Last Will and Testament of Captain Francisco Amangual
Sealed will of Captain Francisco Amangual (Retired), dated in Bexar, April 15, 1812.
In the name of the Holy Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Ghost, three separate Persons but only one true God.
I, Francisco Amangual, retired Captain of the Company which is stationed at La Bahia del Espiritu Santo, declare that I am of sound mind, memory and understanding but because of my advanced age and the vicissitudes of life, I fear that death may take me unaware. Desirous of preparing for this inevitable event, I declare that I firmly believe in all the articles of our Holy Catholic Faith, in which belief I wish to live and die, and, as a true Christian Catholic, I pray that His Divine Majesty will have mercy upon me and forgive all my sins, through the virtues of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of His Holy Mother, my lady, the Virgin Mary, whom with her husband, my Lord Saint Joseph, I choose for my Patron Saints and advocates at the time of my death, so that they, with the help of my guardian angel and the saint of my name and the other saints, will succor me and sustain my soul before the judgment of the Divine Tribunal.
I hereby publish and declare my last will and testament in the following form:
My soul belongs to God because He created it and redeemed it with his precious blood and He has bestowed upon it infinite kindness for all of which I have lived and will die With gratitude. Even if by right my soul did not belong to Him as it actually does, I voluntarily offer and deliver it to Him as the most precious thing that I have and possess. This I do because I love Him and wish to do so eternally, and I ask Him for no other reward but that He show me mercy in order that I may not further offend Him in my lifetime and I offer repentance with all my heart for any offenses I have given him.
2. I direct that my body be buried in the earth from which it was formed; but, as I am a Christian Catholic, I wish to die in the communion of Our Holy Mother Church and be buried in a holy place; this shall be the camposanto of this city; I choose for the place of my trial, the ground near the gate of said Camposanto, one vara within the said gate so that every living person who enters the gate may walk and trample upon my body.
I direct that all the aforesaid be done as I have commanded and that I be buried without any pomp whatever; I request that a low mass be celebrated, with my body lying in state.
3. I also direct that from the corpus of my estate, which I will describe later, one peso shall be paid for each of the bequests to the church made compulsory by law, with the exception of the bequest to be made for the widows and orphans of those who have died in the present war in defense of the just cause of Spain. For this bequest, I direct that 10 pesos be paid.
4. I declare that I own a stone house in this capital, which I use as my residence; it has four rooms facing the street , on which the frontage is 35 varas and six rooms to the rear, running in depth to the river which flows by the property described.
Of the said total of ten rooms of my residence, Jaime Gurza[Garza?], skilled surgeon of this city, with his family occupies five; I have agreed of my own free will that he is not obliged to pay rent so long as he occupies the house during my lifetime but at my death I leave it to the discretion of my heir, to be named below, to suspend or to continue this courtesy.
5. I also declare that I own a solar situated in the lands formerly belonging to the Mission of San Antonio de Valero; it has a frontage of 11 varas and is 14 varas in depth; it is bounded on the East by a house and solar belonging to the late Benito Outon; on the West by the solar of Miguel Losoya; on the North by land of the said Losoya and on the South by the alley which runs to the river.
6. I declare that I own the following: two horses, one black and the other bay and one gray mule; the three are broken and are now in the camp occupied by the troops of the Alamo (company) and branded with my brand; for each of these I own full arms and saddle equipment. I also have in my home complete household furniture and kitchen utensils; I do not list them because of the disposition I wish to make of them, as I shall direct below.
7. I also declare that I have been awarded a pension during my lifetime, amounting to 1,000 pesos a year, the last payment which I received at the end of December 1811, and I have in my private box at home.a sum of 200 pesos in cash.
8. I also declare that Agustin Ruiz of this city owes me 250 pesos for a suerte of land in the Lower Labor which I sold to him. He is bound to pay this sum in the present year.
9. And I owe Miguel Lobo, merchant of Saltillo, 378 pesos, one and one-half reales, due and payable one half by the end of July, this year, and the other half at the beginning of January, next year.
10. I further declare that I was born in Custichi, of this realm on the Island of Mallorca, the legitimate son of Pedro Antonio Amangual and Francisca Ramis, both deceased. I had two brothers and two sisters; my two brothers entered the service of the King, our Lord, and I do not know where they are or if they are dead or alive; of the two sisters, one died and one, named Catarina Amangual, a widow, is alive.
Upon his death, my father left me heir to some property which, with the consent of my first wife, Maria Trinidad Caste: lo, now deceased, and my three children, also deceased, I transferred to my said sister, Catarina, through a duly legalized document which I sent to her.
11. I also declare that I have been married twice; Maria Trinidad Castelo was my first wife, by whom I had one son and two daughters, all of whom are dead, including my said wife. My second wife has borne me no children; she is still living and with me.
12. I also declare that when I married my first wife, Maria Trinidad Castelo, she contributed nothing in the way of property or dowry to the marriage nor any other thing of value; the property referred to in clauses 4 and 5 has been acquired solely through the savings of my salary as an officer in the army.
13. 1 also direct that from the bulk of my estate the compulsory church bequests be paid as I have provided, as well as the debts which I have mentioned and the expenses of my funeral and burial in the manner specified. I direct also that the sum of 50 pesos be set aside for prayers (masses?) for the repose of my soul and I charge my executrix with this payment.
As to the residue of my estate, I name my wife Maria Trinidad Garcia my sole and only heir for reasons which I shall herein express, because she has been a faithful and loving companion and if I did not provide for her, she would be left destitute.
For the reasons set forth in this will I conscientiously do not feel myself in any way obligated to leave anything to my brothers (and sister), to whom I relinquished my share of our father's estate, nor to the mother of my deceased wife, whom I have financially helped many times and likewise because the debt referred to in clause 9, above, is not so simple as it appears there; the debt was contracted by my late son, Jose Maria, and I assumed the liability to pay it; it was originally for the amount of 668 pesos, 3 reales. Also it is well known that my son died as a volunteer of (the Monclova (company) and that his jewelry and effects were sold to pay the cost of his army equipment; under these circumstances, whatever property he might have inherited from me is almost exhausted, as well as well as the shares of my two daughters who died long ago and practically everything I now possess has been acquired or saved after the death of my said wife and children.
14. In order that the provisions of this will may be faithfully carried out, I hereby appoint my wife, Maria Trinidad Garcia, executrix, whom I charge with the probate and administration of this disposition which is my last will.
15. I declare that to avoid the unforeseen, if my wife should die before I do or before she takes possession of this estate left to her according to law, from the residue of my estate or from what my wife should inherit under this will, I dispose as follows: 200 pesos shall be divided equally between my mother-in-law, Maria (Catarina) Jimenez and my sister-in-law, Maria de Jesus Garcia; the remainder shall be divided into four equal parts as follows: one fourth for the repose of my soul; one fourth for the repose of the blessed souls in Purgatory; one fourth for the poor of this city and the remaining fourth, for the ransom of the captives and holy places of Jerusalem; it being understood, in this case, that no part of this bequest shall go to the poor of evil conduct. And, if either for the above or for any other reason, my said wife should be unable to fill the office of executrix, I hereby name as second choice, Juan de Beramendi, Lieutenant of the Militia of this city, and third, Jose Antonio de la Garza, Procurador of the Cabildo.
16. I have never made any other will; therefore if any other will of an earlier date should appear, it must be null and void, and if a will bearing a later date should appear, it can have no force or effect unless it clearly and expressly revokes this (will) which I execute and sign in San Antonio, April 15, 1812; it consists of three sheets of writing and a title page.
Francisco Amangual, (Rubric)
(The foregoing will is interesting if you note how carefully Amangual wrote it to ensure that his widow was fully protected if anyone, in this case his first wife's mother, should attempt to step in and claim a part of the inheritance through her dead daughter and grandchildren....and she did. Although he was ill at the time and died a little over a month after the will was written, he even provided in clause 15 for the farfetched possibility that his present wife should pre-decease him! And then, seventeen days later, he added a codicil, which follows. His first wife, Maria Trinidad Castelo, was the daughter of Domingo Castelo who died in 1766, and Maria Egipciaca Rodriguez. His second wife, Maria Trinidad Garcia, was from Laredo and the daughter of Miguel Garcia and Catarina Jimenez.
FRANCISCO AMANGUAL'S WILL (CODICIL)
In the name of the Omnipotent God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I, Francisco Amangual, retired Captain of the Presidio del Espiritu Santo of the Province of Texas, believe firmly all the mysteries of our Holy Catholic Faith, because God has revealed them and the church teaches them. I am dangerously ill and in peril of death, but in sound mind, memory and understanding.
I executed a sealed will April 15, 1812, but I fear that after my death, disputes and lawsuits may arise over certain clauses in said will. In order to prevent such disputes, I declare as follows:
That the property which I owned at the death of my first wife, Maria Trinidad Castelo, was composed of the house where I live and the lands in the Lower Labor. I was forced to sell the lands in the Lower Labor for 350 pesos to satisfy personal needs but chiefly to help to pay the debts left by my late son, Jose Maria Amangual; and the house at that time was composed only of the entrance hall, a living room and a bedroom; the kitchen was only a jacal. Since no extra troops had been ordered to San Antonio, the value of houses was very low at the time, so that at most, the said house was worth 1,000 pesos.
2. I provided well for the three children borne me by my first wife and I supported them in comfort until their deaths. In the government pass book in my cash box there is an authentic record that although my son, Jose Maria, received a salary from the King, I nevertheless paid for whatever he needed; when he left me to go to Coahuila, I completely equipped him with clothing, arms, munitions and horses, at a cost of 386 pesos. Later I sent him various necessities valued at 45 pesos, none of which was ever returned to me after his death, because all his effects were sold to cover the shortage in his accounts for army equipment of which he was in charge.
3. The expenses for funerals, burials, prayers and compulsory church bequests, for my first wife and my two daughters, Maria Antonia and Maria Gertrudis, as well as for prayers for the repose of my son, Jose Maria, amounted to 684 pesos, 4-1/2 reales, as shown by the said pass book. My son, Jose Maria, left a debt of 768 pesos, 2-1/2 reales, payment of which I assumed and while it is not paid in full, I have provided in my will for payment of the balance.
4. My late wife inherited a solar of land in the section of this city, known as Laredo; her mother, Maria Egipciaca Rodriguez, made use of this land until she sold it of her own free will. Besides, I have always helped the said mother of my first wife, by giving her clothing and food, not only while my first wife lived but long after her death, until I remarried; at that time, I gave her a document so that she could collect some funds from which she might derive money to meet her living expenses, without mentioning a debt of 90 pesos which I discharged for her.
Finally, I declare that for all the reasons herein given and those stated in my will, I am positive that, even if the said Maria Egipciaca Rodriguez should seek to claim anything from my estate, because of my marriage to her deceased daughter, she can have no right to do so because she has been sufficiently rewarded and she has also expended whatever my children would inherit if they were living at this time.
For these reasons and because the improvements to my residence were made during my widowhood and even long after my children had died, I declare absolutely legal and valid the selection of an heir to the estate, as expressed in my will, and, so that it shall be kept as it is and so observed after my death, I hereby sign this declaration to ratify and confirm each and every one of its clauses, May 2, 1812, in the City of San Fernando (San Antonio) de Bexar.
Francisco Amangual, (Rubric)
I, Manuel de Salcedo, Governor for his Majesty in this Province of Texas, etc., certify that the entire signature (?) above written is that of the retired Captain, Francisco Amangual, resident of this city, and that it corresponds with that which he was accustomed to use in all his correspondence; that this may have due faith and credit as a public document, I issued this (verification) at the request of the petitioner (Amangual's widow) in San Fernando de Bexar, May 2, 1812.**
Manuel de Salcedo, (Wax Seal) (Rubric)
**Date is surely a typographical error in the translation. Amangual died May 22, 1812 and the will was unsealed on the following day.
Source: Bexar County Archives. Translation with minor textual changes for clarity. From the Los Bexareños Genealogical Quarterly.