Alexander Kerss was the father of Robert Kerss, and died in Gateshead, Co Durham, England in 1831. His will was proved before the Diocesan Court of the Bishop of Durham, and the original is now held at Durham University Library.
This is the last Will and Testament of me Alexander Kerss of Gateshead in the County of Durham, Yeoman. I give devise and bequeath all those two Freehold Messuages Dwelling Houses or Tenements Bakehouse and piece or parcel of vacant Ground with the Dwelling House late erected thereon situate lying and being in a certain Street called Hillgate and on the church walk in Gateshead aforesaid and now in the Occupation of myself and others as Tenants thereof with their and every of their rights Members and Appurtenances unto my dear wife Catherine Kerss and her assigns for and during the term of her natural life subject nevertheless to Mortgage debt thereon and the Interest for the same and from and immediately after her decease I give devise and bequeath the same unto my seven Children, Robert Kerss, John Kerss, Thomas Kerss, Samuel Kerss, William Kerss, Mary Kerss, and Catharine Kerss as Tenants in Common and the Heirs of their respective Bodies and in case there shall be a failure of issue of any such Children then the share of him her or them whose issue shall so fail shall go to the others or other of them as tenants in common and the several Heirs of their respective bodies and in case there shall be a failier of issue of the bodies of all such Children but one then to such one Child and the Heirs of his or her Body and in default of such issue then to my own right Heirs for ever.
And I do hereby declare that the devises hereby made to my said Daughters Mary and Catharine should they take effect shall be for their own and separate use and benefit and exclusive of any Husband or Husbands she or they may intermarry and that the same shall not be subject or liable to the Power Control debts or engagements of any such Husband or husbands.
I give and bequeath all my household Furniture Plate Linen and China and all other my real and personal Estate and effects whatsoever which I shall die possessed of or entitled unto in reversion remainder or expectancy unto my said wife for and during the term of her natural life and from and after her decease I give and bequeath the same unto my said two daughters Mary Kerss and Catherine Kerss, share and share alike and to the survivor of them in case either should die before my said wife and I hereby charge and make chargeable all my real and personal estate with the payment of all my debts and funeral expenses and the charges of proving my will and I do hereby appoint my said sons John Kerss and Thomas Kerss and my said daughter Mary Kerss to be executors and executrix of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other wills by me at any time made I publish and declare this to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have to this last sheet set my hand and seal and to the first sheet my hand this thirtieth day of September 1831.
Signed sealed published and declared by the withnamed Alexander Kerss the Testator as and for his last will and testament who in his presence and in the presence of each declared this and the preceding sheet to be and contain his last will and testament and requested us to sign our names as witnesses thereto:
John Dobson Sol Gateshead
John Lowthin his clerk
On the 27th day of August 1832 John Kerss of the Town and County of Newcastle Upon Tyne bricklayer and Thomas Kerss of Blaydon near Winlaton in the County of Durham Blacksmith and Mary Kerss of the Town and County of Newcastle upon Tyne aforesaid Spinster the sons and daughter and the executors names in the wither written Will were duly sworn faithfully to execute and perform the same as usual.
Before me Luke Ripley Surrogate.