Note: The original will consists of one long paragraph, so I have broken it up for ease of reading. As it is difficult deciphering the old handwriting, I have a few blank spots; I have transcribed the spelling as close to original as possible.
Bristol County Massachusetts Probate, Book 1, 1687-1745
In the name of God Amen, I Samuel Hall of Tauton in the County of Bristoll in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, being of sound memory through the mercy of God, capable to dispose of my worldly estate, though at this time labouring under some bodily illness, do make this to be my last will and testament: In primis I comit my soul into ye hands of Christ and desire my body may be decently buryed by my Executors hereafter named, and after funeral expenses and just debts are payed my will is as followeth:
First the lands which I have already ___? on my eldest son Jonathan Hall by Deed, I do hereby confirme the same unto him and his heyrs and assigns forever.
Secondly, what money, moveables, bedding, cow hath been received already by my daughter Esther Blake shall be all that she shall have of my Estate as long as her mother lives, only that one cow now at sd Blakes house which he took of me to the halves, shall not be taken from my daughter if I dy, ___? I give it to her.
Thirdly, whereas I have an whole purchase right to undivided lands in Tauton and one third part of a purchase right to undivided lands in Tauton, I give my sd purchase rights to my two sons Jonathan Hall and Samuel Hall, to be equally between them, to them and to theyr heyrs and assigns forever, to be theyrs immediately after my decease.
Fourthly, to my beloved wife Abigail Hall I give my dwelling house and homested and all the rest of my lands ___? estate during the time of her natural life if she continue my widow so long or otherwise during her widowhood and bearing my name (excepting all ways that I ___? for her use and improvement in case she should marry again, the north end of my dwelling house and the land on the north side of ye road between my dwelling house and my son Jonathan’s land) but after my wives decease or marriage my lands shall pass to my sons in manner as followeth,
To my youngest son Samuel Hall, I give the house I now dwell in in Tauton and my homelands to have and to hold the same to sd Samuel Hall his heyrs and assigns forever; the bounds between him and his brother Jonathan Halls land shall be that place which we call the cross (crop?)fence namely that cross (crop?)fence which my son Jonathan ___? ___? of a part of. Also to my sd son Samuel Hall and his heyrs and assigns forever, I give a piece of land called Misery, ____? thirty five acres or more; Excepting four acres of sd tract at ye northeast end of it I give to my eldest son Jonathan Hall and to his heyrs and assigns forever.
My Lott called Shaws Lott and an eight acre lott adjoining to it I give to my sons Jonathan Hall and Samuel Hall and to theyr heyrs and assigns forever, to be equally divided between them. My eight acre lott at the old Coaling (so called) I give to my son Jonathan Hall and to his heyrs and assigns forever; my three(?) acre lott at the old Coaling I give to my son Samuel Hall and to his heyrs and assigns forever. My land at Tareall(?) (so called) be it seven five acres more or less, I give to my two sons Jonathan Hall and Samuel Hall and to theyr heyrs and assigns forever to be equally divided between them; Excepting only that the Lad who now lives with me namely Ebenezer Pratt shall have twenty acres of it at that end next to Crossmans, to him and to his heyrs and assigns forever, that is to say if he lives with my wife until he be twenty one years of age or in case of my wives decease to live with my son Jonathan until he arrives unto that age.
My land at Kehtehtiqut* [see note below], namely the Neck and the Little Lott (so called) I give to my two sons Jonathan and Samuel to be equally divided between them; And I order my sd two sons that at ye end of four years after sd ____? lands comes into ye possession (namely after my wives decease) is to pay each of them the sum of ten pounds to theyr two sisters Esther Blake and Hannah Hall which sd sum of twenty pounds is to be equally divided between sd Esther and Hannah.
Fifthly, as to my stock of living Creatures(?) and money (if I leave any) and moveables, I give them all to my beloved wife, to her disposal(?) and for her comfort; Excepting one yoak of steers I give to my son Samuel Hall and to the girl who lives with me called Elizabeth Prat I give one cow if she live to be seventeen years of age, with liberty to my wife to give her more if she feels cause; also it is my will that my younger daughter Hannah Hall shall have thirty pounds payd her out of my moveables when she arrives to be eighteen years of age; also my wife hath liberty to bestow(?) more on any of her children if she can spare it and see cause and what is left of my sd stock or moveables unspent and not disposed of by my wife shall after my wives decease go to and among all my children, only one shall have power to appoint how much or what part each of my children take thereof.
Lastly, I constitute my beloved wife Abigail Hall and my eldest son Jonathan Hall to be joint Executors of this my last will and testament testimony hereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale this twenty first August Anno Domini One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixteen In ye ___? of ye reign of our Soveraign Lord George of Great Brittain the King.
Signed, sealed and delivered by Samuel Hall ye Subscriber to be his last will and testament.
Samuel H Hall (his mark)
In Presence of
Editors Note: Samuel Hall’s son, Samuel, died Intestate about 1736-37. A record of the payment of his debts was entered November 18, 1741 in the Tenth Book of Wills, 108:109. One entry is extremely important in helping to identify Samuel Sr.’s two daughters, Esther and Hannah:
“To said Blake [Samuel] and wife and to Barnabas Crossman and wife of Middleborough (by ye last will of said deceased’s father, a Legacy – one of them from the share of the deceased. Paid Ten Pounds.”
In addition, the division of the lands of Samuel Hall, son of Samuel who died intestate about 1736/37 might hold clues as to the location of the homestead. Mercy, wife of Samuel was given the home and 2 acres of land…beginning at the old forge pond; from said pond by land of Judas Chase and mentions as a bound, the highway that leads through Raynham to Bridgewater.
*”Tetiquet or Titicut, which passes for the Indian name of Taunton, and of a fishing place on Taunton River in the north-west part of Middleborough, Mass., shows how effectually such names may be disguised by phonetic corruption and mutilation. Kehte-tuk-ut (or as Eliot wrote it in Genesis xv. 18, Kehteihtukqut) means ‘on the great river.’ In the Plymouth Colony Records we find the forms ‘Cauteeticutt’ and ‘Coteticutt,’ and elsewhere, Kehtehticut,—the latter, in 1698, as the name of a place on the great river, “between Taunton and Bridgewater.” Hence, ‘Teghtacutt,’ ‘Teightaquid,’ ‘Tetiquet,’ &c.”
taken from p. 12, The Composition of Indian Geographical Names, J. Hammond Trumbull, 1870, available at The Project Gutenberg EBook.
On a modern day map, the Raynham Center area is located on both Route 104, between Bridgewater and Taunton, MA (Pleasant Street intersects with Route 104), as well as on Route 44 (the Cape Highway) between Taunton and Middleboro, MA. From Raynham Center, it is approximately 3 miles to Taunton; 7 miles to Bridgewater, and 9 miles to Middleboro.