Monday, September 14, 2015

Amanuensis Monday - Post #285: 1755 Will of Peter Martin (1693-1756) of Piscataway, N.J.

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 1755 will of Peter Martin (1693-1756) of Piscataway, Middlesex County, New Jersey:

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

In the Name of God Amen. I Peter Martain of Piscataway in the County of Middlesex and Province of East
Jersey being in Perfect Health and of Sound and Disposing Mind and Memory thanks be Given to God before Caling to mind the frailty of
Human Nature and the Uncertainty of this Life So constitute make and Ordain this 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 me and my Body to the Earth to be Buried in
a Christian Like Manner at the Discretion of my Executors hereinafter Named Nothing Doubting but at the General Resurection I
Shall 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 Devise and Bequeath the Same in Manner following, Imprimus it is my will and I do hereby Order that
first all my Just Debts and Funeral Expenses be Duly Paid and Satisfied by my Executors hereinafter Named out of my Personal Estate
Item I Give unto my Grand Son Thomas Martain Eldest son of my Eldest Son Mulford Martain Deceased the Sum of ten Shillings
Item It is my will and I do hereby Order that my thirty Nine Acre Lot Lying by Gershom Martain in Woodbridg be Equally Divided
by an East – West Line, And the South half of s'd ^Lot^ and the west Half of my Lot of Salt Meadow which I Bought of Richard Carmon I
Give Unto My GrandSon Mulford Martain his Heirs and Assigns forever, the Other Half of sd Lot of Land and sd Lot of Meadow
I Give Unto my GrandSon Samuel Martain his Heirs and Assigns forever, But if Either of my Grandsons Mulford or Samuel Should Die
without Lawful Issue then I give his Part of the aforesd Lot of Land and Meadow to the Survivor his Heirs and assigns forever. Item it is
my Will and I Do hereby Order that my Home Plantation whereon I now Dwell with the Additions Joyning thereto be Divided by a Line
Beginning at the Northeast Corner of a Lot of Land John Wilson bought of Joseph Woods thence Running Easterly to the South East
Corner of my first frehold lot, And all my Lands and Tenements to the Northward of sd Line Excepting a Priviledge Reserved for
my wife And the East half of my Lot of Salt Meadow Lying in Martains Neck, And the South half of my Lot of Salt Meadow
Lying at the Mouth of the great Pon I give unto my Son Robert Martain his Heirs and Assigns forever. Item the Remaining Part
of my Home Plantation with the Additions Lying to the Sourhward of the beforementioned Line together with the West half of
my Lot of Salt Meadow lying in Martains Neck and the North half of my Lot of Salt Meadow at the Mouth of the great Pon
I give unto my Son Peter Martain his Heirs and Assigns forever, But if Either of my Sons Should Dye without Lawfull
Issue then I give his Part of my Land and Meadow to him given & Bequeathed to the Survivour of them his Heirs and Assigns
forever. Item I Give unto my Daughter Zerviah Runyon the Sum of Twenty Shillings. Item I Give unto my Daughter
Mary Faurat the Sum of Twenty Shillings; Item I give unto my Daughter Priscilla Martain the Sum of Twenty Shillings
all which Legacies to Paid by my Exe't'rs or the Survivour of them Out of my Personal Erstate; Item I give unto my true and
well Beloved wife Sarah Martain the East apartment of my now Dwelling House and the one third of the yearly Rents of
my Son Roberts Part of my Lands as Long as She Shall Remain my widow, and One feather bed and Beding together with
One Equal third Part of all the Remaining Part of my Personal Estate after my Debts Funerals and Legasies as afors'd
be paid forever, and the Other two thirds of my Personal Estate ^I Give^ to my Three Children as Namly Robert Peter and Sarah Martains to be
Equally Divided between them Share and Share alike. It is my will and Do hereby Order that my afors'd wife Shall have the Intrest Money Arsing
from my Son Peter and my Daughter ^Sarah^ Portion my Personal Estate till they Respectively Come to the Age of forteen years for her Bringing
them up. It is my Will that if my Son Peter Lives to Settle on his part of my Land that my Son Robert Pay him ten Pounds towards
Building a House. And Lastly I do hereby Nominate Constitute and Appoint my Son in Law Isaac Faurat and my Brother in Law Samuel Martain Executors of this my Last Will and Testament to Se the Same Performed or the Survivour of them And I Do hereby
Revoke Disanull and make void all former and other Wills by me at anytime heretofore made Ratifying and confirming this and
No Other to be my Last will and Testament. In Witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and Seal at the this Second Day of Aprill
in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty Five.
Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and Declared
by the Testator as his Last Will and Testament in the Presence of                    Peter Martin {seal}
Nehemiah Dunham
Peter Martin junior
Benjamin Martin

The source citation for this will is:

New Jersey Surrogate's Court, Middlesex County, Wills, 2255L-2946L, File No. 2896, Peter Martin estate file (images 549-569), 1756; "New Jersey, Wills and Probate Records, 1656-1999," indexed database with digital images, ( accessed 7 September 2015); citing original data from New Jersey County, District and Probate Courts.

Peter Martin had children by two wives:

*  With Marie Mulford (1693-1731), married in 1711:  Rhoda Martin (1712-????); Mulford Martin (1713-1744); Zerviah Martin (1715-????); Thomas Martin (1718-????).

*  with Sarah Hull (1713-1794), married in 1731:  Mary Martin (1732-1767); Priscilla Martin (1736-????); Robert Martin (1738-1800); Peter Martin (1741-1777); Sarah Martin (1743-1825).

In his will, Peter Martin names his second wife Sarah, his sons Thomas, Robert and Peter, and his daughters Zerviah, Mary, Priscilla and Sarah.  He also names grandsons Mulford and Thomas Martin, sons of his son Mulford Martin.  He names his appoints his son-in-law Isaac Faurat (husband of daughter Mary) and brother-in-law Samuel Martin as his executors.  Peter died 17 March 1756, less than one year after writing his will. 

Interestingly, the surname Martin is spelled Martain throughout except for Peter's signature!  Since Peter's signature looks much different from the rest of the will, he must have dictated the will to another person.  

I am descended from Peter Martin's son Mulford Martin (1713-1744) and his grandson Thomas Martin (1737-1767).  

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