Monday, February 23, 2015

Amanuensis Monday - Post 256: 1849 Will of John Seaver of Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme years ago called "Amanuensis Monday."  John offers this definition for "amanuensis:" 

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is the 1849 will of John Seaver (1771-1853) of Taunton, Bristol county, Massachusetts: 

The transcription of this will is:

[page 8 of 31 pages in microfilmed probate case file]

I John Seaver of Taunton in the County of Bristol do this
Fourteenth day of June in the year of our Lord Eighteen
hundred & forty nine – make this my last will & Testament

First – I Give and bequeath unto my wife Lydia Seaver
the use and improvement of the whole of my
homestead place (Excepting two acres on the southerly end
of the same adjoining to Abiathar Williams land to extend
from the road to the river) She to hold the same
during her natural life.
Also I give her all my household furniture and
indoor moveables, together with Eight hundred Dollars in
money, to hold to her, her heirs and assigns forever.

I Give and bequeath unto my two grandsons – John & Charles
Howard – the sons of John Howard, the sum of one
thousand Dollars to be divid equally between them & to
hold to them their heirs and assigns forever.

I Give and bequeath unto my son Benjamin Seaver, the Dwelling
house in which he now lives with the land on which
said house stands together with all my land adjoining the
same, Also the two acres above mentioned on the southerly
end of my homestead. Also all my farming utensils &
Waggons of every kind. Also one half part of all my
personal property which shall remain after the above
bequeathed legacies and all my Debts are paid. All

[page 9 of 31 pages in microfilmed probate case file]

the foregoing to hold to him, his heirs and assigns forever.

I Give and bequeath unto my Daughter Sally Hack – the wife
of Christopher A. Hack – the other half part of my per-
sonal property. Also, after the decease of my wife Lydia,
all the part of my homestead, the improvement of which
is herein given to my said wife. All of which is to
hold to her, the said Sally, her her heirs & assigns forever.

And lastly I nominate and appoint my said son Benjamin
and my son-in-law Christopher A. Hack Executors of this
my last Will & Testament.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal the
Day & year afore written.

Signed, sealed and declared by }
the said John Seaver to be his last } John Seaver
Will & Testament in presence of us }
who subscribed our names as }
witnesses thereto in his presence }
Joseph M. Otis }
Joseph Wilbar }
J.E. Wilbar }

The source citation for this document is:

Bristol County (Mass.) Probate Records, 1690-1881 , "Seaman, Henry - Selney, Johanna," unnumbered file of John Seaver, 1853; FHL microfilm US/CAN 0,579,917.

This will is an original record, signed by the testator on 14 June 1849.  He died on 7 February 1853, and the probate was opened on 1 March 1853, with Christopher A. Hack granted Letters Testamentary as executor.  John Seaver names the following heirs:

*  his wife, Lydia (Porter) Seaver (1768-1859)
*  his son, Benjamin Seaver (1798-1852)
*  John and Charles Howard, sons of John [and Mary (Seaver)] Howard
*  daughter Sally Seaver (1803-1870), wife of Christopher A. Hack

This John Seaver is not my ancestor.  I found this document at the Family History Library on 11 February 2015. I am trying to solve a relationship problem for another Seaver/Sever researcher - see Attacking a Seaver Relationship Problem - Parents of Joseph T. Seaver (1805-????) (posted 7 October 2014). 

John Seaver did not name the son, Joseph Nelson Seaver (1831-1907), of Joseph T. Seaver (who died before 1850) as heirs.  If Joseph T. Seaver was the son of John Seaver, he should have listed Joseph Nelson Seaver as heirs.  This is evidence that John Seaver was not the father of Joseph T. Seaver.  There was no probate record for Lydia (Porter) Seaver in the Bristol County records.

As a result, I will concentrate on the other "prime" candidate, Benjamin and Mary (Porter) Sever of Taunton.  Unfortunately, there were no probate records for either of them in Bristol County, Massachusetts records.  

Another task is to disconnect Joseph T. Seaver from John Seaver (1771-1853) and Lydia Porter on the FamilySearch Family Tree, providing this probate record as evidence of no relationship.

copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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