Monday, August 22, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Will of George Clayton 1786

On his TransylvanianDutch blog, John Newmark defines an amanuensis as “a person employed to write out what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.” For more information about this daily blogging prompt, see John’s post Amanuensis – Why?.

I have amassed quite a collection of scans of handwritten documents related to my ancestors—primarily marriage records, deeds, and wills. As I have been transcribing these documents, it occurred to me that most of these documents were not actually written by my ancestors, but rather dictated to someone else, and then transcribed by a clerk into official records.

This is a transcription of the 1786 will of George Clayton of Rowan County, North Carolina, one of my maternal 5th great-grandfathers, with scanned images following:

In the name of God Amen, I George
Clayton of Rowan County State of North Carolina
being in a sick and low condition but thanks be to
God being in perfect mind and memory do
make this my last Will and Testament, and first
of all I Recommend my body to the Dust there to be
buried in a Christian manner at the discreton of
my Executors and my soul I Recommend to God
who gave it me nothing doubting but they shall
united again by the mighty power of God, And as
touching such worldly substance as it has pleased
God to bless me with in this world I leave and bequeath
as follows viz___Item I leave and bequeath to my
beloved wife Sarah all my moveable property
except what I may hereafter bequeath during
her Widowhood, also her living of one third of my land
during her life or Widowhood__Item I leave and bequeath
to my son George All my land on the north side of the Creek
(viz) Lamboths[?] creek Item I leave and bequeath to my
beloved Son Lambert all my land on the south side of
said Creek the Creek to be the line between them___
Item I leave to my beloved daughter Rachel five shillings.
Item I leave to my beloved daughter Hannah five shillings
Item I leave to my beloved daughter Henrietta five shillings
Item I leave and bequeath to my beloved daughter
Ann five shillings Item I leave to my beloved daugh-
-ter Margaret five shillings And Lastly I consti-
-tute and appoint my beloved Wife Sarah Clayton
and my beloved son in law Alexander Davison
to be the Executors of this my last will and
Testament, Signed & Sealed in presence of us
Ja Kerr                            George X Clayton
Lambert Clayton                         his

[Source: Rowan County, North Carolina, Wills, C: 95-96, George Clayton; Family History Library microfilm 19,736.]

© 2011 Denise Spurlock

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