Monday, April 4, 2022

Amanuensis Monday -- 1863 Will of Jonathan Seaver (1793-1864) of Brookline, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.

 This week's document for transcription is from the 1864 Norfolk County, Massachusetts Probate Court estate papers for the probate of the will of Jonathan Seaver of Washington, D.C. 

*  Norfolk County, Massachusetts Probate Court Records - Case File 16336, image 4 of 28:

*  Norfolk County, Massachusetts Probate Court Records - Case File 16336, image 5 of 28:

The transcription of these pages is:

[Case File 16336, image 4 of 28]:

I, Jonathan Seaver of the County of Washington and
the District of Columbia make and execute the following as
my last Will and testament.  I give to Hariet and Hannah
Lancaster, daughters of William and Rachel S. Lancaster
who are now residents of the State of Illinois each fifteen
hundred (1500) dollars of the registered debt bearing six per cent
interest of the corporation of the city of Alexandria Va, to be
transferred by my executors with all accruing after, or due and
unpaid at the time of my death to the said Hariet and
Hannah, or the survivor, and their heirs.  I direct the
sum of ninety six dollars per year to be paid to Tacy Shoemaker
of Pennsylvania during her life, to be paid on the 11 of May in
each year.  And I further direct the annual income on ten
thousand (10,000) dollars of the Corporation of the City of
Washington six per cent stock to be paid equally to my
Sisters Elizabeth Davis, and Susan Seaver now of Brookline
Massachusetts during their lives and the whole of the said
income to the survivor in case of the death of either, and on
the death of both, the said amount to go with the residue 
of my estate as hereafter provided, together with the stock or
debt itself.  I direct my debts, if any, and expence of burial to
be paid from my personal effects and accruing income after
which and the fulfilment of the foregoing gifts and bequeaths.
I give and bequeathe all the income, residue and balance of
my estate of which I my die possessed, real and personal,
in possession as remainder in law or in equity unto the
following named children of my Nephew Jacob W. Seaver
now of Roxbury Massachusetts, and to the heirs of said
children as here after named to wit:  George Seaver,
Frank Seaver, Latimer Seaver, Mercer Seaver and 
Mary Seaver, and their heirs, in accordance with the laws
of distribution in force in the District of Columbia.  And I
appoint my said Nephew, Jacob W. Seaver, the executor of
this my will and testament.  In testimony whereof I hereunto set my
hand and affix my seal on this twelfth (12) day of January
in the year of our Lord 1863.
                                               Jonathan Seaver.  {seal}

[Case File 16336, image 4 of 28]:

County of Washington, District of Columbia.
The foregoing Will and instrument of writing was signed and
sealed by Jonathan Seaver who is well known to us in our
presence, and in the presence of each other, on this twelfth day
of January one thousand eight hundred and sixty three (1863).
                                                              C. A. James
                                                             M. ?. Butler
                                                             Jno. Willey

District of Columbia                    }
City and County of Washington  }  Ss
On the fourth day of February, Eighteen Hundred
and sixty four personally appeared before me Daniel
Rowland a Commissioner for the common welth of
Massachusetts residing in the City County and District
aforesaid C.A. James Wm. T. Butler and John
Willey witnesses to the signature to the last will and
testament of Jonathan Seaver of the aforesaid city
of Washington who depose and say as follows
that the foregoing will and instrument of
Writing was signed and sealed by Jonathan
Seaver who was well known to them in their presence
and in the presence of Each other on the twelfth
day of January Eight hundred and sixty
three, and appeared to be at the time of sound
Mind, Memory and understanding, and that he
declared the same to be his last Will and testament.
In Witness whereof I have hereunto
Set my hand and affixed my official
seal this fourth day of February in the year
Eighteen hundred and sixty four at the city of
Washington in the County and District aforesaid.
                                      Dan Rowland
                                     Commissioner for the Commonwealth
                                     of Massachusetts.
The source citation for this probate record is:

Norfolk County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Case file 16336 (28 images) Jonathan Seaver of Brookline, 1864; "Norfolk County (Massachusetts) Probate Records, 1793-1900," digital images, New England Historical and Genealogical Society, American Ancestors ( accessed 2 April 2022).

Jonathan Seaver (1793-1864) was the son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth (Clapp) Seaver of Roxbury, Massachusetts.  He married Mary Gallego Plummer (1795-????) in 1823 in Washington, D.C.  They had three children - Elizabeth C. Seaver (1826-1853), Jonathan Mercer Seaver (1828-1851), and Mary P. Seaver (1834-1848).  He left no descendants.

In his will, Jonathan Seaver bequeathed money to Hariet and Hannah Lancaster of Illinois, to Tacy Shoemaker, his sisters Elizabeth Davis and Susan Seaver, and the children of his nephew Jacob W. Seaver, (son of his brother Ebenezer Seaver), namely George Seaver, Frank Seaver, Latimer Seaver, Mercer Seaver and Mary Seaver.  Jacob w. Seaver was named as the executor.  The inventory was taken on 17 May 1864, an Inventory was filed which totaled over $81,000, a list of debts paid was approved, and an affidavit of notice was made by the executor.  On 10 June 1865, the Executor's account was allowed by the Court.  There is no distribution of the estate in the estate file.  While his estate consisted mainly of financial securities and a house in Washington, D.C., the estate was probated in Norfolk County, Massachusetts.

I don't know how Hariet and Hannah Lancaster, or Tacy Shoemaker, are related to Jonathan Seaver, but I will try to work on that problem. 

Jonathan Seaver was my 4th cousin 6 times removed, with our common Seaver ancestor being Robert Seaver (1608-1683) of Roxbury, Massachusetts.  He was called a farmer in the 1850 and 1860 United States Censuses, and a Gentleman in the 1864 death entry in the Brookline, Massachusetts town records.  


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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