Friday, May 29, 2015


I recently acquired a copy of 3rd Great Grandfather Adam Snyder’s estate papers and will tell you about them today. His hopes and wishes for the family after his death were revealed in the will.

Adam prepared his will March 31, 1877 almost two years before his death on March 15, 1879. [1] You might find it helpful to review my earlier post titled ‘TUESDAY’S TRUE BLUE GRANDPA Adam Snyder, Augusta Co., VA, Exemplary and Peaceful Citizen’. Click here to view.

Extract from Adam Snyder's Will, Augusta Co., VA

His first bequest provided for his two granddaughters, Alice J. E. Kiracofe and Mary J. Kiracofe. Alice and Mary Josephine Kiracofe were the children of his deceased daughter Catherine Virginia (Snyder) Kiracofe and the Rev. John Wesley Kiracofe. The girls were to receive a $500 bond dating back to a land deal between their father and grandfather. Grandfather Adam Snyder wanted them to inherit $700 from his estate too. As you read through the will transcript below, you’ll notice Grandfather’s language included detailed stipulations. I’m certain this was his way of keeping the estate in the hands of his blood line.

The next order of business was 3rd Great Grandmother Hannah (Hull) Snyder. Grandfather left all his property to her. No doubt Grandfather wanted to provide for her needs. The Kiracofe grandchildren wouldn’t receive their $700 inheritance until after their grandmother died. The same was true of Adam and Hannah’s daughters. Grandmother lived to be 75 years old passing Jan. 2, 1892.

Adam’s daughter, Elizabeth E. Snyder, was not yet married when he wrote his will. If Elizabeth died without heirs, 3rd Great Grandfather wanted her share of his estate given to his other daughter, my 2nd Great Grandmother Sarah Jane (Snyder) Clemmer. It turns out this was unnecessary as Elizabeth E. Snyder married James F. Clemmer April 22, 1877 several weeks after Adam prepared his will.

Great Grandfather’s last wish was that his two living daughters share his legacies equally.

My 2nd Great Grandfather Joseph H. Clemmer (husband of Sarah Jane Snyder) was appointed executor to settle Grandfather Adam’s estate. To serve as Adam Snyder’s executor it was necessary for Joseph to post a bond. Joseph’s father, William K. Clemmer, and uncle, Ananias J. Miller, were his bondsmen and pledged their financial support in an $11,000 bond.

About five weeks after his death, Jacob Baylor, John M. Baylor and Jacob F. Clemmer inventoried Grandfather’s personal estate. [2] That property was sold at a public sale August 15, 1879 for $331.80. [3]

Transcription of Adam Snyder’s Will:

   In the Name of God Amen, I Adam Snyder of the County of Augusta and State of Virginia do make, Constitute and appoint this my last will and testament, in terms and articles as follows viz:

   1st I give and bequeath to my two Grand-daughters Alice J. E. Kiracofe and Mary J. Kiracofe, a bond on J. W. Kiracofe their father for five hundred Dollars payable the 10th day of April 1876, it being a bond for the deferred payment on a tract of land purchased of me by him, and conveyed to him by deed on record in the Clerks Office of Augusta County, and in which Conveyance, the vendor’s lien is retained to secure the payment of said bond and in addition to this I give to my two grand-daughters above mentioned the sum of Seven hundred dollars in money to be paid out of my Estate one half of said Seven hundred dollars, to be paid to them at the Expiration of three years after the death of myself and my wife, and the other half to be paid to them at the Expiration of five years, after the death of myself and my wife. In case of the death of Either of these grand children then these bequests to be made entire to the surviving one and in case of both of them dying without any heirs of their bodies then these bequests to revert to my two children Sarah J. Clemmer, wife of Jos. H. Clemmer and Elizabeth E. my other daughter still unmarried.

   2nd I give and bequeath to my wife all of my property of whatever kind except the bond of J. W. Kiracofe for five hundred dollars herein mentioned and fully described, for her use and benefit during her life, and after her death I desire all of my property of whatever kind to be divided Equally between my two children Sarah J. Clemmer wife of Jos. H. Clemmer and Elizabeth E. my single daughter, subject to the payment of the Special bequest of seven hundred dollars to my two grand-daughters before mentioned herein, and in the times and manner herein enumerated.

   3. In case of the death of my single daughter Elizabeth E. Snyder without any heirs of her body, then I desire her proper share of my Estate of whatever kind to revert to my daughter Sarah J. Clemmer wife of Jos. H. Clemmer.

   4. I herein make, constitute and appoint Joseph H. Clemmer my son-in-law the Executor of this my last will and testament, with the privilege of choosing an assistant if he think proper.

   5. In the division of my estate between my two children after paying the Special legacies herein mentioned, I wish the division to be made entered equal, either by dividing the land and personalty in Kind, or selling the same, and dividing the proceeds equally, after paying all my just debts.

   In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Thirty first day of March in the year one thousand Eight hundred and seventy seven.


                                                                         Adam Snider

Interlining done before signing

Signed, Sealed, published and

declared – in the presence of these

witnesses, who signed in the presence

and at his request.

   Witnesses  John M. Baylor

                      Jacob Baylor

                      M. W. D. Hogshead

In Augusta County Court April 28th 1879

    This Last Will and Testament of Adam Snider decd, was presented in court and proved by the oaths of John M. Baylor and M. W. D. Hogshead two of the subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded. And on the motion of Joseph H. Clemmer the Executor therein named who made oath thereto according to law, and together with William K. Clemmer and Ananias J. Miller his securities (who Justifed as to their sufficiency and moreover the obligors waiving all benefit of their homestead exemption) entered into a bond in the sum of Eleven Thousand Dollars, payable and with condition as prescribed by law, which bond was acknowledged in open court by  the obligers thereto and ordered to be recorded, Certificate is granted the said Joseph H. Clemmer for obtaining a probate of said will in due form. The estimated value of decedents estate passing under said will being $5600.00 it is ordered that said Executor pay the state tax of $5.60 herein.


                                                                     William A. Burnett Clk

My Ancestry
3rd Great Grandfather Adam Snyder and wife Hannah Hull
2nd Great Grandmother Sarah Jane Snyder and husband Joseph H. Clemmer
Great Grandfather James Clyde Clemmer and wife Ella Virginia White
Grandmother Lucy Leora Clemmer and husband James McFall Joseph
My Father

[1] Augusta County, Virginia Will Book 47, pages 606-607
[2] Ibid, Will Book 48, pages 105-106
[3] Ibid, Will Book 48, pages 107-108

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