Monday, February 28, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Record of Elijah Champlin (1730-1779) of South Kingstown, RI

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme many months ago called Amanuensis Monday. What does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition:

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is the probate file of Elijah Champlin (1730-1779) of South Kingstown, Rhode Island.  He married Phoebe Card (1730-1787) and they had children:  Phoebe Champlin (1752-????); Elijah Champlin (1756-1825); Joseph Champlin (1758-1850); William Champlin (1759-1844); Mary Champlin (1760-????); Jeffrey Champlin (1761-1837); Amy Champlin (1762-????); Hannah Champlin (1764-????); Anna Champlin (1766-????); Elizabeth Champlin (1768-????); Alice Champlin (1770-????).

Elijah Champlin of South Kingstown died testate, having written a will dated 14 January 1779, which was proved on 19 February 1779.  The will reads (transcribed by the author from the South Kingstown (Rhode Island) Probate and Town Council Records, Volume 6, Page 110-112, on FHL Microfilm 0,931,835.  Some words are difficult to read on the microfilm; paragraphs created for readability):

"Be it Remembered that I Elijah Champlin of South Kingstown in the County of Kings County & State of Rhode Island & Providence Plantation being sick and weak in body but of a sound disposing mind & memory Thanks be to God and Calling to mind the mortality of mankind & the Time thereof being uncertain Do make and ordain this my last Will & Testament in manner & form following that is to say -

"First and Principally I recommend my soul into the Hands of Almighty God who gave it and my body to the Earth to be buried in a Christian Like manner at the Discretion of my Executors herein after named and touching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me I give and bequeath the same as followeth --

"Imprimus  I give & bequeath unto my beloved son Elijah Champlin the Feather Bed that he useth to Lodge on, with Bedstead and beddings thereto belonging, except Curtins --

"Item  I give unto my said son Elijah Champlin one Gun one ????? ????? ????? one pair of Pistols, he to have his choice of all my Guns ???? ???? & pistols.

"Item  I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Jeffery Champlin one ???? one Cart??? & one pair of pistols his choice next after his brother Elijah.

"Item  I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Joseph Champlin one Gun he to have next choice  Also I give to my said son Joseph Champlin my broad Cloath Coat now riped up and one new Holland shirt.

"Item  I give and bequeath unto my beloved son William Champlin one Gun he to have the next choice Also my Large Coat & one new Holland shirt.

"Item  I give and bequeath unto my beloved Daughters Mary Gavot and Phebe Card, one pair of Fire Tongs each.

"Item  I give and bequeath unto my beloved Daughter Amey Young the Feather Bed Bedstead & Furniture she useth to Lodge on except the Curtins Also one Iron Kettle Fire Shovel & Tongs and one Puter platter.

"Item  I give & bequeath unto each of my beloved Daughters Hannah Champlin Anna Champlin Elizabeth Champlin and Alice Champlin one good decent suit of Cloaths fitting & suitable for them respectively when they shall arrive at their respective age of Eighteen years.

"And as to the rest of my Personal Estate be it of what kind or nature soever I give and bequeath the same to my well beloved Wife Phebe Champlin as well for the payment of all my Just Debts & Funeral Charges as also for the payment of the Legacies herein bequeathed and for her support & the support and maintenance of my four youngest daughters to wit Hannah, Anna, Elizabeth, & Alice, till they shall respectively be able to support themselves, and after that Time what I have herein given to my wife to remain to her own use forever.

"Lastly I hereby nominate and appoint my well beloved wife Phebe Champlin Executrix and my beloved son Elijah Champlin Executor of this my Last Will and Testament revoking and Disannulling all former & other wills by me heretofore made ratifying & Confirming this and no other to be my Last Will & Testament.  In Witness whereof I the said Elijah Champlin have hereunto my Hand & seal the fourteenth day of Jany in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy nine.
Signed Sealed Published & Declared
by Mr. Elijah Champlin the Testator to be
his Last Will & Testament
In Presence of  .................................................... Elijah Champlin (seal)
F. Perry
Syrus Babcock"

On ?? March 1779, Freeman Perry and Cyrus Babcock declared that they saw Elijah Champlin, late deceased, sign, seal, publish and declare that the aforementioned instrument to be his last will and testament and that they set their hands as witnesses at the same time in the presence of the testator, and that the testator was of a good sound disposing mind and memory.  The will was approved and recorded.

There were no other probate records found in the South Kingstown record books for Elijah Champlin.  This couple had eleven children, and they are all alive when Elijah wrote his will.  He bequeathed "male" things like clothes, tools and guns to his four sons.  Notice that the remainder of the estate, after the bequests given to the children, all went to his wife for the support of herself and their youngest children. 

The fact that daughters Mary, Amy and Phebe are married implies that they are at least 18 years of age, or close to it. 

"Puter" is, of course, "pewter," not "comPUTER."


buy zenegra online said...

Wow! It's awesome blog post here.... really very interesting for reading..... I enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing..

PatternPrincess58 said...

I am interested in the geneology of Henry F. Champlin who had a house in Warren RI. He supposedly started the first reading room which moved on to be the main library. He was supposed to be a pastor and involved in the beginings of the railroad there and somehow started talks on Fire Insurance. I believe there was a Judge or senetor with the last name Champlin and his name is on the state record of having attended Senate meetings on fire insurance and rail road talks. Do you have any images of that man?