William Theaker Coyan's last will & testament

Although William's will is shown in the Allegheny county, Pennsylvania will record index, at least two previous attempts (one by myself in 1998 and one several years earlier by a hired genealogist) to actually locate it in the courthouse had failed. It was assumed that the actual will - for whatever reason - did not exist.

On my NEXT trip to the Allegheny county PA. courthouse in 1999, I tried once again. Sensing there was a transcription problem in the index books, I asked a prominent-looking attorney, who was also doing research (at least he was getting PAID!) what the problem could be. Thank goodness, he helped me solve the filing error. When the will packet was brought up to me from the basement of the courthouse, my hands literally shook as I carefully removed the packet's contents and realized that I was holding a document that appeared not to have seen the light of day for over 100 years.

But more importantly, this document was the last will and testament for my 4th great-grandfather Hugh's youngest brother! To my knowledge, this is the ONLY will record found to date (or perhaps even in existence) for any of the children of Edward and Sarah Coyan. Note the mention of son Ebenezer. I have collected evidence that suggests he may have been mentally handicapped (a census record I found showing him in the Woodville, PA mental home).