An American Family History

The Will of Samuel Fuller

Plymouth (Plimouth or Plimoth) is in Plymouth County, Massachusetts and was the site of the colony founded in 1620 by the Mayflower passengers.

Cattle were vital to a household and an important legacy.
Unweaned cattle are calves.
Female cattle are heifers and cows (had a calf).
Male cattle are steers (castrated) and bulls.
are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.

Horse Terms
Foal: less than 1 year old
Yearling: between 1 & 2
Colt: male under 4
Filly: female under 4
Mare: female over 4
Gelding: castrated male
: non-castrated male over 4

Recorded in Plymouth Colony Wills and Inventories, Volume IV, Part II, pages 138 and 139. (Transcribed by George Ernest Bowman, and first published in the Mayflower Descendant, Volume II. p. 237)

The last Will and Testament of Samuel ffuller of Barnstable Late Deceased Exhibited to the Court held att Plymouth fift of June 1684 on the oath of Capt Josepth Laythorp and Mr Samuel Allin as followeth The nine and twentyeth Day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty and three;

 I Samuel ffuller senir of the Towne of Barnstable in the Govrment of New Plymouth being ancient (aged) and very weake in body but of good and Compitent memory thankes be unto allmighty God; and Calling to remembrance the uncertaine state of this transitory life and that all fflesh must yeild unto Death when it shall please God to Call, Doe make ordaine and & Constitute & Declare this my last will and Testament in Manor and form following:

Revoking and Anulling by these presents all and every Testament and Testaments will and wills heertofore by mee made and declared either by word or wrighting; and this to be taken onely for my last will and Testament and none other; and first I give and Comitt my soule unto almighty God my Saviour in whom I trust and beleive assuredly to be saved; and my body to the earth; from whence it was taken, to be buried in such Decent and Christian manor as to my executors heerafter Named shalbe thought meet and Convenient; and Now for the Settleing of my temporall estate and such goods Cattles and Debts as it hath pleased god farr above my Deserts to bestow upon mee; I Doe order Give and Dispose the same in Manor and forme following; That is to say first I will that all those Debts and Dutyes as I owe in right or Conscience to any manor of prson or prsons whatsoever shalbe well and truely Contended and payed or ordained to be payed within Convenient time after my Decease by my executors hereafter named:

Item I Give and bequeath unto my eldest son Samuell ffuller two prsells of Marsh one of them I bought of Mr Samuell house Deceased and the other I  bought of Captaine Matthew ffuller Deceased that he had of Mr John ffreeman;

Item I give and bequeath to my son John ffuller four acrees of Marsh and one halfe which I bought of Peter Blossome

Item I give and bequeath that prsell of Marsh that lyes by Ralph Jones, his Marsh, To my two sones Samuell ffuller and John ffuller to be equally Devided betwist and one prsell of Marsh that lyeth on this side Scoton ffeildes to be Devided as abovesaid and  the angle Lotts of Marsh att Scoton point to be equally Devided between them alsoe the Eelcreik Lott of Marsh to be alike Devided as above specifyed and the Lott of Marsh att Sandy neck upon the same accoumpt alsoe; and all my upland upon Scoton neck to be equally Devided betwist them as the other above Mensioned.

Item I give to my son Samuell ffuller all my upland that lyeth above my uppersmost ffield and to range quite Crosse my land upon one and the same lyne as the uppermost ffence as my upmost feild now ranges, but alwaies to allow Cart wayes to the Comons into the Comons for his brother John ffuller his  heires and assignes

Item I give and bequeath unto my son John fuller my now Dwellinghouse orchyard and all out housing and all the rest of my Upland wherever it dothe lye, but alwaies to allow a Cart way into the meddowes for his brother Samuell ffuller his heires and assignes.

Item I Give and bequeath to my son John ffuller one three yeer old horse runing in the woods;

Item I Give and bequeath to my son Samuell ffuller two mares runing in the woods;

Item I Give to my Daughter Elizabeth Tayler five pound in Mony and two Cowes;

Item I Give unto my Daughter hannah Bonham four pounds in Money and two Cowes;

Item I Give unto my Daughter Mary Williams four pound in Money and two Cowes

Item I Give and bequeath unto my Daughter Sarah Crowe four pounds in Mony and two Cowes

Item I Give and bequeath unto my four Daughters hannah Bonham Mary Williams Elizabeth Tayler and Sarah Crow all my household stuffe to be equally Dvided betwixt them

item I Give and bequeath to my son John ffuller the Indian Jaell; my prte in the oxen the Cart and plow and the Cart and plow Geares and working tooles and one fatt Cow that is to kill and my bald faced horse; and my Great bible;

Item I Give and bequeath to my two sons Samuell ffuller and John ffuller all the rest of my Neat Cattle to be Devided To my son Samuell one third prte; and to my son John ffuller the other two third prtes therof; and all my sheep to be equally Devided betwixt them;

Item I Give and bequeath to my son Samuell ffyller ten pounds in money which hee now owes to me and hath now hath it alredy;

and all the rest of my estate in what kind soever it be I Give and bequeath to my two sones Samuell ffuller and John ffuller; to be devided to my son Samuell ffuller one third prte therof and to my son John fuller the other two third prtes therof,

and by these prsents make ordaine & Declare the above said Samuell and John ffuller the executors of this my last Will and Testament;

In Witness wherof I the said Samuell ffuller have heerunto sett my hand and seal the Date above written;
Samuell ffuller and a seal.
Joseph Laythorp        
Samuell Allin

Captaine Joseph Laythorpe made oth as a witness to this will before the Court held att Plymouth the fift of March 1683-84.

Mr Samuell Allin Made oath as a witnes to this Will above written this 10th of March 1683-84 before mee Barnabas Laythorpe Assistant.

Barnstable, Massachusetts was settled in 1639 when Parson Joseph Hull came to Cape Cod with and his congregation from Weymouth. A little later in the year, the Reverend John Lothrop brought his Congregationalists. They incorporated as the Town of Barnstable.
Understand the Puritans better:
The town common (commons) was a small, open field at the center of the town which was jointly owned. It was used as a marketplace, a place for the militia to drill, or for grazing livestock.

Seals were used to authenticate documents and men were expected to have a personal die. Records in deed books are copies and signatures are usually in the clerk’s handwriting. The clerk drew a circle around the word “seal” to indicate that the original document was sealed.

Estate inventories give us a glance into the home life of Colonial Americans.
Pewter is an alloy composed mainly of tin, but can include lead. It was used for dishes and utensils. Some colonists suffered lead poisoning from using it. It dents easily and lasted about ten years. It was expensive and wooden dishes were used most often.
A pair of Horse gears are the parts that allow wagon wheels to be turned by a horse.
wagon gearsx
A horse gear allows a horse to operate machinery.

A true Inventory of all and singular Goods Chattles and Credetts off) Samuell ffuller senir late of the Towne of Barnstable in the Govrment of New Plymouth in New England Deceased praysed att his house in Barnstable aforesaid the 14 Day of November in the year of our Lord 1683 by Joseph Laythorpe and Jededia Jones as followeth:

Itnpri his apparrell
Item in Cash
Item in 3 Guns amynition shooe Nailes & a peece of Lether
Item in Lynnin
Item in pewter and tin
Item in brasse
Item in trayes a Chern a tubb and a spoon and an old warming pan
Item Iron potts tonges slice frying pan and Candlesticke
Item a Cobbord old Chists a box & and bedsteed
Item tables and chaires bottles & old Gridiron
Item looking (glass ?) anthorne & buceen (bucket ?)
Item a feather bed bolster and two pillowes three blanketts a Coverlid & 2 ruggs
Item a peece of New holland other peeces of linnen serge and Cotton and a remnant of homade Cloth
Item a shirt Capps yarne sisers thrid
Item 2 seives a hatt and a tray
Item in beese and hunny
Item in old Cask basketts beer barrells & rundleit
Item in Corn in the (house ?) & in the barne
Item in Corne in the Cribb
Item in butter and Cheese
Item in beefe and pork tallow & hyde & hoggs fatt
Item in sheeps woole feathers Tobbaco baggs earthen Dish brimston
Item in Neat Cattle
Item in sheep
Item in swine
Item in horse kind
Item the Cart wheels plow Irons & Gears thereunto belonging
Item saddle bridle and horse Geares
Item Sheep sheers adds & other tooles
These sumes underneath are brought to the inventor the 25 of ffebruary 1683
Apprised by Jedediah Jones above

Mensioned Coming not to mind before;
Item in boards att
Item in a hatchell
Item in Skines a paire of Scales
Item in bookes
Item in Geese
Item an old tecken (ticking.1) att 00 05 00

The total is 116 05 09
The land & bousing not prised

John ffuller made oath to the truth of this inventory this 25 day of ffebrewary 1683-84 before Thomas Hinckley Gov - John Thacher Assistant"

A bed warmer or warming pan is a metal container with a handle which was filled with hot coals and placed under the bedcovers to warm the bed.

Gridirons were used for grilling meat. They were iron grills which stood on 3 legs with a handle. A drip pan was placed beneath them.

It was common for bequests to include wearing apparel.
Coverlets (Coverlid) are woven bedcovers, used as the topmost covering on a bed.


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©Roberta Tuller 2023
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