Thursday, May 31, 2018

Who are the People in Peter Close's 1810 Will?

My 5th great grandfather, Peter Close, wrote his will on 27 June 1810 in Armagh, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. When the 1810 census was taken, reportedly on 6 August 1810, Peter's widow, Catherine, is enumerated as head of household. The first document in Peter's probate file was filed on 14 August 1810. So, Peter Close apparently died between 17 June and early August 1810.

I have transcribed Peter Close's will, though I would appreciate any assistance with a few words I'm having difficulty with! [See the transcription at the end of this post and look for the question marks.] Ten people were mentioned in his will. Who were these people? And how were they related to Peter Close? [I have made all of the names bold in the transcription.]

Armagh, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, Will of Peter Close dated 1810. Probate
packet retrieved by a friend in Sep 2015. Trying to get more information for citation.
Entire Probate Packet is attached to FamilySearch Family Tree. Search for "Peter
Close Sr" who died 1810 in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, then look at "memories."
  • Peter Close - the deceased
  • Catharine Close - his "loving wife"
  • Matthew Reighley [also Riley] - "land adjoining...on the south side"; "my good friend"; possibly later married Catharine's possible daughter with Thomas Mifflin, Susannah
  • Peter Close [Jr] - oldest son (~24 years old)
  • Henry Close - son (~15 years old)
  • Adam Close - son (~12 years old)
  • Elizabeth - "daughter" (~30 years old, married to George Bridge)
  • John Smith - "my good friend"
  • William[?] [illegible?] - witness
  • Matthew Longwill [also Longwell] - witness; about 13 years later (~1823), Peter's son, Adam, married Matthew's daughter, Catharine - my 4th great grandparents!


In the name of God Amen I Peter Close considering the weak
State of my body and knowing the uncertainty of life but
perfectly sound in mind to make and ordain this my last
Will and testament Viz that my body be Decently and in
Christian like manner buryed and I do dispose of my Real
and personal estate that God has been pleasd to bless me
with in the following manner. Viz To my loving wife
Catharine Close I do give the full pai[?] and management
of the place that is on the north side of the Creek and the
cleard land adjoining Matthew Reighley on the south side
as lond [long] as she lives and I do give her all the fruit that
may grow on the place each year as long as she lives to Dis
pose of for her own use and in the manner she sees proper[?]
further I do give her two cows six sheep two beds and
beding and my kitchen and house furniture and all my
Stock and farming utencils shall be kept on the place
for the use of the farm and family until my youngest
Son comes to age and then if the see proper[?] after the
old woman shall have taken her shear the Remainder
of the stock shall be equally Divided betwixt my two
Sons Henry and Adam Close. And if there is any thing
made on the place than is necessary for the support
of the family, it is to be put to use for my son Henry
Close and my son Adam Close shall have one years
Schooling and a half And to my oldes son Peter Close
I do give that part of the place and the two fields that
is Cleard on it to make what improvements he sees
proper where he now lives until his mother’s Death
at which time my three sons shall make an equal
Divide of all the land that is at their mother’s Death
the Divide is to be made if the can so agree and if the
cannot agree to Divid the land then it shall be put
to public sale and Divide the money shear and shear
alike equal and each one of them after so Dividing sha
ll pay to my Daughter Elizabeth thirty three Dollars
and thirty three cents so that she Receive on hundred
Dollars to be paid at three several[?] times my son peter
Close shall pay his qota [quota?] of thirty three Dollars and thir
ty three cents on month after the old woman[?] Death
and in ten months after that Henry Close shall pay
his qota [quota?] of thirty three Dollars and thirty three cents
[page 2]
and one year after that Adam Close shall pay his qota [quota?]
of thirty three Dollars and thirty three cents and if
either of the boys should Die under age with a [?]
[?] heir his part of the estate both Real and person
al shall be equally Divided betwixt the two surviv
eing boys and I Do appoint my loving wife Catharine
Close and my good friends Matthew Reighley and John
Smith my executors to see this my last will and
Testament Duly executed agreeable to the Real interest
and meaning and I Do make void and of none effect
all former wills in witness where of I have set my
hand and in presence of these undersigned witnesses
Do declare this to be my last will and testament
made and signed this twentyseventh day of June
in the year of our Lord Anna Dom 1810
            Peter [his x mark] Close
and in presents of
and by the reques of
the testator Do sign
our names as witnesses
to the above being            Wm [?] [signature]
the last wills and              Matthew Longwill [signature]
testament of peter
Close of Armagh
township Mifflin
county and state
of pennsylvania


  1. Dana, do you know where Peter was from originally? My husband had Larimer ancestors in Mifflin--family from North of Ireland.

  2. Marian, I don't know where he was from. He's the farthest back I've traced so far. Maybe I'll have a break through :)

  3. Cousin Dana: Peter was likely born near or around Selinsgrove, PA, about 40 miles northeast of Mifflin, PA. His father is Melchior Klose, who was born in 1706 in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Wittenberg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, and who died in 1776 in Selinsgrove, Snyder, Pennsylvania, USA. Peter is my 5th great grandfather as well, through Henry Close-John A. Close-George Franklin Close-Ralph Close-Velna Close (my grandmother, 1913-2005). I'd be interested to know if you've confirmed that Catherine Livingston Close, Peter's wife, is, as all evidence suggests, the Catherine Livingston tied to the famous Livingston and Schuyler families of New York -- kin to presidents Theodore Roosevelt and George H.W. and George W. Bush: and by marriage to Alexander Hamilton (Alida Schuyler was married into the Livingston family and is the great aunt of the famed "Schuyler Sisters" of the musical "Hamilton" -- Eliza was Alexander Hamilton's wife. Feel free to e-mail me at or see me at as BronsonHilliard.


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