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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Samuel Bonnell: Witness to the will of Benoni Lee

Here's another helpful document from John Bunnell.
Here is a copy and transcription of the last will and testament of Benoni Lee from Elizabeth Town, Essex County, New Jersey on 24 September 1705. Samuel Bonnell (1) (b. abt 1675) was one of the witnesses to the will and delivered it to the court.  We've known about this document since early in our search, but only from second hand-sources.  As always, feel free to correct my transcription if you can figure anything out better than me. 

This document places Samuel Bonnell (1) in Elizabeth Town prior to the move to Woodbridge shortly thereafter.  Beyond this, the most important attribute of this document is the actual signature of Samuel Bonnell (1).  The other persons listed in the document (John and Mary (Lee) Hindes family, Lee relatives (Abigail, Elihew), Samuel Whitehead, etc.) may also provide some clues in future research.  

Source: New Jersey Archives
Will book 1, p. 119, 121, & 122
Will & Inventory 1705

Marjorie Gibbs adds: The name Samuel Whitehead rang a bell. You probably remember that the first generation Bonnell, William, had persistent financial problems. At one point, his daughter, Lydia, was “put forth” as an apprentice to Samuel Whitehead. William later contested this and demanded Lydia be released from that apprenticeship, but the court denied his request. That was in Oct. 1651, fifty-four years before Samuel Bonnell and Samuel Whitehead signed Benoni Lee’s will. Also, on 3 January 1665/66, Susanah Whitehead, daughter of Isaac Whitehead married William’s son, Nathaniel in New Haven. Apparently Whiteheads, associates of the Bonnells, also were among the families who went to Essex.  

In the name of God Amon.  The nineteenth Day of July In y’e fourth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lady Anne, Over England &c. Queen &c And in y’e Year of our lord God on thousand Seven hundred and five.  Benoni Lee of Elizabeth Towne in the County of Essex And province of New Jersey Tailor Being Sick and weak in body als But of Sound and posfort manner and Forne Following (that is to say.) First I bequeath my Soul and Spirit into the hands of almighty god who gave it My anntihed Body, In hopes of a Joyfull and Glorious Resurrection.  I Committ to the Earth to be buried In a Dowent Christian Manner. And Touching the Distribution of that worldly Estate w’ch Js hath pleased God to bestow upon us  I Lissoss of the Same as followeth. (viz.-)
First I will that all Such Debts as I Justly Owe at my Decease, Shall be well and truly paid out of my Estate by My Executors, of this my Last will & testament hereafter named.  
Ittem.  I give and bequeath unto my beloved sister, Mary Hindes, My Old Mare.  And to her Eight Pounds, at y’e time of her marriage, if She Should happen to be married, before the Death of the Said Mare.
Ittem.  I Give and bequeath unto Jonathan Hindes (Second Sonne of my Said Sister Mary Hindes) and to his heirs and assigns all that my Yearling Mare w’ch Comes of my Old mare above bequeathed 
Ittem. I Give and bequeath James Hindes (the third Sonne of Mare Hindes My Sister afores’d) And to his heirs and assigns all that my black Cow w’ch I Now Keep to milk.
Ittem.  I Give and bequeath y’e Calf (that belongs to y’e Said Black Cow w’ch now Suckles) unto Mary Hindes (the Daughter of My Said Sister Mary Hindes) and to her heirs and assigns.
Ittem.  I Give and bequeath My frying pan, Iron pott, and All my beding unto my Sister Abigail Lee, And to her heirs and assigns.  
Ittem.  All my Winter Corne, (Now Standing in my Field in Small Stacks.) I give and bequeath unto My well beloved Brother in Law Edward Spining, and My said Sister Mary Hindes, to be Equally Divided Between them, their heirs and assigns.
Ittem.  All my Indian Corne w’ch I have now Growing, I Give and Bequeath unto my beloved brother John Lee, his heirs and assigns.
Ittem.  My Two Hoggs and a pigg, I Give and Bequeath unto my brother In Law Edward Spinning, his heirs and assigns.
Ittem.  I give Grant Devise and bequeath unto my Said brother In law Edward Spining and his heirs and Assigns for Ever all that my Dwelling house and one acre and half of land, belonging and adjoining to in Scituate lying and being in Elizabeth towne afores’d on y’e North Side of y’e Country Road.  And also all that my houselot of land whereon my Orchard now Standeth, And the pasture left at the Rear of the Same home lott, w’ch is lying as being on the South Side of the Said County Road, adjoining to y’e land of Charles Tooker, being by Estimation Eight acres of land by the Same merrow by it Ever to have &c to lasts Dwelling house, one acre and a half of land to y’e Same belonging as afores’d, at the said house lott, pasture land &c Smiser will their every of their appurtenances unto him the Said Edward Spinning his heirs and assigns. _____ ____ _____ always and upon this condition, and my will is hereby Declared to be that the Said Edward Spinning his heirs Executors Or administrators Shall well and truly pay Or Cause to be paid unto my Sister Abigail here, whonow Aldo Shall arrive to y’e Age of Eighteen Years of Are Eise, the Sum of Ten pounds In Curr’t Money of y’e province of New York & do Discharge A Debt of y’e Liks Vollw, w’ch My Sister is bound to pay to her at y’e age afores’d, as an bond under my hand and Seal for y’e Same may &c Doth appear, and also that he y’e Said Edward Spinning his Executors or Administrators Shall well and truly pay unto Every other of my Creditors All Such Debts as to Each of them I Justly Owe.
Ittem.  I Give Grant Devise & bequeath unto my Brother John Lee, and to his heirs and assigns forever, all that other lott of land whereon my Indian Corn is now growing, (adjoining the Home lott of land before in this my Last will & testament bequeathed to the Said Edward Spinning.) and the pasture land at y’e Rvar of the Same being by Estimation nine acres of land by the Same more or buit Eight to have and to hold the Said Lott of land, pasture land and ______ will their and every of their appurtenances unto him the Said John Lee my brother, his heirs and assigns forever.
Ittem.  I Give Grant Devise and bequeath until Elihew Lee, Sonne of John Lee afores’d and to his heirs and assigns for Ever, All that My fifteen Acres of Land Lying and being In Elizabeth towne afores’d Joining to y’e Land of William Miller; to have and to hold the said fifteen acres of land unto the Said Elihew Lee (Son of y’e Said John Lee) his heirs & assigns for ever &c. – 
Ittem.  I make and Ordaine My Trusty friend ad welbeloved brother in law, Edward Spinning (afores’d) The whole Solo and only Executor of this my Last will and Testament and I Too utterly Revoke and Make Void Null and of No effect all wills and Testaments at any time heretofore, by me in any uiss Made or Declared.  Memorandum before Signing & Sealing.
I give and bequeath unto my Sister Abigail Lee all my flax, w’ch I have pulled Lying upon the Land of John Littell where the Same Grow:  In Confirmation of this My last will & Testament, I the Said Bernoni Lee have hereunto set my Mark Issued for my Name, and fixed My Seal, In Elizabeth Towne afores’d the Day and Year first herein above written.
The Mark of 
Benoni Lee
Signed and Sealed, published and Declared by September 24th 1705
The witnesses to this last will and Testament in this day appeared before me
y’e presence of us witnesses. ~ Samuel bonill and named him os
Samuel Whitehead and made oth that the same
Samuel Bonnell benoni lee Sind and Seld this
James hindes instrument atest

Benjamin price instint

An Inventory of the Goods and Chattels of Benoni Lee ___ _____ of Elisabeth Towne, Deceased, Taken and appraised by Daniel Ross and Ersken, Oct’r 26th 1705

1 Mare 50 / 1 Mare Colt 20’8 3 – 10 – 0
1 Cowe 50- to Claf 11’8 3 – 1 – 0
A parcel of Rye In y’e Theasse 2 – 0 – 0
1 half part of an old plough Iron 0 – 3 – 9
A pcell of Flax at 0 – 7 – 6
2 ______ at 3’8 ; old iron Geoss & Sheowns 2’8-6’9 0 – 5 – 6
1 pr bootle Rings, & 2 Iron avdges at 0 – 6 – 0
1 Iron pot, 11’8 1 frying pan 5’8 0 – 16 – 6
1 Falling ax, __ 2 pr fork Tirws 0 – 6 – 9
1 old bed hiking, 2 Cerdy bed & 1 blanket 1 – 14 – 6

1 Liney wooley Coat. 15’8 1 old hat 2’8 6: 0 – 14 – 6
1 Swivleteed Chaine, 3’8 9’8 / 1 glass bottle 4’8 - __ 0 – 4 – 1 ½
3 Young Swine at 1 – 18 – 0
A prell of old Casque 8’8 / 1 meal tray 1___ 0 – 4 – 6
1 buckle besstseid & bed cord 3’8 / sold for cass 0 – 4 – 6
A parcel of warme Raylor 0 – 3 – 0
Summe 15 – 18 – 1 ½

Pr  us; Daniel Ross

John Ersken

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