Monday, January 11, 2016

Amanuensis Monday - Post #302: 1717 Will of Jeffrey Jones (1635-1717) of Elizabethtown, 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 1717 will of Jeffrey Jones (1635-1717, of Elizabethtown, Essex County, New Jersey:

a)  Image 111, will begins on bottom half of the image:

b)  Image 114 (page 111, stamped), portion of will duplicated on bottom portion of the image, then continues to the end:

The transcription of the will is (transcribed line-by-line, paragraphs added for readability):

 [bottom portion of image 111]

In the name of God amen I Jeoffrey Jones of Elizabeth town in the County of Essex in the
province of New Jersey Yeoman being sick & weak of body but of perfect mind & memory
thanks be to God. Calling to mind the mortality of my body & knowing it is appointed for all
men once to dye, do make my last will & testament – that is to say. Principally & first of all
I give & bequeath my Soul to God that gave it & my body I recommend to the Earth to be buried in
decent Christian manner att the discretion of my Executors. And as touching my wordly Goods I
give & bequeath then in manner & form following.

Imprimis I will that my Debts & funeral Expences be first Justly paid & Satisfied.

[continuing on image 111, also on the top portion of the bottom page on image 114]

Item I give and bequeath unto my Well beloved wife the House whereon I now Dwell with the
orchard to the same belonging together with such a Convenient quantity of firewood, meadow,
and pastureing as She shall have occasion of for her own use to have & to hold the same during the
term of her Continuing my widow, or her life.

Item I give & bequeath unto my well beloved Son Edward Jones my house lott of land & meadow
(Except Seven acres lying on Rahway river in the bounds of Elizabeth town afforsd) to have & to hold
the sd Land during the term of his natural Life. The remainder I give & bequeath unto my
two grandsons Sons of the said Edward, vizt: Jeoffrey Jones & Samuell Jones to have & to
hold unto them & there heirs & Assigns forever to be Equally divided between them.
Item I give & bequeath unto my Grand Son Edward Jones Jun'r son of Edward Jones afforsd
Seven Acres of Land & meadow lying upon Rahway River afforsd beginning att a hovel by the
path Side running South, bounded by a Small Creek. To have & to hold the Same unto him
& his heirs forever.

Item I give & bequeath unto my wife & Daughters Sussanna Mary and
abigail all & singular my Goods & Chattels which of right Shall belong or appertain unto
me att the time of my decease be the same ???????????????? Either in my Possession att the
time of my decease or be the Same in the possession of any other person or persons whatsoever &
have & to hold unto them & their heirs forever.

Item I give and further bequeath unto my aforesd Daughter Mary a certain tract of Land
Scituate lying & being att Elizabeth town afforsaid Laid out in my right in the back Side of
John Cahons lott of Land late of the sd place deceased together with ten acres of meadow
Due of right to me as a Commoner with others the freeholders of Elizabeth town afforsaid
to have & to hold the Same to her & her heirs ^& assigns^ forever and further my will is that in case
much &&& there is no return made of the Survey of the tract of Land afforsd & the title of the same
may be on that behalf & defficinet that the sd Mary Shall have it in her Election Either to have
the land afforsd or to take up fivety acres of land any where in Elizabeth town afforsaid & not
already taken up, due to me in right of Commonage as aforsd To have & to hold the Same
together with the ten Acres of meadow afforsd unto her & her heirs forever.

Item I give & bequeath unto my son Edward Jones five pounds Currant money of the province
afforsd to be paid him by my Executors hereafter named.

[only on bottom portion of image 114, page 111 (stamped)]

Item my will further is that my wife afforsd Shall pay unto the aforsaid Sussanna Mary
& Abigail Nine pounds Currant money of the province aforsd or that the Same be deducted out
of her part of the moveable Estate ????? as afforsd.

Lastly I Constitute my two Sons-in-Law Samuel Fitz Randolph & Jerimiah Bird
Excecutors of this my last will & testament hereby Revoking & Disannulling all former
wills & testaments by me made Ordaining this to be my last will & testmant. In Witnes
whereof I have hereunto Sett my hand & Seal this twenty first day of December in the Year of
our Lord one thousand Seven Hundred & Seventeen & in the fourth Year of King George's

Signed Sealed published & declared     A Memorandum that the word assigns        his
In the presence of us                              was enterlined between the thirty      Jeffery + Jones {seal}
Joseph Marsh                                         and thirty first line                                       mark
John Morris
Shobal Smith

The source citation for this document is:

New Jersey, Wills and Probate Records, 1656-1999, indexed database with digital images, ( :, accessed 7 September 2015, no longer available), Essex County, pages 106-114 (stamped) (images 1111-117), Jeffrey Jones will, 1717.

The will was written on 21 December 1717.  Elizabethtown records indicate Jeffrey Jones died on 31 December 1717.

The will does not provide the name of Jeffrey's wife.  Other records say her name was Safronie Walter.  

The will names four children of Jeffrey Jones - son Edward and daughters Sussanna, Mary and Abigail.  It also names two grandsons, sons of son Edward Jones - Jeoffrey Jones and Samuel Jones.

The executors named were Samuel Fitz Randolph and Jerimiah Bird.  Samuel Fitz Randolph (1668-1752) was the husband of Mary Jones (1672-1760), and Jeremiah Bird (1665-1738) was the husband of Abigail Jones (1670-1776).

Jeffrey and Safronie (Walter) Jones are my 8th great-grandparents, and I am descended through their daughter, Mary (Jones) Fitz Randolph (1672-1760).

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