Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Sheriff of Germantown

     Peter Dirck Keyser's wife was Margaret Souplis.  She was born in 1682, probably in New York, NY.  Her parents were Andreas and Anneke Souplis.  There are many variation of both first and last names here, including Andris, Andre, and Andrew for the first name and Supplee, Suplea, Souple, and Suplee for the last name. 

     Andreas was born in France  in 1634 and was of "distinguished parentage," according to the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, PA, Volume II.  He had served as a colonel in the French Army, but became a Huguenot, or French Protestant and probably had to resign.  The Army was expected to enforce the desired eradication of the Protestants from the Roman Catholic country.  The Edict of Nantes, issued in 1598, had allowed the Protestants to worship as they please.  However, in 1685, a new king revoked the Edict of Nantes.  This led to extreme persecution and mass exodus of the Huguenots.  The Huguenot Society states that the revocation caused France to lose "half a million of its best citizens."  The Huguenots were influenced mainly by the writings of John Calvin.

The Huguenot Cross

     One record states that Andreas escaped France with a following of 30 other Protestants, but only seven survived the trip.  The little group is said to have settled in Germany, or possibly Holland.  By about 1684, Andreas had moved to America, probably landing in New York.  There is a record of him being a "burgher" or free citizen in New York, or "New Amsterdam" as it was called at the time.  By 1686, he had moved to Germantown and in 1691, he was appointed the first Sheriff of Germantown. 

     After Anneke died, Andreas married a widow named Gertrude.  His will left one-third of his estate to Gertrude, and two-thirds to be divided among his five children:  Bartholomew, Margaret, Ann, Andrew and Jacob.  Andreas died in 1726, at 92 years of age.  He was buried in the Old Swede's Episcopalian Church in Philadelphia.  He had numerous grandsons who served in the American Revolution.

                                                                Will of Andris Souplis

In The Name of God Amen This Twenty fifth Day of March in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and Twenty four I Andrew Suplea of the Township Kingsess in the County of Philadela in the Province of Pensilvania, Weaver, Being Aged & weak of Body But of Sound & perfect Memory & health praised be God and knowing the uncertainty of this Life on earth and Being Desirious to Settle things in order Do Make this my Last Will & Testament in Manner & form following That is to Say First and principally I Comend my Soul to Almighty God my Creator And my Body to the earth from whence it was Taken to be buried in Such Decent & Christian Manner as to my Executls hereafter named That be Thought Neet & Convenient And as Touching Such worldly Estate as the lord in Mercy hath lent me my will & Meaning that the Same Shall be Employed & Bestowed as hereafter in this my will is Expressed And first I will that all my funeral Charges and Just Debts be fully paid & Discharged by my Executls hereafter named And The Remainder of My Personal Estate Goods Cattle & Chattles (after my sd Debts are paid) I will and Order that the Same be Divided into three Equal parts and Third part I Give to my welbeloved wife, Gertra Suplea And the other Two parts to be Equally Divided Between my five Children (viz) Bartholomew Suplea, Margaret, Andess, Ann and Jacob. And As for my House & plantation and Tract of Land Thereunto Belonging and all other the Appurtenances whereon I now Live, my will is that My Loving wife Gertra aforementioned Shall have and Enjoy the Same for & (the original paper is torn at this point) Her naturall life ( if remaining my Widow) Provided she always (again, the paper is torn) Timber now (torn) premises (torn) Of any nor Clear any Land And (torn) Of no more Timber then what will be wanted for Reparing the Buildings Fences & firewood. And after my sd wifes Decease or Marriage my will is that my Son Andrew Supplea & my Son in law Peter Caylor*  Do Sell my Sd House and plantation Land & appurtenances for the Best price that Can be had for the Same And that they or the Survivor of them Do make a Title to the purchaser thereof which I do hereby Impower them to Do And the Money Arising from the Sd Sail my will is that the Same Be Equally Divided Among my Children aforenamed And as Touching my Daughter Anns Share the Sd Money arising from the sail of my Sd Land and her Share of my personal estate afforementioned my will is That the Same be Lay'd out on Interest by my Exts for her use the Interest to be paid her yearly And in Case She Survive her present husband Charles Yeocum Then the Sd Money to be paid her wholy but in Case he Survive then the Same to be Divided Amongst her Children And to be paid to them at the Respective Age of Twenty one years or Marrige day which of the Two Shall first happen each parties Share to be kept at Interest for the Respective uses untill paid And I Do hereby Nominate my Sd Son Andrew Supplea & my Soninlaw Peter Cayson Executls of this my Last will & Testemt: Hereby Revoking all former wills by me made either by word or writing & declaring to be my Last will & Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand & Seal dated the day & year above Written

Andris Souplis
Sealed Signed published & Declared to be his Last will & Testament

*"Peter Caylor" refers to daughter Margaret's husband, Peter Dirck Keyser

Old Swede's Church, Philadelphia

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