Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Text of 1804 Will of Alexander Henderson, Owner of the Island Later Known as Hunter's Island

Alexander Henderson once owned the island later known as Hunter's Island in the Town of Pelham. Fanciful legends have arisen regarding Henderson. Indeed, Lockwood Barr wrote much about him in his popular history of the Town of Pelham published in 1946.

Periodically I have blogged about Alexander Henderson. For an example, see:

Friday, February 24, 2006: Notice of Settlement of the Estate of Alexander Henderson of Pelham in 1805

Today's Historic Pelham Blog Posting will transcribe the text of the will of Alexander Henderson as that text appears in a paper prepared by members of the New Rochell Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1951. A full citation to the source appears at the end of this Blog Posting.


Liber F of Wills, page 98 Dec. 1804

I Alexander Henderson of the Town of Pelham & County of Westchester being of sound Mind & Memory, Do make & ordain this my Last Will and Testament revoking all former Wills by me made. First I desire that all my just Debts be paid. Second I give & bequeath to a woman by the name of Betsy who formerly cohabited with me now resideing in Bengal in the East Indies two hundred and fifty Dollars current money of the United States. Thirdly I give and bequeath to my Friend John Castiers of Abchurch Lane of the City of London Merchant, one hundred Pounds Sterling. Fourthly I give & bequeath to Arabella Elmsley the widow of my Friend Peter Elmsley Esquire of Roan Street London now deceased one hundred pounds Sterling. Fifthly I give & bequeath all the residue of my Estate (both real & personal to my son William Henderson (now residing with me) when he shall have attained the age of twenty three years. Lastly I nominate and appoint the above named John Castiers, Esq. of London Merchant John Watts & Robert Ross Esquires of the County of Westchester Executors of this my last Will & Testament. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this . . . . . . . day of December one thousand eight hundred and four.

Alex Henderson (LS)

Signed, Sealed & Declared by the said Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us & who have in the presence of each other subscribed our names as Witnesses.

Jno. Staples, William Palmer, D'l Pelton (Daniel)

Notation on the register below the will as follows: 'The original Will of Alexander Henderson was lent to John Hunter of the manner of Pelham with a vus (?) to get it Proved by the court of common Please [sic] for which John Hunter has filed a receipt in this office.'

Proved January 18, 1805 by the witness Daniel Pelton, Merchant of New Rochelle.

Letters Testamentary issued at White Plains January 10, 1805, to Robert Ross one of the Executors named in th will. Recorded in Liber F of Wills page 97.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

NOTE: Alexander Henderson, the maker of the above will, (Liber F, page 98) was born in Charleston, S.C. His full name was Alexander Bampfield Henderson. He was educated in the University of Edinburgh and was a surgeon in the British Army. At one time he was a resident of India. He died December 26, 1804, aged 47 years. He is buried in the Old Huguenot Burying Ground on Division Street, New Rochelle. He lived in Pelham on Hunter's Island which he owned."

Source: Old Wills of New Rochelle: Copies of Wills by Citizens of New Rochelle, N.Y., 1784-1830, pp. 66-67 (New Rochelle Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution 1951) (Mimeographed copy of 250 pp. typescript).

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.


Post a Comment

<< Home