever since in spite of another cross-country move (this time to Kentucky), and 3 children ranging in age from 6 down to 3 months.

I research a lot of lines. Too many, probably. But they all mean something to me. I research my mom’s mother’s family, as well as my mom’s biological father’s and her adopted father’s, despite the drama it may cause. My parents divorced when I was 3, so I research my father’s line because it helps me to feel more connected to his large family. I research my step-father’s family, because he, for all intents and purposes, has also been my dad since I was 8. I research my husband’s lines because my children carry his name and should know both sides.

So, in total, I research at least 9 lines.

Too many? I don’t think so, but it does mean I am the proud owner of a tangled, disorganized, but very much loved, mess.