Monday, July 8, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records of Ann (--?--) Collins (1605-1691) of Lynn, Mass.

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme 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 Ann Collins (1605-1691) of  Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts.  She married Henry Collins(1606-1687) in about 1629, and they had nine children:

*  Henry Collins (1629-1722), married Mary Tolman (1632-1723)
*  John Collins (1632-1679), married Abigail Johnson (1644-1680)
*  Margery Collins (1633-1702), married Isaac Williams
*  Hannah Collins (1635-????), married Nathaniel Ingersoll (1632-1718)
*  Mary Collins (1641-1682), married Samuel Johnson (1640-1723)
*  Joseph Collins (1643-1724), married (1) Sarah Silsbee (1646-1682), and (2) Mariah Smith (1664-after 1724)
*  Riall Collins (1645-1681)
*  Elizabeth Collins (1647-1690), married John Tolman (1635-1725)
*  Benjamin Collins (1648-1711), married (1) Priscilla Kirtland (1648-1676), and (2) Elizabeth Leach.

Ann Collins died testate, having written a will dated 8 September 1690, and proved 24 November 1691 at the Probate Court in Salem.  The will reads (transcribed by Randy Seaver from Essex County [Mass.] Probate Records, Volume 303, page 064, accessed on FHL US/CAN Microfilm 0,860,485), with some words or phrases not readable:

"Ann Collins of Lynn,the 8 day of Septr 1690 In the name of our Lord god everlasting amen.

"I Ann Collins of Lynn in the County of Essex in New England widow and the relict of Henry Collins Senr of Lynn afores^d  deceased.  I the said Ann being very aged and my tyme of departure out of this world most uncertain and may be very sudden as I have cause to think by reason of ... ... providences of god in visiting me with some touches of his hand upon my frail body and hath taken away my naturall fright(?) I thought ... to ... be the present by me the lord affords me and comes through mercy free from my paines and distempers and in my perfect memory and clear understanding to make my last will & testa^t And dispose of what estate the lord hath afforded me of wt was left unto me by the last will of my husband aboves^d deceased.

"First I therefore Commend and committ my Spirit into the hands of my dear lord Jesus Christ In whom I doe believe only for eternal life & Salva^n, on whom alone I trust and Rely, Renouncing wholly my own righteousness believing his to be alsufficient and yt I shall be covered yrwt and so accepted of god my hear only father through Jesus Christ my blessed mediater and redeemer, In which faith I w.. & trust that after breath is spent and natural life is gone from me I shall ascend in my Spirit unto god.  And therefore I ... commit my body to the grave there to rest till the glorious resurrection of the dead by Jesus Christ Comitting my dearly beloved children and grand children all of ym to the grace of god in Jesus Christ, humbly desyring his peace and love may be bestowed on them soe as it may keep them in his ... and in love & peace one wth another continually Amen.

"As for my temporall estate that god of his mercy hath ... to me to dispose of, I give and bequeath to be devided & disposed of after my decease as hereafter foloweth Renouncing all former wills.

"It.  I gr.. my eldest Sone Henry Collins my horse.  Item  I give to my grandson Nath^ll Collins a cow and a young mare, and after my decease, twenty shillings out of my estate then left if it will ... do and so I  leave that to my executors.  Item I give to my grandchildren viz those children of my Son John Collins deceased & not named in my will viz Elizabeth Mary Daniel Hannah Loice the Sume of three pound to be pd to each and soe much out of my estate if it will reach yrunto as a testimony of my love to them who were suddenly deprived of their father & of their estate.  Item I give to my two grandsones the sones of John Collins deceased viz Samuel and Joseph Collins ... the sume of five shillings to each of ym after my decease And so to Abigail now Townsend.  Item I give to Susannah Collins the daughter of Benj^a Collins twenty shillings.

"I doe ordain & appoint my sone Henry Collins and my sone Joseph Collins to be my two executors of my estate and unto this my last will & testat and to make me a comely and decent buriall and to performe all my just and honest paymt & legacies according to my will Satisfying all their and my necessary charges And well consider what my estate will beare in honesty and honour.

"Moreover I give unto my grand children Johnsons viz Mary Richard Ruth Samuel to each one the sume of twenty shillings after my decease that is as is expressed for all if my estate shall reach to perform all moreover I doe ordain & defyne my well respected and trusty friends Mr Jeremy Shepherd pastor of the church of christ in Lynn and Oliver Purchase to be my overseers to see this my last will and testa^t to be performed and fullfilled.  And now that ye promisses yt are contained & expressed in this sheat of paper is my last will & testa^t for confirmation of the same that it is soe I the said Ann Collins widow & relict of Henry Collins Sen^r deceased affix and set my own hand & seale hereunto, as also that I have pd unto Elizabeth Collins now alias Basset soe much of my legacie to her in Indian corne the sume of 21s.

Signed Sealed & Delivered in the presence of                       The Signe of
these undernamed                                                                         Ann   N  Collins & a seale
Henry Silsbey
Oliver Purchase
Henry Collins junr."

The inventory of the estate of Ann Collins, with 7 cows the only asset listed, was apprised by Jer. Shepard and Henry French to be 17 pounds, 10 shillings (at 2 pounds 10 shillings per cow).  The inventory was presented by Henry Collins as a full and perfect inventory of the estate of Ann Collins deceased, and he said that if more comes to his hand, he will add it.  The inventory was recorded by the Court on 6 December 1692 (Essex County [Mass.] Probate Records, Volume 303, page 095, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,860,485).

Note that, other than the horse for her son Henry, she did not bequeath anything to her three living sons, Henry, Joseph and Benjamin.  She did bequeath money or livestock to her grandchildren by her deceased son John and her deceased daughter Mary (who married Johnson).

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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