In the Name of God Amen!
I Jonathan Hall, the Eldest of that name in Raynham in the County of Bristol and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, being advanced in age, but thro’ devine goodness of a sound and disposing mind, do in the first place give my soul to that God who gave it, and my body to the grave, decently to be interr’d by my Executor, In a firm belief a Resurrection to come, and in regard to my worldly interest, I give and dispose of it in the manner following ~ viz
1. I give to my beloved Wife Hannah Hall, after the payment of my just debts and funeral charges — the best room in my dwelling house with a privilege in the Buttery, Oven and Cellar, as much as may be necessary for her own use; Also the easterly half of my Barn with a right of passing to and from it, at all times; To have, use and enjoy all the above privileges during her natural life — Also I give to my said wife the improvement of all my land lying on the south easterly side of the Brook which comes thro’ the land of Samuel Jones, below his barn, and on said Brook as it now runs, to the bridge below my house — Together with one half of my orchard, adjoining to ye house, during her natural life; also I give unto my sd wife, ye use of my half of the pew in the Meeting House during her life and after her, I give it to my Son Seth Hall, to him and his Heirs forever.
2. I give to my Son Linus Hall, the remainder of my dwelling house together with a strip of land from the Brook below the house to the road before the door, to be two rods wide from the line which passes between my Son Seth Hall’s house and mine, a straight line from the Brook to the road — To him, his Heirs and assigns forever, together with the whole of my dwelling house after the death of my said wife.
3. I give to my Son Seth Hall, half an acre of land where his barn now stands, to him and his Heirs, immediately after my decease, together with the westerly part of my barn, one half my orchard, with all the remainder of my lands lying on the westerly side of the above mentioned Brook, immediately after my decease, with all the lands on ye other side of the Brook, after my wife’s decease, to him and his Heirs and assigns forever on condition that he the said Seth Hall pay out the following Legacies ~ viz,
Unto my Son Silas Hall five pounds, in one year after my decease, — To my Son Hezekiah Hall, ten pounds, in two years after my decease, provided he brings no account against my Estates, which if he does, Tis my will that the amount be deducted from the above named sum — also, that he pay unto my Son Jonathan Hall in three years after my death the sum of twelve pounds. And in four years after my decease that my Son Seth Hall pay unto my Son Obed Hall, the sum of twelve pounds — and that he also pay unto my Son Ebenezer Hall the same sum within five years after my decease — also I order my Son Seth Hall to pay to my Daughter Lydia Richmond two pounds in six years after my decease — and to my Daughter Jemima Williams one pound ten shillings in seven years after my death; all the above Legacies I order to be paid out in farm produce at the Common Market Price — I also give to my Wife Hannah Hall, all the household goods she bro’t with her upon marriage, with all the household goods that she and I have procured since we lived together, with two of my best cows and one swine to be at her own disposal — The remainder of my stock, cattle, swine and moveables not disposed of before, I give them all unto my Son Seth Hall and to his Heirs forever — and I do Constitute and appoint my Son Seth Hall to be the Sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testament.
In Witness Whereof I do here unto set my Hand and Seal, Signed, Sealed and Delivered this 21st Day of Feby, 1788.
In Presence of Us:
Molly Wales Fobes
The Last Will and Testament of Jonathan Hall was filed March 12, 1789; Proved May 2, 1789. On March 17, 1791 Seth Hall, Administrator of his father’s estate, filed a petition with the court to have his father’s estate declared insolvent and requested that the court appoint a commission to examine into the claims of debtors against his father’s estate. What these debtors claims were, we do not know, as no further Administration papers have been found. Neither do we know what happened to the extensive land holdings that Jonathan had inherited from his father. We are trying to secure and sort out all of the various deeds for Jonathan Hall. What we do know is that the Legacies that Jonathan had requested in his Will, to be distributed to his children over a seven year period after his death, did not happen. An inventory of his Estate was conducted by Major Shaw, Samuel Hall, and Daniel White on March 16, 1792; it amounted to 21 Pounds, 2 Shillings and 3 Pence. The inventory was allowed April 2, 1792.