Friday, July 6, 2007

The best part of a will

I finally finished transcribing the will and other probate records of Nathaniel Horton (1730-1819) of Foster RI. In the will, he names all of his children and one of his grandchildren (Asa Horton, the son of a deceased son, Chase Horton). I believe that these are the only records available for many of these children, especially the names of the spouses of the daughters.

Here are the "Bequeaths" to the daughters in the will as transcribed by me (if you see errors, please let me know!):

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"Item. I give and bequeath to my Daughter Ruth Staples wife of Abraham Staples Twenty Dollars to be paid to her out of my Real Estate by my said sons Abel and John as afore said.

"Item. I Give and Bequeath to my Daughter Rachel Smith Wife of Hope Smith Twenty Dollars to be paid to her out of my Real Estate by my said sons Abel & John as afore said.

"Item. I Give and Bequeath to my Daughter Sarah Bishop wife of John Bishop Twenty Dollars to be paid to her out of my Real Estate by my said sons Abel & John as afore said, to be at her sole & absolute Disposal as she in Writing shall Direct Not to be Subject to attachment for any Debts Presently contracted.

"Item. I Give and Bequeath to my Daughter Phebe Wade Wife of Simon Wade Twenty Dollars to be paid to her out of my Real Estate by my said sons Abel & John as aforesaid.

"Item. I Give and Bequeath to my Daughter Olive Steer Wife of Asahel Steer Twenty Dollars to be paid to her out of my Real Estate by my sons Abel & John as afore said.

"Item. I Give and Bequeath to my Daughter Freelove Bishop Wife of Elias Bishop Twenty Dollars to be paid to her out of my Real Estate by my by my sons Abel and John as afore said, to be at her sole and absolute Disposal as she shall in Writing direct Not to be Subject to attachment for any Debt Previously Contracted.

"Item. I Give and Bequeath to my said six Daughters Before Named, all and singular my indoors moveable goods of Every Kind which shall Remain after Setting of & assigning to my Beloved Wife one third part that of as herein after mentioned to be Equally Divided between them according to their value after the Decease of their Mother."

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There is a lot more to this will, of course. The sons inherited the land, the wife got her thirds while she lived, and the personal estate was not a large one - less than $160 in 1820. But the married names of the daughters and their husbands names are golden records to many genealogists.

"My" daughter in this family is Phebe Wade, wife of Simon Wade.

I searched the web with Google and did not see any other transcription of this will. Unfortunately, the pages are dark in places and the handwriting is unclear in other places, so I have some question marks as to the exact words. If someone wants to take a crack at the ???? parts I can send a .JPG of the pages.

UPDATE 7/10: DearMYRTLE took a crack at the question marks I had in this portion of the transcript, and thinks that the words say "Subject to attachment." This makes a lot of sense to me, although the words are unclear on the clerk's manuscript. It may be only a spelling error by the clerk, or he may have been confused or distracted by something. I corrected the wordsin the transcription above. Thanks to DearMYRTLE for taking the time to help me!

2 comments:

Myrt said...

Send me a copy of the will. I'll take a stab at it!

Myrt

Felicia said...

Randy- great Job...I think those ??? are just legalize for "her husband can not use the money for any of his debts that he has incurred"...your ancestor was making sure his DAUGHTER got the money to use as she WANTED and not her husband who was in obvious finical trouble... would be interesting to know what debts those two men had gotten themselves into.