Monday, May 11, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES. No. 18, "Where There's A Will" - Widow Mary BUELL 1684

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was Prosper.  This week, the theme is Where There's A Will - and I chose this one.

Mary POST, wife of the Immigrant, William BUELL (1604/5-1681): her will is marvellous as it lists her married daughters.  Mary's birth is estimated to be about 1615/16 in Chesterton, Huntingdon, England; she married William BUELL on 18 Nov 1640 in Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut

William died 16 Nov 1681, aged 76, and his will is dated July 26, 1681.  His wife provided the estate inventory of £142. 2s 7d.  Mary died several years later, aged 69. They had 7 children that we are aware of, all born in Windsor, Connecticut: Samuel William, Mary, Sgt Peter, Hannah, Hepsibah, Sarah, Abigail (predeceased her mother)

Her will has been transcribed as follows, found in the collection "Hartford, Connecticut Probate Records, 1639-1700" on, taken from "A Digest of the Early Connecticut Probate Records, Hartford District,1635-1700.Vol. I. n.p., 1906"; pages 219-220

   Buell, Widow Mary, Windsor. Died 1st September, 1684.  Invt.  £19-15-06.  
   Taken 11 October, 1684, by James Hilliard & Samuel Barber.  

Will dated 29 August, 1684.
I  Mary Buell, being very weak and nigh to death, but having my 
   natural Understanding, having some smale things to dispose of, my Will is 
   that my Eldest daughter Mary Mills shall have my Westcoate, Coat, & 
   that Hatt which was Sarah's, & 1 white linen apron, & 1 blue Apron 
   which it is woue; & the rest of my Wool & Linen Clothes I give to my 
   daughter Hannah Palmer, & my Hatt, & 1 pewter Platter, & 1 tin pann.  
   I give to my daughter Hepzibah Welles 6 yards of linen Cloth, & I give 
   to my gr. child Mary Palmer Wool Cloth to make her a Coat, & to my 
   gr. Child Sarah Palmer Wool Cloth for a Waste Coat, & the rest of 
   my Wool Cloth is to be divided between my daughters Mary & Hannah, 
   & the rest of my linen cloth is to be diuided between my two 
   daughters Mary and Hannah, & I give to my daughter Hannah 1 blue 
   apron, & that is all that I give to my daughter.
   (Will not signed)
Witnesses: James Hillier,   Mary X Hillier.

As you can see, her several daughters are the only persons receiving her goods; the two sons having been given land and other properties and goods from their father when he died 23 Nov 1681. 

The best thing about a will is that if it names the married daughters, giving their married surnames.  Abigail Buell, the youngest daughter, died in late 1681, aged 25 yrs, apparently not married.  The next youngest daughter, Sarah Buell, is said to have lived to 1734, but I have yet to find out if she married, or where she lived. It is possible she left the area, with the clue in the fourth line above - "that Hatt which was Sarah's"  This confusion has yet to be clarified.

Don't you love wills?  I find myself wondering why certain daughters receive some items.  
- And why only 2 of the Palmer grandchildren received cloth, no other grandchildren?  
- Her eldest daughter Mary married Simon Mills and had 11 children (several dying early) before 1678.  
- Hannah married [Fenner or] Timothy Palmer and had 9 children.  
- Hepzibah married Thomas Welles and had 8 children. 
- Samuel [my ancestor] had 12 children with Deborah Griswold.   
- Youngest son, Peter, married three times, first with Martha Cozzens, third with Mary Bissell; a second wife died soon after marriage; he had a grand total of 13 children.  

With wills from both Mary and William BUELL - or BEWELL, as it is spelled in his will of 1681, details of the family, confirmation of names and marriages, are very helpful.  I need to go looking for more wills, and eventually clear up the mystery of what happened to Sarah Buell (b. 1653). 

If you have more information or questions, contact me via calewis at telus dot net, or in the Comments below.  I would love to learn more about these ancestors.

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Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis