Monday, March 28, 2016

Amanuensis Monday - Post 313: 1822 Will of David Kirby (1740-1832) in Bristol County, Mass.

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 1822 will of David Kirby (1740-1832) of Westport, Bristol County, Massachusetts.

The transcription of the will is (transcribed line-by-line):

[page 2]

The last Will and Testament of David Kirby of 
Westport in the County of Bristol and Commonwealth 
of Massachusetts,                                            Yeoman.

Imprimis - my will is that all my just debts, funeral 
charges, and expence of settling my estate be paid by 
my executor herein after named out of what I shall 
herein give him.

2'nd. I give to my beloved wife Martha Kirby all my 
household goods of every sort and kind except what I shall 
herein otherwise dispose of together with my side saddle. 
I also give her my said Wife, all the Estate that come to 
us, out of the Estate of her Honored Father Benjamin Sowle
that we are possessed of, or that we may be possessed of at 
my decease, be it in money, securities for money, or of what 
sort or kinds of goods or property it may consist of, all 
the aforesaid a free gift at her own disposal, forever. 
I also give to my said Wife so long as she remains my 
widow the use and improvement of one half of my new 
dwelling House, with a priviledge in the Cellar, to the well, 
and around the House as she may need. I also give her 
to be provided by my Executor herein after named, and delivered 
to her daily, and every day, during the term aforesaid, the Milk 
of one good cow; and yearly, and every year, one hundred 
pounds of good pork, eighty pounds of good beef, two geese, nine 
bushels of good Indian Corn, two bushels of rye or barley, ten 
pounds of good sheeps wool, eight pounds of good flax from the 
swingle, forty pounds of good cheese, eight pounds of good 
butter, four gallons of Molasses, eight bushels winter apples 
and summer apples and summer & winter sauce as 
much as she may need for her own use. 

[page 2]

And as much fire wood as she may need for one fire 
at the door, and cut a suitable length for her fire, and two 
hens to be kept for her so long as she may need. 
All the aforesaid gifts to my said wife to be in lieu 
of her right of dower in my estate, if she is pleased to accept
and not otherwise.

3'rd. I give to my Daughter Sibbel White, Two hundred silver 
dollars to be paid her in one year after my decease, by my 
executor herein after named, which with what she has already 
had of me, is to be her share of my estate.

4'th. I give to my son Ichabod Kirby and to his heirs and assigns 
forever, my clock, and desk, one large silver spoon, two 
feather beds, bedsteads and Cords, with a sufficiency of furniture 
for the same both for winter and summer, my Loom 
and tackling belonging to it, my largest brass Kettle, trammels 
and handirons, one large iron kettle, & one six Qt. Kettle, my 
cupboards, and one Meat Tub & one Meat barrel, a chest with 
one draw, and a small chest, one case Knives & forks, and 
half a doz. chairs, together with my Homestead Farm, and 
all the rest and residue of my estate both Real and personal 
wherever and whenever it may be found, not herein otherwise 
disposed of, he doing and performing what I have herein 
ordered for him to do and perform.[page 3]

Finally and lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint 
my son Ichabod Kirby sole executor of this my last Will 
and Testament, desiring him faithfully to Execute the same 
agreeable to true intent and meaning thereof.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and 
Seal this twenty second day of March, in the year of our 
Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty two 1822.

Signed sealed and declared 
by the said David Kirby to be 
his last will & Testament at whose
request & in whose presence & in       David Kerby 
presence of each other, we hereto 
set our names as witnesses 
Isaac W. Brownell 
William Case 
N.C. Brownell

The source citation for this will is:

Bristol County [Mass.] Register of Probate, Bristol County (Mass.) Probate Records, 1690-1881, on 351 FHL US/CAN Microfilm rolls; original records at Probate Registry, Taunton, Mass., David Kirby, Westport, 1832 Estate packet, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,573,223 (Kingsley - Kirby, accessed 2 February 2016).

I learned several things from transcribing this will, including:

* The will names his wife's father as Benjamin Sowle and that Benjamin left some of his estate to his daughter, Martha (Sowle) Kirby.

* David Kirby provided a fine list of items, in his will dated 1822, that his wife would be provided after his death by his executor. The list is very similar to what David Kirby had to provide to his mother, as seen in the will of Ichabod Kirby (1705-1793).  Alas, Martha Kirby died before David Kirby in 1828.

* David Kirby left 200 silver dollars to his daughter Sibbel (Kirby) White (widow of Humphrey White), who is my link to the Kirby line.

* David Kirby had only two living children when he wrote his will in 1822 - and they are his only known children - which was fairly unusual for those times. Sybil was born in 1764 and Ichabod in 1782 - there are 18 years between them. Their births, and no others, were listed in the Dartmouth (MA) Vital Records. Perhaps there were a series of stillborns or miscarriages in the intervening years that were not recorded.

The will of David Kirby was proved in Bristol County, Massachusetts Probate Court on 1 May 1832.

David Kirby is my 5th great-grandfather.  I am descended from his daughter, Sibbel (Kirby) White (1764-1848).  


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