Monday, February 24, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Ann Godwin

This is a transcription of the will of Ann Godwin of Queen Anne's County, MD. Ann's only son George Hackett Godwin is named in the will along with two of his cousins, Gunning Bedford Hackett and Ann Catharine Holt. George's estate papers named several more cousins including one that is possibly my 3x great-grandfather Samuel Godwin. The will was filed in May 1829.

The images for the will are from's probate records for Queen Anne's County, MD in the book of Wills from 1815-1856, Volume 1, image 221.

   In the name of God. Amen. I, Ann Godwin of Queen Ann's County in the state of Maryland being sick and weak in body but of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time thereof and being desirous to settle my worldly affairs and thereof...

... be the better prepared to leave this world when it shall please God to call me hence, do therefore make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say.___

   First and principally I commit my soul unto the hands of Almighty God, and my body to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my Executor hereinafter named and after my just debts and funeral charges are paid I devise and bequeath as follows:

   Item I give and devise unto my only son George Hackett Godwin my plantation whereon I now dwell known by the name of William's Lot containing about 299 and 3/4 acres of land more or less to him the said George Hackett Godwin or his issue legally begotten of his body.
   But in case the said George Hackett Godwin should die leaving no lawful issue of his body or if leaving issue and the said issue should die leaving no issue of their bodies then it is my will and desire that the aforesaid land and premises shall descend to and become the property of my nephew Gunning Bedford Hackett and my niece Ann Catharine Holt to be equally divided between the said Gunning Bedford Hackett and the said Ann Catharine Holt share and share alike.

   Item I give and bequeath to my son George Hackett Godwin one bed and furniture and also all the plate and one silver watch which said plate and watch I have heretofore delivered to my son George H. Godwin as his own rightful property together with all the residue of my personal estate which may remain over and above paying my just debts to him the said George H. Godwin.
   Item I desire that my nephew Gunning Bedford Hackett should become the Guardian of my son under the usual regulations of the Orphans Court.
   And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my Nephew Gunning Bedford Hackett to be sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament revoking and annulling all former wills by me heretofore made ratifying and confirming this and none other to be my last Will and Testament. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this thirty first day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred & twenty nine.

Signed Ann Godwin

The following were witnesses: Walter J. Clayton, Jesse Godwin, Parraw? Taylor

It's interesting that Ann's son George Hackett Godwin's estate was distributed among ten cousins in 1837 since Ann's will specified that it be split between Gunning Bedford Hackett and Ann Catherine Holt. I'll have to investigate more as this may have just been his personal property. There was no land mentioned in the estate distribution.

From marriage records posted on RootsWeb, George Godwin married Ann Hackett, daughter of John and Sarah of Queen Anne's County in 1786.

Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging theme which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mappy Monday - Following the Trail of Hawkins Pharsalia - Part II

In my last post on Hawkins Pharsalia, I sorted out some of the John Councells in my tree, but wasn't sure how Henry Councell fit into the mix. In the land records I was looking at, Henry Councell bought the part of Hawkins Pharsalia that had been left to Edward Carey Councell by John Councell "the Elder". The sale was documented in 1811 and was approved by several other Councell relatives.

In 1813, Henry Councell and his wife Sarah sold the land to John Councell, Jr., son of Edward Carey Councell. The following excerpt from Queen Anne's County Court Book JB 2, page 214 documents that Henry was the son of John Councell "the Elder" and grandfather of John Councell, Jr. The deed was recorded on December 4, 1813 and this record is available on the site.

Book JB 2, page 214, Queen Anne's County Court, Maryland

...that part of the tract of Land called and known by the name of Hawkins Pharsalia which the late John Councell (Father of the said Henry Councell and grandfather of the said John Councell Jnr. did by his Last Will and Testament devise to his son Edward Cary Councell Father of the said John Councell Jnr.) which said part of said Tract not being sufficient to bear a Division between the several heirs of the said Edward Cary Councell as adjudged by Commissioners appointed by the court of Queen Anns County for that purpose and the said John Councell Jnr. being the eldest heir made his election to take said Land at the valuation set upon it by said Commissioners and did by a Deed of sale bearing Date the fourth Day of January in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred and eleven convey the same to the said Henry Councell being devised therein by John Councell Snr? William Councell Elijah Councell and Thomas Councell for the purpose of supplying? a Deficiency in the Will of the late John Councell ? together with all and singular the Buildings improvements wood ways waters...

The Land Commission denied Edward Councell's heirs' request to split up the land in 1811. At that point, Henry Councell bought it with the approval of Edward's sons and then sold it back to John Councell (son of Edward) in 1813. I'm not sure what the "deficiency" was in the will of "the late John Councell", but I'm guessing it was that he didn't specify how the land should be divided in the case of the death of his son Edward. Several family trees on have Edward's year of death as 1797 which was the year after Edward's father John died.

This land record provided a little more clarification as to why the land switched back and forth between Henry and his grandson John. Next up is to investigate Edward Carey Councell. Are there any estate papers for him? My Councill tree as it stands now is shown below. John Councell Jr. was my 3x great-grandfather and his son Francis was my 2x great-grandfather. At some point my family started using the Councill spelling, so I have used that in the tree.

Mappy Monday is a GeneaBloggers prompt where you can post map images and how they relate to your research or discuss other aspects of land ownership and your ancestor. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Church Record Sunday - Catholic Directories

I posted earlier about trying to find records for my ancestor Julia Creedan/Sister Mary Felix when she was in the Sisters of Charity. While searching for her,  I ran across several Catholic Directories available for free online. These directories are a great resource if you have an ancestor that was in the Catholic clergy in the 1800s.  They don't provide a listing of every name, but you might get lucky.

I found two entries for a Sister Felix in the directories for the Sisters of Charity in New York. The first entry was from page 179 of  Sadliers' Catholic Directory Almanac and Ordo for 1876. In the section for Albany, there is a Sister M. Felix, superior at St. John's Parochial School.

The second entry is from page 145 of  Sadliers' Catholic Directory Almanac and Ordo for 1881. This one has a Sister Felix working in St. Mary's Orphan Asylum in Rondout, New York.

I wasn't able to find a Felix or Creedan that matched my ancestor in the 1880 census for New York. Julia was from the Sisters of Charity order in Cincinnati, Ohio, so I'm finding it doubtful that either of these are her. It's still a possibility since I know they sent her out of state at various times. I really need that 1880 census entry to tell for sure!

These books are available to search online through Google Books or you can download them in several formats. Once you've found a book you want to download, hover your mouse over the red box on the upper left that says "READ EBOOK". A box will pop up with links to download the various formats, including pdf.

More information on Julia's religious career is available here.