This Week in My Genealogy: the death of Jacob Hornef

Jacob Hornef was my third great-grandfather on my maternal grandmother’s (Carman) line*. He was born in Otterberg, Germany and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 3, 1894. His death certificate is available on FamilySearch.

He was an immigrant and a laborer from a humble background. When added Wills and Probate records from Philadelphia, he was the last person I expected to find, considering that I have found few Last Wills & Testaments for my ancestors and those I have found have been for men with land or who had some wealth. So far, Jacob Hornef is the only ancestor I have found in that database.

I have transcribed his Last Will & Testament. It was signed in 1876 and probate was filed in 1895. His wife is named as executrix. His children are not mentioned. Both he and his wife signed their names using old German script:

Image of Signature of J Hornef
Signature of J Hornef
Image of signature of Katharina Hornef
Signature of Katharina Hornef


Jacob Hornef (m. Katharina Faber)
— Catherine Hornef (m. Elon Carman)
—- Joseph Elon Carman (m. Anna M. Funston)
—— Naomi Evelyn Carman (m. Orville W. Garrison)
——– Carol Lucille Garrison (m. Charles E. Conrad)
———- Me



Last Will and Testament of Jacob Hornef

Last Will & Testament of Jacob Hornef

Transcribed by Alexander Conrad from digital scans


No. 494 1895
Estate of Jacob Hornef (Deceased)
Application for Probate and Letters Testamentary
Filed March 25 A.D. 1895
Elias P. Smithers, Register


I Jacob Hornef of the 31st ward of the City of Philadelphia and State of Pennsylvania, Laborer, being of sound mind memory and understanding, do make and publish my last Will and Testament in manner and form following.

First I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be first paid and satisfied by my Executrix herein after named.

Item, I give devise and bequeath unto my beloved wife Catharine Hornef her heirs and assigns forever, all my property real, personal, and mixed of what nature and kind soever and wheresoever the same shall be at the time of my death.
And I do nominate and appoint my said wife Catharine Hornef, Sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament.

In witness whereof I Jacob Hornef the Testator have to this my Will written on one sheet of paper set my hand and seal this Ninth day of March A.D. One Thousand Eight hundred and Seventy six. (1876)
Image of Signature of J Hornef[signed] J Hornef

Signed sealed published and declared by the above named Jacob Hornef, as and for his last Will and Testament, in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names at his request as witnesses thereto in the presence of the said testator and of each other.
Frederick Koons
Frederick T. Koons


(Form 4.)
City and County of Philadelphia, ss.
Register’s Office, March 25 1895

I do swear that as the Executrix of the forgoing last Will and Testament of Jacob Hornef deceased, I will well and truly administer the goods and chattels, rights and credits of said deceased, according to law; and that I will diligently and faithfully regard and well and truly comply with the provisions of the law relating to Collateral Inheritances. That the said Testator died on the 3rd day of June A.D. 1894 at 3 o’clock, AM.

Sworn and subscribed before me the date above, and letters testamentary granted unto her.
[signed] Chas Irwin

Image of signature of Katharina Hornef

[signed] Katharina Hornef
2246 Taggert St.

(Katharina Hornef) [written on the bottom probably because she signed in German script]


(Form No. 4 1/2)
State of Pennsylvania
City and County of Philadelphia

Be it Remembered That, on the Twenty fifth day of March A.D. 1895, before me, Elias P. Smithers, Register of Wills for the City and County aforesaid, after due proof and hearing had, according to the Laws of the said State, It is ordered and decreed, that the last Will and Testament of Jacob Hornef late of the City and County, deceased, be duly admitted to probate and filed of record in the Office of the Register of Wills of the said City and County.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, the day and year above written.
[signed] Elias P. Smithers, Register


(Form 6.)
City and County of Philadelphia, ss.

Register’s Office, March 25 1895

Then personally appeared Frederick Koons and Frederick T. Koons the subscribing witnesses to the forgoing last will of Jacob Hornef deceased, and on their solemn oath did say that they were present, and did see and hear Jacob Hornef deceased, the Testator therein named, sign seal, publish and declare the same as and for his last will and testament and that at the doing thereof he was of sound disposing mind, memory, and understanding, to the best of their knowledge and belief.

Sworn and subscribed before me, the above date.
[signed] Chas Irwin, Deputy Register

[signed] Frederick Koons
[signed] Frederick T. Koons



Joseph Elon Carman Death (1956)

Place of Death
 County: Phila.   City: Phila.   Hospital: Hahneman
Usual Residence: 502 N 18th, Phila, Pa

thumbnail image of Joseph E Carman death certificateName of deceased: Joseph E. Carman
Date of death: 11 3 56
Sex: M
Color or Race: W
Date of birth: 5-6-1872
Age: 84
Usual occupation: Bricklayer
Birthplace: Pa
Father’s Name: Joseph C.
Mother’s Maiden Name: Catherine Horneff
Informant’s own signature: Anna M. Peterson (daughter)
Burial: 11-7-56, New Glenwood, Del Co, Pa

Original Source Citation:
Pennsylvania, Department of Health, death certificate 20615 (1956), Joseph E. Carman; Division of Vital Records, New Castle.