By the time Bodo Otto wrote his will, Maria Elizabeth had been dead for nineteen years and her husband for two years. It had long been believed that Bodo Otto had mistakenly referred to the husband’s first name when writing his will.
The will states “said sum to pay unto the children of heirs of my deceased daughter Maria Elizabeth Marxen the like sum of fifty dollars in speci to be divided to and amongst them in equal shares alike or to either of their representatives, and which said sum shall be in full of all their inheritance of and from Estate having fully assisted their parents in their life time”
The descendants of Maria Elizabeth had difficulty proving that even though her father’s will states that Marxen was her husband’s name, his name was in fact Mark Carman. With the discovery of a receipt among the papers of James E. Gibson the necessary proof was finally located.
Nineteen years after Bodo Otto’s death and five years after the death of his third wife, Frederick Carman, Maria Elizabeth’s only son, signed a document acknowledging receipt of the legacy left to him and his sisters in their grandfather’s will.
The following is a transcript of the receipt:
Received August the thirtheenth One Thousand
Eight Hundred and six of Doctor John Augustus
Otto, Executor of the last Will and Testament of
of Bodo Otto Practioner of Physic late of
the Borough of Reading in Berks County
deceased the sum of Fifty Dollars a Legacy
bequeathed by the Last Will & Testament of the
said deceased unto Frederick Carman, Mary
Saul, Catharina Bender, and Elizabeth Davis.
I say received by me in full.