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Joseph's signature from his will when he was 85



.....The last will and testement of Joseph Russell of Dartmouth in the County of Bristol in the Province of ye Massechusets Bay in New england yeoman is as followeth To all people to whom these presence shall come or may consern know yea that I Joseph Russell through the mercy of God being perfect in mind & of a sound memory and for the preventing further troble do make this my last will and testement as followeth
Imps I will that all thoes debts and
[duties?] as I owe in right to any person or persons what soever shall be well and truly paid in convenient time and season after my deceas by my executors hereafter named

Itim I do will and bequeath unto my true and loveing wife Elisabeth Russell during her natural life all my moveable estate whatsoever both indoors household goods as well money or moneys due by bond as also cattle horsekind sheep swine and all other moveables whatseover be ye same more or less saveing onely what I shall herein after dispose of other ways: also I give unto my said wife the priviledge of my houseing and three or four acres of land and orchard with firewood - reserved by leas (out of ye sale I made to my son Joseph Russell) dureing our and each of our natural lives: also it is my will that my son Benjn Russell allow and deliver unto her my sd wife his mother half a bushel of indian meal a week weekly and yearly dureing her natural life: to be delivered at ye gristmill given to him in this my last will.
Itim I give and bequeath unto my loveing son Joseph Russell one cow if there be any alive after my deceas and if not then eight pounds in lawfull bills of publick credit: and I haveing given my said son Joseph lands by deed (before) I do hereby give and confirm ye same to him as ye deed may appear.
Item I give and bequeath unto my loveing son John Russell two acres of seder swamp lying in apponiganset great seder swamp and is joyning to ye ceder swamp belonging to my cosen John Russell - also I give unto my sd son John Russell my fulling mill also I give unto him the priviledge of makeing a dam a croas the river (above his brother Benjn Russells grist mill) for a fulling mill or a saw mill or for both and to joyn his dam on his said brother Benjn land on that side of ye river: all which I give unto my sd son John his heirs and assigns forever provided allways that my said son John his heirs executors or assigns shall not set up a gristmill on said dam or on sd stream thereby to damnifie my sd son Benjn Russell or his heirs or assigns.
Itim I give and bequeath unto my loveing son Benjn Russell seventeen acres and an half of upland with allowance lying on the east side of poscamanut river (as may appear by record) together with the dwelling house standing on it (reserving ye priviledge of one
[room?] in sd house for his mother my now wife to live in if she shall stand in need thereof [ten?] acres of upland lying near bald hill and joyns to Jabez Barkers homestead - also I give unto him two acres of ceder swamp within the sixteen acre division laid out with allowance and is in apponigansit great seder swamp as may by record appear and further it is my mind and will that my said son Benjn Russell shall have [license?] and a privilege to [jogg?] his dam (for his gristmill) over the river (on the other side) on the land given to my (afresd) son John Russell by deed: that is if he my sd son John [he?] his heirs and assigns shall at any time hereafter see cause to move or rebuild his or their fulling mill hier up stream but otherwise my two said sons John and Benjn Russell shall maintain their dam for their said mills where it now stands equally between them: all which I give unto my said son Benjn his heirs and assigns forever provided allways that my sd son Benjn his heirs shall not set up or bild a fulling mill on sd dam or stream thereby to damnifie his brother John Russell his heirs or assigns.
Itim I give and bequeath unto my grandson Willm Russell son of my son Joseph Russell fifteen acres of upland already laid out in my right to my sd son Joseph Russell (with allowance for mean land in the four hundred acre divisions of land in Dartmouth aforesd near the west end of Kemptons Great lot of land on the west side of Acooshenut river the which fifteen acres of land I give unto my sd grand son Wm. Russell his heirs and assigns forever.
Itim I give and bequeath unto my grand daughter Elizebeth Russell daughter of my son Seth Russell late of sd Dartmouth deceased one third part of three acres of land it being that on which ye house stands in which my sd son Seth dwelt when liveing the said three acres of land is bounded extending from Ward's land northward along ye high way thirty four rods and an half or there abouts and thence to extend on the whole length of thirty four rods and an half from sd way fourteen rods westward (including sd house) and is bounded with stakes and stones at each corner the one third part of ye sd three acres of land togather with ye one third part of the houseing thereon standing I give unto her my sd grand daughter Elizebeth Russell her heirs and assigns foever also I give and bequeath unto her my sd grand daughter Elizebeth one bond obligatory (bareing date of fourteenth day of ye eighth month called October 1728) to me from my afresd son Joseph Russell wherein he or his heirs is obliged to pay the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds money to her my said grand daughter Elizebeth in manner as pr bond may appear the which sd bond togather with the money therein contained and to be paid in manner as pr bond I give unto her my sd grand daughter Elizebeth Russell to be at her disposing forever.
Itim I give and bequeath unto my grandaughter Constant Russell daughter of my said son Seth Russell (deceased) one third part of ye above bounded three acres of land with one third part of ye houseing thereon standing I give unto her my said grand daughter Constant Russell and to her heirs and assigns forever also I give unto her one bond obligatory (bareing date the fourteenth day of the month called October 1728) to me from my aforementioned son Joseph Russell wherein he or his heirs are obliged to pay the sum of one hundred fifty pounds money to her my said grand daughter Constant Russell in manner as pr bond (may apper) the which said bond togather with ye money therein contained and to be paid in manner as pr bond I give unto her my said granddaughter Constant Russell and to be at her dispose forever
Itim I give and bequeath to my granddaughter Ruth Russell daughter of my said son Seth Russell (deceased) all the remaining part of ye above bounded three acres of land with one third part of ye houseing thereon standing to her and to her heirs forever also I give to my said grand daughter Ruth Russell one bond obligatory (bareing date the fourteenth day of ye 8th month called October 1728) to me from my afore mentioned son Joseph Russell wherein he or his heirs are obliged to pay the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds money to her my said grand daughter Ruth Russell as pr bond may appear which said bond togather with ye money therein contained and to be paid in manner as pr sd bond I give unto her and to be at her desposing forever.
Itim I give and bequeath unto my three grand daughters afore mentioned (viz) Elizebeth Constant and Ruth Russell twenty pounds in bills of publick credit to be laid out or improved equaly to them for their learning in reading writeing and cyphering by my executors herafter named also I give unto my sd three grand daughters last mantioned fifty pounds in publick bills of credit to be paid (by my sd executors within one year after my deceas) equaly to them or to their gardean
[to?] over [see?] and to be improved for their use and benefit till they [come to be of age?] also I give and bequeath unto my sd three grand daughters Elizebeth Constant & Ruth Russell the three acres of upland which was laid out to me on the north side of ye afore mentioned Kenptons Great lot near the northwest corner thereof referance being had to ye survayers retuns for the perticuler bounds of sd three acres of land
Itim further my mind and will is that my aforementioned son Benjn Russell for and in consideration of ye land I have (herein this my will) given to him (and heretofor by deed) shall pay to his sistor my daughter Mary Lapum now the wife of John Lapum forty pounds money or publick bills of credit and to be paid to her within one year after my deceas
Itim I give and bequeath unto my daughter Rebeckah Barker now ye wife of Jabez Barker the sum of forty pounds money or bills of publck credit and to be paid to her within one year after my deceas by my executors hereafter named out of my moveable estate or moneys as aforesaid
Itim I give and bequeath unto my two great grand sons (viz) Joshua & Caleb Smith sons of Thomas Smith of Providence in ye Colloney of Rhoad island in New England the sum of five pounds each in bills of publick credit to be paid to them or to their overseers or gaurdeans for the use of ye sd Joshua & Caleb Smith within two years after my deceas by my executors hereafter named out of my moveable estate or moneys as aforesd: that is my executors shall pay all said legacies (except what my afore said son Benj Russell is to pay in particular) out of my moneys by me or money due by bond to me so fare as it will go and the remander to my wife (if any be) to improve for her use and comfort
Itim I give and bequeath unto my two grand sons (viz) Joseph Lapum and Joseph Barker five pounds each in money or publick bills of credit to be paid to them and to each of them severally: when they shall come to the age of twenty one years: to be paid by my afore mentioned son Benj Russell in consideration
[?] him as aforesd
Itim further my mind and will is that after my just debts and legacies are paid and the deceas of my wife: what moneys is left of my estate or publick bills of credit due by bond or bonds: shall be devided equaly into six parts or shears: my son Joseph Russell to have one part or share and my son John Russell to have one part (or share) and my son Benjn to have one part (or share) and my daughter Mary Lapum one part (or share) and my daughter Rebeckah Barker to have one part (or share) and the heirs of my aforementioned son Seth Russell (deceased) shall have one part (or share)
Itim my mind and will is (that after my wife is deceased) what houseol goods and live stock remains of my estate then: (except the one cow given to my aforesd son Joseph Russell in this my will) shall be equally devided to my two daughters Mary Lapum and Rebeckah Barker and their heirs forever
Itim I hereby constitute ordain and appoint my loveing sons John and Benjn Russell and my son in law Jabez Barker: my executors to this my last will and testement to see it truly performed according to the true (janewine
[genuine]) intent and meaning thereof: and I do hereby make void and null all other and former will or wills herefotore by me made ratefying and confirming this (forgoing and above written) and no other to be my last will and testement in witness whereof i the said Joseph Russell have hereunto set my hand and seal this eleventh day of ye first month called March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and thirty five or six 1735/6

Joseph Russell

Signed sealed pronounced and declared by the said Joseph Russell to be his last will and testement in pressents of

Isaac his marke Sherman
Thomas Kempton
Zephaniah Taber
Samll Willis

Joseph's will was brought to court for probate on 18 December 1739, and administration was granted to the executors on the same day, with the mandate to take an inventory of his estate.

A True Inventory of all and Singular the personal Estate of Joseph Russell of Dartmouth in the County of Bristol in the province of Massachusets Bay in New England yoeman of Late Deceased of all that come to our knowledge Apprised by James Howland Isaac Shearman and Isaac Smith yoemen all of Dartmouth in the Town and County abovesd on the 29th and 25th of the month called December 1739

Imprimis to his wearing apparel...90-05-00
Item to one bond obligatory of one hundred and fifty pounds given to his grand Daughter Elizabeth Russell...150-00-00
Item to one bond obligatory of one hundred and fifty pounds to his grand Daughter Constant Russell...150-00-00
Item to one bond obligatory of one hundred and fifty pounds given to his Grand Daughter Ruth Russell...150-00-00
Item to money due by bonds and notes...662-08-
[00?]
Item to his riding furniture...06-00-[00?]
To his book 3l and one bed and beding 21-4...29-04-00
To one bed and beding 19l:4s and
[old skreen?] and bedstead 1l...20-04-00
to 1 Cow 9l and a pare of hand irons 3l...12-00-00
to a pare of stilliards 1l:5s and a brass skimmer 10s...01-15-00
to a pare of shears 2l:6s to an iron pot and hooks 1l...01-02-06
to 2 trammels 19s and iron skillet an old pann and kettle 12s...1-11-00
to a frying pann 12s to 8 puter platters 5l-17s...06-09-00
to 5 puter basons 1l:13s to 5 puter plates 1l:2s...02-15-00
to a Tankard 8s to 2 quart pots 16 and 2 bekers 4s...01-08-00
to a brass kettle 2l:10s to 4 candle sticks 1l-1s...03-11-00
to 2 stone juggs 10s and 12 glass bottles 16...01-06-00
to 17 chears 5l:4s to half a hatchell 5s...05-09-00
to a Looking Glass at 2l to a Case of Draws 5l-10s...07-10-00
to 3 Silver Spoons at 6l-10s and 2 chests at at 1l-8s...07-18-00
to a spinning whele and Clock rele 1l...01-00-00
to a warming pann 1l:5s to old puter 1l:14s...02-19-00
to a bed and furniture 37l to an old trunk 5s...37-05-00
to 8 towels at 16s and 5 napkins
[?]s...01-05-00
to a brass grater and
[spurr?] 5s-6d to 2 pare of spectacles 12s...00-17-06
to
[?] yds of thick cloath 4l and 2 yds and 1/2 of wosted cloth 1l...05-00-00
to a broken belmettle skillet and old iron 6...00-06-00
to a chamber pott 10s and an ink horn 1s-6d...00-11-06
to a round table 2l to 3 other old tables 1l-14s...03-14-00
------------
The Sum Total on this amounts to
[smudged, apparently 1298-03-06, see below]

to four shugar
[bones?] 5s to a [nochke?] morter 2s:6d...00-07-06
to 3 knives and 3 forks 6s to an old bedsted and old chest 8s...00-14-00
to an old hoe 4s and 8 earthen pots 10s...00-14-00
to 6 trays 19s to 2 wooden dishes and 12 tremper 8...01-07-00
to an old bagg basket and table Cloth 3s to a
[couch or conch?] 2l...02-03-00
to a Low Case of draws 2l to a chest 1l...03-00-00
to a woden spice morter 2s:6d to a small brush 2s:6d...00-05-00
to a glass beker 2s to 6 putter panns 15s...00-17-00
to a
[lawn sive?] 5s to a dripping pann 18s...01-03-00
to 2 old kettles and an old pott 15 to an old chafing dish 12s...01-07-00
to an iron spit 12s and old iron 8s...01-00-00
to 3 more knives and forks 6 to 4 plates 18s...01-04-00
to a
[box?] iron 4s to a candle box 9s...00-19-00
to a bed and furniture 37l to an old bedsted 4s...37-04-00
to a grinding stone 10s to a looking glass 8s...00-18-00
to a
[ronsor?] 4s to 3 old barrels 10s to 3 tubs 8s...01-02-00
to an old whele 4s and lumber 2...00-06-00
to a bed pann 1l-10s to 3 silver spoons 6l-10s...08-00-00
------------
The sum total on this side amounts to 62-04-06
the other side was 1298-03-06
------------
in all 1360-08-00

Isaac Smith
James Howland
Isaac his mark Shearman

The inventory was presented and accepted at court on 17 June 1740. The following is an account of debts against the estate:

The Accompt of Joseph Russel Benjm Russel and Jabiz Barker Executors of the Last Will and Testament of Mr. Joseph Russel Late of Dartmouth deceased

The Accomptants Chargeth themselves with the Inventory Exhibited into the Registry of the Court of Probaite amounting to £ 1352:17:0 old tenor

The Accomptants Prays allowance for the Payments of Severall Debts as followeth

To Samuel Willis Esq...01:10:0
To Jabiz Barker...2/17/6
To Daniel Peckcom Constable...00/7/2
To John Lapham...10/-/-
To Jabiz Barker...05/11/10
To Isaac Shearman...02/2/0
To John Lapham...6/18/0
To John Lapham...31/6/
To Benjamin Russel...9/8/3
A Legacy giveen by Will to Joseph Russel on one cow Appraced att...9/-/
A Legacy giveen by Will in money to Joseph Russel...81/13/2
To John Russel by Will in money...81/13/2
To Jabiz Barker by Will in money...81/13/2
To John Lapham by Will in moveables Appraced att...121/9/9
To Benjamin Russel by Will in money...81/13/2
A Legacy giveen to Rebecah Barker the wife of Jabiz Barker by will...40/-/-
To Benjamin Allen Guardian to Elizebeth Russel Constant Russel and Ruth Russel as by Will...70/-/-
---------
636/11/4

brought over 636:11 4

To Jabiz Barker in moveables given unto his wife Rebecah by Will Appraced in the Inventory att...121:9:9
To John Lapham by will in money...81/13/2
To Benjamin Allen Guardian unto Elizebeth Constant and Ruth Russel Giveen them by Will in Bonds amounting to the sum of...450----
To Hannah Simon
[s?] an Indian Girl to fulfil her Indenture one Pair of Worsted Combs valued att Three pound and three pound in money In the whole 06----
To Benjamin Allen Guardian to Elizebeth Constant and Ruth Russel in money giveen them by will 81:13:2
---------------
1377 8:5

John Russell
Benjamin Russell
Jabez Barker

Sworn to and accepted at court on 15 November 1743.



children of Joseph and Elizabeth (Fobes) Russell:

i. Joseph b. 29 November 1679
ii. John b. 29 November 1679
iii. William b. 6 May 1681
iv. Mary b. 10 July 1683
v. Joshua b. 26 January 1685/1686, d. 1692
vi. Rebecca b. 3 January 1687/1688
vii. Benjamin b. 17 May 1691
viii. Seth b. 7 April 1696




vital records sources: Joseph's birth date is widely stated but the original source has not been found. "Plymouth Colony Records" should be double-checked. His death date comes from the Dartmouth, MA, vital records, "in his 90th year" (meaning he was 89). His marriage to Elizabeth Fobes has yet to be verified.


all text and photographs © 1998-2005 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted