Essex County, Massachusetts Probate Files
John Reeves Probate File
Salem in New England ye 10th day of May Anno Dom 1681
I John Reeves of Salem being upon this present day & at the very houre of the making hereof through God's mercy & favor to me, in a rationall & composed mind and of sound and perfect memory although weake in respect of age & bodily infirmities doe now therefore in the sense of the uncertainty of my continuance here upon the earth & for the settlement & disposall of what temporall estate the Lord hath betrusted me withall make this my last will & testament in manner and forme following.
Imprimis, I give & bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Richards & her son my grandson John Richards & his heirs after his decease the dwelling house of myne which she now lives in with the land which the said house now stands upon & soe much more of my land from the street front, as shall in the whole make up one half acre in my lott backwards bordering upon the land of Benjamin Gerrish towards Thomas Flints beginning in breadth upon the street northerly, so much in front as I give by these presents unto my son William Reeves it being one acre of land in my home lott and noe more, which my mind & will is that I give & bequeath unto my said son William & Elizabeth my daughter to be equally parted between them, & the bounds of this acre of land, which I give & will unto my said son William & Elizabeth my daughter is at the small cherry tree standing a little within the fence of my son William now enclosed between that & his house, the said tree standing neer to the fence towards the street northerly, I say I will & bequeath unto my said son William this half acre of ground aforementioned bounded at the small cherry tree & so to runn along with the land I have given to my daughter Elizabeth Richards backwards unto my lott from the front as aforesaid so much as shall make up an acre of land between them with what theire houses stand upon that is one half an acre a piece.
Item I give & bequeath unto my said son William the one half of my upland in the South field pertaining to Salem, & alsoe the one half of my meadow in the said south field, which I bought of Mr Philip Cromwell & was heretofore Mr Kenniston's.
Item I give & bequeath unto my said son William a horse & a cow, which he hath alreadie in his hands, also a flogg bed, a rugg & a blanket, a warming pann, a little ? kettle, a table board, two chaires & a stone hammer.
Item I give & bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Richards a heifer or young cow, for so I am to be understood also I bequeath unto her my greate iron poll, a green rugg, a blankett, a settle which stands in my house.
Item I give unto my son Ephraim Kempton & Mary my daughter his wife my dwelling house, which I now live in & the land on which the said house stands together with all the remainder of my home lott in Salem excepting that acre of land which I have before given unto my son William Reeves & Elizabeth my daughter according to the bounds of it unto the small cherry tree within my said son William's fence as aforementioned & this I doe & have good reason & have a conscientiousity upon me for the same in so doing in consideration of my maintenance from my said son Kempton & his wife & theire tender care & great paynes with me in the time of my sickness. Likewise I give & bequeath unto my said son Ephraim Kempton the half of my upland in the South field, I meane that half which is next ot Edward Flints land & was heretofore Daniel Baxter's.
Item. I give unto him my said son Ephraim the one half of my meadow in the South field, which I bought of Mr. Philip Cromwell. Also I give unto my daughter Mary now wife unto the said Ephraim my brindle cow & her heifer, which is my peculiar gift unto her & hers as shee may see cause to dispose of it not inely as in consideration of dowry, but upon consideration of her dutifull care of me in the tyme of my health & also her extraordinary paynes with me in the tyme of my sickness.
Item. I leave unto her my young ox ? fray the charge of my funerall.
Item I give & bequeath unto my said son Ephraim my brass kettle, my iron kettle & iron pott, my feather bed & bolster, together with all the rest of my moveables & unmoveables, goods & chattles both within doors & without, quick & dead & in the possession & custody of whomseover, excepting what I have before in this my last will given & disposed of. Also my will is that my said son Ephraim shall not sell, alien, or dispose of this my hosue & lands hereby given him upon his removal to any other place except upon good probabilitie of advantage for himself & family & that he also before is removall purchase & secure for the use & good of his wife & children an habitation & possession to the answerable vallew of what he may best sell ye house & lands here by these presnts given him.
In witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand & seale th day & year above said & for my onely Executor I appoint & ordain my son Ephraim Kempton
John Reeves (LS)
Signed & sealed in}Edward Flint
the presence of us}Richard Croad
The will & desire of the testator John Reeves being farther manifested before us that when his grandchild, John Richards, shall come to enjoy the house & land willed as above said to his mother & unto him after her, then he shall give unto his three sisters, Elizabeth Joanna & Mary thirty shillings apiece, but in case he should not live to that tyme, nor have wife nor heire to clayme his interest, then the said house & land shall fall to the said three sisters & their heirs or assigns equally to be divided among them. Also that whatever Ephraim Kempton hath now or shall plant or sow as for matter of corne or other grayne upon the ground of myne aforesaid he the said Ephraim or his assigns shall in the season thereof likewise gather.
Mr. Richard Croad & Mr. Edward Flint ave oath in Court at Salem 29.9.81 that they were present when the said Reeves signed & sealed the above written & declar the same to be his last will & testament, being them of a disposing mind to their understanding & that they signed thereto us witnesses. Attest Hilbard Veren Cler
[Inventory of the deceased sworn to 29 Sep 1681]
To the Honoured Court now sitting,
The humble peition of William Reeves, the only sonn of John Reves deceased humly showeth that my honnored father made a disposal of his estate of lands & movables in wrighting & that of my father's volintary will & to all his children's satisfaction, but my sister & brother in law living in the house of my father & with him, & my father being very aged & acompanied with great weakness of body & infirmitys of ould age Ephraim Hemton & his wife my brother and sister hath procured by misinforming my father & incensed my father against me thereby hath procured an alteration of my father's estate contrary to my father's voluntary will as may appear under his hand & as to the quantity & quality he hath gave my brother in law four times soe much as I the oldest sonn, & my eldest sister hath by this last will as they call it your poor pore peticioner humbly craves your honnors sorous consideration & help in the case, whose determination & trust may be to the settilment of love & unity between relations, which I desiar.
Your humble servant to my
power. William Reeves
The testimony of John Vaden & his wife
These deponents testify that we heard Ephrehim Camten & his wife say that if William Reeves had spock to his father when he caled him he had never altered his will.