In the name of God I Richard Gregory of Hereford Township in the county of Berks, yeoman, being weak in body but of sound memory, praised be God, and putting to mind human mortality I make and publish my last will and testament in manner following: Viz:........My sons, John, David, & Richard have already got each of them their full shares from me. And to my son Andrew I give and devise one half of all my lands I possess for himself his heirs and assigns forever......And to my younger sons Jacob, George and Christian I give and devise one half of all my lands I possess in equal share unto each of them....if any of them should die intestate without issue the surviving two shall equally inherit the portion of the deceased..it is further my will that the said my younger sons be out out to a good trade each of them in due time.This part is significant in that the older sons are of legal age but the younger ones are not. Christian was born in 1762. There are records of guardianship in the Orphans Court records with the last one in 1779 about the time Christian would be approaching 18 years of age.
The will goes on to name daughters; Mary wife of John Jones, Elizabeth wife of George Mack, Judith late the wife of John Roads, Anna the wife of Joseph Betty, Margaretha the wife of Jacob Foige, and Elizabeth Kurtz. "And to my younger daughters, Sarah and Hannah."
15 children in all, five of them minors. The first child is recorded as born in 1724. The only wife on record was name Margaretha Bixby.
An interesting fact, Christian Gregory signed his name in German Script. It is thought this line came from Holland.
The madness: I believe that Richard must have had two wives. I have tried to find BMD records in either Philadelphia or Berks counties for this time period. My guess is they have not been digitized nor transcribed to any extent. Place of burial is not known by me either. Did Margaretha remarry after his death? I found a website by another researcher, Charles Gates, http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/g/a/t/Charles-E-Gates-TX/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0302.html. Charles has posted everything I have that was in a manuscript put together by Loran Gregory's sister after his (Loran's) death several years ago. The references are included on this website. This site also contains a broken link, www.berksregofwills.com and references FTM CD 209. The only date on his site is updated June 15, 2006 on the home page.
I plan to track down his sources as well as what is written in the manuscript and prove or disprove the information I have found on Richard Gregory. My husband's line is through the youngest son, Christian who is buried in Union County, Illinois in 1842. I may have far less hair by the time I get this line straightened out!
If you have suggestions, please post a comment below. All assistance is appreciated!