Monday, August 29, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Sarah Clayton 1800

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.

Last week I posted the 1786 will of George Clayton, one of my 5th great-grandfathers. This week I am posting the 1800 will of his wife, Sarah Clayton.

In the name of god amen
I Sarah Clayton of Iredell County in the
state of North Carolina being in a bad state
of health but thanks be to God am in sound
Minde and memory do make this my last will and
Testament and first I resign my soul unto God
Who gave it me and my Body I recommend to the
Dust thare to be Buried in a Christien and desent
Manner at the discretion of my Exrs
And as touching my worldly Estate I give and
Bequeath as follows viz
I leave and bequeath unto my son George Clayton
one armd Chare I leave to my son Lambert Clayton
one pare stilyards I leave to my Daughter Henrietta
Davidson one spice morter I leave to my Daughter
Hannah Hull one coffey pot I leave to my Daughter
Ann Cook one puter Dish I leave to my daughter
Margret Neill one set silver tea spoons
I leave to my Grandson Lamberth Oliphant one
bed [?] homespun tick with the furniture
belonging to it I leave to my Grand Daughters
Ann and Betsey Neill all my Gees
I leave to my grand Daughter Sarah Scott Neill
one feather Bed and furniture Likewise five pounds
in cash I leave to my Grand Daughter
Sarah Clayton half dozen Delf plates
The Remainder of my estate I leave to
My Daughter Margret Neill after
paying all my just Debts and funeral
And I Likewise constitute my sonnenlaw
Alexander Davidson and Wm Hall Exrs,
of this my Last will and Testament
hereby [stricken word] publishing this and no
other to be my last will and testament
In witness whareof the said Sarah Clayton
Hath hereunto set her hand and seal this 30th
Day of October 1800
                        Sarah her Clayton
Witness present
James Orten
Anguish Mel[?] jurat

[Source: Iredell County, North Carolina, Will Book 1, page 80, will 50, Sarah Clayton 1800, FHL microfilm 1571950, Original wills Beaver, Moses - Kilpatrick, Andrew; Family History Library, Salt Lake City.]

© 2011 Denise Spurlock


  1. Do you happen to know Sarah's maiden name? This is very interesting. George and Sarah are the parents to my Margret (Margret's husband Robert Neill is my line).

    1. There is speculation that Sarah's maiden name was Dodson; however, I have not found any evidence of that.