Monday, May 2, 2016

Amanuensis Monday - Post 318: 1771 Will of Timothy Hamant (1699-1774)

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 1771 will of Timothy Hamant (1699-1774) of Medfield, Massachusetts:

The transcription of this will is (transcribed line-by-line]"

[page 70, left-hand page of first image]

In the Name of God Amen.
the eighth day of May, in the eleventh year of the Reign
of King George the third, and in the year of our Lord
One thousand Seven hundred & seventy one.  I Timothy
Hammant of Medfield in the County of Suffolk, and
Province of the Massachusetts Bay, in new England,
yeoman, being advanced in age, and having of late had
repeated & very striking admonitions of my Mortality,
but yet being of sound, disposing Mind & Memory, blessed
be God, do make & ordain this my last Will & Testament,
that is to say, in the first & chief place, I commend my
Spirit in to the hands of God who gave it, looking for the
Mercy of God through Jesus Christ, unto Eternal
Life.  I commit my body to the Earth, to be decently
buried according to the discretion of my Executors here-
after named, in hopes of the Resurrection of the just.
And as to such worldly Estate, as God hath been pleased
to endow me with, I give, bequeath & dispose of the 
same, in manner & form following, that is to say:

Imprimis, it is my Will & pleasure, that all my just
Debts & funeral Expenses, be paid with all

[page 71, right-hand page of the first image]

convenient speed after my decease.  Item  I give
& bequeath unto my beloved Wife Hephzibah Hammant
the Improvement of the one third part of my Real
Estate during her natural life, the one third part of
such Money as may remain after my Debts & funeral
Charges shall be paid, if any there should be; as also the
one third part of such Debts as may be due to me at my
decease, and the whole of the within door Moveables
to be at her entire use & dispose forever; as also the
Improvement of the one third part of all my Buildings
during her natural Life, & the one third part of my
Stock, to be at her dispose forever.  Item, I give &
bequeath unto my beloved Grandchildren, the Children
of my dear Son Seth Hammant late of Sturbridge
deceased, Viz't  Himdell, Simeon, Zillah and Joel Ham-
mant, the other Moeity of the thirty seventh Lot, in the
second Divisions of Lands in Sturbridge, the one Moiety
of which was given by Deed to my said son Seth, in his
lifetime, the same to be equally divided between my said
grandchildren, to be to them, their Heirs & Assigns forever.

Item, I give & bequeath to my beloved Son Timothy
Hammant the Sum of five Shillings lawful Money,
to be paid by my Son Francis Hammant, soon after
my decease over and above what I have heretofore
given him, whether by Deed or otherwise.  Item,
I give & bequeath unto my beloved son Francis
Hammant, his Heirs & Assigns forever, all my Estate
situate in Medfield, whether real, or personal, whether
Lands, goods, Chattels Moneys, Notes Bonds, dues, or
Demands whatsoever, not already demised, he paying
my just Debts & funeral Charges, & such Annuitys
& Legacies, as shall be hereafter named.  Item,
I give & bequeath unto my beloved daughter Mehitable
Hammant, an Annuity of Three Pounds four shillings
lawful Money, to be paid her yearly by my son Francis
Hammant aforesaid, during her remaining single,
and in case of her Marriage, I give & bequeath unto
my said Daughter, the sum of Fifty three Pounds, six

[page 72, left-hand page of the second image]

shillings & eight pence, to be paid her by my said Son
Francis aforesaid, and in case of her being reduced to
any Circumstances of Necessity, by sickness, or otherwise,
such a part, or the whole of the aforesaid Sum of fifty
three pounds six shillings & 8'd as my Executors hereafter
named shall think proper, and in case of the payment
of the whole, or any part of the Capital, the Annuity
to cease, or be diminished in proportion, and in case
the whole, or any part of the said sum of £53 : 6 : 8
should remain unpaid at the decease of my s'd Daughter
my Will & pleasure is, that the same be equally
divided among my surviving Children.

Item, I give & bequeath unto my beloved Daughters, Patience
Smith, Basmuth Walker, & Dinah Chenery, to each and
every of them, or their Heirs, the Sum of Twenty Pounds
lawfull Money, the one half to be paid at my decease,
& the other at the decease of my Wife, by my Son Francis 
aforesaid.  And I do hereby constitute & appoint my Sons
Timothy & Francis Hammant, Executors of this my last
Will & Testament, declaring this & no other to be such.

In Witness whereof, I have hereto set my Hand and Seal
the day & year aforesaid.

Sig'd, sealed, publ'd, & decl'd by him the s'd }  Timothy Hamant
Timothy Hammant, to be his last Will           }    and a Seal
& Testam't in presence of us                          }
Ezra Clark, Noah Clark, Elias Clark.

Suffolk SS:  The aforewritten Will being presented for
Probate by the Executors therein named, Ezra Clark,
Noah Clark, & Elias Clark, made Oath that they saw
Timothy Hamant, Subscriber to this Instrument
sign & seal, & heard him publish & declare it to be his last
Will & Testament, & that when he so did, he was of sound
disposing Mind & Memory, according to these Deponents
best discerning & that they set to their Hands as Witnesses
thereof, in the said Testator's presence.
Boston Aug't 19'th 1774.  F. Hutchinson  Jud. Probate
                              Exam'd Jno. Cotton  Reg'r.

The source citation for this Will is:

Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991, indexed database with digital images, (, citing Suffolk County [Mass.] Probate Records, 1636-1899, "Probate Records, Vol. 74-75, 1774-1776," Volume 74, pages 70-72, Timothy Hammant will written 8 May 1771, proved 19 August 1774.

Timothy Hamant had 9 children by his wife, Hepzibah (Clark) Hamant, but only five were alive when he wrote this will in 1771.  His son Seth died in February 1771.  He named his wife, Hephzibeth, all of Seth's living children, and his five living children - Mehitable, Patience, Timothy, Basmath, Dinah and Francis -  as heirs.  He made a special point to provide for his eldest child, Mehitable, who never married and died in 1814, outliving all of her siblings; she may have been disabled.  

Timothy and Hepzibah (Clark) Hamant are my 6th great-grandparents.  I am descended through their daughter, Patience (Hamant) Smith (1735-1780), who married Moses Smith (1732-1806) in 1762.

I found this will be searching the index of the Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991 database.  This will is the Suffolk County Probate Court clerk's transcription, and not the original will, which should be in Probate Packet 15673 in Suffolk County Probate Court files.  I have not browsed the Ancestry collection yet to see if I can find the balance of the probate packet file.


Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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