Monday, April 8, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records of Mary (Thurston) Slocum (1657-1732)

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 Mary (Thurston) Slocum (1657-1732) of Jamestown, Rhode Island.  Mary Thurston married Ebenezer Slocum (1650-1715) in about 1676, and they had twelve known children:  Elizabeth Slocum (1678-1728), Mary Slocum (1679-????); Johanna Slocum (1680-1709); Rebecca Slocum (1682-1729); Samuel Slocum (1685-1741); Ebenezer Slocum (1686-1715); Desire Slocum (1688-1760), Deliverance Slocum (1691-????); Mercy Slocum (1693-1714); Giles Slocum (1696-1750); Joseph Slocum (1697-1732); Abigail Slocum (1697-1771).

Mary Slocum, widow of Jamestown, died testate, having written a will dated 5 November 1729, with a codicil dated 7 November 1732, which was proved 22 November 1732.  The will reads (a clerk's copy, transcribed from Jamestown (RI) Land Evidence Records, 1680-1899, Volume 2, Pages 137-149, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,946,901):

"The Last Will and Testament of Mary Slocom of Jamestown in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence plantations in Newengland Widow who being in good health of body and also of a sound and disposing mind memory and understanding thanks be given to God for it and caling to mind the mortality of my body Do make and ordain this my last will and Testament first and principally I recommend my soul to God who gave it and my body to the Earth to be buried in decent manner at the discression of my Executor and as touching Such worldly Estate as it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life, I Give devise and bequeath the same in the manner and form following that is to Say

"Imps  That all Such Just and lawful debts which I owe to any person or persons together with my funeral Charges and disbursements be answered paid and fully discharged out of my movable Estate within convenient time after my decease by my Executor herein afternamed.

"Item I give and bequeath to my Son Samuel Slocom the Sum of five shillings.

"Item  I Give and bequeath to my Daughter Desire Dyre and to be entirely at her own particular disposing to witt one large Silver Tankard three Silver poringers one Silver Cordial Cup and my best Coverlid.

"Item I Give and bequeath to my son Giles Slocom two Silver Spoons the highland lestick and the Chest that is called mine.

"Item  I give and bequeath to my son Joseph Slocom two Silver Spoons one Silkgrass bed bolster and two Pillows one pair of blankets two Coverlids a Suit of Curtains a bedsted one Chest two Cows Twenty Sheep my draft mare one breeding Sow and all my Carts Ploughs Chains anyhow and all the rest of my Utensils belonging to husbandry work and also my Negro man called Fortin and my Great Bible.

"Item I devise and bequeath to my Daughter Abigail Thomas twenty pounds in household goods or beding at her discression two Silver Spoons my Sidesaddle a Pillion a wheel and a red Tub.

"Item  I Give and bequeath all my apparel both linnen and woollen to be equally divided between my two Daughters  Desire Dyre and Abigail Thomas.

"Item  I Give and bequeath to my Grandaughter Patience Carr Daughter of Caleb Carr a Silver Spoon also I give and bequeath to my Grand Children Caleb Carr Joseph Carr and William Carr the sons of the said Caleb Carr the sum of twenty shillings to each of them.

"Item I Give and bequeath to my Grandson David Green son of David Green a Silver Spoon.

"Item  I Give and bequeath to my Grandson Ebenezer Slocom son of my son Samuel a Silver Dram Cup.

"Item  I Give and bequeath to my Grandaughter Mary Slocom Daughter of my son Samuel Slocom a Silver Spoon.

"Item  I Give and bequeath to my Grandaughters Desire Slocom and Mary Slocom Daughters of my son Giles Slocom the sum of twenty shillings to each of them.

"Item  I Give and bequeath to my Grandson Ebenezer Slocom son of my son Giles Slocom one Silver Spoon.

"Item  I Give and bequeath to my Grandaughter Mary Slocom Daughter of my son Giles Slocom one Silver Spoon.

"Item  I Give and bequeath to my beloved Grandaughter Ruth Slocom daughter of my son Ebenezer Slocom deceased one Silver Spoon.

"Item  I give and bequeath to my Grandson Thomas Rogers son of Frances Rogers the sum of twenty pounds to be paid by my Executor when he shall arive to the age of twenty one years but if he shall die before he arive to that age then I give and bequeath the said sum of twenty pounds to my son Joseph Slocom.

"Item  I Give and bequeath to my Grand Children William Burling Rebeca Burling Benjamin Burling Hannah Burling Sarah Burling Ebenezer Burling and Amy Burling the Children of William Burling the sum of Twenty shillings to each of them.

"Item  I Give and bequeath to my Grandaughter Mary Carr the Daughter of my Daughter Elizabeth Green the Sum of Twenty Shillings.

"Item  I Give and bequeath to my Grandaughter Marcy Thomas the Daughter of George Thomas the Sum of Ten Shillings.

"Item  I give and bequeath to Susanah Thurston the Daughter of my brother Jonathan Thurston the Sum of five pounds.

"Item  I will that my Negro woman named Kate Shall be sold or disposed of by my Executor and that she shall have the full liberty and privilidge of Choosing her Master or Mistress.

"Item  I Give and bequeath to my Son in law Samuel Dyre the Sum of three pounds for his trouble in executing this my last will and Testament.

"Item  I will that all the rest residue and remainder of my Estate of what Nature kind sort or denomination whatsoever or wheresoever shall be equally divided into two parts the one half part thereof I give and bequeath to my daughter Desire Dyre and to be entirely at her own proper and particular disposition and Improvment and the remaining half part thereof shall be lodged in the hands of my Executors to be delivered our unto my Grand Children Elizabeth Green Thomas Green and Susanah Green the Children of my Daughter Elizabeth Green or to either or any of them for their Support in such quantities from Time to Time as my Executor shall think proper and useful for the Supplying the necessities of them or any or either of them.

"Finally and lastly I do hereby Nominate appoint Constitute and ordain my Trusty and faithful Soninlaw Samuel Dyre to be the Sole and only Executor of this my last will and Testament desiring him to see the same performed fulfiled and accomplished in every respect according to the true intent and meaning hereof and in Testimony that this is my last will and Testament I have hereunto Subscribed my hand and affixed my seal this fifth day of November in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and Twenty nine and in the third year of the Reign of George the Second King of Great Brittain &c.
............................................................................... the mark of
........................................................................... Mary  +  Slocom
"Signed sealed pronounced and declared by the
said Mary Slocom as being the last will and
Testament in the presence of us the Subscribers
Daniel Goddard
Peter Taylor
John Hammett."

A codicil was written dated 7 November 1732.  It reads:

"Be it known unto all men by these presents that I Mary Slocom of Jamestown in the County of Newport and Colony of Rhode Island being weak of body but of a perfect mind and memory and upon good and solid consideration upon the death of my son Joseph Slocom do add this small Codicil unto my last will and Testament made the fifth day of November one thousand seven hundred and Twenty Nine viz. My will is that all that part of my Estate given by my beforesaid will unto my son Joseph Slocom deceased be disposed of in manner and form as followeth viz.

"Item  my will is that my Son Samuel Slocom shall have my great Bible.

"Item  my will is that my Daughter Abigail Thomas shall have one score of sheep.

"Item  My will is that my Grandson Thomas Rogers one Silver Spoon.

"Item my will is that the Child which my daughter inlaw Mary Slocom now goes with who is widow to my son Joseph Slocom if in case it should come of Age shall have one Cow and a Silver Spoon to lodged in the hand of my Executor.

"Item  my will further is that my Grandaughter Desire Slocom daughter of my son Giles Slocom shall have one bed and beding thereunto belonging.

"Item  I Give and bequeath all the rest and Residue of the aforesaid Legacy given unto my said son Joseph Slocom in my last will as aforesaid unto my son Giles Slocom and in Confirmation of the abovewritten I the said Mary Slocom in presence of the underwritten witnesses do pronounce and declare this addition a Codicil to my last will to be my real mind and will as witness my hand this seventh day of November One Thousand Seven hundred and thirty two.
.................................................................................. her
T. Hull .............................................................. Mary  +  Slocom   (seal)
Amy Gibbs ...............................................................  mark"

The will and codicil were presented to the Jamestown Council and approved on 22 November 1732:

"The within written last will and Testament of Mary Slocom was Exhibited in Council and Daniel Goddard and John Hammett two of the witnesses to the said will being in Council and Engaged according to Law Testifieth that they Saw Mary Slocom the Testator sign and seal the said will and declared the same to be her last will and Testament and that they then in her presence set their hands and seals thereunto as witnesses and also that they saw Peter Taylor sign thereunto as a witness at the same time and that at the Time of the Signing thereof she was in her perfect mind and understanding.  And also Tiddman Hull and Amy Gibbs being witnesses to the Codicil annexed to the said will appeared in Council and being engaged according to Law Testified that they saw the said Mary Slocom sign and seal the said Codicil and that she then declared the same to be part and parcel of her said will and that she was at the time of the doing the same in her perfect memory and understanding and that at the same time they in her presence signed thereunto as witnessed whereupon the said will and Codicil was approved of and proved in Council attested by
John Hammet Clerk of the County
Jamestown the 22 of November AD 1732."

An inventory of the personal estate of Mary Slocom late of Jamestown was taken on the 21st day of the 9th month of 1732 by the subscribers, Daniel Weeden and John Hammett.  The four-page inventory totalled 674 pounds, 2 shillings, 6 pence.  The largest items in the inventory were:

*  her wearing apparel -- 30 pounds
*  Cash -- 32 pounds
*  Plate -- 81 pounds, 16 shillings
*  Bond from Samuel Slocom -- 60 pounds
*  Bond from David Green Junr -- 21 pounds
*  Bond from Joseph Clark -- 64 pounds
*  Bond from Edward (?) Thurston -- 52 pounds
*  Bond from Samuel Harcord (?) -- 105 pounds.

The inventory was presented to the Council by the subscribers on 22 November 1732 and it was approved and recorded.

On 26 November 1732, the administration of the estate of Mary Slocom was granted to Samuel Dyre.

When I analyzed this will again today, I see mention of living children Samuel, Giles, Ebenezer, Samuel, Desire (wife of Samuel Dyer), and Abigail (wife of George Thomas), and mention of grandchildren born of Elizabeth Green (wife of Peter), Mary Green (wife of David), Johanna Carr (wife of Caleb), Rebecca Burling (wife of William) and perhaps a daughter Frances (who apparently married a Rogers). 

Isn't this a wonderful will?  It names all of her living children, plus a number of grandchildren (it will take some time to determine if she named all of them - I don't think she did, since some of Samuel's children are not listed).  And she left a large estate, all of it personal estate - money, bonds, apparel, and other "stuff."

I descend from Ebenezer and Mary (Thurston) Slocum through their son, Samuel Slocum, who married Hannah Carr (1691), and their daughter Hannah Slocum (1710-1737) who married Thomas Hazard.  

Edited 4 p.m. to modify list of known children, and add to the list of heirs named.  

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this history of Mary Thurston Slocum. I trace my genealogy back to her daughter Elizabeth.

Heather Heigl

SomethingWicked said...

This had helped me greatly in filling in some blanks on my own family tree, so thank you. I trace our line back to Caleb Carr and Joanna Slocum. Who were in Hannah Carr's line? The Colonies were so small, I'm sure there is a connection.