Monday, May 13, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records of Elizabeth (Jenckes) Tefft (1658-1740)

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 Elizabeth (Jenckes) Tefft (1658-1740) of South Kingstown, Washington county, Rhode Island.  Elizabeth Jenckes, daughter of Joseph and Esther (Ballard) Jenckes, married Samuel Tefft (1644-1725) in about 1675, and they had eight children:


*  John Tefft (1676-1762), married Joanna Sprague (1676-1757)
*  Peter Tefft (1678-1725) married Mary
*  Esther Tefft (1680-1726) married Thomas Mumford (1656-1726)
*  Joseph Tefft (1680-1735)
*  Mary Tefft (1683-????) married Matthew Newton (1679-1743)
*  Samuel Tefft (1685-1760) married Abigail Tennant
*  Elizabeth Tefft (1687-before 1750) married Solomon Carpenter (1677-1750)
*  Tabitha Tefft (1688-????)
*  Sarah Tefft (1690-1725) married John Witter
*  Susannah Tefft (1693-????) married Peter Crandall
*  Mercy Tefft (1696-????)

Elizabeth Tefft of South Kingstown died testate, having written a will dated 4 July 1739, which was proved on 12 May 1740.  The will reads (transcribed by Randy Seaver from the clerk's copy on South Kingstown (RI) Probate and Town Council Records, Volume 3, Pages 136-139, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,931,833):


"In the name of God Amen the fourth day of July in the Twelfth Year of his Majestys Reign George the second King of great Britain &c. I Elizabeth Tefft of South Kingstown in the County of Kings County &c. Widow, Being weak in Body but in perfect mind and memory, Thanks be given unto God. And calling to mind the Mortality of my Body And knowing that it is appointed for all persons once to Die Do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament.  First of all I recommend my Soul into the Hands of God that gave it And my Body I recommend to the Earth to be Buried in decent Christian burial at the discretion of my Executor Nothing doubting but to (that I shall [deleted]) receive the same again by the mighty Power of God.  And as touching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to Bless me in this Life, I give demise and dispose of the same in manner and form following, after my just Debts are paid.

"Imprimis I give to my Son John Tefft Twenty Shillings whom I also nominate Constitute and appoint my sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament

"Item I give to my son Samuel Tefft Twenty Shillings in Money

"Item I Give unto my Grand daughter Sarah Witter Five pounds in Money and all the rest and residue of my Estate I give in Six equal parts Viz.

"Item To my Daughter Elizabeth Carpenter I give one Sixth part

"Item I give to my daughter Mary Newton one Sixth part

"Item I give to my daughter Esther Mumford one Sixth part

"Item I give to my daughter Tabitha Tefft one Sixth part

"Item I give to my daughter Susanna Crandell one Sixth part

"Item I give to the Children of my daughter Sarah Witter deceased one Sixth part, my said Grand Daughter Sarah Witter being one of the Children of the said deceased and shall have equal part with her brothers and Sisters besides ye aforesd Five pounds

" disannulling all other Testaments and bequests by me made

"Recorded May 16th 1740
Ratifying and confirming this and none other to be my Last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal the day and Year first above written

"Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and declared by ye sd Elizabeth Tefft as her last Will and Testament In presence of us the Subscribers

Abraham Perkins                                                  The mark of X Elizabeth Tefft (Seal)
Elisha Reynolds
Isaac Shelden"

On 12 May 1740, the subscribers appeared before the South Kingstown town council and declared upon their solemn oath that they saw Elizabeth Tefft sign, seal and declare the instrument to be her last will and testament, that they signed thereto as witnesses in her presence, and that she was in her perfect mind and memory at that time.

A true inventory of the goods, chattels, rights and credit of Elizabeth Tefft of South Kingstown, widow deceased was taken by Isaac Shelden and Samuel Tefft, Junior on 22 April 1740.  The inventory included:

To her wearing apparel and two beds and bedings ............... 20.10.0
To brass ware ...................................................................... .... 6.3.-
To 2 Iron pots & 2 Iron Kettles .................................................. 3.6.-
To more Iron ware and wosted combs ...................................  6.5.-
To Pewter ...................................................................... ..........  6.11.-
To 2 Glass Bottles old Iron Ware .............................................  -.8.6
To one old pannel % bag % Wooden Lumber  ......................... 6.12.-
To  1 Ktchel ...................................................................... .......  -.16.-
To about half a Barrel of Salt & a Barrel .................................  -.7.-
To Salt Meat & 2 Meat Castg? & one Bridle .............................  4.1.-
To Silver 7.1.7 @ 28 /L ............................................................ 9.17.10
To Gold  52 gr @ 20 L / ?? ...................................................... 1.6.-
To 3 Hogs ...................................................................... ...........  4.5.-
To 4 Cows & a Calf ................................................................. 51.-.-
To 1 Mare & Yearling horse ...................................................  25.-.-
To Money due by Bonds & Note ........................................... 243.9.5
To 2 Trammels & old books & Ivory combs  ........................... 1.14.-
---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------
TOTAL:  ...........................................................................  401.12.-

On 12 May 1740, the appraisers appeared before the town council and declared that they performed the appraisal on the estate of Elizabeth Tefft.

Elizabeth Tefft named two sons, five daughters, and the children of another daughter (Sarah) as her heirs.  That implies that the other three children, Peter, Joseph and Mercy, were no longer living or left no children.

My ancestry is through Elizabeth (Tefft) Carpenter and her son Daniel Carpenter (1712-1784).

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/05/amanuensis-monday-probate-records-of_13.html

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

4 comments:

Geolover said...

Ah, another delightful estate inventory!

Interesting, the wo(r)sted combs. Was Elizabeth a spinster? The precious worsted fleece was carefully combed, not carded like wool, in order to align the long fibers. Then it was usually hand-spun using a spindle and whorl (a disk that acted as a fly-wheel).

The "Ktchel" was probably a Hatchel, one of the implements for processing flax fibers. Possibly a spinning wheel for flax had long since been given to a daughter or granddaughter.

McElrea ONS said...

Thank you for this Randy! Elizabeth is my 7th ggm. I am descended from her son John and Joanna Sprague. I also live in San Diego.

McElrea ONS said...

Ooops,

Kathleen Tifft Cooper

Anonymous said...

Another thank you to Randy, as I also am descended from Solomon Carpenter through son Daniel.
I live in Oceanside, and am active in North San Diego County Genealogical Society.