I found Issac Stearns' probate file over on AmericanAncestors.org. As you can see, it's a bit
difficult to read:
|Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)21239 page2|
|Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)21239 page3|
Luckily, there was a transcription in the Stearns genealogy :
His will, dated five days before his decease, with his autograph signature, is extant on the files of the Probate Office of Middlesex County, and is as follows:
"I, Isack Stearns, of Watertown, in the County of Middlesex, being sick in body, but through the goodness of God in sound memory, do declare this to be my last Will and Testament, in manner and form as followeth:
"Imp.—ffirst, I return my spirit into the hands of God that gave it, and my body to the earth from whence it was taken.
2dly.—My will is, that Mary, my beloved wife, should enjoy my whole estate, for her maintainance, so long as she shall live a widow; but if my said wife shall marry again, then my will is that she should enjoy only what the law intended and provided for in the law titled dowers.
"3dly.—I give and bequeath to my grandchildren, the children of my sonne John Sternes, fower score pounds, (which) being added to what my son had formerly, will be a double portion with the rest of my children.
"4thly.—I give unto my son Isaac Sternes, seventy pounds, which being added to what he have had already, will be his proportion according to the rest of my children.
"5thly—I give to my son, Samuel Sternes, seventy pounds, which being added to what I formerly gave him will be his proportion with the rest of my children.
6thly.—I give to my grandchildren, the children of my daughter Mary, deceased, five and thirty pounds; my grandchild, Isaac Lernot, to have ten pounds of the said 35 pounds —the remainder, which will be twenty-five pounds, to be equally divided to the rest; which said thirty-five pounds being added to what I formerly gave my daughter, Mary Lernot, will be an equal proportion with the rest of my children.
"7thly.—I give to my daughter Sarah Stone, forty pounds, which being added to what she formerly had, will be her proportion.
"8thly.—I give to my daughter Elizabeth Manning twenty pounds, which being added to what I formerly gave her, will be her proportion; further, my will is. that the said twenty pounds given to my daughter Elizabeth aforesaid, be secured for the good and benefit of the children.
"9thly.—I give and bequeath to my daughter Abigail Morss, five acres of meadow, lying and being at Samuel's farm, to enjoy and possess for her and her heirs forever: and my will is. that my daughter Abigail Morss. may take the said five acres of meadow either next to Samuel's meadow, or next Capt. Mason's: and besides the meadow. I give to my said daughter Abigail, forty pounds, all which being added to what she have had formerly, will be her proportion.
"10thly.—My will is, that my kinsman Charles Sternes, shall have ten pounds of my estate. Further, my will is, that my whole estate remain whole and unbroken for comfort and maintainance of my beloved wife, as above said, so long as she doth remain a widow—save only the five acres of meadow given to my daughter Abigail, which she is to enjoy presently.
"ffurther, I nominate and appoint my beloved sons, Isaac Sternes and Samuel Sternes. executors, to this my last Will and Testament, and have hereunto set my hand, this fourteenth day of June, one thousand six hundred and seventyone, in presence of.
"Before subscribing, my will is. that when those several legacies are paid out according to my Will within mentioned, then my will is, that the remainder of my estate shall be equally divided among my children then living, and so subscribe the day aforesaid by putting to my hand in presence of,
ISACK STERNES. (This signature was written five days before his decease.) "WILLIAM BOND SEN'R. "JOHN BISCOE, SEN'R."
Stearns Genealogy and Memoirs, Volume 1 Courier Press Company, Syracuse, New York 1901
Now while the text of the will itself is transcribed, there's some more writing after that is not transcribed and which is difficult to make out:
That this is a true copy of ye originall wch was legally proven & left on file at ye court in October 1671 & yt burned in ye fireing of ye courthouse is attested on oath
1-8-72 at ye courthouse in Cambridge by Isaac Sternes
& Samuel Sternes.
Next I'll take a look at the inventory of the estate.
To be continued.