Will: William Moulden (1886)


Will: William Moulden (1886)


William Moulden—sixty-eight years old, nearly blind, and still illiterate—signs his mark (an X) on his will in 1886. At this time, his wife and two of their children are still living. His will stipulates that Augustinian Fr. Francis M. Sheeran (Villanova University’s president at the time) will be his trustee, and he requests that any of his family members who survive him be allowed to continue to live on the property for the rest of their lives.


William Moulden


Montgomery County Archives and Records Center




Montgomery County Archives and Records Center






Register of Wills Number 18522, Montgomery County Archives and Records Center, Norristown, PA


"I William Moulden of Lower Merion Township Montgomery County State of Pennsylvania being of sound mind memory and understanding do make and publish this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking and making void all former Wills by me at any time heretofore made. And First I direct that all my just debts and my funeral expenses be paid as soon as convenient after my death.

All the rest residue and remainder of my estate of whatsoever kind and wheresoever the same may be found at the time of my death whether real, personal, or mixed (my real estate at present consisting of a house and three acres of ground more or less situated on the Lancaster Pike between the Ninth and Tenth milestones in said Lower Merion Township. I give divise [sic] and bequeath unto my friend Reverend Francis M. Sheeran O.S.A. now residing at Villanova College Delaware county his heirs and assigns in trust nevertheless for the following uses and purposez [sic]; [unintelligible] That he my said Trustee may if he deems it advisable permit my Wife and my Son and Daughter the survivor or survivors of them for and during the term of their natural livez [sic] to remain upon and occupy the house in which I now reside with the land belonging being about three acres and herebefore [sic] described they said my wife and children or the survivors of them to pay all taxes assessments and charges that may be levied upon said premises and to keep said house and premises in good order and repair.

Should my said trustee however deem it more advisable to rent said premises then in such case I authorize and empower him to rent said premises and after the payment of all taxes, assessments, repairs, and expenses to pay the next income hereof as follows. One third being to my said wife Juliana M and the remaining two thirds hereof to my daughter Mary and my son Celestine with such proportionz [sic] as he my said trustee in his judgments may deem proper. Upon the death of my said wife and my son and daughter I direct my said Trustee to convey my said Real estate as herebefore [sic] described and together with any personal estate remaining in his hands to the Augustinian College of Villanova of the State of Pennsylvania their successors and assigns forever. And I hereby nominate constitute and appoint the said Reverend Francis M Sheeran OSA as Executor of this my last Will and Testament.

In witness whereof I William J Moulden the Testator have in this my last Will and Testament set my hand seal this sixth day of August the 1886.

William J Moulden + mark

Signed Sealed Published and declared as and for his last will and testament by said Testator and in presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses hereof in presence of said testator and of each other.

Wm Callanan, Patrick Hart + his mark, Polin Hayes"



William Moulden, “Will: William Moulden (1886),” The Rooted Project , accessed May 21, 2024, https://rootedproject.org/items/show/96.

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