In researching Ulrich Huber of Adams and York counties, I’ve been looking for Philip Keller, husband of Ulrich’s daughter Magdalena. All I really knew about the couple was that Magdalena had died prior to her father’s death and that she and Philip had children: Eve, Catharine, Elisabeth and John.1
Today, I came across a possible clue—a gravestone for a Magdalena Keller who died in July 1805 and was buried in Middletown, Frederick County, Maryland. According to her gravestone, she was approximately 40 years of age at the time of her death. Since this fits the parameters of Ulrich’s daughter, I decided to search for records for Philip Keller in Frederick County Maryland, starting with estate records. I found two wills, one of which is a match.
“In the Name of God I John Phillip Keller of Frederick County and State of Maryland being weak in Body but of sound mind and memory calling to mind the uncertainty of Life do make this my last will and Testament in manner and form following to wit that Body by Buried in a Christian like manner — I give and bequeath unto my son John Keller his heirs and assigns all my real Estate consisting of Several Tracts of Land he yielding and paying therefor Six hundred pounds Lawfull [sic] money in the following manner that is to say one year after he shall arrive to the age of twenty one years Seventy five pounds and the yearly sum of Seventy five pounds without Interest untill [sic] the said whole sum of Six hundred pounds shall be fully paid & shall be Devided [sic] between all my Daughters in manner and form hereafter mentioned — I give and bequeath unto Catharine Hoover her heirs and assigns five hundred Dollars lawfull [sic] money — I Give and Bequeath all the residue of my personal Estate unto my three Daughters Eve, Catharine and Elisabeth to be Equally divided share and share alike taking into view at the same time Two hundred and fifty pounds advanced to my son-in-law Barnit Whip and two Hundred and fifty pounds advanced unto my son in law Michael Motter as a part of their Estate
It is my will that all my real Estate herein Devised to my son John shall be rented out to the best Advantage and so as not to have any part of it destroyed by my Executor hereafter named until my said Son shall arrive to the age of Twenty one years or untill [sic] he shall choose a Guardian which said rents Shall be for the sole use and benefit of my said son John — It is my will that before an Equall [sic] Division of my personal Estate shall take place Between my Daughters my Youngest Daughter Elisabeth shall first have forty pounds lawfull [sic] money after which a Division shall take place Equally share and share alike — And Lastly I constitute and appoint my friend Peter Coblentz my whole and sole Executor of this my last will and Testament this twenty first day of November in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred and twelve — In Witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal”2
Philip’s will was witnessed by Joseph Swearingen, Adam Shank, and Michael Keller. The will was proven on 30 Nov 1812.
The children listed in this will match those listed in Ulrich Hoover’s probate records as those of his daughter Magdalena, wife of Philip Keller. No wife is listed, making it likely that John Philip Keller was a widower, also a match. Additionally, he left a bequest to Catharine Hoover. Magdalena had a sister named Catharine who was unmarried at the time of her father’s estate probate circa 1805-1813.3 It’s possible that she went to live with her brother-in-law to care for her sister’s children after Magdalena died.
- Petition to partition land, Orphans Court Book A:307, digital images, FamilySearch, “Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994” (https://www.familysearch.org : accessed 6 Jul 2012), citing Adams County Clerk of the Orphans Court, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. ↩
- John Philip Keller will (1812), “Frederick County Wills, Liber 1:333,” digital images, FamilySearch, “Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1629-1983” (https://www.familysearch.org : accessed 25 Jan 2013); citing Frederick County Registrar of Wills, Maryland. ↩
- Petition to partition land, Orphans Court Book A:307, FamilySearch, “Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994” (https://www.familysearch.org : accessed 6 Jul 2012); and Ulrich Hoover’s Estate, Orphans Court Book B:87, digital images, FamilySearch, “Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994” (https://www.familysearch.org : accessed 6 Jul 2012), citing Adams County Clerk of the Orphans Court, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. ↩