Monday, March 7, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Solomon Carpenter (1677-1850) of South Kingstown, RI

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme many months ago called Amanuensis Monday. What does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition:

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is the probate file of Solomon Carpenter (1677-1750) of South Kingstown, Rhode Island.  He married Elizabeth Tefft (1687-????), and they had children:  Elizabeth Carpenter (1703-????), married James Braman; Solomon Carpenter (1706-1743); Joseph Carpenter (1708-????); Daniel Carpenter (1712-????); Samuel Carpenter (1714-????); Sarah Carpenter (1716-????).

Solomon Carpenter, yeoman of South Kingstown,  died testate, having written a will dated 30 April 1750, which was proved 18 October 1750. The will reads (transcribed by the author from the clerk's copy in the South Kingstown (Rhode Island) Probate and Town Council Records, Volume 4, Pages 318-320, on FHL Microfilm 0,931,834, paragraphs added for readability):

"In the Name of God Amen the Thirtyeth Day of April Anno Domini one Thousand Seven Hundred fifty.  I Solomon Carpenter of South Kingstown in the County of Kings County in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England yeoman.  Being ancient but Perfect in mind and memory Thanks be therefore given to Almighty God and Calling unto Mind the Mortality of My body and Knowing that it is Appointed for men once to Dye do make and Ordain this to be my Last will and Testament That is to Say

"Principally and first of all I Give and Recommend my Soul into the Hands of God that Gave it and my body I recommend to the Earth to be buried in a Decent Christian Like manner at the Discrestion of my Executor hereafter Named And as Touching such worldly Estate wherewith It hath Pleased God to bless me with in this Life I Give Demise and Dispose of the Same in the following manner and form (Viz)

"Imprimis my Will is That my Just Debts be Duly Paid by my Executor herein and hereafter Named.

"Item  I Give and Bequeath unto my well beloved Daughter Elizabeth Braman the Sum of Fifty Pounds in good and Passable Bills of Publick Credit of said Colony to be paid by my Executor hereafter Named with in Twelve Months Next after my Decease.

"Item I Give to my Grandaughter Joanna Rogers the Sum of fifty Pounds in good and Passable Bills of the Colony before said to be paid by my Executor hereafter Named at his Discrestion and as he shall think she the said Joanna hath agreed thereof.

"Item I Give to my GrandSon Samuel Carpenter the sum of Twenty Shillings in good and Pasable Bills of Publick Credit in the Colony aforesaid to be paid by my Executor hereafter named when the said Samuel shall Arrive to the Age of Twenty one years and the reason why I Give him no more is because his Deceased Father had received his Part of my Estate in his Lifetime.

"Item  I Give and bequeath unto my GrandSon Joseph Carpenter the sum of twelve Pounds in good and Passable Bills of Publick Credit in said colony to be Paid by my Executor hereafter Named when the said Joseph shall Arrive to the Age of Twenty one years.

"And as to the rest and Residue of my Estate both Real and Personal be it of what Kind or Nature soever or Where soever the Same is or may be found I do Give Demise and Bequeath the same unto my well beloved Son Daniel Carpenter to him and his Heirs and Assigns for Ever And I do hereby Nominate Constitute make and ordaine my said Well beloved Son Daniel Carpenter my whole and Sole Executor of this my Last will and Testament and I do hereby utterly Disallow Revoke and Disannull all and Every other Former Testament Wills Legacies and bequeaths and Executors by me in any wise before Named Willed and bequeathed Rattifying and Confirming this and No other to be my Last will and Testament.  In Witness whereof I have herewith Set my hand and Seal the Day and years first before Writen.

"Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and Declared by the said Solomon Carpenter as his Last will and Testament in the presence of us the Subscribers
............................................................................... Solomon Carpenter (Locus Sigillus)
Rouse Helme
Job Gardner
Oliver Helme"

On 8 October 1750, the subscribers personally appeared before the South Kingstown town council and declared that they witnessed Solomon Carpenter sign, seal and declare this instrument to be his last will and testament and that they signed as witnesses in his presence, and that Solomon Carpenter was in his perfect mind and memory at the time.

No inventory of the estate, executor's account or distribution of the estate was found in the town probate records.

My ancestral line to Solomon Carpenter is through his son, Daniel Carpenter, named as the executor in the will.  Daughter Elizabeth is named in the will, but I don't know who the granddaughter Joanna Rogers is - she may be a daughter of Elizabeth or of son Solomon Carpenter.  I don't know who the parents are of the grandsons Joseph Carpenter and Samuel Carpenter - they may be sons of son Solomon Carpenter, who died in 1743.  The will does not mention the other four children of Solomon - Solomon, Joseph, Samuel and Sarah.  I know that Solomon died in 1743, but I have no death record for the other three.

1 comment:

Midge Frazel said...

Rouse Helme was my ancestor. The distance between us coast to coast is narrowing up!