Benjamin's signature from his will, aged about 63 years.
I Benjamin Howland of Dartmouth in the County of Bristol in New England yoeman, being weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given to God therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body & knowing
that it is appointed for man once to die, do make and ordain this my last will & testament, that is to say my body I commit to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my executor hereafter named & as touching on
such worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in they life, I give demise & dispose of the same
in the following maner & form, that is to say first I will that all those debts and dutie that I do owe in
right to any person or persons whatsoever (and my funeral charges) shall be well & truely paid in a convenient
time after my deceas out of my moveable estate by my executor hereafter named.
I give in the hands of Judeth my dearly beloved wife all my household goods and my old house during her life
or the time of her being my widow, for her use for her comfort and after the time above named to be
equally divided between my three daughters (viz) Abigal Howland now wife of Jonathan Ricketson & Desier Howland and Lydia Howland now wife of George Soule.
I give unto my beloved son Barnabus Howland all my stock of cattle & money? that is to say horse kind, cow kind, sheep and swine during the life of my abovesaid wife, for which he shall provide and procure for my said wife (?) all things necessary & convenient for her both in sickness & in health during her natural life & then to make good the said stock & money to be equally divuded ammong my above named three daughters (viz) Abigail Desier & Lydia.
I give unto my two sons Isaac Howland & Barnabas Howland all my tools & tacklings, belonging to husbandry as ploughs and one grindstone to be equally divided when they shall so meet? and I
do also give unto my beloved son Barnabus Howland above named all my bedsteds and one great table standing by the new roome? I also give unto my beloved son Isaac Howland a piece of land which I take from my homested with a line as follows beginning at a stone stuck into the ground being the southwest corner bounds of Hezekiah Smiths meadow lying in the called the Round Hill meadow and from thence west nine degrees southerly to a heap of stones on the east side of the highway that leads to the salt house point and from thence south eight degrees & two thirds of a degree east to the northwest corner bounds of Hezekiah Smiths land which he bought of Mr. Benjamin Howland near the salt house point & from thence on a strait line to a stone stuck in the beach being the northeast corner bounds of Hezekiah Smith's lott of land above named and from thence bounded by the beach & salt meadow to the first mentioned bounds this piece of land bounded as above said containing about forty acres together with four acres & sixty five rods of salt meadow lying at the east side of said land bounded as by the return of the meadow & one half acres of meadow which I
bought of John Tucker also three lots of land more lying all together on the west side of Nonmquet? Neck one which I bought of John (Dance?) containing sixty acres another which I bought of Hezekiah Smith containing sixteen acres and three quarters and another which I had laid out on my own right containing eighteen acfres & a quarter those three lots of land lying between the homested of Hezekiah Smith and the land of Giles Slocum together with the one half of my ceader swamp all those above named lots of land meadowland and seader swamp orchards houses & fences I freely grant unto my above named son Isaac Howland and to his heirs and assigns forever.
I give unto my loving son Barnabus Howland all my homested except one piece which I sold to Hezekiah Smith about eight acres and another piece which I gave to my son Isaac Howland as is above exprest containing about forty acres bounded as above said all the rest of my homested with houses barns orchard fences and crib together with the one half of my ceader swamp, with one lot of land lying on Nomquet Neck at the coming on of said neck on the south side of the way that lead into said neck and from thence south one degree east near forty rods to a stone pitch rod? into the ground with stones about it from thence east one degree north three score and one rods to a white? sapling marked just by the bogg and on said point four rods farther to Giles Slocums line from thence north thirty three degrees east fifty rods to the high way and so bounded by the south side of said high way till we come near? to the bogg where we began, together with six acres and one half acre of salt meadow land cituate lying and and being at the foot of my homested bounded as by return from the surveyors with all my undivided lands both upland and meadow land be it more or less with all my right title and interest unto all those pieces & parcels of lands meadow land ceader swamp and undivided lands to my son Barnabas Howland his heirs and assigns forever and I do nominate ordain and appoint my said son Barnabas Howland executor of this my last will and testament and I do desire that my loving brother Nicolas Howland and my loving friend John Russell to be overseers and I do hereby utterly disallow revoke and disanul all other and former testaments wills and legacies bequests and executions by me in any wish? bequest? timed? named? willed and bequeathed ratifying & allowing this and no other to be my last will and testament In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the fifth day of the first month called March in the year one hundred twenty and one or two.
signed sealed published pronounced & declar'd by the said Benj: Howland as his last will and testament in the presence of us the subscribers
children of Benjamin and Judith ("Samson") Howland:
i. Abigail b. 30 November 1686 (Dartmouth vital records - Dartmouth Monthly Meeting records not cited)
ii. Benjamin b. 16 November 1688 (DMM cited)
iii. Isaac b. 30 January 1694 (old or new style date?, Dvr - DMMr not cited)
iv. Desire b. 29 August 1696 (Dvr)
vi. Lydia b. 16 October 1701 (Dvr)
vital records sources: Benjamin's birth was recorded in the records of the Newport, RI, Friends Monthly Meeting. The published Dartmouth vital records include records from the Dartmouth Friends Monthly Meeting, which give his marriage to "Judeth Samson" and his death date.
all text and photographs © 1998-2008 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted