Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Josefa Mestas ~ 1785 Will

Know all persons, that I Josefa Mestas, a resident of this pueblo of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Pojoaque, being sick but in the exercise of my intellectual faculties, memory and natural understanding, make my testament in the following form -

First, I commend my soul to God Our Lord who created and redeemed; I with the invaluable price of His blood, and bequeath my body to the earth from which it was formed.  After being a corpse and being covered with the shroud and habit of Our Father Saint Francis, it shall be buried in the transept of the parochial church of the villa of Santa Fe, paying to the church of the Pueblo of Pojoaque (to which I belong) the dues which belong to it in conformity with the regulations of the church.
I order likewise that fifty low Masses be said for the repose of my soul, for which the regulation alms shall be given, in the church of Pojoaque and in the aforesaid one of the villa of Santa Fe.

I declare that I raised a boy named Juan Jose, who has been my servant during my widowhood.  It is my wish that he be given one firelock gun, some old cushionets, one cuirass and one sword, which I recognize as my property which was left to my by my deceased husband, I on this day separate it for said bequest.

To each forcible bequest I order one peso de la tierra each, to be separated from the best of my property.

I declare I was married legitimately, to the Military Lt. of Cavalry, don Tomas Madrid, from which marriage we procreated five children, whom I now recognize as my legitimate children.  They are Gregoria Tomasa, 50 years of age, Maria de Jesus, 30 years of age, both unmarried, Maria Gertrudis, married, who is dead.  Ygnacio, married, Cristobal, who died at the age of seven years.  I recognize them as my legitimate children and heirs.

I declare that when I was married to my husband I did not have anything of the property which God was pleased to give us during our married life.  I declare that after his death a partition of the property was made and my children were given the share to which they were entitled from their father.  I also declare that with the little property left to me I have supported myself during my widowhood.  Today the following property is existing.
  • I declare as my property the house in which I live, which has three rooms.
  • Three yoke of oxen and two breeding cows.  Of the oxen, I declare that I owe one yoke to my daughter, Gregoria Tomasa, and I order that it be given to her.
  • I declare as my property one embroidered shawl.
  • Another one, all of silk, one silk skirt, all used.
  • One riding jacket, one cloth cape lined with blue flannel
  • I declare as my property 200 varas of cultivated land adjoining said house, which I inherited from my mother.
  • I declare as my property three capes from Jalapa.
  • One copper boiler, one kettle of the same material, three old spits, one axe, one pair of buttons, also ten more also ten more silver buttons, also two brass candlesticks. 
  • I declare that I owe Manuel Ortega sixteen pesos. I order that the same be paid.
  • I declare that I do not owe anybody else anything, but if there should appear any legal debt against me, I order hat it be paid.  I also declare that nobody owes me anything.
For compliance with this, my testament, I hereby appoint as my testamentary executors don Bernardo Roibal, a resident of this place and don Joachin Mestas, a resident of La Mesilla.  I give to each one separately and both the necessary power required, so they can sell from the best of my property whatever may be necessary to pay the legacies and bequests mentioned in my testament.  I therefore recommend to them to attend to all the matters herein mentioned, as if I were doing it personally.  After paying all the matters herein mentioned and having complies with his, my testament, for the remainder of my property rights and shares, present and future, I declare as my only and universal heirs, my said children, Gregoria Tomasa, Maria Gertudes, Maria de Jesus and Ygnacio.  They shall partition equally among them the little property which might be left, so that they may enjoy the same with god's blessing and my own.
By the present I revoke and annul any arrangement which I may have made verbally.  I have not made any in writing except the present one which I wish and order to be considered as my deliberate and last will make in the best legal form.  It was thus agreed to and signed at my request by don Pedro Trujillo.  Before me, the undersigned alcalde mayor, at this said place of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Pojoaque, on the 10th day of the month of April, 1785.
The witnesses are the said don Pedro Trujillo and Jose Miguel Trujillo, residents of this said place, who, as well as testators, are known to me.  To which I, the said Justice, certify.  Jose Campo Redondo (rubric).  For the testatrix, Pedro Antonio Trujillo (rubric)
wit/ Pedro Antonio Truxillo (rubric) and Jose Miguel Truxillo (rubric).

References:  Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I, Twitchell 596, Reel 3, Frames 1279-1286.
 ©Henrietta M. Christmas

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