[From "Will of George Denison - 1693" NEHGR 13:73-77] NEHGR 13:73-77
"Will of George Denison - 1693" [The following is a copy of the Will of Col. George Denison, printed in the Stonington [Conn.] Advertiser, Sep 23, 1854]
Stonington, Nov. 20, 1693.
I, George Denison, of Stonington, in the County of New London and Colony of Connecticut, in New England, being aged and crazy in body, but sound in mind and memory, and being desirous to make preparation for Death, and to set my house in order before I die, I do, therefore, as it becometh a Christian, first, freely and from my heart, resign my soul, through Christ, into the hands of God that gave it me and my body to the earth from whence it came, and to be buried in decent manner by my executor and friends, in the hope of a joyful and glorious resurrection through the perfect merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, my strong Redeemer.
And as concerning my outward estate, which the Lord hath still betrusted me with, after all my just debts are paid, I give and dispose of as followeth:
First-- I give and bequest unto my dear and loving wife, Ann Denison, my new place, to wit the house we live in, the barn and buildings, the orchards, and the whole tract of land, and improvements thereon, as far as Mistuxet, eastward, and as it is bounded upon record, South, West and North, except only thirty acres, formerly given to my son, John Denison, which is to lie on the South side next to Capt. Mason's, east of our field, and also one hundred pounds in stock, prized at the County price, all which is, and hath been, under our son, William Denison's improvement and management, for these several years to mutual comfort; and content, all which I do will and bequeath unto my said wife, for her comfortable supply during her natural life.
Also, I give unto my said wife all the household stuff that was, and is, properly belonging unto us before my son, William, took the charge of the family, to be wholly at her disposal, to bequeath to whom she pleaseth, at her death.
Unto my eldest son, John Denison, I have already given his portion, and secured it to him by a deed, or deeds, and I do also give unto him, his heirs or assigns, forever, a County grant of two hundred acres of land, or two hundred pounds in silver money, which grant may be found on the General Court Records.
Also, I give unto him my great sword and the gauntlet which I wore in the wars of England and a silver spoon of ten shillings, marked G.D.A.
Unto my son, George Denison, I have formerly given a farm of mine, lying and being at the northwest angle of Stonington bounds, and ad adjoining the ten mile tree of the said bounds, which farm containeth one hundred and fifty acres, more or less, as also the one-half of a thousand acres of land lying to the Northward, or Northwest, of Norwich, given to me as a legacy by Joshua, the son of Uncas, the same time Mohegan Sachem, the said land to be divided as may more fully appear in the deed which I then gave him of both those tracts in one deed, signed and sealed with both my own and my wife's hand, and delivered to him and witnessed, and I have several times tendered him to acknowledge it before authority, that so it might have been recorded according to the formality of law, the which he hath wholly neglected or refused, and will not comply with me therein, and yet hath sold both those parcels of land and received pay for them; what his reasons may be I cannot certainly divine, but have it to fear they are not good for tending to peace after my decease. Wherefore, to prevent further trouble, I see cause herein to acknowledge said deed, and to confirm those two parcels of land unto him according to the date of the said deed, and the conditions therein expressed, but do hereby renounce any other deed not herein expressed, the which two tracts of land before mentioned, with two Indian Servants, to wit an Indian youth, or young man, and a woman, together with a considerable stock of neat cattle, Horses, Sheep and Swine, I then gave him, and permitted him to have and carry with him, I do now confirm to him, the which was, and is to be, the whole of his portion, I either have or do see cause to give him, only I give unto him twenty shillings in silver, or a cutlass or rapier, the which I leave to the discretion of my executor to choose which of them to do.
Unto my son, William Denison, I have formerly given him one hundred and thirty acres of land, be it more or less, to wit, all the land to the eastward of Mustuxet Brook, which did originally belong unto my new mansion place, and is part of three hundred acres granted unto me by New London, as may appear upon Record, and three hundred acres of land lying and cutting upon the North boundary of Stonington, as may more fully appear upon record in Stonington, and the native right thereof, with some addition, confirmed to me by Oneco, as may more fully appear by a deed under his hand and seal, acknowledged before Capt. Mason, and recorded in Stonington. Also, I then gave him two Indian Servants, namely, John, whom I bought of the County, and his son, Job, which was born in our house, together with one third part of stock which we have together, all which, as aforesaid, we formerly gave unto my son, William Denison, by a former deed, under our hands and seals, and I see just reason to confirm the same unto my son, William, in this my last Will, that so I may take off all scruple or doubt respecting this said deed. Moreover, I give unto my son, William Denison, fifty acres of land, as it was laid out and bounded unto me by Stonington surveyors, and joins upon the before mentioned three hundred acres, on the south side thereof, cuts also upon lands belonging to my son, John Denison, to be to him, my said son, William Denison, and his heirs, forever. Also, I give unto my son, William Denison, and his heirs, forever, the one half of my allotment at Windham, to wit, five hundred acres of land, which is part of a legacy given me by Joshua, the son of Uncas, the same time Sachem of Mohegan, as may more fully appear upon the Court Records at New London, also upon that former experience we have had of his great industry and childlike duty in the management of all our concern, for our comfort and comfortable supply, &c.; it is therefore my Will and in confidence of his love, duty, and wonted care of his loving mother, my dear wife, after my decease, I say I do still continue him in the possession and improvement of my new mansion place, with the stock mentioned herein in my deed to my loving wife, he taking care of his said mother for her comfortable supply, with what may be necessary for her comfort during her natural life, and do, or cause to be paid to his said mother, forty shillings in Silver Money, yearly, or half yearly, while she shall live, and at her decease, I fully and absolutely give and bequeath that my aforesaid mansion place, together with the stock mentioned before, unto my said son, William Denison, and his heirs, forever; also, I give unto my son, William Denison, my rapier and broad buff belt and the cartridge box which I used in the Indian Wars, together with my long carbine, which belt and sword I used in the same service.
Unto my oldest daughter, Sarah Stanton, as I have given her formerly her portion as I was then able, so I do now give unto her ten pounds out of the stock, as pay, and one silver spoon of ten shillings price, marked G.D.A.
Unto my daughter, Hannah Saxton, as I have given her also her portion, as I was then able, so I do now give her ten pounds out of the stock, as pay. Unto my daughter, Ann Palmer, besides that I have formerly given her, I do now give her ten pounds out of the stock, as pay.
Unto my daughter, Margaret Brown, I have given her already her portion, and do now give her five pounds out of the stock, as pay.
Unto my daughter, Borrodel Stanton, I have formerly given, and do now, give her five pounds out of the stock, as pay, and command it to my beloved wife, that at or before her death, she would give hers silver cup, which was sent us from England, with Brother Borrodel's name, J.B. under the head, to her.
Unto my grandson, George Denison, the son of my oldest son, John Denison, I give my black fringed shoulder belt, and twenty shillings in silver money, towards the purchase of a handsome rapier to wear with it.
Unto my grandson, George Palmer, I give the grant of one hundred acres of land, which was granted unto me by the town of Stonington, not yet laid out, or forty shillings out of my stock, as pay, at the discretion of my executor to choose which. And, whereas, there is considerable rent due me for a house of my wife, in Cork, in Ireland, which was given unto her as a legacy by her father, John Borrodel, at his death, and no doubt may appear upon record in Cork, the which house stands upon lands which they call Bishop's land, and was built by our said father, he to have lived in the same whereof my said wife was next to himself, as may also appear there upon record; and, whereas, I have a right of land in the Narragansett Country, which is mine by deed of the native right from the true proprietors thereof, as may appear upon record in Boston, and in the records of Stonington, the which, my rights, have been, and are, under the possession and improvement of those who have no just right to them, to which, by reason of the many troubles, woes, and difficulties, which have arisen, together with our remoteness, we have not been able to vindicate our just rights, but have been great sufferers thereby, but it if pleases God to send peaceable times, and our rights be recordable in law, I do, by this, my last will, give and bequeath my said right unto my son, John Denison, to be divided equally betwixt them, provided that they each one bear their equal share in the trouble and recovery of the same. Provided, also, that my son, George Denison, do relinquish and deliver up any right he may pretend unto by a former deed which I give him of the one-half of Achagromeconsit, according as I formerly obliged him to do in a deed I gave him of the other farm, and gave him upon that consideration.
And in reference with Nathaniel Beebe who hath been a retainer and boarder in our family between thirty and forty years; and for his board at our last reckoning, which was March the 20th, 1680, he was indebted to me forty six pounds, six shillings and three pence, I say L46 6s. 3d., as may appear under his hand to said account in my book, since which time he hath boarded in the family near upon fourteen years, which at 4 shillings sixpence the week, amounts to one hundred and sixty-three pounds, sixteen shillings, out of which I do give unto Nathaniel Beebe fifty pounds, in way of gratification and satisfaction for his love to me and my children, and offices of love shown unto myself and any of them in mine or their sickness and weakness, which fifty pounds must be deducted from the one hundred and sixty-three pounds, sixteen shillings, and the remainder will be one hundred thirteen pounds, which hundred and thirteen pounds, sixteen shillings, together with the fort-six pounds, six shillings and three pence, due upon book, under his hand, at our last reckoning, as aforesaid, being add unto one hundred and thirteen pounds, 16 shillings, the whole will be one hundred sixty-two shillings, and three pence, the which I give unto my son, William Denison, and his heirs, forever, for him, or them or any of them, or if they see cause to demand, receive and improve, as their own proper estate. Also, I give unto my son, William Denison, all and singular, whatsoever that belongeth unto me, not already disposed of, to be to him and his heirs, forever, whom also I do hereby constitute, appoint, and make, my sole executor, to pay all just debts if any shall appear, of which I know not any, and to receive all dues which either are or shall be due to me, and to pay all legacies according to this, my Will, within twelve months after my wife's decease, and to take care for my decent burial.-- But in case my son, William Denison, shall decease before he has performed this, my will, or before his children are of age, then my will is that the whole estate be under the improvement of his wife, our daughter in-law, Sarah Denison, during the time of her widowhood, for her comfortable supply, and the well educating and bringing up of their children in religion and good learning, all which she shall do by the advice of the reverend, and my loving friend, Mr. James Noyes, my son, John Denison, and my son-in-law, Gersham Palmer, them, or any two of them, if the three cannot be obtained; but without advice she may not act, which three, my dear friends, I do earnestly desire, and hereby appoint, as overseers for the children, and to make effectual care that this, my will, may be performed according to the true intent thereof; but if my said daughter-in-law shall marry again, then this whole estate to fall into the hands of those, my overseers, and by them to be secured for my son, William Denison's children, to wit; William Denison, George Denison, and Sarah Denison, and by those overseers to be improved for their well bringing up, as aforesaid, and faithfully to be delivered unto the children as they shall come of age, to wit: the males at twenty-one years, and the females at eighteen, and if any of the said children should die before they come of age, the survivors shall inherit the same, and if they should all die before of age, (the which God forbid, but we are all mortal,) then it is my declared mind and true interest of this, my will, that my grandson, George Denison, the son of my oldest son, John Denison, shall be the sole heir of that estate, out of which he shall pay unto his four brothers, to wit: John Denison, Robert Denison, William Denison, and Daniel Denison, ten pounds apiece in current pay, and also ten pounds in current pay unto his Cousin, Edward Denison, the son of my son, George Denison; and in token that this is my last Will and Testament, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 24th day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand six hundred and ninety-three, four. GEORGE DENISON.