Monday, February 11, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Ann Wishart Senior

Ann Wishart (ca.1720 - 1770) was my 7th great-grandmother.  Her line of descent is one I've worked on in recent years, and I'm long overdue recounting an interesting (I think) story from over a year ago.  

In November 2011, I spent a week at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City as part of the NEHGS annual tour.  One of my self-appointed tasks for the week was to get additional details and records on the line going back to Ann Wishart.  I spent the bulk of the week on the 2nd floor, in semi-darkness, delighting in the reels of microfilm records at my fingertips.  When not using the microfilm, I'd emerge briefly onto the fully lit 3rd floor for print item (book) use before heading back to the microfilm.  I saved most online lookups for my hotel room in the evenings.  So it was in my hotel, doing some semi-random Googling after a long day, that I first turned up the following reference to Ann's will.

Wulf, Karin A.  Not All Wives: Women of Colonial Philadelphia.  Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2000, p. 149.

I'd known I was descended from Ann, and knew approximately when she lived, but had no idea or inkling that she was a tradeswoman.  Through Wulf's footnote [95] I was easily able to find Wishart's will at the library the next day.  The full transcription follows:

[start page 1]
Be it remembered that I Ann Wishart Sen. of the City of Philadelphia in the Province of Pennsylvania Tallow Chandler being in good Bodily Health and of sound an well Disposing Mind and Memory, Blessed be God for the same and all other his Mercies and Favours, But calling to Mind the uncertainty of this present Life.  Do therefore think fitt to make this my last Will and Testament in manner and Form following, that is to say, First I give and devise unto my Loving Daughter Jemima Edwards of the City of Philadelphia Widow, the Sum of Five Shillings and also to my loving Son William Wishart of the said City, the sum of Five Shillings, and thirdly I do give & deviss
[end page 1]

[start page 2]
unto my Loving Daughter Ann Wishart Junr of said City, the sum of Five Shillings, and also I do devise unto said Daughter Ann Right and previlage in this my Mesuage or Tenement in which I now dwell, the largest Frunt Shop, the Frunt Chamber up one pair of Staires and the Frunt Garrot, with the use and previlage of the Kitchen to have and to hold to my said Daughter Ann for and during the Term of her Natural Life and no longer.  And from and Immediately after the decease of my said Daughter Ann I do give and devise all her Rights and previlage in my said Mesuage or Tenement, to my son Thomas Wishart of the
said City Tallow Chandler, and I Do give and divise unto my said son Thomas all this my Mesuage or Tenement, exclusive of that part I have devised to my Daughter Ann: wherein I now Dwell, situated lying and being in frunt Street at the corner of Jones's Alley, commonly called Pewter Plater Alley in said City together with the Mesuages, Tenements, Edifices, Buildings and improvements Erected standing, being or made, and their and every of their Rights, Members and Appurtenances as also my Negro man called Ceasar, and a Quart Silver Tankard with all my Household Goods, Househould and Kitchen Furniture, with all the Implements for carrying on the Chandling Business.  To hold to him my said son Thomas his Heirs and Assigns forever.  And I nominate and appoint my said son Thomas and my said Daughter Ann to be the Executors of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former Wills and Testaments by me made, and do declare this only to be my last Will and Testament.  In Witness whereof I the said Ann Wishart Senr have hereunto set my hand and seal the fifth day of July in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty nine.  Ann Wishart [seal]
Signed Sealed Published and declared by the said Ann Wishart Senr for and as her last Will and Testament in the presence of us, who have hereunto subscribed our Names as Witnesses of the same in her presence and at her request.  NB I do further give and devise unto my Daughter Ann use of the Yard Pump Garding
Witness Thos Wharton Jur Caleb Jones. ----------
Philad: February 12, 1770 Personally appeared Thomas Wharton Ju and Caleb Jones, the two witnesses to the foregoing Will, and on their solemn Affirmation according to Law did declare that they saw and heard Ann Wishart the Testatrix therein Named Sign Seal Publish and Declare, the same Will for and as her last Will and Testament and that at the doing thereof she was of sound disposing Mind Memory and Understanding to the best of their knowledge & Belief
                                                           Coram Benjamin Chew Reg GenS
Be it remembered that on the 12th day of February 1770 the last Will and Testament of Ann Wishart deceased in due form of Law was proved and probate and Letters Testamentary thereof were granted to Thomas Wishart and Ann Wishart Executor in the said Will Named being first solemnly Affirmed well and truly to administer the said Deceaseds Estate and being an Inventory thereof into the Register Generals Office at Philadelphia on or before the 12th day of March next and render a true and just account of the of the said Administration on or before the 12th day of February 1771 or when thereto Legally required given under the seal of the said Office.  Benjamin Chew Reg Genl.
[end page 2]

Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Will Book No. O, Years Covered 1766-1771: no. 342, will of Ann Wishart Senior, 1770; FHL microfilm 21,726.