Thursday, July 26, 2007

Probate Record of Nathaniel Wade (1709-1754) - Part 1

This is one of a series of probate record transcriptions for my Rhode Island ancestors. I don't think this record has been provided online previously, although I think an abstract has been published in RIGR. If I ever get my web site up and running, I will post many probate record transcriptions there.

Nathaniel4 Wade (Jonathan3, Nathaniel2, Jonathan1) was born 27 Jan 1708/09 in Medford, Middlesex County, MA, and died 29 Jun 1754 in Scituate, Providence County, RI. He married Ruth Hawkins 26 Jun 1731 in Scituate, Providence County, RI, daughter of William Hawkins and Elizabeth Arnold. She was born 14 Mar 1710/11 in Providence, Providence County, RI, and died 07 Dec 1789 in Scituate, Providence County, RI. They had six children - Simon, Dudley, Mary, Ruth, Deborah (died young) and John.

Nathaniel Wade died testate, having written a will on 30 May 1754 that was proved on 13 July 1754. The will (transcribed from Scituate (RI) Probate and Civil Records, 1731-1886, Volume 1, pages 231-232, on FHL Microfilm 0,941,155) reads:

"The Last Will and Testament of Nathaniel Wade of Scituate aforesaid was presented to the Council and Read in the Following Words (Viz:)

"In the Name of God Amen. the Thirtieth Day of May in the Twenty Seventh year of his Majesties Reign George the Second King of Great Britain &c Annoq. Dom: 1754: I Nathaniel Wade of Scituate in the County of Providence in the Colony of Rhode Island &c being very sick and Weak of Body but of Perfect Mind and Memory Thanks be given to God: And Calling to Mind the Mortality of My body and Knowing that it is appointed for Man once to Die do make and Ordain this My last Will and Testament in Manner and Form Following That is to Say principally and first of all My Soul I Recomend into the Hands of God that gave it and my body to the Earth to be Buryed Decently at the Discretion of my Executors herein after Named and as Touching of Such Worldly Estate wherewith it hath Pleased God to Bless me in this present Life I ??? [do?] Demise and Dispose of the same in the following Manner and Form, Viz:

"Imprimis My will is and I do hereby order that all my Lands and Real Estate be Sold as Soon as Conveniently as can be after My Decease by my Executors herein after Named and My ??? ????? [sd executors be?] fully Impowered to Sell the ???? [land?] and a Deed or Deeds of Conveyance Shall be good and ???? [true?] to all Intents and purposes that is by them Regularly Made.

"Item I Give and bequeath to My Loveing Wife Ruth Wade the use and Intrest of Three Hundred pounds old Tenor of the Money that Shall be Raised or paid upon the Sale of the Land for and During the full Term of her Naturall Life in this World.

"Item I give and bequeath all the Remaining part of the Money that Shall Rise upon the Sale of My Land after the sd Three Hundred Pounds is Taken out that I have given the use of to my Wife: To my Three Sons Simon Dudly and John to be Equally Divided between them as Soon as it is Collected or paid and also the said Three Hundred Pounds after my said Wifes decease to be Divided Between them in Like Manner.

"Item My Will is that all my just Debts Shall be paid out of my Moveable Estate and the Remaining parts thereof I give and bequeath to My aforesaid Wife and My Two Daughters Mary and Ruth to be Equally Divided Between themselves.

"And I do hereby Nominate Constitute appoint and ordain Ruth my aforesaid Wife and My said Son Simon to be the Sole Executors of this My Last Will and Testament and I do hereby Utterly Revoke Disallow and Annull all and Every other and Former wills Testaments Legacies bequests and Executors by Me heretofore Made Willed or bequeathed Ratifying allowing and Holding Firm and Effectuall this and No others to be My Last will and Testament: In Witness whereof I have Hereunto Set my hand and seal the Day Month and Year first above Written.
...................................................Nathaniel Wade (seal)

"Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and D
eclared by the sd Nathaniel Wade as his Last Will and Testament in presence of us the Subscribers
Gideon Harris Aaron Aldrich Abiel Aldrich (her mark)"

"We Gideon Harris Aaron Aldrich and Abiel Aldrich all personally appearing Declared on their Several Engagements that they Saw the above Subscriber Nathaniel Wade Sign Seal and Declare what is hereabove Written to be his Last Will and Testament and that he was then of a Sound and Perfect Mind and Memory and that they and Each of them Did at the same time in the presence of sd Testator and of Each other Subscribe their Names thereunto as Witnesses.
Test. Gideon Harris Court Clerk."

I will add the Court affidavits and Inventory in a later post.

Nathaniel Wade died at a relatively young age (45) and left a wife with five children. His oldest son was 23 at the time. Nathaniel willed that the property be sold - perhaps the sons weren't mature enough to provide sufficient income for the wife and kids to survive. By selling the property, he created a "trust fund" so to speak for the wife in order to raise the younger children, and a "nest egg" for the sons to start their own families with when they married. Ruth (Hawkins) Wade married Zebedee Hopkins in 1758 and resided in Scituate until her death. Sons Simon Wade and John Wade settled in Foster RI, the next town to the west of Scituate. My ancestor is the eldest son Simon Wade (1731-1790), who married Deborah Tracy in about 1765.

Due to the relatively poor quality of the image on the FHL microfilm, I have some unreadable portions of this probate record. If somebody wants to take a look at some of the mystery lines I would welcome that. Please email me at rjseaver(at)

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