Will of John Reed
In the Name of God Amen, on the 31st Day of March in the Year of our Lord 1767 I John Reed of Booth bay in the County of Lincoln and Province of Massachusetts-bay in New England, being very sick and weak in body, but of perfect mind and memory, calling to mind the Mortality of my nature and expecting soon to go the way of all living do, with deliberation, and of my own free Choice, make and ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say
first of all I commit my Soul unto God thro' the hands of my only Advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ, on whose perfect righteousness alone I depend for Justification, thro that everlasting Covenant of Grace which I desire to die embracing as the only plan of my redemption ; and my body to the dust to be interred, with decent Christian burial at the discretion of my Executors : hoping to receive the same again at the resurrection of the Just : and touching the Family and worldly substance with which it hath pleased God to bless me in this life, I dispose of them in the manner following.
Item Secondly I do constitute and appoint my trusty friends the Revd John Murray Mr Robert Murray and Mr David Reed all of Boothbay to be the Executors of this my last Will and testament and Guardians of my beloved Wife and all my Children until they shall legally choose other Guardians for themselves ; and I do authorize them to oversee, direct, and dispose of my said family as faithful Guardians, in such a manner, in all their affairs, as shall appear to them, in their best Judgment, to be most for the advantage of my said family.
Item Thirdly I do especially require my said Executors to take care that all my children be educated in the fear of God, in the Protestant reformed Religion, agreeable to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, according to their Circumstances in life, at the expense of my Estate.
Item fourthly I ordain that all my Debts shall be paid out of my whole estate ;
Item fifthly I allow my whole estate to be kept undivided until my eldest son Andrew arrive at years of maturity, or until such time as a majority of my said Executors shall think a division necessary or expedient : until then it shall be improved by my Widow and Children, (or such of them as shall be thought fittest by my Executors,) for the benefit of the whole, and shall be liable to pay all the debts justly contracted for the education or Maintainance of my children until they arrive at the years of maturity ; and I ordain that if they or any of them shall be charged as debtors to my Estate for their needful maintainance of food and raiment until their arrival at said mature age, then my said estate shall be liable to pay to such child or children for his, hers, or their service, work, or labour before said age such wages as shall be judged right, by my said Executors with three other Judicious men chosen by consent of my widow & such child or children ; which six shall also determine what shall be paid to the whole estate for such provision.
Item I ordain that whenever a division shall be agreed on, my beloved wife shall have over and above her share, one yoke of steers given off the whole : and then all my moveable goods and chattles shall be equally divided amongst all my dear children ;
Item whereas, at the death of my hon'd Mother, there will fall to me an equal share with her other Children, out of her estate, I ordain that it be equally divided as my other goods.
Item seventhly I ordain that my real estate, inclosed within my fence, bounded by Mr Sloss'es, Mr McCulloch's, and Rev'd Mr Murray's lots be, at the discretion of my said Executors, divided into equal shares amongst my Children as my other goods ; Andrew to have his share next to Campbell's pond, John to have his share next to him, and so my other children, my Dear Wife to have that part next the shore with the house &c in hers : and if with the consent of my said Executors, they or any of them shall choose to sell their shares, then I do ordain that my Son Andrew shall have the first right of purchase of all such shares as shall be sold, my Son John the next, my Son Henry the next, my Son David the next right and then my Daughters according to their age, and I do hereby ratifie and confirm this as my last Will and testament the day and time first above written
John O [his mark] Reed (Seal)
Signed sealed published pronounced
and declared by John Reed to be
his last Will in the presence of
Probated 14 June, 1769. [I, 165-6.] Inventory by Andrew McFarland and Edward Emerson, of Boothbay, and Thomas Boyd, of Bristol, 24 Mar., 1770, £55 : 6 : 8. [I, 243.]
Source: The Probate Records of Lincoln County, Maine, 1760 to 1800 (Portland, Me.: Printed for the Maine Genealogical Society, 1895), p. 43, citing Lincoln County, Maine, Probate Records.
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