Jacob Bolenbaugher Will, 1843

Below is the 1843 will of Jacob Bolenbaugher, Van Wert County, Ohio.

I am not sure who Jacob Bolenbaugher was or if the spelling of this surname eventually changed to Bolenbaugh or Bollenbacher.

Jacob Bolenbaugher was a very early settler in Willshire Township. Jacob voted there in 1833 and he was enumerated in Willshire Township in 1839. The 1840 census shows 3 “Bollenbaucher” families living in Willshire Township: Jacob (1 male 30-40 and 1 female 15-20); John (1 male 5-10, 0-15, 15-20, 20-30, 40-50; 1 female under 5, 5-10, 2/15-20, 30-40); and Peter (1 male 5-10, 2/10-15, 15-20, 20-30, 40-50; 1 female under 5, 10-15). Jacob and John were enumerated next to each other.

Henry Reichard, John W. Pierce, and Ansel Blossom were also mentioned in the will. Pierce lived close to Jacob, while Henry Reichard and Ansel Blossom lived closer to Peter Bolenbaugher.

Pierce and Blossom lived just east of Willshire and I wonder if Jacob lived just east of town, too, north of the St. Marys River.

There are some Bolenbaucher/Bolenbauchs buried in Willshire Cemetery, among them Elizabeth (1830-1847) and Peter (1819-1847). They may be the Elizabeth and Peter mentioned in Jacob’s will. Jacob may be buried there, too.

I was able to gather the following information from Jacob’s will: Jacob was probably ill for about 6 weeks before he died around the first of October 1843. Jacob had at least 3 brothers: John, Peter, and Michael. No wife or children were mentioned, otherwise he likely would have willed them something or would have seen that they were taken care of after his death. In addition, a wife would have a widow’s interest in his estate. Of course, Jacob could have been widowed with no children or no surviving children. Jacob and his executor Henry Reichard were probably good friends and/or neighbors. J.W. Pearce, Ansel Blossom, and Joshua Miller witnessed the signing of Jacob’s will and were probably neighbors as well. Jacob lived on a farm on the north side of the St. Marys River and it appears he had 80 acres of land in Section 33, Township 3, Mercer County. Jacob bequeathed Elizabeth $10, but does not mention his relationship to her.

Jacob Bolenbaugher will, 1843, Van Wert County, Ohio.

The Last Will and Testament of Jacob Bolenbaugher, Van Wert County, Ohio, Wills, Vol. 1, p.3-4, FamilySearch.org:

Know all men by these presents that I Jacob Bolenbaugher of the County of Van Wert & State of Ohio being as I believe about to go the way of all the earth & being of sound mind do this 15th day of August 1843 make this my last will and testament viz

1st I appoint Henry Reichard my executor to fulfill my will & settle all my business affairs & conduct the disposition of my estate as herein directed and according to law.

2nd I will & bequeath to my brothers Peter and Michael all the balance

2nd I will & bequeath to my brother John the farm on which I now live lying on the North side of the St. Marys River.

3rd I will & bequeath to my brothers Peter and Michael all the balance of my property not hereinafter excepted consisting of eighty acres of land in Mercer County Ohio Section 33 Township No 3, also stock, horses, cattle grains to be also all debts dues and demands.

4th I will & bequeath to Elizabeth the sum of ten dollars in cash.

5th I will that my funeral expenses & all other lawful demands upon my estate be liquidated from out of the money in cash which I have on hand & the remainder to be paid over to my brother John.

In testimony whereof I hereto set my hand this fifteenth day of August, the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & forty-three. 1843.

We testify that the interlining of first line, 3rd article was done before signing & that it exposes the will of the said J.B. accordingly. 

[signed] Jacob Bolenbaugher X his mark
Witnesses present: J.W. Pearce, Ansel Blossom, Joshua Miller

On this 2nd day of October A.D. 1843 came J.W Pearce and Joshua Miller, two of the subscribing witnesses to the witness will and being in open court sworn and examined, and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court that at the time of the execution of said will and testator was of sound mind and memory, of lawful age and not acting under restraint the Court, orders that the testimony be reduced to writing signed by said witnesses and that the proof together with said will be recorded, and Henry Reichard the executor in said will named in said will being in Court accepted the trust reposed in him, by said testator, and forthwith executed his bond to the acceptance of the Court in the penalty of twelve hundred dollars with James G. Williams and Joseph Gleason his ?, and to him, Letters testamentary granted.  Robt Gilliand, clerk.

The State of Ohio
Van Wert County

On this 2nd day of October A.D. 1843 came J.W. Pearce and being duly sworn saith that the last will and testament of Jacob Bullenbaugher deceased now produced in Court was signed by him and Ansel Blossom as witnesses at the request of and in the presence of the Testator and Ansel Blossom and Joshua Miller subscribing witnesses thereto that at the time of making said will said Testator was of sound mind and memory, of lawful age, and not acting under restraint that said Testator signed the same, with his own hand and acknowledged the same as his last will and testament and further saith not.

Sworn to & subscribed in open Court
Oct 2nd 1843, Rbt Gilliland Clerk
[signed] J.W. Pearce

Joshua Miller, of Van Wert County being duly sworn, saith that he signed the will of Jacob Bullenbaugher now produced by the executor named therein for probate as a witness, that he was present at the execution of said will and heard the testator acknowledge and declare the same that said testator was at the time of the execution thereof of sound mind and disposing memory of lawful age ad not acting under restraint and further saith not.

Sworn to and subscribed in open Court
The 2nd day of October 1843, Rbt. Gilliland, clerk
[signed] Joshua Miller

[end of document]

Another interesting local document.



  1. I don’t think it was Bolenbaugh. The first non native born in Ohio was a Bolenbaugh. The name was here before he was. 🙂

    1. Thanks for that information.

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