Thursday, April 19, 2007

Interesting 1722 town record for Christopher Champlin of Westerly RI

As I continue working through the Rhode Island probate records for my ancestors, I found the following:

On 21 August 1722, Christopher Champlin and his second wife, Elizabeth (--?--), widow of William Danell, made an agreement. It reads (transcribed from "Westerly (Rhode Island) Town Council and Probate Records, 1699-1888," Volume 2, Page 74-5, on FHL Microfilm 0,930,805, very difficult to read):

"To all Christian people to whome these presents shall come Know ye that whereas there is a Legacy Given to Elizabeth Champlin wife to Christopher Champlin Senr who was formerly Relict to Mr. William Danell deceased & he being of the town of Westerly in his Majesties Colony of Rhoad Island and Providence Plantations in New England (Viz.)

"Twenty Pounds mony twenty Loads of wood & the keeping of four Cretures ?? ?????? and yearly and every year during the whole course of her naturall life to be paid by the Son William Danel of sd Town & Colony as may appear by the last Will & Testament of the sd William Danel deceased who did make by sd last Will make and ordain William Danel her son an Executor to sd Last Will and testament and upon probation of sd will before the town Counsel of the town of Westerly the sd Councel did Require Bond of sd Danel with two sureties for his ??? Administration and performance of sd will & In Compliance with the sd Request Samuel Clark and Christopher Champlin Junr Both of the said town and Colony were both bound with the sd William Danel unto the aforesd Counsel as may appear by their Bond of two thousand pounds Currant mony of New England which is upon Record for the due performance of sd will the Bond haves date March the thirteenth day in the year one thousand seven hundred and Eighteen Coming nineteen & for the Better Securing the sd Sureties or bondsmen Clark and Champlin their Estates Heirs & Succesers which is altogether Requisite and needfull by Reason that it ????? Evident that the aforesd William Danel hath ??paid a Great part of his Estate & doth Still go on Wasting & Embezzling of the same Reference being had to the above written precept and Every Article & Clause yrof ???? of one Sd Elizabeth Champlin having Considered the Difficulty that may arise to said Bondsmen by ???? [an unreadable line inserted] of these presents for Ever Exhonorate Requit and Discharge the aforesd Samuel Clark and Christopher Champlin Sr and their heirs Executors and admr for Ever of and from all and Every part and parcel of the Legacy of twenty pounds mony twenty Loads of wood and keeping of four Cretures that is to say I do for Ever Requitt and Discharge the sd Clark and Champlin their heirs and Succesors from all that hath been due unto me by the above mentioned will from the begining of the world to the Date of these presence and from the Date of these presents to the end of the world. I the Sd Christopher Champlin Senr do by these presents allow and confirm all the above writen premises and in token and Confirmation that this is our lone and voluntary act and deed we have hereunto Sett our hands and seales this twenty first day of August Annoq Domini 1722.

Christopher CC Champlin (seal)
......... ..........her
. .Elizabeth EC Champlin (seal)
.... ...........mark

Signed Sealed and Delivered
n the presents of us
Edward Greenman
Robert Austin
Joanna Champlin
G Davisson"

"Mr. Christopher Champlin and Mrs. Elizabeth Champlin the Subscribing both presents appeared in Westerly this 29 Day of August 1722 and acknowledged the above writen instrument to be their voluntary act and deed before me, Joseph Stanton, Justice."


Can you believe how long that sentence is? Amazing - I found no end to it - almost the whole page!

The really interesting thing here is that Christopher Champlin's second wife, Elizabeth (widow of William Danell), made an agreement on 13 March 1718/19 with the executor of her deceased husband, her son William Danell. In 1722, this record shows that she relieved the other two sureties, Samuel Clark and Christopher Champlin (her now husband) from their responsibility because the Executor has not settled the estate.

Some records list Elizabeth's first husband as William Davol or Davell, but the handwriting in this record is consistently Danell or Danel. The March date is right after the will of William Danell was proved.

My purpose in presenting this in its entirety is to show that not all probate records are administrations, wills or inventories. Occasionally you find agreements or indentures of this nature that shed light on the lives of your ancestors.

After I transcribed this today, I Googled ["christopher champlin" elizabeth westerly] and was rewarded with several web pages with early Westerly deed book abstracts, which included deeds for this Christopher Champlin. When I go to the RI USGenWeb site, I can't find the early Westerly deed abstracts!

UPDATE 3:45 PM: I finally found the Westerly deed abstracts (Vols 4-9) at You would think that they would be linked to Westerly somehow!

1 comment:

Janice said...


My ancestors were a bit wordy too. Maybe we are related :D