Monday, June 24, 2013


This has been a great year again for me research wise. FamilySearch has
released a bunch of record images from New England states and I've
found a lot of documents involving my relatives. I'm learning things I might
never have found about my ancestors.

One of my recent finds has been the estate records for my 5x great grandfather
Joseph Ellenwood/Ellingwood.  I don't have an exact date of death for Joseph but
the will and inventory were filed with the Hillsborough, NH Probate Court in
April of 1786 by his widow Sarah and his son Joseph. One of the things I learned
from it was that Joseph Sr. was a bricklayer, something that was not in either of
the Ellingwood genealogy books in my possession. Also, I was surprised to learn
the estate was valued under the British currency of pounds, shillings and pence.
Our young country hadn't adopted the dollar yet in 1786

I was puzzled by part of the document: the items on the inventory list followed by
a number and slash mark in the lines:  

I'd never seen anything like that before, so I asked my friends on Facebook if
anyone knew what it meant, and Karen Packard Rhodes posted an excellent explanation:

It is a unit price -- in shillings. The / means shillings. There were 20 shillings to
a pound. So take the item "To a yoke of oxen 175/ to a house 175/" 175+175=
350. Divide 350 (shillings) by 20 (# of shillings in a pound) and it comes out to 
17.5. The .5 is half a pound, which is 10 shillings. Thus you get the 17 10 0 figure 
on the right. So it is a unit price. For more information on old British money, see .

Here's the first part of my transcription.  I'll discuss my thoughts on it in my next
post. My apologies for not being able to get the value column to stay in a straight

Hillsborough SS. At a Court of Probate held at Amherst for said County on the
Eighteenth day of April Anno Domini 1786.-
Administration of the Estate of Joseph Ellenwood late of Lyndeborough in said
County Bricklayer dec. was granted to Sarah Ellenwood his widow and Joseph
Ellenwood his Son with Joseph Herrick of Lyndeborough aforesaid husbandman
jointly and severally gave Bond in the Sum of Five hundred Pounds for their
faithful performance of that trust pursuant to Law.`~~~~~
                  Attest  Saml Dana Regr

At the same time a warrant issued to Messrs. Nehemiah Rand and Amos
Whittemore both of Lyndeborough in said Countyto take an Inventory of the
Estate of the aforesaid Joseph Ellenwood who on the 15th day of August 1786
made thee following return on Oath.
                                                                       Before Jon. Blanchard Judge of Probate
                                                                         Attest Saml Dana Regr
"State of New Hampshire Hillsboro."
An Inventory of the Estate of Joseph Ellenwood late of Lyndeboro. dec. shewn
to us the Subscribers by Sarah and Joseph Ellenwood Admins. on said Estate.
- Viz~~~~
The real Estate appraised at                                                                       £150~0~0
To a Yoke of Oxen 175/ To a Horse 175/                                                 £ 17~10~0 
To two cows 130/ To a Cow 63/                                                                     9~13~
To Seven young Cattle                                                                                     6~13~
To 2 Swine                                                                                                        2~0~
To wearing apparel                                                                                           1~10~
To a feather bed and pillows                                                                            1~4~
To Sheets and Pillow Cap                                                                                   ~9~
To Coverlets and Blankets                                                                                1~0~0
To a Bedstead and Cord 3/ a Chest 25/                                                            1~0~
To 2 Table Cloths 6 towels                                                                                  ~7~6
To a Loom and the harness                                                                                1~10~0
To 3 spinning wheels 16/ to a Cart 40/                                                             2~16~
To Bricklayers Tools 2/ Carpenters 10/                                                           1~6~
To one ax 3/ Cowbell 3/6, Stonehammer 3/6                                                  0~10~
To Butte and wedges 5/ to a frow 2/6                                                               0~7~6
To 27 ft of old iron4/10, 3 sickles 2/6                                                             0~7~4
To 35 ft of old chains 17/6  a plow 5/                                                               1~2~6
To 4 hows 5/ to a barrow 9/                                                                                0~14~0
To a grindstone 1/ to a sled 3/                                                                            0~3~0
To scythes and tackling 10/ to hayfork 1/6                                                       0~11~6
To four thousand & half of shingles                                                         1~7~0
To baskets 5/6 yoke irons 2/ irons 1/6                                                                0~7~0
To 3 pewter platters and six plates                                                                     0~16~0
To old pewter 3/coffee pot & tin ware 1/9                                                 0~4~9
To iron ware 20/ glass ware 3/                                                                            1~11~0
To old cans 7/6  wooden ware 6/                                                                        0~16~6
To earthenware 4/ to tables 3/                                                                             0~7~0
To old chest 4/  to chairs 8/                                                                                 0~12~0
To a gun 15/ to a fire shovel tongs 2/6                                                               0~17~6
To barrels 3/6  to a sive 1/                                                                                   0~4~6
To a teapot and cups 1/ to knives & forks                                                0~2~6
To old books 4/ boxiron heaters                                                                         0~5~0
To a sadelle & bridle                                                                                   0~12~0
To carts                                                                                                                    0~2~6
To a note of Benjamin Ellenwood dated Jan 30 1777                                      2~2~7
To a note of Thomas Ellsworth Dated Nov 10 1785                                        0~6~4
                                                                                                                         £   62.4.6
Exam'd for Saml Dana Regr
Nehemiah Rand
James Whittemore  

To be continued

1 comment:

Karen Packard Rhodes said...

Great post, Bill. Isn't it wonderful to find these old documents and learn so much more about an ancestor? I'm so glad I was able to provide the information. It was fun!