Monday, July 11, 2016

Amanuensis Monday - Post 328: Will of Benjamin Wing (1698-1782) of Dartmouth, 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 will of Benjamin Wing (1698-1782) of Dartmouth, Bristol county, Massachusetts.  

There are four pages of the will written 5 November 1776:

Benjamin Wing wrote a codicil to his will on 2 April 1779:

The codicil and will were proved in Bristol County Probate Court on 7 May 1782:

The transcription of the will, the codicil and proving statement is (transcribed line by line):

[page 4, image 1217 of 1488]

Whereas I Benjamin Wing of Dartmouth in the County
of Bristol in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New
England yeoman, being far advanced in years and Somewhat
Infirm of body Yet thro' the Kindness of Providence am Preserved
in a Sound disposing Mind & Memory, And Recollecting the un-
certain Stage of this Life thought it Expedient to Settle my Estate
in my Family, and do therefore Make & Ordain this to be my
Last Will & Testament, and herein do Give Devise & dispose of such
worldly Estate wherewith it hath Pleased God to Bless me with
in this Life in the following Manner and form Vidilicet:

Imprimus I Give & Bequeath unto my beloved wife Mary Wing
the use & improvement of the best Room in my dwelling house with
a Privilege with a Celler, oven for Baking & the well for drawing Water
with full Liberty to pass & Repass to & from the same, also a Privilege
to Set a bed in the chamber of my said House, and a Privilege in the
Leenter Chamber, also one hundred pounds of Beef, one hundred
Pounds of Pork, Twelve Pounds of Sugar, Six Gallons of Molasses
Seven Bushells of Good Indian Corn, Three Bushells of Rye, fourteen pounds
of Flour, Ten pounds of Good Sheeps wool & ten pounds of Flax from the
Swingle, also Seven Cord of Good fire wood brought to her door
and cut Suitable for her fire, and one pound four shillings Lawfull
money to purchase Small stores for her use, and all to be Provided yearly
& Every year during the time she shall Remain my widow. I also
Give to my said wife two Cows & one Horse & their Keeping ^Except one Cow^ on my Home
Stead Farm winter & Summer as the other Creatures on sd Farm are
Kept, also the Keeping a Pig, two Geese & three Hens with the Increase
of the Geese & Hens from spring to fall, also the Privilege of Planting
for Sauce a Quarter of an Acre of Land in some Convenient place
for her use, with the fruit that shall Grow on the North Row of apple
Trees in my Little Orchard Standing by the wall, all the above
Provisions & Privileges are to be paid Delivered to & Provided for
my said wife yearly by my four Sons Namely Benjamin, David,
Jonathan & Prince Equally between them during the time she
shall Remain my widow, Excepting however, and it is my will
that the Keeping of the Creatures & Providing the fire Wood above

[page 5, image 1218 of 1488]

Said shall be done Equally by my Sons David & Prince &
by them only, and the Improvements Above given to my wife in
my House, orchard & Sauce yard as above said to be on that part
that I shall give in this my will to my son Prince, but the Cows
and Horse above Given to ^my^ sd wife to be taken out of my Stock
that I shall Leave at my decease.

Item I also Give unto my said wife all the House hold Goods (that is
Remaining at my decease) that belonged to her when I married
her and were brought to my House, Together with all the household
Goods that we Commonly use or that we shall have in Possession
at my decease Excepting two Silver Spoons.

Item And my will farther is & I hereby order my two sons David and
Prince to Provide my said wife with a Suitable Nurse & good Tendance
in time of Sickness & old age when needed during the aforesaid Term
if she shall see cause to Live in my House & Improve the Privileges
above Given to her. But if in case my said wife should be Inclined
to Lett or hire out the above Privilege & Improvements or any
part thereof my will & meaning is that she shall nor hire them
to be Improved by any but to my sons only if they see cause to
hire the same, and the Price thereof to be by them mutually agreed
upon, or be set & prised by Indifferent men by them Chosen,
and all the above & foregoing Gifts & Privileges I do Give to my
said wife in Lieu of her Right of dowry or Thirds in my Estate
and I desire she may Accept of them Accordingly.

Item I Give & Bequeath unto my son Benjamin Wing & to his heirs &
assigns forever all the Remaining part of that Farm which I
bought of David Wilkason in Smithfield which I have not alrea-
dy heretofore Conveyed or Given to him by Deed of Sale or Gift, with all
the Privileges & Appurtenances thereunto belonging, together also
with the one half part of that Cedar Swamp Lot Situate in said
Smithfield which I bought of Daniel Smith he my said son Benj^a
paying one Quarter part of all my debts & Charges of Settling my Estate
and otherwise performing what I have herein ordered & directed
him to do & fulfil.

Item I Give & Bequeath unto my Son Thomas Wing & to his heirs
Nine pounds Lawful Money to be paid by my four sons Namely
Benjamin, David, Jonathan & Prince Equally within three years
next after my decease.

[page 6, image 1219 of 1488]

Item I Give & Bequeath unto my two Sons David & Jonathan & to
Their Heirs and Assigns forever a Tract or piece of Salt Meadow Lay-
ing hear the head of the Lott so called situate in Dartmouth it being
all the Meadow which I bought of Increase Allen, to be Equally
Divided between them my sd two sons.

Item I Give & Bequeath to my two sons David & Prince & to their Heirs & Assigns
forever Equally to be Divided between them a piece of Salt Meadow
situate in Accoakset River in sd Dartmouth it being a flatt called
Gunning Flatt or Sowle's flatt.

Item I Give to my son Prince and to his Heirs & Assigns forever two parcels
of Salt Meadow Laying in sd Coakset River on the Northward Side of
the Great Island so-called.

Item I Give to my Son Jonathan Wing & to his Heirs & Assigns forever
one half part of that Cedar Swamp which I bought of Daniel Smith
Situate in Smithfield aforesaid, he performing what I have ordered
him to pay & perform in this my will.

Item I Give & Bequeath unto my son David Wing & to his Heirs & Assigns
forever the Southerly half or part of my Homestead farm Bounded off
from the Northerly part thereof as followeth: Beginning at a Cherry
Tree near the Edge of the Salt marsh at the foot of my said farm
from thence to Extend West to the sd River, Again to Extend from said Tree
East twenty Seven degrees North fifty two Rods & 6 foot to a Butter-
wood Tree Marked Standing by another tree of the same sort, from thence
to Extend East fifteen dgs North to the head line of my said farm
he my said son David paying fulfilling & performing as I have & Shall
order & direct in this my will.

Item I Give & Bequeath unto my son Prince Wing & to his Heirs & Assigns
forever the Northerly half or part of my said homestead farm bounded
off from the Southerly part thereof as above described, with all the
Buildings thereon & Privileges & Apportenances thereto belonging
he my said son Prince allowing hism other-inlaw the Privilege &
Improvements as I have Given her in this my will & otherwise perform
as I have and shall order & direct in this my will.

Item I also Give unto my son Prince & to his Heirs & Assigns forever a par-
cel of Salt meadow Laying at a place Called P. Schsuit in sd Accoakset
River joining to Peleg White's Land.

Item I give unto my two sons David & Prince all my Live Stock of all

[page 7, image 1220 of 1488]

Kinds Except what I have already otherwise disposed of within my will
together with all my farming tools & Utensils with all my debts due
to me by bond book or otherwise and they my said sons David & Prince
to pay Three Quarter parts of all my just just debts funeral charges
& Expences of Settling my Estate.

Item I Give to my three sons David Jonathan & Prince to each of them a Silver
spoon marked with the Letters I H W

Item I Give to my Son Benjamin a Silver Spoon marked HT CW

Item I give to my son ^Jonathan^ another Silver Spoon marked IB IW

Item I Give to my three sons David Jonathan & Prince all my Pewter Marked
with the Letters I H W also a small Brass Kettle.

Item I Give to my Daughter Elizabeth Howland Six Pounds Lawful Money

Item I Give to my Daughter Sarah Anthony Six Pounds Lawful Money

Item I Give to my Daughter Abigail White Sixty Shillings Lawfull Money

Item I Give to my Daughter Rhoda Tucker Sixty Shillings Lawful Money.

Item I Give to my four Grand-Children, the Children of my Late deceased Daughter
Hannah Davis Namely Thomas, Rhoda, Benjamin & Anna to each of them
the Sum of Ten Shillings Lawful Money.

Item I Give to my Grandson John Wood Six pence and to my Grand daughter Content
Sowle Six pence besides what I have already Given to their Mother deceased.

All the above Legacies to my Daughters & Grand Children are to be paid
within two years next after my decease by my four sons Namely Benjamin
David Jonathan & Prince Equally between them.

Lastly I Give to my two Sons David & Prince all my Wearing Apparel with all
my Silver Buttens Equally Between them Together with all the Rest & Residue
of my Estate of all Kinds not otherwise disposed of in this my will to be Equally
Divided between them their Heirs & Assigns forever.

And I do hereby Constitute & Appoint my two sons Namely Benjamin & David
to be Joint Executors to this my Last Will & Testament to see the same
fulfiled in Every part according to the True Intent & meaning thereof, hereby
Revoking all other Wills by me before this time made declaring this
only to be my Last Will & Testament. In Witness whereof I have
hereunto set my Hand & Seal This fifth day of the Eleventh month
Called November A.D. One Thousand Seven hundred & Seventy Six 1776.

Signed Sealed and declared              }
by Benjamin Wing to be his Last     } { Benjamin Wing {seal}
Will and Testament in presence of   }
Thomas Howland the 2d
Brice Wing
Samuel Smith

After Benjamin Wing wrote his will on 5 November 1776, he wrote a codicil on 2 April 1779.

[page 2, image 1215 of 1488]

Be it Known to all People by These Presents That I
Benjamin Wing of Dartmouth in the County of Bristol in
New England yeoman Have made & declared my Last Will
and Testament in Writing bearing date the fifth day of the
Eleventh Month Called November A D 1776. Wherefore, I the
said Benjamin Wing do hereby Ratify and Confirm all and Every
article & Clause therein Contained Except the following alterations,
(viz) That whereas my Daughter Elizabeth Howland is now deceased
Since the writing of my said Will I do therefore hereby Give and
Bequeath unto her fourteen Children Namely, Susanna, John, Content,
James, Sarah, Wing, Timothy, Rebeca, Warren, Benjamin,
Jonathan, David, Amy and Elisabeth all that which is Mentioned in
my said Will to be Given to their mother to be Equally Divided to & between
them her said Chidren, or to the Survivors of them at my decease.

Furthermore My will is that my son Benjamin Wing pay unto my two
sons David and Prince Equally between them One hundred & fifty
Silver Spanish mill^d Dollars or the Value thereof in other Silver
or Gold with the Interest thereupon from this Present date until the
Same be paid, the same being his part or Proportion of my Debts which
they my sd sons David & Prince hath already paid & discharged.

Item my will farther is That if Either one or more of my sons shall
Bring or Exhibit any Book debt or account Against me or my Estate
after my decease in order to Recover the same out of my Estate
I do hereby order the same to be paid & discharged out of his part
or that part of my Estate that I have in my said will Given unto
him or them Respectively so Exhibiting such account as aforesd.

Item my Will & meaning farthermore is that all & Each one of the
money Legacies that I have ordered to be paid in my said Will
That the same be paid in Silver Money at the Rate of Six Shil-
lings & Eight Pence per Ounce or the Equall Value thereof in Gold.

Finally I do hereby Ratify & Confirm this Present Codicile to be part
and parcel of my Last Will & Testament and that Everything
herein Contained be Truly & faithfully fulfil^d & Performed.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this Second
day of the fourth month A D one Thousand Seven hundred & Seventy Nine.

Signed, Sealed & declared by Benjamin   } { Benjamin Wing {seal}
Wing as his Codicile to his Last Will and }
Testament In the Presence of us                }
Thomas Howland
Charles Howland
Samuel Smith

The codicil and will of Benjamin Wing was proved on 7 May 1782.

[page 3, image 1216 of 1488]

Bristol, May 7^th 1782
Then before the Hon^ble Benjamin Williams Esq. Judge of the Probate
of Wills &c for the County of Bristol came Thomas Howland and
Samuel Smith two of the witnesses to the before written instrument
and made oath that they were present and saw Benjamin Wing
the subscriber thereto who is since deceased sign seal and heard him
publish and declare the same to be a codicil to his last Will and
Testament and to be part and parcel thereof and that he was of a
sound and disposing mind and memory when he so did and
that they with Charles Howland signed as witnesses at the same time
and all in the presence of the Testator.
Benj'a Williams

The source citation for the will and codicil and proving statement is:

Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991, indexed database with digital images, (, Bristol County, "Probate Records, Wilmarth, Walter - Wing, James," 7 pages (images 1214-1220 of 1488), Benjamin Wing, 1782 estate papers; original papers at Bristol County (Mass) Probate Court, Taunton, Mass.

Benjamin Wing was married three times.  With his first wife, Content Tucker (1695-1738), he had five children - Elizabeth, Hannah, Sarah, Benjamin and Abigail Wing.  He married Rhoda Rogers (1713-1758) in 1738 and had five more children - Thomas, Rhoda, David, Jonathan and Prince Wing.  In 1764, Benjamin married, thirdly, Mary (Devol) Potter (1705-1798), who survived him; they had no children together.

The will and codicil of Benjamin Wing names all ten of his children, although two daughters died before Benjamin died.  The four children of Hannah (Wing) Davis and the fourteen children of Elizabeth (Wing) Howland are named as beneficiaries in the will.

Benjamin and Content (Tucker) Wing are my 6th great-grandparents.  I am descended from their daughter, Abigail Wing (1734-1806), who married Jonathan White (1732-1804).


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