Monday, April 23, 2018

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Ebenezer Phillips (1695-1746) of Southborough, Mass.

This week's document for Amanuensis Monday is from the Worcester County, Massachusetts Probate Packet records for Ebenezer Phillips of Southborough, Massachusetts:

a)  Worcester County (Mass.) Probate Packet 46,400, images 8 to 11 (of 11):

The transcription of this will is:

[image 9 of 11]

In the Name of God Amen The Twentieth Day 
of November 1745. I Ebenezer Phillips of Southborough
 In the County of Worcester and the Province of the Massachussetts 
Bay in New England yeoman, Being very Sick and weak in 
Body but of perfect mind and memory Thanks be Given to God. Therefore 
Calling to mind the mortality of my Body and Knowing that it is 
Appointed to all men once to dye, Do make and ordain this my 
Last will and Testament that is to Say principally And first of 
all I give and recommend my Soul into the Hands of God that 
gave it, and my Body I recommend to the Earth to be buried in 
Decent Christian Burial at the Discretion of my Executors, 
Nothing doubting but at ye General Resurrection I Shall Receive 
The Same by the mighty power of God, and Touching such 
Worldly Estate Wherewith it hath pleased God to Bless me 
In this Life, I Give Dismise & Dispose of the Same in the 
Following manner & form.  Imprimis I give and Bequeath 
to ^Mary^ my well beloved wife all my moveables within Doors Except 
One feather Bed partly filled, Likewise three Cows ^and one mare^. Likewise 
One third of all the Improvements I give to my Son
Samuel Here after mentioned. I give to Mary my wife all the East 
part of my now Dwelling House with a Cellar Under the same 
^Dureing her Natural Life & no Longer.^

Item I Give to my son Ebenezer So much ^Land^ as it will Take to 

Straiten a Line that runs between my House and his Where the Gate
Now is and So westward to a Stake Down by the Swamp and 
From thence to a Ditch in the medow and then runing northward 
To his Former bound. I also give and Bequeath to my Ebenezer 
One acre of Ash Swamp Lying before Ebenezer Duntons house 
as he and my Son Samuel Shall see Cause to Lay it out and the 
Reason why I Give him no more ^now^ is be cause I have given him his 
Portion before by a Deed of sale.  Item I Give to my son John 
Phillips thirty Four acres ^of Land^ be it more or Less being the Southeast 
Part of my farm bounded Easterly by David Johnson till it comes to 
a corner of an old Hedge which corner is to be 
The North east Corner of the Sd Land I give and Bequeath 
To my Son John and then Turning Westerly to a Stake and
Stone and so Runing Westerly Till it Comes to a Dead Bodyed  

[image 10 of 11]

White Oake and from Thence Westerly to a Large Topt White Oake
From thence to another White oake now Standing by the old 
Field bars it being y^t Northwest Corner of the said Land I Give and
Bequeath to my Son John, and from thence Runing Southerly as 
The Field Fence runs to the End of the field and now Turning 
Easterly to a mark Tree and so Runing Easterly Till it Comes to 
The first mentioned bounds, This South Line bounds partly upon Common 
Land and partly upon John ^Goulds^ Land and partly upon Isaac Newtons Land 
To have and to hold the said premisses with all the appurtenances 
Priviledges and Commodities to the same Belonging or in any wise 
Appertaining To him the Said John Phillips his Hiers and Assigns 
Forever, to his and their proper Use Benefit and behoof forever.
Also I give & bequeath unto my son John one piece of medow Containing 
about three acres be it more or Less Bounded as follows, Easterly upon my 
Land by a maple Stump and a pole and then Turning to the Ditch and
Runing as the Ditch Runs Till it comes to the North Shore bounded 
Northerly upon upland and Westerly upon Common Swampland and
Southerly upon my own Land, with Leaberty to pass and Repass with 
a Team from his own place to the medow for Carting of Hay also two 
Acres and a half more of Land Bounding Westerly upon Ebenezer Dunton 
Land and the North Line is to Extend four Rods north from a Stump 
That is a Mark between said Duntons Land and my own, this Line is to 
Extend Southerly Twenty five rods and then Turning & Runing Easterly 
Sixteen rods and then Turning and Runing northerly Twenty five
Rods and then Turning and ^runing^ Westerly Sixteen rods.  Which Land I
Give and bequeath unto my son John, only Reserving half the mine
Therein. Also I Give and Bequeath unto my son John a strip six rods 
in wedth from the oake that Stands by y^e old Field Bars to the last men-
tioned Land only reserving Leaberty to pass and repass over it to my Field.

"Item I Give and Bequeath unto my son Samuel my House and Barn 

And plough Land mowing Ground and pasture Land and Orcharding 
also all my Wood land To him Self his Hiers and Assigns 
For Ever to have and to hold the Said premises with all y^e Appurtenances
and Commodities to the same belonging or in way and appertaining to him 
The said Samuel Phillips His Hiers and Assigns forever. 

[image 11 of 11]

The Last mentioned Land which I Give and Bequeath 
To my Son Samuel is Bounded as Follows y^t is Easterly 
Upon David Johnsons Northerly upon Ebenezer Phillips Jun^-r 
Westerly ^upon^ Isaac Amsdens Land partly and partly upon Ebenezer 
Duntons Land Southerly upon John Phillips Land Likewise 
another peice of Land lying South of John Phillips Land 
Bounded Northerly upon John Phillips and Westerly upon 
Ebenezer Duntons and Southerly by Moses Johnson and Easterly 
by other Lands. Also I Give and bequeath unto my son Samuel one yoke of Oxen and one 
Cow & two Stear Calves also I Do Give unto Samuel all my moveables without Doors 
as oxen Plough Chains hoes Except half my Small Cart which I Give Ebenezer.

Item I Ordain and  appoint that my son Samuel shall pay to his 

Sister Mary Nickols one Hundred and Twenty ^pounds^ old Tenner Bills of Credit 
and Two Cows one half thereof to be paid and one Cow to be Deliver-
ed when he Takes possion of the Lands I have Given him and the 
Other part to be paid at his Mothers Death and the other Cow 
To be Delivered at ye same Time.   Also I Do give and 
Bequeath to my Daughter Mary one heifer.

Item I Do Give Unto my Well Beloved Daughter 

Joannah Phillips one Hundred and Twenty pounds old Tenner 
Bills of Credit to be Raised and paid by Samuel Phillips my Son 
And Two cows to be Delivered unto her by him.   I Do will that 
He Shall pay one Half thereof unto his sister Joannah when 
He Takes possion of What I have given and bequeath unto him and
One Cow to be Delivered unto her at the same Time and the other 
Half to be paid at y^e Death of his Mother and the second Cow to be 
Delivered unto her att the Same Time.  Item I Give and bequeath to my 
Daughter Joannah one heifer.

Item I Do give and bequeath unto my son Samuel and My Dearly Beloved wife 

Mary these two Whom I Do Constitute make and ordain my sole Executor 
And Executrix of this my Last will and Testament all the Debts that 
Are due from several persons unto me and that is Due for keeping 
Ambrous and also that will be Due for keeping Ambrous also I Do 
Give them full powers to act as to paying out money 

[image 8 of 11]

And Receiving of Money and To pursue To final Judgment 
And I Do hereby Utterly dissallow Revoke and Disanull 
All & Every other former Testament will Legacies and 
Bequests and Executors by me in any ways before named Willed and
Bequeathed Ratifying and Confirming this and no other To be 
My Last Will and Testament. In Wittness Whereof I have 
Hereunto set my hand and seal the Day and year above 

Signed Sealed & published pronounced and Declared 

By me y^e said Ebenezer Phillips as my Last Will and Testament 
In the presence of us the Subscribers
Jonathan Ward
Nathanael Webb                                      
 Ebenizer Phillips   {seal}

John Lyscom

The will was proved at the Probate Court in Worcester on 21 August 1746, with Jonathan Ward and John Lyscom appearing and making oath that they saw Ebenezer Phillips sign, seal and heard him publish, pronounce and declare it to be his last will and testament, and that he was of sound and disposing mind and memory.

The source citation for this document is:

"Worcester County, MA: Probate Papers, 1731-1881," digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed, 22 April 2018), Packet 46,400, Ebeneazer Phillips of Southborough, 1746 (11 images); citing original records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives, with digitized mages provided by

Ebenezer Phillips (1696-1746) married Mary Smith (1698-????) before 1719 in Malden, Massachusetts, and they had six children:

*  Mary Phillips (1719-????), married Nathaniel Nichols in 1745
*  Ebenezer Phillips (1721-????), married Hannah Lyscom in 1745
*  John Phillips (1722-????), married Hannah Brown in 1749
*  Samuel Phillips (1726-1810), married Martha Newton in 1747
*  Joanna Phillips (1729-1788), married Jonathan Fay in 1746.
*  Ruth Phillips (1733-????).

The will mentions the first five children, but does not mention daughter Ruth.  She probably died as an infant or child.

Ebenezer Phillips died after he wrote his will on 20 November 1745 and before it was proved on 21 August 1746.  It is not known when Mary (Smith) Phillips died.  

Ebenezer and Mary (Smith) Phillips are my 6th great-grandparents.  I am descended through their son, John Phillips (1722-????) who married Hannah Brown (abt 1725 - about 1773) and resided in Southborough, Shrewsbury, and Lancaster, Massachusetts.


NOTE:  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 URL for this post is: 

Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 15 to 21 April 2018

Dozens of genealogy and family history bloggers write thousands of posts every week about their research, their families, and their interests. I appreciate each one of them and their efforts.

My criteria for "Best of ..." are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy and family history, address current genealogy issues, provide personal family history, are funny or are poignant. I don't list posts destined for daily blog prompts or meme submissions (but I do include summaries of them), or my own posts.

Here are my picks for great reads from the genealogy blogs for this past week:

*  Covering Your Bases: Introduction to Autosomal DNA Coverage by Paul Woodbury on the Legacy Tree Genealogists blog.

*  3 Reasons to Use FamilySearch by Devon noel Lee on the Family History Fanatics blog.

Genealogy 101: Tax Records by Gena Philibert-Ortega on the GenealogyBank Blog.

The Mysterious Son-in-Law by Amy Cohen on the Brotmanblog: A Family Journey\ blog.

*  How I Solved It: The Swinfield Family Bible Discovered! by Michael Swinfield on the RootsFinder blog.

*  How to Write a Genealogy Conference Speaker Proposal by Amie Bowser Tennant on The Genealogy Reporter blog.

The Archive Lady: Preserving Old Family Recipes by Melissa Barker on the Abundant Genealogy blog.

*  I Lost 8 Generations! Review Your Old Genealogy Research by Lorine McGinnis Schulze on the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog.

*  Do the "Write" Thing for Genealogy, Part 3: Find the Drama by Marian B. Wood on the Climbing My Family Tree blog.

Common Sense and GDPR by Roberta Estes on the DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy blog.

*  Use These 12 Special Keywords to Improve Your Newspaper Research Results by Kenneth Marks on The Ancestor Hunt blog.

Here are pick posts by other geneabloggers this week:

*  Friday's Family History Finds by Linda Stufflebean on the Empty Branches on the Family Tree blog.

*  Saturday Finds 21 April 2018 by Nichelle Barra on the Copper Leaf Genealogy blog.

*  High Fives -- April 20, 2018 by Dianne Nolin on the Genealogy: Beyond the BMD blog.

*  Friday Finds, 20 Apr 2018 by Lois Willis on the Lois Willis - Genealogy and Family History blog.

 Friday Fossicking - 20th April, 2018 by Crissouli on the That Moment in Time blog.'

This Week's Creme de la Creme -- April 21, 2018 by Gail Dever on the Genealogy a la Carte blog.

Readers are encouraged to go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add their blogs to your Favorites, Feedly, another RSS feed, or email if you like what you read. Please make a comment to them also - all bloggers appreciate feedback on what they write.

Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me! I am currently reading posts from over 900 genealogy bloggers using Feedly, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.


The URL for this post is:   

Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

Added or Updated Collections - Week of 15 to 21 April 2018

The following collections were listed on the Recently Added and Updated Collections list on during the period from 15 to 21 April 2018 

The collections added or updated since last week include:
Poland, Modliborzyce Ghetto Register Books, 1939-1944 (USHMM); indexed records without record images, ADDED 4/17/2018

New Zealand, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920; indexed records with record images, ADDED 4/16/2018

The complete Card Catalog is at 

By my count, there were NEW collections ADDED this past week, per the list above.  There are now 32,755 collections available as of 21 April, an increase of  1 from last week.   Apparently, Ancestry removed one record collection during the last week.


Disclosure:  I have had a fully paid subscription since 2000. has provided material considerations for travel expenses to meetings, and has hosted events and meals that I have attended in Salt Lake City, in past years.

The URL for this post is:  

Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Added or Updated Record Collections at - Week of 15 to 21 April 2018

I am trying to keep up with the new and updated record collections at   FamilySearch   ( every week.

As of 21 April 2018, there were 2,313 record collections on FamilySearch (an increase of 0 from last week):

The added, deleted or updated collections are (as Marshall provided them):

--- Collections Added   ---

*  Ireland, Petty Sessions Court Registers, 1828-1912      (; Index only, no images, ADDED 24 Jun 2015

--- Collections Updated ---

*  South Africa, Netherdutch Reformed Church Registers (Pretoria Archive), 1838-1991       (; 310,047 indexed records with 140,942 record images (was 117,356 records with 140,942 images), Updated 19 Apr 2018

*  Belgium, Antwerp, Civil Registration, 1588-1913 (; 265,815 indexed records with 3,208,809 record images (was 265,815 records with 3,208,809 images), Updated 20 Apr 2018

*  Brazil, Pernambuco, Civil Registration, 1804-2016       (; 8,068,939 indexed records with 5,387,756 record images (was 6,477,039 records with 5,387,756 images), Updated 20 Apr 2018

*  Denmark Census, 1911    (; 2,794,164 indexed records with 251,268 record images (was 2,792,790 records with 251,268 images), Updated 17 Apr 2018

*  Germany, Bavaria, Diocese of Augsburg, Catholic Church Records, 1615-1930       (; 946,247 indexed records with 142,529 record images (was 946,247 records with 142,529 images), Updated 19 Apr 2018

*  Brazil, Minas Gerais, Catholic Church Records, 1706-1999        (; 126,488 indexed records with 930,569 record images (was 85,444 records with 930,569 images), Updated 18 Apr 2018

*  Italy, Teramo, Teramo, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866-1940        (; 15,239 indexed records with 425,736 record images (was 15,153 records with 425,736 images), Updated 16 Apr 2018

*  Washington, Pierce County Marriage Returns, 1891-1938   (; 12,987 indexed records with 13,521 record images (was 0 records with 13,521 images), Updated 19 Apr 2018

*  Australia, South Australia, Immigrants Ship Papers, 1849-1940   (; 201,371 indexed records with 6,080 record images (was 201,371 records with 6,134 images), Updated 16 Apr 2018

*  Massachusetts, Revolutionary War, Index Cards to Muster Rolls, 1775-1783        (; 217,269 indexed records with 641,406 record images (was 216,415 records with 641,406 images), Updated 19 Apr 2018

*  North Carolina, Confederate Soldiers and Widows Pension Applications, 1885-1953 (; 54,498 indexed records with 189,158 record images (was 0 records with 189,158 images), Updated 19 Apr 2018

*  Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Civil Registration, 1829-2012   (; 878,042 indexed records with 5,100,470 record images (was 878,042 records with 5,100,470 images), Updated 20 Apr 2018

*  Florida Marriages, 1830-1993    (; 1,699,231 indexed records with 1,307,127 record images (was 1,699,231 records with 649,563 images), Updated 19 Apr 2018

*  Peru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874-1996       (; 4,447,793 indexed records with 3,505,112 record images (was 4,445,522 records with 3,505,112 images), Updated 20 Apr 2018

*  Spain, Soldier Personal Service Files, 1835-1940        (; 6,777 indexed records with 364,919 record images (was 6,777 records with 364,919 images), Updated 17 Apr 2018

*  Wisconsin State Census, 1885    (; 407,138 indexed records with 10,186 record images (was 407,138 records with 10,186 images), Updated 19 Apr 2018

*  United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012        (; 4,829,164 indexed records with 455,810 record images (was 4,737,764 records with 455,810 images), Updated 16 Apr 2018

--- Collections with images removed ---

*  Germany, Baden, Archdiocese of Freiburg im Breisgau, Catholic Church Records, 1678-1930 (; Index only (341,073 records), no images (was 341,073 records with 73,930 images),  11 Apr 2018

--- Collections with new records ---

*  Australia Births and Baptisms, 1792-1981        (; Index only (530,553 records), no images (was 505,541 records with 0 images),  9 Mar 2012

*  Wales, Pembrokeshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1912       (; 378,652 indexed records with 378,652 record images (was 320,627 records with 378,652 images),  21 Aug 2015

*  England, Hampshire Parish Registers, 1538-1980  (; 587,689 indexed records with 64,506 record images (was 519,566 records with 64,506 images),  9 Dec 2017

*  Colombia, Catholic Church Records, 1576-2014    (; 2,887,265 indexed records with 12,555,984 record images (was 2,884,404 records with 12,555,984 images),  24 Feb 2018

*  Peru, Diocese of Huacho, Catholic Church Records, 1560-1952     (; 532,316 indexed records with 159,173 record images (was 529,452 records with 159,173 images),  5 Apr 2018

*  Wales, Radnorshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1912 (; 115,726 indexed records with 115,726 record images (was 102,426 records with 115,726 images),  21 Aug 2015

*  Wales, Monmouthshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1912       (; 432,421 indexed records with 432,421 record images (was 251,833 records with 432,421 images),  21 Aug 2015

*  England, Surrey Parish Registers, 1536-1992     (; 2,103,418 indexed records with 230,828 record images (was 1,625,935 records with 230,828 images),  11 Dec 2017

*  England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991   (; Index only (14,841,089 records), no images (was 14,696,187 records with 0 images),  7 Oct 2013

*  England Marriages, 1538–1973    (; Index only (16,110,090 records), no images (was 15,993,121 records with 0 images),  7 Oct 2013

*  England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975      (; Index only (68,947,780 records), no images (was 68,615,240 records with 0 images),  3 Mar 2017

*  England, Warwickshire, Parish Registers, 1535-1984      (; 2,511,778 indexed records with 113,093 record images (was 2,142,736 records with 113,093 images),  17 Jan 2018

*  Spain, Diocese of Cartagena, Catholic Church Records, 1503-1969 (; 233,303 indexed records with 22,034 record images (was 205,640 records with 22,034 images),  26 Feb 2018

*  Wales, Flintshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1912  (; 518,354 indexed records with 518,354 record images (was 464,242 records with 518,354 images),  21 Aug 2015

*  Australia Marriages, 1810-1980  (; Index only (161,139 records), no images (was 156,384 records with 0 images),  20 Mar 2012

*  Wales, Carmarthenshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1912     (; 481,167 indexed records with 481,167 record images (was 448,673 records with 481,167 images),  21 Aug 2015

*  Australia Deaths and Burials, 1816-1980 (; Index only (103,200 records), no images (was 102,480 records with 0 images),  6 Apr 2010

*  Wales, Denbighshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1912        (; 718,698 indexed records with 718,898 record images (was 666,926 records with 718,898 images),  21 Aug 2015

*  Texas, Comanche County Records, 1858-1955       (; 30,993 indexed records with 321,826 record images (was 29,952 records with 321,826 images),  8 Dec 2017

*  Wales, Merionethshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1912      (; 146,135 indexed records with 146,135 record images (was 32,618 records with 146,135 images),  21 Aug 2015

*  Wales, Montgomeryshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1912     (; 416,043 indexed records with 416,043 record images (was 377,027 records with 416,043 images),  21 Aug 2015

*  Wales, Caernarvonshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1912     (; 281,126 indexed records with 281,126 record images (was 91,803 records with 281,126 images),  21 Aug 2015

*  Wales, Anglesey, Parish Registers, 1538-1912    (; 203,430 indexed records with 203,430 record images (was 85,574 records with 203,430 images),  21 Aug 2015

*  Wales, Glamorganshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1912      (; 753,759 indexed records with 753,759 record images (was 731,196 records with 753,759 images),  31 Aug 2015

*  Wales, Cardiganshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1912       (; 95,331 indexed records with 95,420 record images (was 81,430 records with 95,420 images),  21 Aug 2015

*  Wales, Brecknockshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1912      (; 220,591 indexed records with 220,591 record images (was 200,674 records with 220,591 images),  21 Aug 2015

--- Collections with records removed ---

*  Alabama County Marriages, 1809-1950     (; 2,032,007 indexed records with 1,231,203 record images (was 2,033,505 records with 1,231,203 images),  13 Nov 2017

*  Brazil, São Paulo, Immigration Cards, 1902-1980 (; 2,255,940 indexed records with 4,039,657 record images (was 2,255,941 records with 4,039,657 images),  26 Feb 2018

*  West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970      (; 1,488,612 indexed records with 1,504,135 record images (was 1,504,135 records with 1,504,135 images),  23 Jan 2014

*  California Birth Index, 1905-1995       (; Index only (24,589,504 records), no images (was 24,589,505 records with 0 images),  1 Mar 2012

*  Tennessee, County Marriages, 1790-1950  (; 4,760,178 indexed records with 3,378,378 record images (was 4,802,418 records with 3,378,378 images),  6 Oct 2016

*  Colorado, County Marriages, 1864-1995   (; 117,869 indexed records with 49,690 record images (was 118,783 records with 49,690 images),  21 Oct 2016


In order to select a specific record collection on FamilySearch, go to and use the "Filter by collection name" feature in the upper left-hand corner and use a keyword (e.g. "church england") to find collections with those keywords..

My friend, Marshall, has come up with a way to determine which collections are ADDED, DELETED or UPDATED.  Thanks to Marshall for helping me out here!

Each one of the collections listed above has a Research Wiki page (use the "Learn more" link).  It would be very useful if the Wiki page for each collection listed the dates for when the collection was added as a new collection and the dates for major updates also.


The URL for this post is:  

Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at