ancestral chart father mother index home

vital records sources
go to Richard Thistle's page

Elizabeth's mark on her will

For a discussion of her birth date, see her father's page.

While not much can be said of her life from existing records, it's noteworthy that the land she was given by her father, "twenty acres of upland laying by the Land, called Eastyes land, and Joyneing next unto the sayd land,"1 was still intact when she died about eighty years later. Any land brought to a marriage by a wife at that time was at the disposal of the husband. Deeds say "with the permission of" the wife when real estate in her name was sold, but there must have been some grey area when wives gave their permission. My guess is that her family, Haskell or Thistle, didn't need to sell the land.
     Richard Thistle was particular about the support of his children within his means. This wasn't unusual, but it does show he wasn't apt to waste assets for his own gratification. He sold his oldest surviving son Richard a homestead and other land that was his father-in-law James Patch's for less than he bought it for2 and "in consideration of his good will & natural affection which I have & bear to" him and "for his encouragement & advancement being towards his portion" (of his estate).3 Richard, Jr., had recently turned 21. Richard, Sr., surely bought the property from the other Patch heirs with his son in mind, given that the purchase and the gift/sale were made the same day. He and Elizabeth agreed to give their only other son Ebenezer their own homestead, all other land in Richard's name and his weaving apparati with two options: to either pay their daughters £20 in compensation or let his parents continue to live in the house and use the property as they had been.4
     Immediately following that deed, there is another that says Ebenezer would pay his sisters £ 20 each in two installments.5 It's hard to imagine that Richard and Elizabeth then moved out of the house. The above deed is too vague to say what happened. It's most likely lived out their lives in their house anyway, in which Ebenezer stayed and raised his own family. With all of Richard, Sr.'s, real estate accounted for between Richard, Jr., and Ebenezer, all that was left when he died was Elizabeth's inheritance from her father. With a discrepancy of an acre that may have been a correction or adjustment of the mid-seventeenth century survey, she was able to will it as she wanted.6

In the name of God amen, I Elizabeth Thistle of Beverly...widow of Richard Thistle...being weak in body but of perfect mind and memory do ordain this my last will & testament.

My will is that all my debts & funeral charges shall be paid out of ye income of my real estate

...that my daughter in law Hannah Thistle, the widow of my son Ebenezer Thistle, decd., shall have all the other income & profits of my sd real estate till her two sons, Richard Thistle & James Thistle, come to be of age or are married, to enable her to bring them up, but if shee keep them not at home, but put them or either of them abroad into other families, then his part which is put out shall be improved by his guardian to the term afore sd except what is hereafter, herein bequeathed to my daughter Elizabeth.

My will is that my real estate, it being land which I inherited from my father James Patch, decd., & lying in Beverly adjoyning to the proper homestead of my sd husband shall all of it be equally divided for quantity & quallity between my sd be to them...they to enter into possession of it immediately upon their comeing to be of age or at the time of their marriage, but if either of them dye before that term then his part thereof shall go to him yt survives...

I bequeath unto my two granddaughters Lydia Thistle & Susannah Thistle, ye daughters of my aforesd son Ebenezer Thistle unto each of them the sum of twenty five pounds in such money as shall then be passing, to be equally paid them by my sd grandsons within one full year after my sd grandson shall be of age, but if either of my sd granddaughters dye before that time comes, then ye surviving one shall have the whole fifty pounds & if either grandson dye, the surviving grandson, when of age, shall pay the whole sum.

I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Thistle ten bushells of good merchantable Indian corn, 10 barrels of cyder & six bushells of apples to be paid her yearly & every year during ye term of her natural life by my aforesd daughter in law so long as shee improve my sd real estate...& afterwards by the guardians of my sd grandsons or by them after they come to improve my sd real estate in equal proportion.

I give unto my sd daughter Elizabeth all the Indian corn which I shall have in house at the time of my decease, to be delivered her by my executors in four years after my decease, viz: one quarter part thereof (or so much) every year during the four years & also all my wearing apparell, except one callimanco petticoat to be dilivered her at the time of my decease.

I give my cow unto my grandson Jeffery Thistle & all my sheep & lambs to my grandson Wm. Thistle.

I give unto my granddaughter Prisilla Corning my aforesd petticoat.

I give all the rest of my personal estate unto my three granddaughters Prisilla Corning...Martha Thistle & Anna Thistle to be equally divided among them.

I bequeath unto my grandchildren Mary Standley, Elizabeth Sallowes, Expreience Sallows & Mary Sallows, to each of them five shillings to be paid them by my aforesd grandsons...within one year after they come to be of age in equal poroprtion.

I bequeath unto my grandchildren Peter Pride & Hannah Corning to each of them five shillings to be paid them equally by my sd grandsons...within two years after they are of age.

I bequeath unto my grandchildren Solomon Cole, Nathaniel Cole, Mary Cole, Charity Cole, Sarah Cole & Hannah Cole unto each of them five shillings to be equally paid them by my aforesd grandsons...within three years after they come of age.

I do hereby constitute & appoint my son Richard Thistle to be the sole executor of this my last will & testament to whom I bequeath nothing herein because of what I have otherwise given him heretofore...I do hereunto sett my hand & seal this twelfth day of thousand seven hundred & thirty one...

Elizabeth her x mark Thistle the presence of Benja. Patch, Freeborn Patch, Eliza. Boyles her x mark

...Ipswich October 24 1737....Eliza. Boyles personally appeard & made oath that shee was present & saw Elizabeth above written instrument...together with Benja. Patch & Freeborn Patch who are decd...

Her inventory values her nineteen acres of land inheritence, described as orchard, tillage, mowing & pasture, at £228. This is remarkable, since about five years later, her son Ebenezer's estate inventory values an eighteen acre pasture lot at about £57 and a ten acre "tillage and mowing" lot at about £35. She mentions the income from this land, inferring it had been rented. It's also possible it provided market crops that they sold. Either way, it must have been whatever was being produced on it, maybe the orchard, that made it that valuable. Having already given Richard, Jr., his due, she gave the land to Ebenezer's sons, with the income of it considered sufficient for his widow Hannah to "bring them up." I can't say Elizabeth had sole discretion as to how the land was used since she came of age, but she must have after Richard died, and it may be a testament to some business or financial wisdom on her part.

children of Elizabeth Patch and Richard Thistle:

Jeffrey b. 21 September 1672 (Beverly town records)
Mary b. abt 1673/74, m. Robert Sallows, d. 6 July 1714, Beverly aged abt. 40
Hannah b. abt 1678, m. Peter Pride, int. 22 December 1700, d. 1750 aged abt. 72
William b. 20 February 1684(/85?) (the original town record says William, but this is likely Richard, if not, no further record)
Richard b. abt 1684/85, see above, m. Martha Thorndike, d. 17 March 1752, Beverly, age 67
Sarah b. abt 1686/87 m. Benjamin Cole, int. 16 November 1710
Elizabeth b. abt 1688/89, alive on 21 February 1730/31 (mother's will), no further record
Ebenezer, b. 8 November 1690 (Beverly town records)

From the records of the First Church of Beverly: "7th May 1710 Hannah Elisabeth & Sarah daughters of Richard Thistle, Sr., "made a publick professn of yr faith & repentd & were baptized, being each grown to an adult age"6

vital records sources:

1. Essex Co., MA, probate file 27416; Essex Co., MA, probate book 322:156, 172.
2. Essex Co., MA, deed 309:236.
3. Ibid, 20:41b-42
4. Ibid, 27:89.
5. Ibid, 27:90
6. The Probate Records of Essex County (Salem:The Essex Institute, 1916), 270-271.
7. Records of the First Church in Beverly, Massachusetts, 1667-1772 (Beverly:Essex Institute, 1905), 48.

all text and photographs © 1998-2021 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted