Friday, March 2, 2018

George Lysle's Will Mentions Both Wives ~ 52 Ancestors #9

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Where There's A Will.

Following is a transcription of the will of my second great-grandfather, George Lysle, Jr.

I George Lysle Jr of the city of Pittsburgh and state of Pa being of sound mind and disposing memory and in good Health do make and publish and declare this my last will and testament and give Bequeath and devise my estate in manner following. First I will that all my just debts and Funeral Expenses be by my Executors hereinafter mentioned fully met and paid as soon after my decease as may be convenient to them. 2nd I give and Bequeath to my Son George B. Lysle the sum of Ten Thousand (#10,000 xx) Dollars for and on account of the assistance and comfort that He has given me in my Buisness [sic] in the past three years. 3rd I direct that the balance and residue of my Estate be divided into Four (4) equal parts one part to my wife Edith O Lysle one part to my Daughter Marguerite L. Hunter one part to my Son George B. Lysle and one part to my son Chas H. Lysle share and share alike. should my wife bare [sic] me other children one or more then the balance and residue of the Estate shall be divided into five (5) parts and so on according to the number of children 4th I direct that the Union Trust Co of the City of Pittsburgh take charge of my son Chas H. Lysles part and hold it in trust for Him until He is 25 years of age should my son Charles die before He comes

of age or any other children I may have die before coming of age I direct that their share or shares be divided among the surviving children share and share alike 5th I direct that my Executors shall have full Power to dispose of any real Estate I may be possessed of or Bonds or stocks also to carry out to the full any option or options that I may have given either as an Individual or as a Member of any of the Firms I am connected with for the sale or consolidation in any way of my Coal Interests 6th I direct that my Executors shall not be required to give any security or Bond 7th It is my Express wish and desire that my body be Cremated and the ashes placed alonside [sic] of my wife Marion Alston and desire that my Executors see that my wishes in this matter are carried out to the letter and charge them not to be turned from it by the opposition of any member of my family and lastly I hereby nominate and appoint my son Geo B. Lysle and my soninlaw [sic] Percy E. Hunter to be the executors of this my last will and testament [I] have subscribed my name and affixed my seal this fourth (4th) Day of October one thousand Eight Hundred and Ninety Nine (1899).
Witness: Addison Lysle [George's brother]
Signed: George Lysle Jr.

This will can be found at [, Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2015),, Will Packets Or Files, 1789-1917; Author: Allegheny County (Pennsylvania). Register of Wills; Probate Place: Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Will Packets, Vol. 62; Case Number: 207. Record for George Lysle Jr.; Probate Date: 26 May 1900.] 

Items of note in the will:

  • George had written his will in October 1899 and died less than six months later in May 1900.
  • He left his son, George B. Lysle, an additional $10,000 in addition to a quarter of his estate.
  • The rest of his estate was to be divided equally among his widow and his children: Edith O. Lysle, Marguerite Hunter, George B. Lysle, and Chas H. Lysle "share and share alike."
  • He requested that he be cremated and the ashes placed next to his wife, Marion Alston.
  • He appointed his son, George B. Lysle, and his son-in-law, Percy E. Hunter, to be his executors.
  • Addison Lysle was the witness.

Some explanatory items:

  • The witness, Addison, was an older brother of George.
  • Marguerite and George B. were George's children by his first wife, Marion Alston. (See a picture of them as children here.) I wonder what Marguerite thought about her brother getting an extra $10,000 from their father's estate? Was she jealous or did she agree that he deserved it "on account of the assistance and comfort that He has given me in my Buisness [sic] in the past three years."
  • Marguerite was not quite 24 years old when her father died. She had married Percy E. Hunter in 1897, and her oldest daughter, Marion, was about six months old when her grandfather died.
  • George B. was not quite 22 years old when their father died and he married the following year.
  • Charles Hadley was George's young son with his second wife, Edith (23 years his junior) and was just ten years old when his father died, which explains why George requested for his portion to be held in trust until he was 25.
  • George was 54 when he wrote his will and had fathered a son in 1894 who died before reaching six months. It appears from his will that he hoped to father more children.
  • He died three months after turning 55.

George is buried in between his two wives. The following photograph of the rather large Lysle family plot at Uniondale Cemetery was taken last September when I visited Pittsburgh.

In the lower part of the photo, Edith Hadley, wife of George Lysle, Jr. is at the left; George Lysle, Jr. is in the middle; and Marion Helen Alston, wife of George Lysle, Jr. is at the right.


  1. Interesting that he was buried between his two wives. Makes you wonder how the current wife felt about that.

    1. I have seen this before - a man buried between his two wives, but it does make you wonder about the family dynamics. Thanks for reading and commenting.