Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 66

Today wasn't nearly as exciting as yesterday. Once again I was knee deep in microfilm, trying to read 17th century vernacular, 18th century handwriting and going cross-eyed peering through blurry 20th century scanning.

Samuel Dole's will is one of the very pleasant ones to read. here are some inventory evaluations that you should enjoy. The spelling is theirs, not mine.)
  • funeral charges 83.45
  • soal leather and calfskin 4.25
  • one ox waggon 26.00
  • 2 ox sleds 7.00
  • chissels 2.20
  • 8 pair pillow cases 7.00
  • suit of curtains 3.00
  • 3 yards of low cloth .50
  • 32 table cloths 49.00
  • 34 chairs 21.86 (don't we wish we had a few of these now)
  • 2 pair brass headed fire shovel and tongs 1.75
  • 5 pair linen sheets 35.00
  • 51 plates 2.49
  • tar and barrel .59
  • spooling wheel, swift, shuttles, temples and blocks 2.00
  • payment of the bond and letter of guardianship for his minor child 1.10 (cheap lawyer)

Plus 3 more pages of household goods, debts and real estate. Obviously Mr. Dole was well off. We also discover his wife's name is Hanna, he has a son James, and 3 daughters (including our Sarah who marries Wm Bradford Dodge), and the will is being probated on May 24, 1808.

A more difficult document to read is an agreement of Indenture. In this paper, Mathew Soley and Henry Phillips agree that Mathew will pay the value of $150 pounds to pay off a purchase of land. Henry's wife Mary is in agreement with this document. There is more than a page of great explanation about fields, bulls, pump yards, upper and lower parts of the chimney and a multitude of other contingencies that will take me a week to decipher. In addition, the two families agree to create a permanent path to Samuel Ward's Alley that they all can use for the carrying of wood and such without regard to which yard they have to cross. Each family will own half the arbor bordering the path. Date: 20 June 1675. Very interesting but a lot of wok to get one confirmation that Henry's wife's name is Mary.

More of such fun tomorrow!

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