Wednesday, February 26, 2014


As I said in the previous post on my ancestor Edmond Greenleaf, his second
marriage was not entirely a happy one. The reason why is in the codicil attached
to his will. It's a rather long document, so I'll comment on it in the next post, as as
discuss a few another matter.

Once again, this is from the Google ebook edition of James Edward Greenleaf's Genealogy of the Greenleaf Family (F. Wood, printer, Boston, Ma. 1896):

In the early part of 1671 Mr. Greenleaf died. His will, a very curious document, written, as is supposed, by himself, was proved Feb. 12, 1671, and is recorded in the "Probate Records" in Boston, in the volume for 1669 to 1674, page 112.

The following is a copy, the orthography being corrected :—

"In the name of God, Amen. The two and twentieth day of December, sixteen hundred and sixty-eight, I, Edmund Greenleaf, being mindful of my own mortality and certainty of death, and uncertainty of the same, and being desirous to settle things in order, being now in good health and perfect memory, do make, appoint and ordain this to be my last will and testament in manner and form following: that is to say— first and principally, I give and bequeath my soul into the hands of my blessed Redeemer, the Lord Jesus, who hath died and gave himself for me, and his blood cleanseth from all sin, and through his righteousness I do only look for justification and salvation; and do commit my mortal body, after this life is ended, into the dust from whence it was taken, there to be preserved by the power and faithfulness of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ, until the resurrection of the just, and then to be raised up by the same power to immortality and life, where I shall see him as he is, and shall ever be with him; and in this faith and hope I desire, through his grace nd assistance, to live and die, and at last to be found of him in peace.

"Nextly, my will is, being according to God's will revealed in his word, that we must pay what we owe and live of the rest, unto whose rule the sons of men ought to frame their wills and actions; therefore, my mind and will is, that my debts shall be truly and justly paid to every man to whom I shall be indebted, by my executors hereafter named.

"And first I do revoke, renounce, frustrate and make void all wills by me formerly made; and I declare and appoint this to be my last will and testament.

"Imprimis—I give unto my son Stephen Greenleaf, and to my daughter Browne, widow, and to my daughter Coffin, to each of them twenty shillings apiece. Item—I give unto my grandchild Elizabeth Hilton, ten pounds. Item—I give unto my grandchild Enoch Greenleaf, five pounds. Item—I give unto my grandchild Sarah Winslow, five pounds, if her father pay me the four pounds he oweth me. Item—I give unto my  eldest son's son, James Greenleaf, twenty shillings; and after my funeral expenses, debts and legacies are discharged, I give and bequeath the rest of my estate unto my son Stephen Greenleaf, and to my daughter Elizabeth Browne, and to my daughter Judith Coffin, equally to be divided amongst them and their children. And, further, I desire and appoint my son, Stephen Greenleaf, and Tristram Coffin the executors of this my will, to see it executed and affirmed as near as they can; and I further entreat my cousin, Thomas Moon, mariner, to see to the performance of this my will.

"In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this twenty-fifth day of December, 1668.
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"Signed, sealed, published, and declared to be my last will in the presence of us,

"George Ruggell,
"john Furniside."

The inventory of Mr. Greenleaf's estate, which was appended to the will, amounted to £131-5-9.

The following paper is also recorded in the "Probate Records," appended to the will, as, probably, assigning the reason why the name of his second wife, who appears to have outlived him, was not mentioned:—

"When I married my wife, I kept her grandchild, as I best remember, three years to schooling, diet and apparel; and William Hill, her son, had a bond of six pounds a year, whereof I received no more than a barrel of pork of £3-0-0 of that £6-0-0 a year he was to pay me, and sent to her son Ignatius Hill, to the Barbadoes, in mackerel, cider, and bread and pease, as much as come to twenty pounds, and never received one penny of it. His aunt gave to the three brothers £50 apiece. I know not whether they received it or no; but I have not received any part of it.

"Witness my hand. (Signed) Edmund Greenleaf."

"Besides, when I married my wife, she brought me a silver bowl, a silver porringer, and a silver spoon. She lent or gave them to her son, James Hill, without my consent."

To be continued,


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