Monday, March 21, 2016

Amanuensis Monday - Post 312: 1788 Will of Ichabod Kirby (1705-1793) in Bristol County, 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 1788 will of Ichabod Kirby (1705-1793) of Westport, Bristol County, Massachusetts.  There are six pages of handwritten will from the Bristol County probate packet for "Ichabod Kirby, Westport, 1794" on FHL microfilm US/CAN 0,573,223:

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

[image 1]

The twenty-Ninnth Day of March A D one
thousand Seven hundred and Eighty Eight
I Iachebod Keirby of Westport in the
County of Bristol and in the Common-
Welte of the Massachussetts Being advanced
in years But of a Sound Disposing Mind and
memory and Calling to mind the mortallity
of my Body and Knowing that it is appointed
for all men once to Dye Do make and ordain
this to be my last will and testament that
is to Say Princably and first of all I
Commit my Body to the Earth to be Desently
Buryed at the Descretion of my Executor herein
after Named and as touching my worldly Estate
with which it has Pleased God to Bless me
with I give Demise and Dispose of in the
following manner and form Viz.

Of Primmis my will is and do hereby order
that all my just Debts funeral Charges
and Just Expenses of all sorts together with
the Settleing of my Estate be Paid and
Discharged out of my money by my Executor
herein after Named.

Item I give and bequeath unto my well-beloved
wife Rachel Keirby all my houshold goods
of every Sorte and kind whatsoever Excepting
Such as I Shall hereafter otherwise Dispose
of moreover I give unto her my Said wife
my Loom and all my Loom tackling of
Every Sort whatsoever. I also give unto my
Said wife my gold necklace as Long as She
Remains my widdow and after that to Return
where I Shall give it. I also give her my Said
wife Sidesadle and Pillion and my worsted Combs
togerther with all my Spining wheals and my Real.
I also give unto my Said wife the use and

[image 2]

Improvement of the one half of my now Dwelling
house She my Said wife to have her Choise and
to take which half of She Pleases with a Priviledge
in my Seller sufficient for her owne use for and
During the term she Remains my widow and I
also give unto her my said wife twelve Bushels
of Indian Corne one hundred weight of good Pork
that is so much of each Sort yearly and Every
year During the time She Shall Remain my
widow to be Provided and Delivered unto her
yearly and every year as aforesaid by my Son
John Keirby which I whereby him to Do.
I also give unto my Said wife ten Pounds of
good Sheeps wool ten Pounds of good flex from
the Swingle two Bushels of good Rye five good
gees fore gallons of good Mollasses one hundred
weight of good Beef and fore Spanish milled
Silver Dollars the Keeping one Cow well and
Milking Said cow and the milk Brought into
the hous to her and two hens all to Be Kept
well the hens about the Door and the Cow on
Some Part of my homested farm Both winter
and Summer all to be Kept and Performed
at and by the Cost of my Son David Keirby
which I so hereby order him my said Son
to Do yearly and Every year until my wife
his mother Shall Cease to be my widow. I also
give unto my Said wife So much fire wood Cut
a Sutable Length for the fier Brought and laid
handy to her Door as she Shall or may have
occation to maintain one fier for her owne use
and the grate wood Laid on the fier to Be Provided
and Delivered as aforesaid by and at the Cost of my
Son David Keirby yearly and Every year During
the time She Shall Remain my widow. I also give
unto my said wife Eight Pounds of good Butter
thirty weight of good Chease one Barrel of good
Cyder ten Bushels of good winter appels & it is to
Be understood the Sheeps Wool the flax the ye
the gees the molasses the Beef the Dollars the
Butter and Chees the Cyder and apples, that is to

[image 3]

much of Each to be Provided Paid and Delivered
unto her my Said wife by my Son David Keirby
yearly and Every year During the term She
Shall Remain my widow which I order my Son
to do for his mother. I also give unto my
Said wife one of my Cows and She to take her
Choise thereof. Furthermore it is to be under-
stood that all the giftes herein given to my
wife are given to her in Lew of her Right
of Dower or Power of thirds in my Estate
and Not otherwise. Further my mind and will
is that if the Cow given to my wife Should
fail then for my Son David to take her to
himself and Retain another good Cow in
her Room.

Item I give and Bequeath unto my Son John
Keirby all my Right or tract of wood Land
Lying and Being in the Township of Dartmouth
and in the forke of the River So Called to-
gether with all my Salt meadow and Sedge flats
which I Now improve in Partnership with my
Cousin Weston Keirby which is Situate in the
Township of Westport in the Esterly Branch
of the River, the said right of wood Land and Salt
medow I give unto him my Said Son John
and to his heirs and assigns for Ever in fee
Simple. I also give unto my Said son John
one tramel two ferther beds Bedsteds and Cords with
all the Bedding ????gging unto Said ???ds one
Cheese tule one milking Pale one meet tub one
meet Barrel one grindston two Pichforks one large
iron Ber all which he hath Now in his Possion.
I also give him one Ring andf Stapl for an ox yoke
moreover I give unto him my Said son John the
one half my wearing appariel that I Shall
have Left at my Deceas, also I give to him
my Said son half my Notes of hand that I
have for money, he paying and Performing as
I herein have and Shall order him to Do.

[image 4]

I give and Bequeath unto my Daughter
Ruhammer Wilbor one hundred Silver Dollars
in gold be the vallue in one year after my
Decease to be Paid By my Son John Keirby.

Item I hereby give and Bequeath unto my Daughter
Rachel Keirby one feather Bed and furnature
thereunto Belonging of all Sorts ??? ????? for Said
Bed together with a Sufficient maintainnance
in Every Respect and of all Sorts of the Necesers
of life Sutable for her Condition both in
Sickness and in helthe During her Natural
Life is She Remains Single to be Performed
Provided and allowed unto my her my Said Daughter
by my Son David Keirby by out of the Estate
I Shall hereafter give him to Due for his
Mother and wakly Sister But if it Should
So happen that my Said Daughter Rachel
Should or may See fit to alter her Condition
By marrying then immediately upon that
Sircomestance I hereby will and order my Son
David Keirby to give unto her one hundred
Spanish milled Silver Dolars and one good Cow
and upon this Performence to be quit from any
longer maintaining his Said sister. I also give
unto my Said Daughter Rachel after her mothers
Deceas my gold Necklace of Beads.

Item I give and bequeath unto my three grand
Sons Namly Humphrey Keirby Robert Keirby
the Sons of John Keirby and
Iackobard Wilbor the Son of my Daughter
Ruhammer Willbor fore acers of Salt meddow
Lying in Township of Westport and on the
Esterly Side of the Este Branch of the River
Called the hommuck or Peckcehasset Humpreys
to Bgin at Jonathan White's Bredge to Easter??
Southward til he takes one acer and half

[image 5]

and then Robert to take the Next acer
and half South from Humphreys and then
Said Iachabod to take one acer to the South
of roberts. I also order Humphrey Keirby
and Robert Keirby fodderr there ??? on
the Said hammunck and for them two to
keep the fence Betwen my Sons Johns Land
and the Sauid hammucks and the above
meddow to Be to Each of them and to
Each of their heirs and assinges for ever
and to Com into Posesion in one year
after my Deceas.

Item I give and Bequeath unto my five
grand Daughters five Silver Dollars or
gold to the vallue apeace which will be
twenty five Dollars which I order my son
David Keirby to Pay to them five one year
after my Deceas.

Item I hereby give and Bequeath unto
my Eight Grand Sons and grand Daughters
on Sheepe apeace out of my flock of Seepe
to be Delivered them in one year after my
Deceas By my Executor herein after
Named. I give unto my grand Son Iachabod
Keirby Son of my son David Keirby two
of the Best Sheep in my flock and one
Silver Spoon marked I K to be Deliver-
ed to him in one year after my Deces
By my Executor.

Item. I give and Bequeath unto my son David
Keirby one of my feather Beds with all the
furnature Belonging to the Same and one of
my trammelsand one of my Powdering tubs
and one Peas of my hand irons which I had of
John Gifford. I allso give him one half
of my weareing apperl together with one
half of my Nots for money.

[image 6]

Item and I also give unto my said Son David
and to his heirs and assigns forever all my
homsted farme with all the Buldings of what
kind soever Syanding thereon and all the other
Preveledges thereunto Belonging together with
all othe Rest and Residue of my Estate both
Real and Personall of what kind soever that
is not otherwise Desposed of he Doing and
Performing what I have already ordered
him to Do.

Item I Do hereby ordain Constistute and
appoint my Son David Keirby Sole Executor
of this my Last Will and Testament Desiring
him in Love to Se the Same Docely and
truly Executed according to the true
intent and maneing thereof and Do
hereby make null and void all other wills
or testaments by me Before this time
made and Rattifying this and no other
to be my last will and testament in
witness whereof I the said Iachabod Keirby
have hereunto set my hand and Seal
the Day and year above Ritten. Signed
Sealed Published Pronounced and Delivered
by the Said Iachabod Keirby        his
in the Presents of us         Ichabod + Kirby
the subscribers                           mark
Elijah Gifford
Richard Keirby
Richard Keirby Junr

May 7 1793 proved
Recorded N Bayliss

The source citation for this estate packet is:

Bristol County [Mass.] Register of Probate, Bristol County (Mass.) Probate Records, 1690-1881, on 351 FHL US/CAN Microfilm rolls; original records at Probate Registry, Taunton, Mass., Ichabod Kirby, Westport, 1794 Estate packet, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,573,223 (Kingsley - Kirby, accessed 2 February 2016).

This lengthy will of Ichabod Kirby (1705-1793) names his wife Rachel, and his four children living at the time he wrote the will in 1788 - namely, John Kirby, Ruhamah Wilbor, Rachel Kirby and David Kirby.  It also names three of his grandsons, namely Humphrey Kirby and Robert Kirby, sons of his son John Kirby, and Ichabod Wilbor, son of his daughter Ruhamah Wilbor.  It mentions five granddaughters but does not name them.  

The will bequeaths foodstuffs, livestock and firewood to his wife Rachel Kirby, to be provided yearly by his two sons, John Kirby and David Kirby.  She also received the improvement of one half of the dwelling house.  Son John Kirby received woodland and salt meadow land in Dartmouth, while son David Kirby received the other half of the dwelling house and homestead lands.  

The spelling of many words is inconsistent in this will and it is difficult to read in many places.  I accessed this estate packet on FHL microfilm at the FHL on 2 February 2016.  There are other papers in the estate packet and I may transcribe them in another post.

Ichabod Kirby (1705-1793) is my 6th great-grandfather, and I descend through his son David Kirby (1740-1832), who married Martha Soule (1743-1828).  


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1 comment:

Danine Cozzens said...

What a wonderful treasure! So much of the texture of colonial life captured therein. Thanks so much for sharing this.