Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - David Godfrey's Will Proved February 24, 1783

David Godfrey of Chatham, Mass and Horton, Nova Scotia is my 6th great grandfather.  I have been looking for David Godfrey's will for some time.  It was not where it was supposed to be.  I reviewed the Will Book of probate records from Kings County, Nova Scotia, which is where he died, but no sign of his will.  I contacted the Kings County Probate Court and they couldn't find a copy, either.

I had nearly given up, but I had found the Genealogical Society of Nova Scotia website. The website didn't have a copy of David Godfrey's, but they did have a section which helped you connect with other people with similar research interests.

It so happens that I connected with Bill Kennedy who had a copy of the will and had used it as a critical document to help him write the article David Godfrey of Chatham, Mass., and Horton, Kings Co., Nova Scotia, which appeared in the October 1991 edition of American Genealogist.

In the article it identified that David Godfrey's will was to be found in the earliest Hants County, NS will book on p. 44.  Since I always want to have a physical copy of the documents, I requested a copy of the will book through my local LDS Family Research Center.

Here is my transcription of the Will of David Godfrey of Horton, NS proved on February 24, 1783
In the name of God Amen, I David Godfrey of Horton in Kings County in the Province of Nova Scotia, being weak in body but perfect soundness of mind and memory (blessed be God) and calling to mind that it is appointed for all men once to die, do this Twenty Second Day of July In the year of our Lord one Thousand Seven hundred and seventy four make ordain and publish this my last will and testament in manner following, And first of all I recommend my soul to God that gave it, and my body to the dust to be buried in decent Christian burial at the discretion of my executors herein after named and those worldly goods and estate wherewith it hath pleases God to bless me in this lifeI give and bequeath the same in manner following after paying my just and funeral charges --- 
Imprimis   I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Priscilla the use and improvement of all real and moveable estate and the privilege of comfortable house so long as she shall continue my widow.  Also, I give and will unto my said Wife Priscilla the use and improvement of so much of my real estate as she shall find necessary or requisite for her comfortable support and subsistence so long as she continues to be my widow and in case my said wife during her widowhood shall by from of providence be reduced to necessity and not well supported by the profits of such my real estate of the improvement of such my personal estate, my Will is, that is that case she may and I hereby give unto her good rights to sell some part of my real estate as shall really be needful for her support ---- 
Item   I give unto my son David Godfrey five pounds to be paid out of my real estate by my executors  --- 
Item   I give unto my son Jonathan Godfrey all my real estate that shall remain after payment of said five pounds to my said son David and after the death of my said wife Priscilla or after her marrying another husband, with my dwelling house and barn, to him his heirs and assigns forever and also I give to my said son Jonathan the use and improvement of such part of the dwelling house and barn and all my real estate that shall not be found necessary for the comfortable dwelling and support of my said wife Priscilla, during her widowhood ------ 
Item   I give unto my daughter Anna Allen two third parts of all my personal or movable estate after the decease of my said wife Priscilla, or at here marrying another husband 
Item   I give unto my granddaughter Elizabeth Bishop one third part of my moveable or personal estate after the decease of my said wife
And lastly   I do hereby constitute make and ordain my said beloved wife Priscilla and my said son Jonathan Godfrey sole executor of this my last will and testament and too hereby disallow revoke all and every other and former testament, Wills, Legacies, bequests and executors by me heretofore made ratified and confirming this and no others to be my last Will and testamentIn whereof I have herein to set my hand and seal the day and year written 
David Godfrey

Nathan DeWolf     Anna DeWolf     Elijah Crane 
Special thanks to Bill Kennedy to sharing his great research with me and informing me of where I could find a copy of the original will information.

One of the best things about researching family history is the people that you connect with that are willing to help you in your research.  

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