Monday, March 14, 2022

Amanuensis Monday - 1805 Probate Records of Peter Johonnot Seaver (1770-1804) in Suffolk County, Massachusetts

 This week's document for transcription is the 1806 probate estate file of Peter Johonnot Seaver of Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, filed in Suffolk County, Massachusetts Probate Court.

*  Suffolk County, Massachusetts Estate Files, Case 22,220 (44 images), image 41:

*  Suffolk County, Massachusetts Estate Files, Case 22,220 (44 images), image 42:

*  Suffolk County, Massachusetts Estate Files, Case 22,220 (44 images), image 43:

The transcription of these pages is:

[image 41 of 44]

In the name of God Amen. I Peter
Johonnet Seaver
of the City of Savannah, County
of Chatham, State of Georgia considering the uncer-
tainty of this mortal Life and being of sound and
perfect mind and memory blessed be Almighty
God for the same, do make and publish this my
last Will and Testament in manner and form
following. That is to say, I give and bequeath
unto my dearly beloved daughter, Elizabeth Grafton
Woodbridge Seaver
all my real and personal Estate
Goods, Chattels, of what kind and nature so ever
which I am now possessed of, or may hereafter come
into possession of, during my continuance in this ha-
bitable globe, hereby confirming unto her every thing
in right of my sole heir. And whereas some of my
connexions ^& friends^ may possibly consider, me as unmindful
to them in consequences of my not making them Legatees
yet I trust they will become conciliated when I say
that all I have is but scarcely sufficient for this
Infant daughter, in as much as what I possess cannot
possibly amount to but a few thousand dollars, over
and above the discharge of my just debts. The names
of the three following persons are Men in whom I
deposit (to me and my dear daughter) the greatest
trust and confidence believing they will regard my
Infant offspring as much, when I am removed into
the World of Spirits as though I were present; and
that they will promptly and willingly execute all my
wishes as far as in them lays towards the protection
care and happiness of my Child; under these hopes
and belief I hereby appoint Thomas March Wood-
bridge, Joseph Machin and Thomas F. Williams

Executors of this my last Will and Testament. And
whereas my daughter will unquestionably require a
female guardian (being deprived of a maternal one
as also myself of an amiable and discreet companion).

[image 42 of 44]

to guide her through the many labyrinths of the
World, therefore having the fullest confidence in
the affection and discretion of (my matrimonial
mother) Mrs. Dorcas Woodbridge, and my sister Mrs.
Mary Woodbridge (wife of Mr. Thomas M. Woodbridge)
have and do hereby appoint them the guardians of
my Child. To their care and affection I commit
her, hoping and believing their attention and care
will not only be founded on consanguinity, but the
???? of that love and affection which was blended
with their esteem for my dearly departed Wife. I do
hereby revoke all former Wills, by me made. In
witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and
Seal the first day of December in the year of our
Lord Eighteen hundred & two.

Signed sealed, publish and declared       }
by the above named Peter J. Seaver to }
be his last Will Testament in the            } Peter J. Seaver {L S}
presence of us who have hereunto         }
Subscribed our names as witnesses       }
in the presence of the Testator               }

Wm. J. Hobby
John Macintosh
Henry Pelham

Georgia Before the honorable the Court of Ordinary for
the County of Chatham in the State aforesaid
Personally appeared John Mackintosh one of
the subscribing witnesses to the foregoing last
Will and Testament of Peter Johonnet Seaver
deceased, who being duly sworn saith that
he was present and did see the said Testator
Sign, seal, publish and declare the same to
be and contain his last Will & Testament
and that he was at the time of sound mind
to the best of this deponents belief and that
Wm. J. Hobby & Henry Pelham together with
the deponent Subscribed their names as
Witnesses at the request and in the presence

[image 43 of 44]

of the said Testator and of each other.
John Mackintosh

Sworn in open Court
3'd June 1805
EdWhite Clk
Court of Ordinary
{L S) Georgia

The honourable the court of Ordinary
for the County of Chatham in the State aforesaid.
To all whome these presents shall come Greeting,
Know ye that on the third day of June in the year
of our Lord, One thousand eight hundred & five,
the last Will
and Testament of Peter J. Seaver late of Savannah in
this State Merchant deceased, was proved, appeared and allowed
of the said deceased having whilst he lived, and at the
time of his death, divers Goods, Chattels, and Credits, within
the County and State aforesaid, by means whereof the
approbation and allowing of his testament, and the power
of granting the administration of all and singular the
goods, chattels and Credits of the said deceased, to this Court
is manifestly known to belong; and that the adminis-
tration of all and singular, the goods, chattels, and credits
of the said deceased, and of his testament, any manner
of way concerning is hereby granted and committee unto
Mr. Thomas M. Woodbridge named Executor, in the said
last Will & Testament, being first sworn on the holy
evangelists of Almighty God well and faithfully
to administer, and make a full and perfect inven-
tory, of all and singular the Goods, Chattels, and Credits
of the said deceased, and to exhibit the same into
the Clerk of the Court of Ordinary's Office of the
said County in order to be recorded on or before the
fifth day of September next ensuing and to render a
just and true account, calculation and reckoning
thereof, when thereunto required.

Witness the honorable Edward Telfair the
fifth day of June in the Year of our Lord
and in the 29'th Year of American Independence.

The source citation for this probate record is:

Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Estate Cases 22000 to 23999, Case 22,220 (44 images), Peter J. Seaver estate (of Chatham County, Georgia), 1806; "Suffolk County (Massachusetts) Probate Records, 1636-1899," digital images, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014, American Ancestors ( : accessed 10 March 2022).

Peter Johonnot Seaver (1770-1804), a merchant, died testate 5 September 1804 in Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, having written a will on 1 December 1802.  His will names his only child, Elizabeth Grafton Woodbridge Seaver, as his heir, and nobody else.  The will does not provide the name of the "dearly departed" mother of child Elizabeth.  It does name Thomas March Woodbridge as one of the executors.  It names Mrs. Dorcas Woodbridge (his "matrimonial mother")  and Mrs. Mary Woodbridge ("sister," wife of Thomas M. Woodbridge) as guardians for his child.  

Peter Johonnot Seaver was the son of Ebenezer and Sarah (Johonnot) Seaver of Boston, Massachusetts.  The entire set of probate records from Chatham county, Georgia were transferred to Suffolk county, Massachusetts for this probate file.  As a merchant, Peter J. Seaver had a long list of creditors and some debtors, perhaps in both Savannah and Boston.  His executors made extensive lists of the inventory and lists of creditors in the estate file.  The estate was declared insolvent and eventually settled for pennies on the dollar.  

This will provides some genealogy challenges:  

*  Who was the mother of the child?  
*  Why was the child named "Elizabeth Grafton Woodbridge Seaver?"  
*  Who are the Woodbridges?  Where were they from?
*  What happened to Elizabeth Grafton Woodbridge Seaver?  

Before this will was found, I did not have a wife or children for Peter Johonnot Seaver.


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."

Read other transcriptions for records of my ancestors at Amanuensis Monday Posts.

Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

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