Monday, May 20, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records of John Kenyon (1647-1732) of Westerly, R.I.

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 John Kenyon (1647-1732) of Westerly, Rhode Island.  John Kenyon married --?-- Mumford (ca 1657 - before 1732) in about 1690, and they had seven children:

*  John Kenyon (1682-1735), married Elizabeth Remington (1686-1747)
*  James Kenyon (1685-1774), married Sarah Gardiner (1688-????)
*  Enoch Kenyon (1688-1781) married (1) Sarah Eldred (1684-????) and (2) Ann Auchmundy (1710-????)
*  David Kenyon (1693-1772) married Mary Sanford (1702-1761)
*  Jonathan Kenyon (1695-1767) married Sarah Rogers (1697-????)
*  Joseph Kenyon (1697-1766) married Marcy --?-- (1690-1764)
*  Samuel Kenyon (1699-1724)

John Kenyon, yeoman of Westerly RI, died testate, having written a will dated 12 June 1732, which was proved on 26 June 1732.  The will reads (transcribed by Randy Seaver from the "Westerly (RI) Town Council and Probate Records," Volume 2, 1731-1745, pages 18-19 (hand numbered), accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,930,805, difficult to read the handwriting in places):

"In the Name of God, Amen, the 12 day of June 1732:  I John Kinyon of Westerly in Kings County in the Colony of Rhoad Island & Providence Plantations in Newengland, yeoman, being Very Sick & Weak in Body but of Right mind & Memory Thanks Be given to God.  Therefore Calling unto mind the Mortality of my Body & Knowing that it is Appointed for all men once to Die, Do make & ordain this my Last will & Testament that is to say - principally (?) & first of all I Give & Recommend my Soul into the Hands of God that gave it & my Body I Recommend to the Earth to be Buried in Decent Christian Burial at the Discression of my Executor Hereafter Named & as touching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this Life I Give Demise & Dispose of the Same in the following manner.

"First of all I will that all Those Debts & Duties that I do owe in Right or Concience to any manner of Person of Persons whatsoever shall be well & Truly Contacted & paid or Ordained to be paid in Convenient Time after my decease by my Exec^r hereafter named.

"Item  I Give & Bequeath to my Beloved Son John Kinyon Ten pounds to be Raised & Levied Out of my Estate within one year after my decease.

"Item  I Give & Bequeath to my Beloved son James Kinyon Ten pounds to be Raised & Levied Out of my Estate within one year after my decease.

"Item  I Give & Bequeath to my Beloved son Enoch Kinyon Ten pounds to be Raised & Levied Out of my Estate within one year after my decease.

"Item  I Give & Bequeath to my Beloved son David Kinyon Ten pounds to be Raised & Levied Out of my Estate within one year after my decease.

"Item  I Give and Bequeath to my Beloved son Jonathan Kinyon, whom I likewise Constitute make & Ordain my Sole Exec^r of this my Last will & Testament, all my Moveable Estate by him fully to be Possessed & Enjoyed, He paying to each of my Sons Before Named the Sum of money Willed & Bequeathed to Them and I Do utterly Disallow Revoake & Disannull all & Every other former Testaments wills Legacies & Bequests made by me in any way Before Named Willed & Bequeathed. Ratifying & Confirming This & no Other to be my Last will & Testament ???? whereof I have herewith Sett my Hand & Seale the Day & year above Written.

...................................................... The mark of John K Kinyon  (seal)

"Signed Sealed published pronounced & Declared
by the sd Jno Kinyon to be his Last will &
Testament in the Presence of us the Subscribers
John Hall
the mark of Sam^l Larkin
Sam^ll Wilbore"

On 26 June 1732, the subscribers made an oath that they witnessed John Kinyon sign and seal this last will and testament, and that he was in perfect and sane mind and memory when he did so to the best of their knowledge.

The inventory of the moveable estate of John Kinyon was taken by James Addams Junior and John Moxsie.  It is difficult to read some of the entries, but the total is 189 pounds, 8 shillings.  The inventory was accepted by the Town Council on 26 June 1732.

On 26 June 1732, Jonathan Kinyon was ordered to act as executor of the last will and testament of his father and to administer the estate according to the laws of the colony.

John Kenyon had seven sons, and bequeathed to only five of them.  The last son, Samuel, died before the will was written.  What happened to the sixth son, Joseph Kenyon?  He's not mentioned in the will at all.  Did he not exist?  Did he die before 1732?  Was he provided for by his father before the father died?  The likelihood is that Joseph Kenyon died before his father died, and left no issue.  In that case, the information I have about his death date is wrong.

I descend through the first son, John Kenyon who married Elizabeth Remington.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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