Monday, April 30, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records of Ezekiel Worthen (1636-1716) of Salisbury, Mass.

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 Ezekiel Worthen (1636-1716)).  He married Hannah Martin (1643-1730) in 1661 in Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts.  They had ten children:  Hannah Worthen (1663-1737); John Worthen (1665-1743); Thomas Worthen (1667-1702); George Worthen (1669-1745); Ezekiel Worthen (1672-1755); Margaret Worthen (1674-????); Samuel Worthen (1677-1760); 
Dorothy Worthen (1680-1724); Judith Worthen (1682-1755); and Deborah Worthen (1686-????).

Ezekiel Worthen of Amesbury died testate in Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts on 15 June 1716.  His will was written 5 May 1715, and was proved on 6 August 1716.  It reads (transcribed from Essex County Probate Records, Volume 311:420 (court clerk's copy), FHL Microfilm 0,875,127):

"I Ezekiell Warthen senr of Almsbury in ye County of Essex in ye province of ye Massachtt Bay in N England being of perfect memory & composed mind thanks be given to the Lord doe make & Ordaine this my Last Will & Testament.  Principally I Recomend my Soul unto God who gave it and my body unto ye Earth to be buried in a Christian manner att the Discretion of my Executor.  And as to my Worldly Estate & herewith ye Lord hath been pleased to bless mee with all, I Give & Dispose off in forme as followeth.

"Imprimus.  I Give & bequeath unto Hannah my beloved Wife all that part of my homestead & other Lands of mine in Almsbury on ye north side of ye land now in ye possession of my son George Warthen, & of Good ... ..., not already disposed of with all ye houses orchards fences yron & all other privilidges to ye same belonging To have & to hold During her Naturall Life.  And ye yearly Income of all my other Lands & Meadow which I have not yet disposed of.  I also give unto my wife all my Stock & other Moveables not already disposed of & ye Benefit yt shee shall have of ye produce of ... particulars above given & ... ... be Injoyed & Disposed of att her pleasure as shee ... ...

"Item.  I Give & Bequeath to my son George Warthen all that part of my homestead situate Southward of Harrison's Creek & so much on ye Norward of said Creek as formerly belonged to ye Swamp adjoyneing yr unto, always excepting out of this Land above given to my son George Warthen free Egress and Regress unto my son John Warthen his heirs & assignes for ever from ye other part of my homestead nearby land running down to the River as he or they Shall have Occasion at any Time for ye Carrying of Hay or any other things whatsoever & also a Liberty equall with my son George to Land & dry fodder upon three quarters of an acre of Land att ye So.East Corner of my homestead joyneing to Richard Martins land.

"Item.  I Give & Bequeath unto my son Samuell Warthen one moiety or half of my Lott of meadow att Salisbury joyning to ye black rock creek which I bought of William Chandler To have & to hold to himself his heirs & assignes forever.

"Item.  I Give & Bequeath unto my son John Warthen to him his heyres & assignes to have & to hold forever & to enter into the possession of after ye decease of mee, Ezekiel Warthan & Hannah my Now wife all ye remaineing part of my homestead on ye North side of land bequeathed unto my son George Warthen, together with all ye Orchards, houseing, fences & all other prividiges yr unto belonging which I in Consideration of his Discharging & paying of all my Just & Due Debts, & all ye bequests which are Hereafter Named to be payd unto my Daughters & Grandchildren hereafter Named and also paying for our funerall Expenses & Charges of Executorshipp Whom I Doe appoint Constitute & Ordaine Sole Executor to this my Last Will & Testament, and in case my son John Warthen shall renounce Executorshipp I then Substitute & Ordaine my Son Ezekiell Warthen Executor in his room & ... & doe Conferr & Convey unto him my Bequ... land not ... to have & to hold to himself his heires & assignes forever upon the Same Consideration as above mentioned.

"Item.  I Give & Bequeath unto my Daughters Hannah Fowler Dorothy Hoyt Judith Paige & Deborah Wales five pounds apeice to be payd by my Executor to Each of them or their respective heires or assignes att my now Dwelling place in good Merchandise pay att price Currant, to Hannah Fowler within one year & to ye rest of said Daughters within five years next after ye decease of mee & Hannah my Wife.

"Item  I Give & Bequeath unto my Daughter Marjory Weed five shillings out of my Estate to be payd by my Executor in manner as to my other Daughters.

"Item.  I Give & Bequeath unto my two Grand Children Judith & Dorothy Daughters of my son Thomas Warthen deceased, fifty shillings a peice to be payd as in Manner as aforesaid or when Each of them shall arrive att ye age of Eighteen years if it comes not within ye time of my decease receiveing of their portions, my Will is yt upon ye payment of this fifty shillings a peice unto my Grand Children above named that they each of them or their lawfull successors give a lawfull quitt claime of all ye higher title & interest unto a lott of land in ye Lions Moiety being ye third lott in Number originally to George Martin Deceased by virtue of an Entaile put upon or if either of them shall refuse or neglect so ... doe as not to give a quitt Claime unto my son Ezekiell Warthen, then my Will is yt they shall have but Two shillings & six pence a peice payd unto them as in Manner abovewritten and five pounds which should have been payd unto them shall be payd unto my son Ezekiell Warthen by my Executors should have been payd unto them in like manner.

"Item.  I Give & Bequeath unto my son Ezekiel Warthen two shillings to be payd by my Executor he having had his portion already by Deed.

"Item.  My Will also is yt if my now Wife Hannah should dye before myself or before shee shall have disposed of what I have bequeathed to her for ye End, yt yn wt may be remaineing of my Stock or Moveables I reserve to my own disposall and if I should dye & not have disposed of them my Will is yt they shall be divided among my five Daughters & my Grand Daughter Dorothy Warthen.  To my Daughter Hannah & my Grandaughter Dorothy double so much as ye other of my Daughters each of them.

"Item.  This is my Last Will & Testament, Wittness my hand & Seale this fifth day of ye Third Month Called May one thousand Seven hundred & fifteen.

"Signed Sealed & Declared .............................. The Mark of Ezekiel W Warthen
so to be before us
John Simson
Judith Hoag
Jacob Morrill"

On 6 August 1716, the Court at Ipswich allowed the will of Ezekiel Warthen, with John Simson, Jacob Morrill and Judith Hoage making oath that they witnessed Ezekiell Warthen late of Almsbury sign and seale the abovewritten instrument.

Also on 6 August 1716, the Court allowed an inventory of the estate of Ezekiel Warthen, late of Almsbury, deceased, taken 15 June 1716 by Richard Preddinton (?) and Thomas Rogers.  The inventory totalled 122 pounds, which included one half of his homestead (60 pounds), land given to George Warthen (25 pounds), and meadow given to Samuel Warthen (2 pounds). (Essex County Probate Records, Volume 311:424).

In the will we see that Ezekiel named his wife, his four living sons, his deceased son Thomas, and his five daughters with their married surnames.  My line is from the son Ezekiel Worthen (1672-1755) who married Abigail Carter in 1704.  

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cousins again. I'm descended from Ezekiel twice through his daughters Hannah and Dorothy.

Have a great trip!

Marnie Oakes