Monday, December 12, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - the Will of Joseph Farwell (1641-1722)

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 will of Joseph Farwell (1641-1722) of Dunstable, Massachusetts. He was married to Hannah Learned (1649-????) in 1666 and they had ten children:  Hannah Farwell (1668-1739); Joseph Farwell (1670-1740); Elizabeth Farwell (1672-1729); Henry Farwell (1674-1738); Isaac Farwell (1678-????); Mary Farwell (1681-????); Sarah Farwell (1683-????); John Farwell (1686-1709); William Farwell (1688-????); Oliver Farwell (1692-????).

Joseph Farwell died testate, having written his will on 13 November 1711, and his probate records are in Middlesex County Probate Records, Probate Packet 7,361 (image copies of original documents, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,397,055).  His will reads:

"In the Name of the Lord God Amen Joseph Farwell Senr of the town Dunstable in the County of Middlesx in the province of the Massachusets Bay in Newengland yeoman being of Sound and Perfect memory praise be given to god for the same yet knowing the Uncertainty of this Life on Earth and being Desirouss to Settle things in order Do Make and Ordaine this to be my Last Will and Testament.  Hereby Revoking all former Wills by me made and signed to be null and of none Effect.

"Im Primus My Soule I give unto the hands of allmighty god that gave it in sure and certaine hopes of Eternaul Life through our alone Lord and Saiover Jesuss Christ and my body to the Earth from whence it came to be Decently Interred at the Descretion of My Executors -- hereafter Named and after my funerall expenses and Debts satisfied And Paid What Worldly goods it hath pleased god to Endow me with - all I Do give and Bequeath in manner as followeth --

"Item I Do give unto My beloved Wife Hannah Farewell all my Moveable good both within the House and abroad of all sorts Whatsoever to be at her Disposall for ever excepting one paire of Andirons ...

"Item I Do give and Bequeath to my Son Oliver Farewel and to his Heirs executors Administrators for ever the one half of My housings and Land which I have now in my possession when he shall Attaine to the age of twenty one years allso I do give to him one paier of Andirons:  Allso I do give and bequeath to him my son Oliver Farewell and to his Heirs the other part of all of my Housings and Lands which I have in possession after my Decease and after the Decease of my Wife Hannah Farewell if in the meane time of our Lives he doth take the whole care of us Both And to provide all things comfortable and Necessary for us both in sickness and in health and to Bestow upon us or either of us A Decent Buriell:  Hereby Authorizing and fully Impowring my Beloved wife Hannah Farewel and my son Henry Farewell to be Whole and Sole Executors Joyntly and Severally of this my Last Will and Testament - In Witness Whereof I have hereunto subscribed as Witness my hand and seall the thirteenth Day of November Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and elevon, and in the tenth year of her Majestie's Reign &c.

"Signed, sealed and published
to be the Last will and testament
of Joseph Farewell
In presence of us
Ames Chever
Samuel Moody
John Meriam Junr.

"Before signing and sealing it is to be understood that all my other Children both sons and Daughters have Received their full portions of me allready.

...............................................................  Joseph Farwell        Seal

The will was proved on 16 January 1722/3, with John Meriam Junr and Francis Foxcroft Junr attesting.  Henry Farwell posted 100 pounds in currant money.  Joseph Farwell, Henry Farwell, William Farwell, Thomas Colbern and Oliver Farwell also signed an unreadable piece of paper - probably an agreement to the provisions of the will.
Note that his wife, Hannah, was not mentioned in the will proving.  Since the will was written in 1711, but proved in 1723, Hannah (Learned) Farwell may have died before Joseph Farwell died.

The only children named in the will are sons Oliver and Henry, but we see that at the time the will was proved in early 1723 that at least sons Joseph, Henry, William and Oliver, plus the wife of Thomas Colbern (Mary Farwell), were still alive. 

I wonder if this name was pronounced "fair well" rather than "far well" because of how Joseph consistently spelled the last name in the will.

I descend from Joseph Farwell (1670-1740), the first son of Joseph and Hannah (Learned) Farwell. 

No comments: