What's an Amanuensis, you say? It's a copyist: someone who sits like a crazy person squinting their eyes and probably ruining eyesight to read that old document hand-written so very long ago and type it out. We do because we love:)
This last year Mom decided that she finally wanted to put her big tree on Ancestry. She had been reluctant to do so but we chatted about it and figured out a way to avoid the pitfalls. You see, Mom built out her tree over the last 40 years plus, and did it for her own pleasure. She has plenty of notebooks with copies of original wills, birth and death certificated, marriage certificated, email and handwritten and typed letters to people all over the place chasing down this or that ancestor. When she got a computer, internet access, and finally Family Tree Maker she was in heaven! But the thought of putting her tree online and have people picking at her, "hey, lady, where did you get that?" was not for her.
Long story short, her Big Tree with all 60,000 people is now on Ancestry as Virginia Williams Kelly's Big Tree. Every week I field a couple of comments about it and invariably the question, hey lady where did you get that. At 94, Mom is not about to go diving into her numerous files for sources. And mostly we get question inquiring about wives names, and the names of all the kids. We answer what we can.
Last week I got an Ancestry message that made all this back and forth messaging worth it. This one was different in that it was short and gave a link to an image on FamilySearch. Hmmm. It said:
"I came across this will which may or may not fit into your tree. It can be seen at:...."
Well I don't just go clicking on links cause you know how that is... next thing, some Nigerian prince has the pin number to my bank account and we're married;) But I checked it out and then loaded it in my browser. Sure enough, up popped a beautifully clear copy of the will of Peter Yeast 1808 - 1851, my great, great, great step grandfather naming his wife, GGGGM Sarah Wooten Waggoner Yeast 1810 - 1870, all of his children (but not naming my GGGM, Sarah Waggoner 1825 - 1880, who was not his child.) Mom and I were both thrilled to have it!
OK, so I'd like to give you a peek at it but my Blogger photo uploader really isn't working and I don't know what to do about that, but I can provide the transcription of it and that's what I'll do. (See fix, below.)
Will of Peter Yeast, dated June 11, 1851:Maryland Register of Wills Book, 1629-1983 > Allegany > Wills 1851-1863 vol B > Image 13 of 178
In the name of God Amen, I Peter Yeast of Allegany County, State of Maryland being sick and weak of 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 thereby 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 into the hands of Almighty God and my body to the earth, to be decently buried, and after my debts and funeral charges be paid, I devise and bequeath as follows after my debts are all paid. – I devise and bequeath all my property of whatever kind, real and personal to my dear wife Sarah for her natural life, or so long as she remains my widow; at her death, or in the event of her getting married, all the property herein bequeathed and devised shall descend equally to my children; namely, William, John, Alfred, Thomas, Elizabeth and James Michael Yeast. There remains yet to be paid five hundred dollars, due in seven years on the real estate which I purchased of W. M. F. Magraw and Asa Beall and their wifes, which sum of money it is my wish shall be paid when due or sooner if possible without a sale of the above real estate, or any part thereof: but if it becomes necessary to sell any part for the payment of the said five hundred dollars, it is my wish it shall be taken from the back part of the land.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this Eleventh day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and fifty one.
Peter Yeast (Seal)Signed, sealed, published and declared by Peter Yeast the above named testator, as for his last will and testament in the presence of us, who at his request, in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.
Nancy W. Hofford
Basil T. Garlitz
Addendum, 1 8 2013 RE: Blogger Photo Uploader: I googled "Blogger photo upload help" and read what it had to say. Long story short, IE doesn't read the box at the top of the Upload line, but it works just fine in Google Chrome! Am back in business uploading pix:)
The URL for this post is: http://nutsfromthefamilytree.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-will-of-peter-yeast-ancestry-tree.html