Were the Britsh more likely to leave aWill?
It seems my British families were into providing Wills. The first Will I discovered on-line was a British Will from 1819 Cheshire England for Robert Heap (4x maternal great grandfather), that I was researching back in 1996. A couple of weeks ago I came across the probate of the Will for Alice Booth (3x maternal great grandmother). So in answer to this weeks prompt from Amy Johnson Crow “Where there is a Will”, I plan on sharing my latest find.
I enjoyed transcribing Alice’s Will. Transcribing gave me an opportunity to really absorb the content.
I already knew quite a bit about Alice Booth. She was Alice Robinson born 6 December 1806 and baptized 21 December 1806 in Padiham, Lancashire England to Nancy and Henry Robinson (a Weaver). The granddaughter of Margaret Robinson and an unknown grandfather.
Alice married Joseph Booth a Calico Printer on 10 October 1825 in Padiham. Lancashire, England. In 1827 Alice gave birth to their first child, a son, Henry. He died the following year, prior to his first birthday. They went on to have 5 more children prior to their leaving England for the United States in Sept of 1842. The manifest for the sailing of the “Garrick” out of Liverpool England shows:
Josh Booth 29, Alice 27, Mary Anne 11, Josh 9, Walter 8, and Nancy 2.
In the United States Joseph and Alice had three more children, Issac in 1843 believed to have been born in PA, Alice in 1845 thought to have been born in MA and Sarah in 1846 born in New Jersey. They lived at least 22 years on Staten Island, Richmond County, New York, where Alice died 28 April 1882.
I Alice Booth of the Town of Castleton County of Richmond and State of New York do make publish pronounce and declare this instrument as and forward my last Will and Testament hereby expressly revoking any and all former Wills by me made.
First, I order and direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid as soon after my decease as practicable.
Second I authorize empower and direct that a majority of the Executrixes and Executors of this Will shall whenever they shall deem it meet for the interest of my estate so to do sell all my property real and personal at public or private sale and good and sufficient deeds and conveyances in the law to execute and deliver to the purchaser or purchasers of such real estate , And until the same is sold I give and devise to my said Executrixes and Executors in trust for the uses and purposes specified in the next clause hereof. Third I order and direct that the rents profits and income of my property until the same shall be applied first to keeping the buildings insured and in repair and paying taxes – and second to paying the interest and principal of the mortgage on my real estate as far as practicable, And if after the payments a fore said there shall be sufficient income therefore their Said Executrixes and Executors shall use the same in the erection of a monument to my deceased son Isaac over his grave not to cost however to exceed the sum of Three Hundred Dollars. And in case there shall not be sufficient income for the payments a fore said and the erection of such monument, then I order and direct that when my real estate shall be sold such monument shall be erected and paid for out of the proceeds of such sale before any distribution of such proceeds shall be made. Fourth The proceeds of the sale of my real and personal property and also all of my property after paying my debts and funeral expenses and erecting such monument. I give devise and bequest in equal shares to my children who shall survive me and to the children of such of my children as have heretofore died – or as may prior to my decease die, the children of deceased children of mine taking the share only which their parent would have taken if living. Lastly I nominate and appoint my daughters Mary Ann Bamber Nancy Gee and Alice Taylor Executrixes and my son Joseph Booth and my son in law James Gee Executors
of this my last Will and Testament.
In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 29th day of January 1880.
Alice Booth (LS.)
The highlighted contents are the facts gleamed from this record. Upon further study more family clues are given in the following probate record.
Satisfactory proof having been made of the due services of the citation heretofore issued in this matter requiring the proper persons to appear on the eleventh day of July 1882 and attend the probate of the last Will and Testament of Alice Booth late of the County of Richmond deceased and Mess De Groot Rawson and Stafford Attorneys for the Executrixes and Executors named in said Will having appeared in support of the proof of the same and John J. Kenney Esq. heretofore appointed special guardian for Isaac Butterworth and George Booth minors two of the heirs and next of kin of said deceased,……..
So we see that the adult children of Alice are listed as executors of her estate along with her son in-law James Gee who she must have held in high regard. Isaac had died prior to 1880 when Alice wrote the above Will. Could he have died in the American Civil war? He would have been about 18 at the start so there is a very high probability that he was in the Army. That is a research for another time. What about her son Walton/Walter Booth. I have that he did not die until 1893. Why is he left out of the Will? Now Isaac Butterworth would have been Sarah Booth’s son and suggest that Sarah was no longer living in 1882. She is not named as an executor in 1880 so she was either estranged from the family or had died previous to the writing of the Will. George Booth, who was George Booth? Did Isaac leave a son? Joseph jr had a son George but he would have been an adult (22 years old) in 1882. Did Walton/Walter have a son?
Wills and their accompanying documents can contain clues to help solve a mystery or cause more questions to arise. If you have any observations or insights please do not hesitate to make a comment below.