? — 1875
Last Will & Testament
I, Henry Dinstbier of St. Louis Missouri being at present in good health and of sound mind do make this to be my last will and testament hereby expressly revoking all former wills and testaments by me made.
First, it is my will that all my just debts shall be paid out of my personal estate which I may have or possess at the time of my death.
Second, I hereby devise my homestead, being all my right title and interest in a lot of ground fronting thirty three feet on Cherokee street by a depth of one hundred and fifty feet on [Lempe?] Avenue together with a two story brick building out houses and other improvements, in said City of St. Louis, as follows: One undivided third interest therein to my son John Dinstbier of my first marriage in fee; One undivided third interest therein to my daughter Margaret Etling wife of August Etling also of said first marriage, in fee; and one undivided third interest to my three children of my third marriage in equal parts which three children are named Simon Dinstbier, Johann Eckhardt Dinstbier and Fritz Dinstbier. I also appoint August Etling to be my executor of this my will.
Witness my hand this thirtieth day of June A.D. 1871
We attest the foregoing and above will by subscribing our names hereto as witnesses in the presence of Henry Dinstbier and in the presence of each other the said Henry Dinstbier the testator having declared the same to be his last will and testament in our presence and requested us to attest the same.
Interlineation in 14th
line made before [execution?]
G. A. Finkelnburg
Source: Henry Dienstbier, 1875; Case No: 11956; St. Louis Probate Court; Microfilm reel C 35591; Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City, Missouri.
Digital version accessed at the St. Louis Probate Court Digitization Project, 1802-1900. Accessed on 1 July 2004.
This is a faithful transcription from a digital image of a microfilmed copy of the will (does that make it a 4th "cousin"?). I have done my best to accurately decipher the handwriting and to copy it correctly without any major alterations or corrections. Except for some line breaks which I have added for clarity, my own additions are indicated by square brackets [ ] and my doubts by a question mark [?]. Copies of the PDF files are available below so that you may see the originals and may check my work.
Over the course of time and in the hands of various people, family members and strangers alike, the Dienstbier family name appears in a number of forms: Dienstbier, Dinstbier, Dinsbier, Dinsbeer. Except when reproducing documents, I have chosen to use Dienstbier for the family name. This is not a completely arbitrary decision on my part.
Although the text of this document consistently identifies the testator as Henry Dinstbier and spells the family name in that manner, the text of the document was obviously NOT written by the same person who declared this document to be his "last will and testament" and who signed the document as Heinrich and not Henry. I also believe that the signature, upon close examination, shows the family name leaning towards the Dienstbier spelling:
Additional paperwork filed by the witnesses and by August Etling, the son-in-law named as the executor of the will, with the probate court in October 1875 upon Heinrich's death shows the surname as Dienstbier.
This document is the only source of information I have found to date on the three marriages of Heinrich Dienstbier. Children were named in the will, but not the wives. Would it be fair to surmise that they were no longer alive in 1871 when this document was created? I regret that I have no further knowledge of the who, the when, or the where of these unions.
At the end of the document, G. A. Finkelnburg has penned a note about text added to the 14th line before the will was executed. This "interlineation" refers to the phrase "all my right title and interest in" found in the first sentence of the third paragraph. In the original document, it is very clear that these words were added later.
Heinrich Dienstbier's family
Details of Heinrich Dienstbier's birth family are not currently known.