Monday, January 25, 2016

Amanuensis Monday - Post #304: 1715 Will of Jediah Higgins (1657-1715) of Somerset County, 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 1715 will of Jediah Higgins (1657-1715), of Somerset County, New Jersey:

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

[left-hand side, page 16 (penned)]

           In the Name of God Amen The twenty
third day of Aprill in the Yeare of our Lord one thousand Seaven
hundred and fiveteen I Jedidiah Higgins of the County of Somerset
in the Province of East New Jersey Yeaman being sick and weake
in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto
God therefore Caleing unto mind the Mortality of My body and
knowing that it is appointed for all Men once to dye Doe make
and ordaine this my Last will and testament that is to Say princi-
pally and first of all I give and Recommend My soule unto
the hands of God that Gave it and for my body I Recommend it to
the Earth to be buryed in a Christian like and decent Manner at
the discretion of my Executors Nothing doubting but at the Generall
Resurrection I Shall Receive the Same againe by the mighty pow-
er of God as touching such worldly estate wherewith It hath plea-
sen God to bless me in this life I Give devise and dispose of the
same in the following manner and forme. Imprimis I Give to Mary
my dearly beloved That one third part of All my moveable estate &
all My now dwelling house during her Naturall life. Item I Give
unto my Welbeloved Son Jedidiah two hundred ackers of land to
be laid out towards the Northermost part of my tract of land hereto
begin at a Small Brooke and so Runing the said brooke so farr as
it will make two hundred ackers as also one hundred and twenty
ackers of Land laying at Baynegat Bay as also two hundred &
fivety ackers of Land which is to take up belonging to a trust
of a property by me lately purchased. All which tract and
parcels of land here before mentioned to be by him freely to be
possessed and enjoyed by him and his heirs and Assignes for
ever. Item I give unto my Wellbeloved Son James a Certaine
tract or parcel of Land beginning at the abovesaid brooke
Runeing up the said brooke till it Comes to the end of Jedidiah
Land then behind the same till it comes to the uttermost line
thence downe the said line till it Comes to Daneell Cornelius
Corner tree so along the said Daniels line till it Comes to the said
Cornelius Southernmost Corner from thence a East South East line
till it Comes to a small brooke from thence up the said brooke
to the place where it first began all which tract and parcell of
land here before mentioned is by him freely to be possessed and
enjoyed by him and heirs and Assignes for ever. Item I Give
unto my Welbeloved Sons Miceall and Thomas all the rest of
land belonging to the plantation here to be devided equally be-
twixt them in quantity and quality to bee by them freely to be
possessed & enjoyed by them and their heirs and Assignes for ever
Item I Give unto my Welbeloved Son Joseph the sum Eighty pounds
to be paid to him out of My Estate by My Executors hereafter
mentioned when he Shall Come to the age of twenty and one Years.
Item I Give unto my Welbeloved daughter Mary when she shall
come to age Eighteen Years or at the day of her Marrage
the Sum of fifty pounds likewise to be paid her by My

[right-hand page]

Executor. Item I give unto my Grandaughter Sarah Bloomefield the
Sum of ten pounds to be paid her at the age of eighteen years by my Exe-
cutors. Also further my will is that the other two thirds of My movea-
ble Estate be Equally devided amongst all My Children here before menti-
oned my Just Debts being first paid. Further my will is that any
of My children Should happen to dye before the Come to age or
without Issue that their portions or parsells of land to Returne to the
Surviveing partys Equally to be devided amongst them. And further I
doe appoint Constitute and make my dearly beloved wife Mary &
My two sons Jedidiah & James to be my Executors of this my last
will and testament to see that the Same Executed and performed &
I doe hereby uterly disalow Revoke and make Voyd all former
wills testiments or Legacies or Executors by me in wise before the
time named Ratifieing and Confirming this to be my last Will &
Testament                                                 Judiah Hggns {seal}
      Benjamin fitz Randolph Jonathan Hunt Tho Yates
                      Proved before Thomas Gordon Esq by the ???? Mayor
                      and Sealed the same date. Inventory Exhibited &
                      filed                                  J Bass

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), Somerset County, page 16 (penned) (image 339), Jediah Higgins will, 1715.

Jediah Higgins (1657-1715) and his wife, Mary (Newbold) Higgins (1661-1715) married in 1684, and had 11 children:

*  Anne Higgins (1684-1702)
*  Rose Higgins (1686-1715), married Timothy Bloomfield (1681-1748)
*  Mary Higgins (1688-1699)
*  Thomas Higgins (1690-????)
*  Jediah Higgins (1691-1772), married Hannah Stout (1694-1779)
*  James Higgins (1692-1718)
*  Joshua Higgins (1694-????)
*  Phoebe Higgins (1696-????)
*  Michael Higgins (1698-1753), married Anna Bryant (1699-1730)
*  Mary Higgins (1700-1773), married Freegift Stout (1693-1769)
*  Joseph Higgins (1702-1781).

Six of the 11 children are identified in the will, plus a grandchild, Sarah Bloomfield.  Timothy and Rose (Higgins) Bloomfield married in 1707 and had four children, the third being Sarah born in 1710.  Rose (Higgins) Bloomfield probably died before the will was written.  

Jediah and Mary (Newbold) Higgins are my ninth great-grandparents, and I descend through their daughter, Rose (Higgins) Bloomfield.  


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Susi's Quarter said...

I am also descendant from Jediah HIggins b various dates various sources. died 1715 in New Jersey. mar to Mary Newbold.
One book said 1655/6. Eastham Mass. Higgins book different I think. I have a shingle from the STOUT house when it was dismantled some years ago. A cousin lived across street from the home and retrieved several for various STout descendants at that time.

Susi's Quarter said...

I then descend through Jediah and Hannah Stout. down to James and Sarah Stout Higgins to Joseph Higgins and Mary (Henderson) Higgins to Elizabeth Higgins, whom I have 2 pictures of one young one older. She married Henry Hoffman/Huffman. m 9 April 1826 Greene Co. PA.