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1825. mitted authenticated copies of wills, proved in Soo any other State of the Union, or abroad, to be of v." fered for probate in the General Court, or in the * Circuit, County, or Corporation Court, where the whole of the estate lies. By the law of the State of Ohio, lands lying in that State may be devised by last will and testament, or writing; but, before such will can be considered as valid in law, it must be presented to the Court of Common Pleas of the county where the land lies for probate, and be proved by at least two of the subscribing witnesses. If the will be proved, and recorded, in another State, according to the laws of that State, an authenticated copy of the will may be offered for probate in the Court of the county where the land lies, without proof by the witnesses; but it is liable to be contested by the heir at law, as the original might have been. *: It is an acknowledged principle of law, that
in one State,
... the title and disposition of real property is ex
the title to real
... clusively subject to the laws of the country where **:: it is situated, which can alone prescribe the mode i...by which a title to it can pass from one person to moto another. For the establishment of this doctrine, it will be sufficient to cite the cases of the United States v. Crosby, (7 Cranch's Rep. 115.) and Kerr v. Moon, (9 Wheat. Rep. 565.) It follows, therefore, that no estate could pass to the daughters of William Crawford, under his will, until the same should be duly proved according to the laws of Virginia, where the land to which
he was entitled lay, at the time of his death, or
of the territory of Ohio, after the cession by 1825. Virginia to the United States, under the ordi
" M'Cormick nance of Congress of the 13th of July, 1787, orv.
Sullivant. according to the law of that State, which has already been recited. The probate of the will in the State of Pennsylvania, gave it no validity whatever in respect to these lands, as to which this Court is bound to consider Crawford as having died intestate, and, consequently, that they descended to John Crawford, his only son and heir at law, according to the law of Virginia, as it stood in the year 1782. The Court below, then, could do no less than dismiss the bill as against this defendant, upon the ground, that the complainants had shown no title whatever, legal or equitable, to the land in controversy.
This Court might be induced to yield to the application of the counsel for the appellants, that, in case of an affirmance, it should be without prejudice, if we could perceive, from the record, that the complainants could, in another suit, present their case under a more favourable aspect. But this the answer of Finley will not permit us to anticipate; for, even if an authenticated copy of Crawford's will should hereafter be offered for probate, and admitted to record in the State of Ohio, still, the title to be derived under it could not be permitted to overreach the legal title of this defendant, founded, as it is, upon an equitable title, acquired bona fide, and for a valuable consideration paid, which purchase, payment, , and acquisition of legal title, were made before he had either legal or constructive notice of the
1825. will, or of the claim of the daughters, for we are
all of opinion, that the probate of the will in Wright
Pennsylvania cannot be considered as constructive notice to any person, of the devise of the lands in controversy. The decree of the Court below must, therefore, be affirmed generally, with costs.
WRIGHT, Plaintiff in Error, v. DENN, ex dem.
PAGE, Defendant in Error.
J. P., by his last will, after certain pecuniary legacies, devised as fol
lows : “ Item, I give and bequeath unto my loving wife M., all the rest of my lands and tenements whatsoever, whereof I shall die seised in possession, reversion, or remainder, provided she has no lawful issue. Item, I give and bequeath unto M., my beloved wife, whom I likewise constitute, make, and ordain, my sole executrix of this my last will and testament, all and singular my lands, messuages, and tenements, by her freely to be possessed and enjoyed," &c. " and I make my loving friend, H. J., executor of this my will, to take care, and see the same performed, according to my true intent and meaning," &c. The testator died seised without issue, and, after the death of the testator, his wife M. married one G. W., by whom she had lawful issue. Held, that she took an estate for
life only under the will of her husband, J. P. Where there are no words of limitation to a devise, the general rule
of law is, that the devisee takes an estate for life only, unless, from the language there used, or from other parts of the will, there is a
plain intention to give a larger estate. To make a pecuniary legacy a charge upon lands devised, there must
be express words, or a plain implication from the words of the will
ERROR to the Circuit Court of New Jersey. 1825. This was an action of ejectment brought in the
Wright Court below. The sole question arising upon
Denn. the state of facts in the cause, was upon the construction of the will of James Page, made on the 15th of February, 1774. By that will, after the usual introductory clause, the testator proceeds as follows: “. Item, I give and bequeath unto my beloved sister, Rebecca, 100 pounds, proclamation money, to be paid in four years after my decease.
" Item, I give and bequeath unto my beloved sister Hannah, the sum of 50 pounds, proclamation money, to be paid when she is of age.
“ Item, I give and bequeath unto my sister, Abigail, the like sum of 50 pounds, proclamation money, to be paid when she arrives at age.
“ Item, I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Mary, all the rest of my lands and tenements whatsoever, whereof I shall die seised, in possession, reversion or remainder, provided she has no lawful issue.
"Item, I give and bequeath unto Mary, my beloved wife, whom I likewise constitute, make, and ordain, my sole executrix of this my last will and testament, all and singular my lands, messuages and tenements, by her freely to be possessed and enjoyed; and I do hereby utterly disallow, revoke, and disannul, all and every other former testaments, wills, legacies, and bequests, by me in any ways before named, willed and bequeathed, ratifying and confirming this, and no other, to be my last will and testament. And I make
1825. my loving friend, Henry Jeans, of the county and a province aforesaid mentioned, executor of this
my will, to take care and see the same performDenn.
ed, according to my true intent and meaning ; and for his pains,” (leaving the sentence incomplete.) “ In witness whereof," &c. (in the common form of attestation.) The testator was seised of the land in controversy at the time of the will, and died seised, without issue, on the 10th day of October, 1774, leaving his wife Mary, the devisee, who, afterwards, married one George Williamson, by whom she had lawful issue still living, and died in the year 1811. The lessor of the plaintiff is the brother of the testator, and his only heir at law. The defendant claims title to the premises as a purchaser under Mary, the wife of the testator.
The title of the testator to the premises was derived from a devise in the will of his father, John Page, dated the 11th of November, 1773. That will, among other things, contained the following clause : "Item, I give and devise unto my son James, one equal half part of my land, (comprising the land in controversy,) with all my plantation, utensils, &c. &c. to him, his heirs and assigns, for ever.” He then gives the other moiety of the land to his son John, to him, his heirs and assigns. He then bequeaths several legacies to his daughters, Sarah and Mary, and adds, “ Item, I give and bequeath to my three daughters, Rebecca, Hannah, and Abigail, Rebecca the sum of 50 pounds, Hannah and Abigail the sum of 50 pounds each of them. Like