Monday, November 2, 2015

Amanuensis Monday - Post #292: 1823 Will of Stephen Cutter (1745-1823) of Woodbridge, N.J.

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 1823 will and probate records for Stephen Cutter (1745-1823) of Woodbridge, New Jersey:

[pages 623-624]

[page 625-626]

The transcription of the probate records is:

[page 624, bottom portion]

Stephen Cutter's Will

State of New Jersey   }
County of Middlesex }
I, John Heard, Surrogate of the County of Middlesex, Do certify the
annexed to be a true copy of the Last Will and Testament of Stephen Cutter
late of the County of Middlesex deceased and that William W. Cutter and
Samuel cutter of the County of Middlesex the Executors therein named, proved the same
before me, and are duly authorized to take upon themselves the Administration of the Estate
of the Testator, agreeably to the said Will.
Witness my hand and seal of Office the Thirteenth day of August, in the Year of our
Lord, One thousand eight hundred and twenty three.
                                                                           John Heard

In the Name of God, Amen. I, Stephen Cutter of the Township of Woodbridge in the County
of Middlesex and State of New Jersey being of sound mind and memory, do enable and publish
this for my last Will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say.

First, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Tabitha all my personal or moveable estate,
a certain Bond or Obligation which Charles and Kelsy Cutter gave to my son Thomas and
also a comfortable support and maintenance to be furnished by my son Samuel, in
Consideration of the legacies herein after given to him during his Natural life.

Second, I give and bequeath to my son William Cutter his heirs and assigns forever

[page 625]

the one equal half part of all my Woodlot of Land, Containing Nine Acres be the same
more or less, which is bounded by lands of Peter Melich, Joseph Dunham, John Hood and
others also a lot of about Five acres of salt Meadow be the same more or less, which lays on
the Easterly side of a Line to be run from the lower button wood tree near the Dock in
a direction from said tree to the point of the woods belonging to Kelse Cutter & the heirs
of Charles Cutter.

Third, I give and bequeath to my son Samuel Cutter & to his heirs and assigns
forever all the residue of my real estate, Lands, Tenements & hereditaments which I
may die seized and possessed of, be the same more or less, and also a certain Bond
or Obligation due to me from the Representatives of Charles Cutter and Kelse Cutter
drawn payable to my son Thomas Cutter deceased, and in consideration of the
foregoing Legacies given to my said son Samuel, I do order and direct him to
maintain and support during their natural lives my wife Tabitha & my daughter
Hannah and also to maintain & support my sister Mary during her natural life
or to aford such part of her support as may be an equitable proportion of her
support already done or hereafter to be furnished for her between my brother's
children and my self or my representatives, and also to pay to my daughters
Phebe Herriot, Sally Knapp, Mary Cutter and my grand daughter Mary Melich
the daughter of my daughter Nancy Herriot deceased, One Hundred dollars each
without Interest sixty days after the death of my wife Tabitha, and also to pay all my
Just debts and funeral expences. The children of my son Richard to take nothing of my
Estate, he having been advanced in his life time together with debts of his which I am bound
to pay & have paid to the full amount of his share out of my Estate.

And lastly I appoint my Two sons William Cutter and Samuel Cutter Executors of this
my last Will and Testament.

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this seventeenth day of June in
the year of our Lord, Eighteen hundred twenty three, 1823.

Signed, Sealed, Published and declared by the above named   }
Stephen Cutter to be his Testament in the presence of us who }
have hereunto subscribed our Names as Witnesses in the        }            Stephen Cutter {Ls}
presence of the Testator                                                            }
                    John Conway Brown William Inslee                    }
                                   Ichabod Potter

John Conway Brown and William Inslee two of the Witnesses to the within Will being duly sworn
did severally depose and say, that they saw Stephen Cutter the Testator therein named
sign and seal the same, and heard him publish pronounce and declare the within
writing to be his last will and Testament and that at the doing thereof the said Testator
was of sound and disposing mind and memory so far as these deponents Knows and as
they very believe and that Ichabod Potter the other subscribing Witness was present at the
same time and signed his name as a witness to the said Will together with these
deponents in presence of the said Testator.
Sworn at Woodbridge           }
the 13th day of August 1823 }                    John C. Brown
before me John Heard           }                  William Inslee

William Cutter and Samuel Cutter Executors in the within Testament named
being duly sworn did severally depose and say that the within Instrument
contains the true last Will and Testament of Stephen Cutter the Testator therein named
so far as they know and as they verily believe and that they will well and truly

[page 626]

perform the same by paying first the debts of the said deceased and then the Legacies in the
said Testament specified so far as the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased can thereunto
extend and that they will make and Exhibit into the Surrogate's Office at New Brunswick a
true and perfect Inventory of all and singular the goods, chattels and Credits that have or
shall come to their knowledge or possession or to the possession of any other person or persons
by their use, and under a first and true Account when thereunto lawfully required.
Sworn at Woodbridge         }
the 13 day of August 1823  }                    William W. Cutter
before me – John Heard      }                    Samuel Cutter
Surrogate                             }

The source citation for these records is:

"New Jersey, Probate Records, 1678-1980," digital images,  FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 October 2015), Middlesex County, "Wills, 1804-1824, Vol. A-B," Volume B, pages 624-626 (images 605-606 of 643), will of Stephen Cutter, 1823; citing original records in Surrogate Courts, New Jersey.

Stephen Cutter and his wife, Tabitha (Randolph) Cutter (1752-1841), are my 4th great-grandparents, and had eleven children.  Nine of them are mentioned in the will - sons Samuel Cutter, William Cutter, deceased son Thomas Cutter, deceased son Richard Cutter, and daughters Phebe Herriott, Sally Knapp, Mary Cutter, Hannah Cutter and deceased daughter Nancy Herriot.  One grandchild is named - Mary Melich, daughter of Nancy.  In addition, he names his sister, Mary Cutter, and two other Cutters - Charles Cutter and Kelsy Cutter.  They are not his children, they are his nephews, sons of his brother, Kelsey Cutter (1756-1798)  .

The Proceedings Index for Stephen Cutter, in Volume 4, Page 26, Number 5 lists only the Will entry transcribed above, and  an Inventory for this estate (in the Inventory Book, Volume D, age 630). The Inventory books are not available in the FamilySearch collection for Middlesex County.  

Tabitha (Randolph) Cutter did not die until 1841 - I wondered if the legacies to their daughters were ever paid.  I did not find a listing for Tabitha Cutter in the Estate Index 1804-1971 for A-C or C-F surnames.  A search on's New Jersey, Wills and Probates, 1785-1924 database did not find a Tabitha Cutter.

I am descended from Sarah "Sally" (Cutter) Knapp (1785-1878), who married William Knapp (1775-1856) in about 1804, through their daughter Sarah Knapp (1818-????) who married David Auble (1817-1894).

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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