Monday, September 14, 2015

Amanuensis Monday: The Will of Archik Kruvand - 1926

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

Like many genealogists, I have delved into's recently released database of wills and probate records. One will I have found is that of Archik Kruvand (1871-1926). He was the nephew of my second great grandfather, Moshe Leyb Cruvant, and also immigrated to St. Louis from Lithuania.


I, Archik Kruvand, being of sound mind and disposing memory do hereby make, declare and publish this as my Last Will and Testament, hereby cancelling and declaring null and void all previous Wills, Testaments, Codicils etc.

To each of our children hereinafter mentioned I hereby give, devise and bequeath the sum of ONE ($1.00) Dollars, namely: Harry, Julius and Gootman Kruvand.

All the remainder and residue of my estate, whether real, personal or mixed I hereby give devise and bequeath to my wife Minne Kruvand, for her sole use and benefit forever.

I hereby appoint my said wife Minne Kruvand, as sole exeuctriux of my estate without being required to furnish Bonds, and with full power and authority to sell, mortgage or in any manner dispose of the whole or any part of my estate.

Witness my hand this 6th day of April, 1926.

Archik X Kruvand (mark)

Signed, published and declared by Archik Kruvand, testator above named as and for his Last Will and Testament, in our presence who at his request in his presence and the presence of each of us, who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses thereto the day and year first above written.

Philip Steinberg
David Deutsch

State of Missouri
City of St. Louis

Be it Remembered, That on this 28th day of September A.D. 1926, before me, the undersigned Clerk of the Probate Court of the City of St. Louis, personally come Philip Steinberg and David Deutch who being both by me duly sworn on their oaths, say: “We saw Archik Kruvand the testator, make his mark as and for his name to the annexed instrument, in writing, bearing date the 6th day of April 1926, and heard him declare the same to be his last Will and Testament; we subscribed our names thereto as witnesses in the presence and at the request of the said testator and at the time of the execution of said instrument as aforesaid, and of our subscribing the same as such witnesses, he the said testator was of sound and disposing mind, to the best of our knowledge and belief.”

Philip Steinberg
David Deutsch
Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 28th day of September 1926.
George Brand, Clerk. By Fred H. Haid, Deputy Clerk.

State of Missouri
City of St. Louis

Be it Remembered, That on this 28th day of September, A.D. 1926, it being one of the days of the September Term of the Probate Court of the City of St. Louis, for said year, an instrument in writing, purporting to be the last Will and Testament of Archik Kruvand deceased, is produced in and exhibited to said Court, upon examination whereof, and of the testimony of Philip Steinberg and David Deutsch the subscribing witnesses thereto, it is considered by the Court that said instrument in writing is duly proved to be the last Will and Testament of said Archik Kruvand, deceased.
Witness, George Brand, Clerk of said Court, and the seal thereof, at office, this 28th day of September 1926.

George Brand, Clerk (Seal)


1) There isn't a lot of new genealogical information here. I suspect Philip Steinberg is a relative of Archik's wife, Minnie, and will conduct some research to verify this. I am unsure how David Deutsch is related, if at all.

2) Gootman (or Gutman) Kruvand remained in Lithuania, and was a victim of the Holocaust. It is unclear why he remained and didn't immigrate with his family. Records suggest he was born in 1902 and Archik and Minnie immigrated in 1913 or 1914.  His younger brothers were born in the US. It is possible he had a different mother.

3) Like most of my paternal ancestors and their immigrant kin, the mark for his signature indicates he was likely illiterate in English. Whether he was literate in Hebrew or Yiddish is unknown.

4) If one were to make an argument for the 'correct' spelling of the surname, 'Kruvand' would probably win, since it is believed to be derived from the town named Kruvandai, Lithuania. (One relative has made the suggestion to me that he was told the town was named after the family, but I find that less likely.) I believe most of the branches of the family thought of the surname in Hebrew, and transliterated phonetically.

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