Amanuensis is a person who gets paid to transcribe what another person has written or dictated.
Below is the Will of my 4x great grandfather, Jabez Bostwick. He died June 11, 1856 in Hamden, New York.
“The last will and testament of Jabez Bostwick, of the town of Hamden, County of Delaware and state of New York.
I Jabez Bostwick considering the uncertainty of this mortal life, and being of sound mind and memory blessed be Almighty God for the Same, do make and publish this my last will and testament.
In the first place I command my soul to Almighty God praying that through the intercepion of my blessed Redeemer and Savior Jesus Christ, I may be accepted through his name to an inheritance among the just in Heaven.
I give unto my beloved wife Freelove Bostwick, out of my Estate all of my household furniture, (excepting my desk and bookcase and books and my mahogany table which is hereby reserved) together with the stoves put up for use, also the clock, I also give her one cow which I may have and own at my decease, I also give and bequeath during her natural life the use and occupation of the house we now live in and the agreement with our son Marcus L Bostwick for the keeping of a cow and firewood and as her contract with said M L Bostwick as made on the sale of my farm to him for and during her natural life as by reference to said contract will show. I also give and bequeath to my said wife two hundred dollars cash and in good securities to be paid to her out my estate by my executor hereinafter named for her sole benefit and disposal. I also give and bequeath to my said wife during her natural life for her support, the interest of fourteen hundred dollars, which I hereby set apart and which I direct by executor to hold in his hands and keep and put out at interest on safe security as to principal and interest and the interest to be paid to her annually during her natural life and after my wife’s decease I hereby direct out of the said sum of fourteen hundred dollars the sum of twelve hundred dollars as herein after bequeathed to my grandchildren the children and heirs of my late daughter Adeline H Woodward deceased.
I give and bequeath unto my son Marcus L Bostwick my large family Bible containing the family records. I give to him also my surveying instrument.
I give and bequeath my library of books to my three children Marcus, Eliza, and Jabez, to be as nearly as may be equally divided between them.
I give and bequeath to my daughter Eliza B Raymond my fall leaf mahogany table.
I give and bequeath to my son Jabez Bostwick my writing desk and bookcase.
I give and bequeath to my grandson Jabez B Woodward my silver watch.
The residue of my personal estate I direct to be disposed of as hereinafter bequeathed.
I give and bequeath to my Eliza B Raymond the wife of Wm F Raymond one thousand dollars.
I give and bequeath unto my son Jabez Bostwick Jr one thousand dollars to be paid to them respectively after my decease as soon and as fast as funds shall come to the hand of my executor and to be paid pro rata as funds shall come into his hands not otherwise appropriated. But I would have my executor understand that if any money shall be paid on any open account on book shall be made against the said Eliza as money lent or paid to her or by note the same is to be accounted for as a part of the one thousand dollars as herein bequeathed altho it my be changed previous to the date of this instrument.
The same reservation is made as regards the bequest to my son Jabez All notes or accounts against him I hold at my decease must be allowed as part of the one thousand dollars herein given and bequeathed to him.
I herein direct the following bequest or legacies to be paid by my executor to my grandchildren the children of my daughter Adeline H Woodward deceased.
I give and bequeath as follows:
To Ernest B Woodward fifty dollars.
To Marcus A Woodward two hundred dollars.
To Adeline Woodward three hundred dollars.
To Adelaide Woodward one hundred dollars.
To Jabez B Woodward two hundred dollars.
To Harriet N Woodward three hundred dollars.
To Nathaniel K Woodward fifty dollars.
Amounting in all to twelve hundred dollars these said bequests or legacies above mentioned are not to be paid to several legatees until after the decease of my wife their grandmother, nor until one year after except it shall be convenient for my executor to pay the same in whole or in part as he shall elect.
And I do in the last place, provided there shall be and remain any money or effects of my estate not heretofore disposed of in this instrument I give and bequeath the same to my children, Marcus L Bostwick, Eliza B Raymond, & Jabez Bostwick Jr and their heirs to be equally divided between them share and share alike. I hereby appoint my son Marcus L Bostwick my executor of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made.
In witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this eighth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty six.
Jabez Bostwick L.S.”
There are some things I want to try to find. I would like to find Marcus Bostwick’s Will to see if he passed down the family Bible. I would like to learn more about Adeline’s death and where all of her orphaned children went. I have been able to account for 4 of them. I was curious as to why they received different amounts of money and why was the silver watch given to Jabez B Woodward. He distributed between 50 and 300 dollars to his grandchildren. In todays dollars, $50 would equal $1,428 and $300 would equal $8,571.
I found the Will very informative. His wife Freelove was taken care of and given the house plus money to live on. Marcus was given the opportunity to buy the farm and the other two surviving children received specific pieces of furniture. I enjoyed the fact that there were books to be divided. I wonder what they were. I should look at what was being published around that time to see what could be on the bookshelves in the Bostwick home. Looking at the Will is a wonderful way to get an idea of what the family had and valued.