Monday, August 18, 2014

52 Ancestors #27: John Clayton - Born John Crouch


While browsing through images of Worcester County Probate Files on familysearch.org, I came across a file for John Clayton of West Brookfield.  I decided to view the contents of the file and immediately noticed that John's heirs included some of his brothers.  What interested me, was that his brothers had the last name, Crouch, and not Clayton.  I did some further research, and found that John Crouch had changed his name to John Clayton on April 16, 1836.  I found an online tree which included the Crouch family and it gave me some insight as to the reason for the name change, (see notes in online tree), and while I have not been able to verify the information, I believe it to be true, at least in part.  Below, I have transcribed the Will of John Clayton from the online images.

Know all Men by these Presents,


That I, John Clayton of West Brookfield in the County of Worcester and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, being if sound mind and memory, but, knowing the uncertainty of this life, do, this thirtieth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy two make and publish this, my last Will and Testament, in manner and form following, that is to say:-

First      I give bequeath and devise to my beloved wife Emma A Clayton and her heirs my household furniture wearing apparel and family stores which may be on hand at my decease - Also my Homestead situated in West Brookfield aforesaid and consisting of about one half acre of land with a dwelling House Barn and other buildings thereon, being the same now occupied by me

Second   I give and bequeath to my brother William Crouch and his heirs and assigns the sum of Five hundred dollars

Third      I give and bequeath to my sister Eudocia Small and her heirs the sum of Five hundred dollars

Fourth    I give and bequeath to my sister Mercy Bacon and her heirs the sum of Five Hundred dollars

Fifth       I give and bequeath to my sister Emily White and her heirs the sum of Five Hundred dollars

Sixth      I give and bequeath to my brother Levi S. Crouch and his heirs the sum of Five Hundred Dollars

Seventh I give and bequeath to my sister Mary Dunham and her heirs the sum of Three Hundred Dollars

Eighth    I give and bequeath to the Congregational Society of West Brookfield the sum of One Hundred dollars to be expended by said society in the purchase of books for their Sabbath school Library.

Ninth     I hereby order and direct my executor herein after named to cause to come to be erected in the burial ground at Brimfield Massachusetts three grave stones of suitable size and quality to wit: one to the memory of my brother Benjamin Crouch and his wife - one to the memory of my fathers second wife and one to the memory of my brother Ruel Crouch

Tenth     I hereby autherize and direct my Executer[sic] herein after named to sell and dispose of , pass deeds and convey, at such time and in such manner as he shall deem best for the interest of my estate, any and all of my real and personal estate wherever situated -(Excepting such part thereof as is herein before bequeathed and devised to my wife Emma A Clayton)

Eleventh After the payment of my just debts and funeral charges, the erection of  suitable grave stone to my memory (which I direct to be done) the bequests and orders herein before expressed and the necessary expenses of administration of my estate - I hereby give and bequeath the remainder of all my estate both real and personal (That is the proceeds of the sale thereof) of what value and nature soever to my aforesaid wife Emma A Clayton and her heirs

                                                                              And I do hereby appoint Joseph F Hitchcock of Warren in said county of Worcester sole executer[sic] of this my last Will and testament hereby revoking annulling and declaring void all former wills by me at any time heretofore made

                         John Clayton [signature]

                         Witnessed by A. G. Blodgett

                                              Augustus W. Gilbert

                                              Alfred A Gilbert


Sources:
1. Foskett family tree including descendants of Ephraim Crouch http://www.foskett-genealogy.co.uk/Trees/USA/f1289.html research by Marilyn Labbe, copyright Sandra Smith
2. Massachusetts Name Changes, 1780-1892, List of Persons Whose Names Have Been Changed in This Commonwealth,page 7980, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, Provo, Utah, 1998
3. Massachusetts, Vital Records, Brimfield, Brookfield, and West Brookfield
4. Massachusetts, Worcester County, Probate Files, 1731-1925, images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-41367-4383-85?cc=2102083&wc=9FG4-2NP:1055512501,1055515901 : accessed 18 Aug 2014), Worcester > Case no 12335-12432, Clark, William-Cleveland, Ellen M, 1731-1881 > image 208 of 1175; citing Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts.

52 Ancestors #26: Valentine G. Hewett - Will Transcription


Will of Valentine G. Hewett - Allowed June 20, 1876

Worcester County, Massachusetts Probate Case No. 29239
Vol. 455, Page 509
Be it remembered that I Valentine G. Hewett of West Brookfield, in the County of Worcester, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make and declare this my last Will and testament and dispose of my estate in the following manner.

First         I direct that so much of my real estate shall be sold as may be necessary for the payment of my just debts and Funeral charges.

Second    After the payment of said debts and charges, I give and bequeath to my wife Caroline A. Hewett the use and income of all the remainder of my estate real or personal during her lifetime.

Third        After the decease of my wife Caroline A Hewett I give and bequeath to my son Edward G Hewett, one hundred dollars, to be kept in the house of his brother George H. Hewett, and paid to him or his family in such sums and such time as they may need for their benefit and comfort.

Fourth      I hereby direct that the remainder of my estate real or personal to be equally divided between my sons George H. Hewett, Charles F. Hewett, and my daughters Elvira Barnes, Mary A. Batcheller, and Adie A. Aldrich, or their heirs or assigns.

Fifth         I hereby appoint my son George H. Hewett the executor of this last will and testament.

 

                In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, in the presence of these Witness named below, this twelfth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy six

                                                                                     Valentine G. Hewett

Signed. sealed and declared by the above named Valentine G. Hewett, to be his last Will and testament, in our presence who in his presence and at his request, and in the presence of each other we have signed our names as witnesses.

                                                                                    Horace G. Rawson

                                                                                    John R. Tomblen

                                                                                    Elizabeth C. Rawson


   Northbridge, Massachusetts vital records include the birth of Valentine G. Hewet, son of Eli and Betsey, born June 16, 1816.  [Other records show birth place as Douglas or East Douglas, MA].  His marriage to Caroline A. Morey of Grafton on July, 1836 was recorded in Sutton, MA.  Six known children were born to Valentine and Caroline, and all are mentioned in his Will.
  Valentine and Caroline came to West Brookfield from Sutton, probably in 1869, when Valentine purchased three acres of land with buildings in the village of West Brookfield, from Onslow P. Maynard. [Worcester County Deed Book 803, pages 361 and 362.]
   Valentine, died of Consumption on May 15, 1876, at his home in West Brookfield.


Source:
Massachusetts, Worcester County, Probate Files, 1731-1925, images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-46173-3154-87?cc=2102083&wc=9BXV-GP8:1055512501,1292497701 : accessed 13 Aug 2014), Worcester > Case no 29178-29256, Hearsey, Ellen A-Hicks, David, 1731-1881 > image 1061 of 1234; citing Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts.