Monday, June 11, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - the will of Joseph Collins (1643-1724) of Lynn, Mass.

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 file of Joseph Collins (1643-1724) of Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, one of my 8th great-grandfathers.  Joseph Collins had two wives and a total of 16 children.  He married (1) Sarah Silsbee (1646-1682) before 1669, and they had seven children:  Sara Collins (1669-1669); Joseph Collins (1671-1695); Henry Collins (1673-1721); Ann Collins (1675-1754); Dorothy Collins (1676-1730): Sarah Collins (1678-1757) and Ester Collins (1680-????).  Joseph Collins married (2) in 1684 to Mariah Smith (1664-after 1724), and they had nine children:  Ruth Collins (1685-1715); Mary Collins (1688-????); William Collins (1690-1767); Elizabeth Collins (1692-1736); Joseph Collins (1695-1734); Ezekiel Collins (1698-1765); Martha Collins (1700-1731); Ebenezer Collins (1702-after 1730); and Daniel Collins (1704-after 1729).

The will of Joseph Collins was written 16 May 1724, and was attested, approved and allowed by the Court in Ipswich on 2 November 1724.  It reads (probate court clerk copy, transcribed from Essex County Probate Records, Volume 315, pages 143-4, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,875,129):

"In the Name of God Amen.  I Joseph Collins of Lynn in the county of Essex in the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England House carpenter being aged and weak in body but of Perfect mind and memory thanks be to God Do take this Oportunity to make this my Last Will and Testament as followeth.  first I committ my Soul to the Lord Jesus Christ my blessed Redeemer and my body to the Earth to be buried in Deacent Christian Manner att the Direction of my Execr hereafter Named, and as touching my worldly Estate itt hath Pleased God to give me I give and Dispose of the same as followeth.

"Impr.  That all my Just Debts and funerall charges be paid by My Executor hereafter Named, Item, I give and bequath to my beloved Wife Merryah Collins all my Indoor moveables of what Kind soever to be att her own Disposeing and the Improvement of all the Rest of my Estate both Reall and Personall Dureing her Naturall Life All which to be in Lew of Consideration of her thirds or Right of Dower in my Estate Shee accepting thereof.

"Item I give to my three sons Namely William Collins Joseph Collins and Ezekiell Collins Each of them one Shilling they haveing received their Portions by what I have given to them and Done for them in times past.

"It.  I give to my son Daniel Collins Ten Pounds and that together with what I have already Done for him to be his Portion.

"It. I give to my Daughter Ann Ingols Twelve Pounds, I give to my Daughter Dorothy Gray Six Pounds and unto my Daughter Sarah Richards Six Pounds.

"It.  I give to My other three Daughters, Namely Mary Farrar, Elizabeth Graves and Martha Odell each of them Twelve Pounds.  And to my Grandaughter Ruth Graves One shilling haveing given her Deced Mother her Portion in times past.  All which aforesd gifts to my aforementioned Daughters together with what I have already done for them to be there Portions, Ordering my Executor hereafter Named to Pay all the Severall Giffts and Legaceys to the aforenamed Parties within three years after my Wives Decease.

"It.  I give to my Son Ebenezer Collins and to his heires and assignes forever all my Estate both Reall and Personall of what kind soever Excepting what is before given, and my Indoor moveables, before given to my Wife, he Paying and Performing as before Directed.  Lastly My Will is and I do hereby ordain and appoint my aforenamed Son Ebenezer Collins to be my Lawfull and sole Executor to this my Last Will and Testament and for confirmation of the same, I the before Named Joseph Collins have hereunto affixed my hand and Seale on the Sixteenth Day of May Anno Dom: One thousand Seven hundred and twenty four.
......................................................................................... Joseph Collins

"  Signed Sealed Published and Declared in Presence of us
Theophilus Burrell,  John Lewis,  Joseph Mansfield."

Some of the heirs filed an affidavit stating that their legacies from the estate of their honoured father, Joseph Collins, housewright of Lynn, had been received to their full satisfaction.  Separate affidavits were filed by Dorothy and Robert Gray, Sarah and Crispus Richards, Anne and Nehemiah Ingals, Elizabeth and Samuel Graves, Mary and John Farrar, Martha and William Odell during the period of 10 November to 15 November 1727 (Essex County Probate Records, Volume 316, pages 015-016, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,875,129).

One of my descents from Joseph Collins is through his daughter, Sarah (1678-1757) who married Crispus Richards (1681-1763).  The second is through his daughter, Ruth (1685-1715) who married Thomas Graves (1686-1756), whose daughter, Ruth Graves, is mentioned in the will above.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


Root Digger said...

I want to learn more about your Collins genealogy. Very interested as I have Collins in my family from Massachusetts.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Wow, another cousin connection, Randy! Joseph Collins is my 8x great grandfather. I descend from the daughter Anne, who married Nathaniel Ingalls.