Monday, July 13, 2015

Amanuensis Monday - Post 276: Will of John Allen (1631-1711) of Sudbury, Mass.

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent  TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme years ago called "Amanuensis Monday."  John offers this definition for "amanuensis:" 

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

The subject today is the 1708 will of John Allen (1631-1711) of Sudbury, Massachusetts:

The transcription of this will is (line-by-line):

In the Name of God amen.  the 9th Day of August in the 7th year of Her Majesties Reign, ^Anne^ By the grace of God of Eng-
land Scotland France & Ireland queen Defender of the faith & r. and in the year of our Lord 1708.  
I John Allen of Sudbury in the County of Middlesex in the province of the Massachusets Bay in NewEngland, 
yeoman, Being sick & weak of Body but of the perfect mind & memory; thanks be given to God. Therefore, 
calling to mind the mortality of my Body, and knowing that it is apoynted for all men once to Die, Doo 
remand my soul into the hands of God that gave it, & for my body, I Commend it to the Earth to be buried 
in a Christian like & Decent manor, at the Discretion of my executr, nothing Doubting but at the fi-
nall Resurrection I shall Recive the same again by the mighty power of God;  & as counting such Worly 
estate where with God in this life hath blest me with, I give Devise & Dispose of the same, in the follow-
ing manor & form.

First I will that all those Debts & Duties as I Do owe by Right or Conscience to any manor of parson or parsons 
what so ever, shall be well & truly Contented & paid or ordained to be paid in Convenient time after my Decease 
by my Executr hear after named.

Imprimus.  I give & bequeath to Mary Allen my beloved wife one third part of my movables, to her & her heirs for ever, 
as allso one Room in my Dwelling house which ^she^ shall think best for her Conveniancy During her widowhood, allow-
ing her a soficiant way upon my land to her sd Room; as also Confirming what I have all redy given her, be-
fore marog as may apear by a Covenant in writing - also one third part of the increas of my lands During her widowhood as aforsd.

Item.  I give & bequeath to my son Joseph Allen five pounds to be paid him in Convenient time as he shall 
stand in need by my executr, after my Decease.

Item.  I give & bequeath to my son-in-law Joseph Dean & Debora his wife five shills (be side what I have portioned 
out to her allredy) to be paid by my executr.

Item.  I give & bequeath to ^my^ son Samll Allen the one moity or half part of the valiation of my whomstall & movables as they 
ar inuitoned to be paid by my executr, after my other Debts & legacies ar paid & Discharged.

Item.  I give to ^my^ well beloved son Benjamin Allen, whom I likewise Constitute, make & ordain my only & sole 
executr of this my last will & Testament, all & singleular, my lands, messuages & tenemants, by him freely to be 
possessed & Enjoyed.  And I Doe hear by utterly Dissalow Revoak & Disannull all & every other former Testaments 
wills & legacies, bequests & executrs by me in any waies before this time named, willed & bequeathed, satifying & 
confirming this & no other to be my last will & testament.  In Witness whareof I have hear unto set my hand & 
seal the Day & year above written.

Signed Sealed Published pronounced & Declared by the sd John Allen
as his last Will & Testament in the presence of us the subscribers, Viz.                                                                                                                          John Allen (seal)
John Rues
Ephraim Rice
James Brown

The will was proved in Middlesex County Probate court on 24 December 1711.  An inventory was taken on 1 December 1711, and was accepted on 24 December 1711.  Son Samuel Allen disputed the inventory and filed an affidavit to have it reappraised.  This mas granted by the Court on 7 February 1712.  The reappraisal was performed and was accepted by the Court on 15 December 1712, along with the Account of the executor, Benjamin Allen.

The source citation for the probate packet of John Allen of Sudbury is:

"Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, American Ancestors ( : accessed, 28 June 2015), Estate Packet #328, John Allen estate, 20 sheets; citing original probate estate packet in Middlesex County Probate Court records.

The four living children of John Allen, and his second wife, Mary (--?--) Allen (1650-1727) were named as heirs.  All eight of John Allen's children were by his first wife, Sarah (--?--) Allen (1635-1702).  My ancestry is through their son, Benjamin Allen (1662-1721), the executor of John Allen's estate.

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