Monday, December 21, 2015

Amanuensis Monday - Post #299: 1759 Will of Mercy (Kelsey) Cutter (1698-1760) 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 1759 will of Mercy (Kelsey Cutter (1698-1760), widow of Richard Cutter (1682-1756) of Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey:

The transcription of this record is:

[page 74, left-hand page on image above]

Mercy Cutter's   } In the name of God Amen, the thirteenth day of November in
       Will            } the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty nine
Recorded Janry } I Mercy Cutter of Woodbridge in the county of Middlesex and
     8, 1762         } province of New Jersey being of perfect mind and memory and calling
unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed
for all men and women once to dye, do make and ordain this my last
will and testament and as touching such worldly estate wherewith
it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I do give and dispose of the
same in the following manner and form. Imprimis it is my will and
I do give order all my estate to be valued and appraised by two honest
neighbours such as my executors hereafter named shall chuse and also
sell the same if my said executors shall so chuse and cannot otherways
agree. And I do order my said executors in the first place to pay all my
just debts and funeral charges out of my estate and the remainder of
my estate I do give and dispose of as followeth. Item I give to my son
William Cutter the sum of five shillings. Item I give to my daughter
Rebeccah Frazee the sum of twenty pounds. Item I give to my daughter
Mary Baker the wife of Jacob Baker the sum of five pounds, all which
shall be paid to them at one year after my decease. I also give to my
granddaughter Mercy Cutter the sum of five pounds. Item I give to my
grandson Kelsey Cutter the sum of five pounds. I give to my
granddaughter Mercy Baker the sum of five pounds, to be paid to them
when they come of age, and all the several sums or legacies which
I have herein given is meant and intended by me to be current money
of New Jersey at eight shillings the ounce. Item I give one half of the
remainder of my estate to my son Ebenezar Cutter. Item I give the other
half of the said remainder of my estate unto my grandson John Baker
and to my granddaughter Mercy Baker to be equally divided between
them and to be paid to them when they come of age. And I do hereby
constitute make and ordain my son Ebenezar Cutter and my daughter

[page 75, right-hand page on image above]

Rebeccah Frazee my executor and executrix of this my last will
and testament and do hereby utterly disallow revoke and disannull all
and every other former wills legacies and executors by me in any ways
before this time named willed and bequeathed ratifying and confirming
this and no other to be my last will and testament. In wittness whereof
I have hereunto sett my hand and seal the day and year above written.
Signed sealed and delivered by the said Mercy               }            her
Cutter to be her last will & testament in the presence of } Mercy M Cutter {LS}
Francis Campyon Joseph Thorne Benjamin Jackson       }          mark

Memorandum that on the twenty eighth day of May one thousand seven
hundred and sixty, Francis Campyon one of the wittnesses wiithin subscribed
evidences appeared before me John Smyth duly authorised &c And he being
duely sworn on the Holy Evangelists on his oath declares that he did see
Mercy Cutter the testator within named sign and seal the written instrument
and heard her publish pronounce and declare the same to be her last will
and testament, that at the doing thereof she was of sound mind and memory
to the best of the deponent's knowledge and as he verily believes and that at
the same time Joseph Thorn and Benjamin Jackson the other evidences were
also present and signed as evidences as he the deponant did in the testatrix's
presence.                                                                    John Smyth
Also that at the same time Ebenezar Cutter one of the executors in the with-
in will named came before me and was duely qualifyed by takeing the
oath of an executor as appointed by law.                  John Smyth
Probat granted by Gov'r Bernard &c (in the usual form &c) dated the same
twenty eighth day of May 1760.                              Chas Read Reg'r
Examined and agrees with the original, the word (wittnesses) obliterated in
the proof was by mistake in recording .                  Smyth Reg'r

The source citation for this record is:

New Jersey Surrogate's Court, Middlesex County, Wills, Liber H, pages 74-75 (image 311), Mercy Cutter will, 1759; "New Jersey, Wills and Probate Records, 1656-1999," digital images, ( accessed 2 September 2015, images no longer available); citing original data from New Jersey County, District and Probate Courts.

Richard Cutter married second to Mercy Kelsey (1698-1760).  The Cutter surname book lists these children for Richard and Mercy (Kelsey) Cutter:

*  William Cutter (1722-1780)
*  Joseph Cutter (1725-1767)
*  Mary Cutter (1728-????)
*  Rebecca Cutter (1730-????)
*  Ebenezer Cutter (1732-????)
*  Samuel Cutter (1734-1759)

Mercy's will mentioned only William, Mary, Rebecca and Ebenezer Cutter as her children.  Samuel died in 1759, before Mercy wrote her will.  It may be that Joseph was a son of Richard Cutter and his first wife, Mary Pike.  Richard Cutter (1682-1756) mentioned all of his living children by both of his wives, and called William, Richard and Joseph his "eldest sons."  

'Tis a puzzle!  I am descended from William Cutter (1722-1780) who married Mary Kent (1726-????), and then their son, Stephen Cutter (1745-1823).  

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