Thomas Nelson’s Will

Courting Bridge

Thomas Nelson’s Will

Reprinted from the Essex County Probate Records, Vol. 1, page 346

(Spelling left intact as document was written)


 I, Thomas Nelson of Rowley in the County of Essex in New England being by Providence called now to make a voyage into old England, not knowing what may befall me therein upon several considerations dispose of  and settle the estate which God hath given me (by way of will) in manner and forme following.

Imprimis I give unto my beloved wife Joane for her natural life, my mill, mill house with aptennances situate & being within the limits of Rowley & all that ground near unto the said mill, which was lately in the occupation of Joseph Wormhill & all that my upland & meadow or other ground which lyeth betweene Rowley ox pasture on one part the common on another part, & the mill river & the brooke that goeth from town on the other part thereof, all which lands or grounds containeth by estimation fifty acres, be it more or less provided she make noe other claim to any other part of my houses, lands, tenements, hereditaments & c.

Item I give her two acres of ground during her natural life in the pond field, next Mr. Rogers (leaving out the pond) to build her house, the remainder or reversion of which mill & land & premises, & all other my houses, lands, tenaments, hereditaments I give among my children & to their heirs as well as that child, which my wife is withal the rest.

Item I giv & bequeath to my eldest son Philip a double portion, & to my son Thomas Nelson and my daughter Mercy Nelson & the child or children she is withal their equal part, provided if any of them dye before they come to the age of twenty and one years or marriage, then their parts to be equally divided among the surviving children.


Item, my will is that RichardBellinghamEsq. & my Honored uncle Richard Dummer Gent. Shall have the education of my sons Philip Nelson & Thomas Nelson, & the portion of their estates both of lands & goods for their education & mayntenance, till they come to twenty one years and then they receive their estates & the overplus above their mayntenance, giving a sufficient discharge.

Item my will is that my wife & my uncle Richard Dummer shall have the education of my daughter Mercie Nelson & the other child my wife is withal & the proportion of their estates both of lands & ???? for their education and mayntenance, till they marry and then they to receive their estates & the overplus above maintenance, giving a sufficient discharge.

Item I give unto my wife Joane four choice cows, one choice mare, and ten pounds to build her a house.

Item I give unto my son Philip Nelson ten pounds, which was given him by my aunt Kathren Witham and is in my hands and his plate marked with his name PN & to my second son Thomas Nelson a wine boule and one silver spoon, all the rest of my personal estate, my debts being paid I give unto my children to be equally divided as above only my eldest son Philip to have a double portion.

Item I make Mr. Richard Bellingham & my uncle Richard Dummer my executors of this my last will and testament, & my desire is & I would intreat Mr. Ezekiel Rogers of Rowley & Mr. John Norton of Ipswich to be my overseers, & my mind further is, if any difference arise concerning this my last will & testament my overseers shall have the hearing & deciding of the same.

Item I give unto my wife all her wearing apparel her chest, box, bed, & furniture & silver beaker.

December 24, 1645 Thomas Nelson

Sealed signed & delivered in the presence of Jeremy Houchen, Ezekiel Northend

Deposed by Jeremy Houchen the 21 of the 10 month 1649 before the court, Increase Nowell Cleric

Deposed by Ezekiel Northend the 26th of the first month 1650 before the court at Ipswich Robert Lord Cleric


2 thoughts on “Thomas Nelson’s Will

  1. Thank you so much for this post! I descend from Philip Nelson, Thomas Nelson’s eldest son and find Thomas’s will to be so interesting as it gives a glimpse into his life and character.


    1. Your welcome. I will post more when I find it. I’m learning how to improve my research and documentation. If you see something that doesn’t look correct, please don’t hesitate emailing me.


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