Monday, April 16, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records of Moses Barber (1652-1733) of South Kingstown, R.I.

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own 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 records of Moses Barber (ca 1652-1733) of South Kingstown, Rhode Island.    Moses married 1678 (1) Ann Babcock (ca 1660-ca 1690), and they had three children: William Barber (1680-1748); Sarah Barber (1682-1779); Moses Barber (1683-1758).  Moses married 1692 (2)  Susanna West (ca 1666-1756) in Kingstown, and they had 14 children:  Dinah Barber (1693-ca 1774); Lydia Barber (1694-before 1733); Samuel Barber (1695-1760); Susannah Barber (1697-1755); Thomas Barber (1699-1762); Joseph Barber (1701-1779); Martha Barber (1703-????); Ruth Barber (1705-1755); Benjamin Barber (1707-1792); Mercy Barber (1709-1790); Exekiel Barber (1711-after 1782); Abigail Barber (1713-????); Daniel Barber (1714-1805); and Anna Barber (1717-after 1800).

Moses Barber Sr.of South Kingstown wrote a will dated 29 March 1728, which was proved on 17 December 1733.  The will reads (transcribed by Randy Seaver from South Kingstown Probate and Town Council Records, Volume 2, pages 238-245, on FHL Microfilm 0.931,833, a clerk's copy):

"In The Name of God Amen the Twenty Ninth day of March 1728  I Moses Barber Sen-r of South Kingstown In the Colony of Rhod Island Yeoman being Aged and Weak In Body but of Perfect Mind and Memory thanks be Given unto God for it therefore Calling into mind the Mortallity of My body and Knowing that it is Appointed for all men once to Dye Do Make and Ordain this My Last Will & Testament that is to Say principally and First of all I Give and Recommend my soul Into the Hands of God that Gave it and my body to be burried In Decent Christian Burial at the Discrestion of My Executrix and Executor Hearafter Named Nothing Doubting but at the Generall Reasurrection I shall Receive the Same again by the Mighty Power of God & As Touching upon Such Worldly Estate Wherewith It hath Pleased God to bless me In this Life I Give Demise and Dispose of the same In the following manner and Form that is to say --

"Imprimus  After my Just Debts Funeral Charges and Legacies are Duly Discharged and paid by my Executrix andor Executor The use of the Rest of my Movable Estate I Give and bequeath to Susanah my Wife So Long as She Remains my Widow as also the use of my Homested farm and House with all the priviledges and profits therewith belonging and further my Will is that at the Decease of my wife Susannah that then all the Remaining part of my said Estate Shall be Equally Divided between the Daughters of my said Wife or their Children.

"Item  I Give unto my Son William Barber one shilling In token of my Love he having Recieved his portion already In Land.

"Item  I Give unto my Son Moses Barber one Shilling in Token of my Love to him He having Recieved his portion already In Land.

"Item  I Give unto my Son Samuel Barber one Shilling in token of My Love to him he Having Recieved his portion already In Land.

"Item  I Give unto my Son Thomas Barber one Shilling In token of my Love to him he having Recieved his portion already In Land.

"Item  I Give unto my Son Joseph Barber one Shilling In token of my Love to him he having Recieved his portion already In Land.

"Item  I Give unto my Son Benjamin Barber a Certain Tract or parcell of Land Scituate Lying and being In Westerly by Estimation one hundred and Forty Six Acres which I bought of Francis Colgrove to be to him my said Son Benjamin and to his heirs & Assigns Forever.

"Item  I Give unto my Son Ezekiel Barber twenty Acres of Land being the North West Corner of my Homstead Farm Bounded Westerly on the Pebignamscut Line & Easterly on Yancey's Pond  I allso Give to my Said son Ezekiel Barber Twenty Five Acres of Land on the South East Corner of My Homestead Farm be the Same more or less - Butted and bounded as followeth Begining at a Certain Rock by the Pond where the brook Runs out of the pond and to Extend Westward to a Large Oak Tree and heap of stones and so to Extend the Same Course to Samuel Barbers Land Southward on the Land of Robert Willcox and Eastward on the sd Brook and the brook is the bounds to the before Mentioned Rock and both the above mentioned percells of Land Which I give to my said Son Ezekiel Barber to him his heirs and assigns forever.  I allso give to my Said Son Ezekiel Barber one Loom and All my Weaving Utentials.

"Item  I Give unto my Son Daniel Barber all my Remainding part of my homstead Farm with all the housing Orchard and Fencing and all other to the same Belonging to him my said Son Daniel Barber and to his heirs and assigns forever.

"Item  I Give to my Youngest Daughter Ann Barber one Good feather Bead well Fixed and Twenty pounds In money to be paid to her when she Comes to the Age of Eighteen Years.

"Item  I Give to all my Daughters which are Married to Each of them Five Shillings In Token of My Love They Having Recieved their portion already.  also I Give to the heirs of my Daughter Lydia Mery Deceased Five shillings.  Lastly my Will Is and I Do hereby Order Constitue and Appoint my True and Loving Wife my Executrix As allso my Son Benjamin Barber my Executor & this my Last will and Testament and I Do hereby Utterly Disallow Revoke and disannul All and Every Other Former Testaments Wills Leagacies and Bequeaths and Executors by Me In any Ways Named Willed and Bequeathed Ratifying and Confirming this and No other to be my Last will and Testament  In Wittness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this Day and Year above Written.
...................................................................... his
.......................................................... Moses  M  Barber  (seal)
..................................................................... mark
"Signed Sealed
published pronounced &
Declared by the said
Moses Barber as his Last
Will and Testament
In the Presence of us the Subscribers
Benjamin Potter
Josiah Shearman
Isaac Shelden"

"Isaac Shelden and Benjamin Potter Both appeared before the town Councill of South Kingstown this 17th Day of December 1733 and Did Declare upon Oath that they did see the above Moses Barber Sign Seal and Declare the above and foregoing to be his Last Will and Testament that at the same time he was In his perfect Mind and Memory and that they then In his presence signed as Wittnesses to the same allso att the same time saw Josiah Shearman Deceased sign as a wittness thereto in said Barbers presence.  This Will being proved as abovesd the Town Councill Doth Approve of the Same  Robert Hannah Councill clerk."

"A true inventory of all and singular the Goods, Chattels and Credits of Moses Barber of South Kingstown in Kings County and Colony of Rhoad Island Yeoman Late Deceased" was taken by Daniel Knowles and Isaac Shelden dated 13 December 1733.

Imprimus his Wearing apparrel and 10 yd of cloath          9--10--00
To Books and 8 Old Silver Spoons 10--00--00
To Money Due by Bonds 94--00--00
To Money Due by Benj-n Barber 5--00--00
To bills of Credit 9--00--00
To Neat Cattle and Sheep 68--00--00
To Some Cloath and Yarn 5--19--00
To a broad Cloath Mantle & Some bed lining                   2--05--00
To some flax yarn and Mohair 0--08--04
To horse kind and one Trunk 13--02--00
To Swine and Gese 8--07--00
To Cotton Woll & pillar Case and Combe Wool                2--17--00
To Woosted and Yarn 3--00--06
To Pork and Beef and Meet Ca?? 25--10--00
To Sheeps Wool and Tallow 2--04--09
To a Tub and Sum Fat & Two Earthen Potts & butter       1--17--00
To a Tub and Tab??s & two old Sudt? and Trillion??         3--15--00
To a Lining Wheel and 3 Bells & a brand Iron 2--00--00
To 1 Lome Some Stays and 2 Chest 4--10--00
To old Iron and woosted Cloath and Sheep Shears           2--05--00
To Shoe Making Tools and 1 Gimblet (?) & Sum bea??    1--05--00
To a Warming Pan & box Iron 1--00--00
To 1 Grind Stone and a hive of bees 2--00--00
To 1 Cart and Wheels & farming Utentials 15--16--00
To 3 pots and 3 Kettles & Other Iron things 8--03--00
To hay & Oats & Corn In the Cribb 2--10--00
To 1 Hetchel & some flax and a pitch fork 1--05--00
To 2 Old Wooling Wheels & five Tables 3--15--00
To feathers In a Barell and sive & Meal bag 3--06--00
To 3 feather Beads & furniture belonging to them 39--00--00
To 1 flock bead & furniture 9--10--00
To Two Chest 6 Chaces a Cradle and Candlestick            2--05--00
To Lumber and Turnups and Cabbidge In Cellar                1--00--00
To 2 Hogsheads & Sum Sider 1--00--00
To Lumber In the Kitchen and Kitchen Chamber                2--06--00
To puter and Earthen and Knife and fork 7--01--00
To a Razour and Beaswax and Two Hides                        1--15--00
To 2 Old Boxes and some salt 0--12--00
To 2 Steel Traps and a pair of Cards 1 Ax and 3 Rakes     2--00--00
......................................................................................  452--19--10

The inventory was presented by Susannah Barber, widow and Executrix of Moses Barber of South Kingstown, deceased, and Benjamin Barber the son of the said Moses Barber, to the South Kingstown Town Council on 17 December 1733.  The personal inventory totalled 452 pounds, 19 shillings, 10 pence.

Moses Barber named his wife, eight sons and two daughters in his will.  Susanna (West) Barber died in 1756, and listed all of her living daughters in her will (see Amanuensis Monday - the will of Susannah (West) Barber (1666-1756)Ann Kinyon, Dinah Wilcocks, heirs of Lyda Mora [Mowry], Susannah Perry, Martha Parker, Ruth Bentley, and Mary [Mercy?] Tefft.

My ancestry is through the youngest child, Anna Barber who married Sylvester Kenyon.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


Midge Frazel said...

Thanks! I am working on the scans of the RI Genealogical Register

Becky Higgins said...

Thanks for the post Randy. We seem to be half-cousins. I'm descended from Moses and Ann (Babcock) Barber's son Moses.
I'm not really working this line at the moment but it's always nice to find a cousin.

Susan Cline said...

Here's a question for all you knowledgeable people. Daughter of Moses Barber and Susannah West was Dinah Barber who married Edward Wilcox in 1716. Born was Martha Wilcox abt 1722 in Westerly, RI. She married Daniel Burdick, 1746 in Stonington, CT. Died in No. Stonington 1815. No record of birth in Westerly Town Hall. No record of marriage in Stonington, and no record of death in North Stonington. Not mentioned in her father's will. Does anyone know anything about Martha Wilcox Burdick? Need for Mayflower connection to George Soule.
Susan Cline

Kristin said...

Hi Randy. I'm just getting started on family history and found your post. I'm also a descendant of Anna and Sylvester. I'm looking for information about Moses Barber's parents. I can only find his father James. Do you have any information about his mother? Thanks so much.

Citereh said...

This is a line I haven't spent much time on. I just found your post, and am trying to decide if it is a fit. If this is my Moses Barber, I descend thru his son Moses. My Moses Barber possibly married Mary and they had a son named Gideon (1744-1813). Gideon married Phebe and their daughter Anna Barber married Shadrack Wilbur (1766-1826). Anything sound like a fit? I have LOTS of ancestors from R.I. but I know nothing about the Barbers.

Denese said...

Where did you find a copy of the original documents? Please and thank you.

Randy Seaver said...


I found the town clerk's entry in the South Kingstown town records on FHL microfilm - South Kingstown Probate and Town Council Records, Volume 2, pages 238-245, on FHL Microfilm 0,931,833.

These have now been digitized and are available online at a FamilySearch Library or Center.

The original probate records (the actual papers) may be available in paper form at a South Kingstown or Rhode Island repository. The town clerk copied the original records into the town record book and that is what I was able to access years ago on microfilm.

Denese said...

Thank you, sir! I will get over to the local LDS library and look for this record. Would you happen to have any documentation on Moses son of Moses? I understand he also left a will?

Denese said...

I have just returned from the FHL. I have copies if you would like? Send email to