Monday, November 16, 2015

Amanuensis Monday - Post #294: 1687 Will of John Martin (1620-1687) of Piscataway, 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 1687 will of John Martin (1620-1687) of Piscataway, New Jersey. 

The transcription of this will is:

In the Name of God Amen. The seventeenth day of March
in the year of Grace one thousand Six Hundred Eighty Seven, I
John Martin of the Town of Piscataway in the County of Middlesex
in now East Jersey, Yeoman, Being in Perfect Sences and Strong in
Memory, Blessed be the Lord though weak in Body, and not knowing how
Soon I Shall Put off this Erthly Tabernacle and be desolved, Do Make
Constitute, Ordain, and Declare this to be my Last will and Testament,
in manner and form as followeth. Revokeing & Disannulling by these Presants
all and Every Testament or Testaments, Will or Wills heretofore by me
made and Declared Eather by Word or Writeing; And this is to be taken
onely for my last will and Testament and all others to be voide and of noe
Effect. I in the first place Resign up my self in Body Soul & Spirit, unto
the Lord, Trusting in his everlasting Mercy, Hopeing thereby to stand at the
Right hand of His eternall Son, in the Bay of Judement.
And in the next place, for the following of my Temporal Estate, I do order
dispose & Give the same in manner and form as followeth (That is to Say)
first I will, order & require that all those Debts & Dutyes as I owe in
Right of concience, to any manner of Person, or Persons, whom soever be
well & truly Contented, & Pade, within Convenient time after my Decease
by m,y Executrix hereafter named.

Item. I Give and Bequeath to my Dearly Beloved Wife ^Easter Martin^ my Plantation which
lieth in the Town of Piscataway aforesaid with the House & Medows and
all things belonging thereunto with all my Goods and Chattels whatsoever
that shall remain after my deceas to be wholy at her dispose either to
Give Sell or dispose as Shee Sees meet, and they to whome she shall
Give Sell or Dispose of it too Shall hould it, posesse it, injoy it, in
as full and ample A manner as if it had Sould it Gave or disposed
of it to them my self.

Item I do make my Dearly Beloved wife Easter Martin my Sole
Executrix to Execute dispose Perform and Fullfill this my Last will
and Testament according to the Contents in the several Perticulers
above Written.

Item I do request my Well beloved Sons John Martin and
Benjamin Martin ^Hopfull Hull^ and John Langstaff to be my over seers and assistants
to my Executrix in the manageing and disposeing of my Estate
According as is Expressed in this my last will & Testament. In
Witness Hereof I have set my Hand and Seal the day and year
above Written.

Signed Sealed & Declared                                                   his mark
after the words (Easter Martin)                                        John J Martin {seal}
was interlined in the twenty     and ?????? Hopfull
first line in the Preasence of    Hull was interlined
us                                              in the thirty third line
Thomas Killingworth
Will: Button
Beniamin Martin
Thomas Martin
Dainel Lippington

[Note:  There are several lines of text that are impossible to read next to the witness names.]

The source citation for this record is:

New Jersey, Wills and Probate Records, 1656-1999, indexed database with digital images, ( :, accessed 7 September 2015, no longer available), Middlesex County, unknown volume, page 185 (image 115), John Martin will, 1687; citing original data from New Jersey County, District and Probate Courts.

In this will, John Martin names his wife "Easter" as his executrix, and sons John and Benjamin Martin, Hopeful Hull and John Langstaff, as overseers.  He does not name all of his children.  Hopewell Hull was the husband of his daughter, Mary Martin (1649-1694).  John Langstaff was the husband of his daughter, Martha Martin (1653-1694).  

Since John Martin left his estate to his wife, Esther (Roberts) Martin (1628-1687) - I wonder if there is an estate file for her also.  I did not look for it when the indexed Wills and Probates were available on in September 2015.  There is an entry in the New Jersey Calendar of Wills, 1670=-1730) for Easter Martin:

There is the list of children and grandchildren!  

I am descended from their son, Benjamin Martin (1659-1732) and their daughter, Lydia (Martin) Smalley (1655-1731), who married John Smalley.

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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