Essex Probate Records:
In the name of God, Amen. The 29 Day of January 1710 Michael Dunnell of Topsfield being in perfect Memory & Remembrance yet Thro Infirmity of Body, being put in mind of my Mortality, I doe make this my Last Will & Testament. In manner & form as follows. First I Commit my Soul into ye hands of God, who gave It, & my Body to a Decent burial. In hopes of a glorious Ressurrection, at ye last Day. Thro ye power & meritts of Jesus Christ my Lord -- and as for my Out ward Estate yet God hath given mee I Doe Give & bequeathe, as followeth.
1. My Will is. That all my Lawfull Debts be paid out of my Estate, by my Executrix hereafter mentioned & funeral charges.
Item, I give and bequeathe Unto my son Michaell, all that parcell of Land abounding his house, as he hath improved for himself-- Also a parcell of Meadow joyning to said Upland as It is bounded by a Cart Way, to Mr Joseph Porters Line: Lyeing like a halfe Moon & Called ye Swamp Meadow, binding him ye said Michaell to maintain a good fence, half the way between us: And I do give to my son Michaell a parcell of Swamp Land, Lying on ye West side of ye high way to Salem, as It is bounded, and Lying by Mr. Joseph Porters, Grand Hill--further I Doe give to my said son Michaell a parcell of Upland & Meadow bounded by ye Corner of ye Town bridge, running southerly round a Cove as ye fence goes to a pair of Barrs on a straite Line, to Joseph Towne his new Dwelling house till it meet the River and so by ye River to the Bridge Again.
Item, I Doe Give & bequeathe to my Son Thomas--all the Land, he is possessed of, about his house & from Town's Land, as he is bounded on the West Side, on both corners of his house Lott, running Easterly till It meets with Salem Line; being a Triangle piece of about Two Acres, be it more, or less as it is bounded. Also his parcell of ye Swamp, as it is divided with his brothers. Also Three Acres and a halfe of ye River Meadows, bounded by Michaells Meadow and ye East End Two Acres, and a halfe, and by the Westerly angle bounded from the Southerly side of ye Ford & so To joyn upon he Two acres & halfe of Upland as afore mentioned.
Item, I Doe give to my Son John ye North End of my Dwelling house & halfe my home roads, upon the Consideration He Shall pay Ten Pounds, as I shall order in this my Will--Also my Will is that my Son John shall have his Division in my Swamps, & halfe ye Cow pasture, also halfe ye River Meadow of what shall be left when Michaell and Thomas shall be measured off--Also my will is my Son John Sahll have ye Barn, only allowing his Mother so much of It as she shall have occassion for her own use, and Benefit during her Natural Life.
Item, I give to my Son Joseph his Division in the Swamps together with an equal Division as Michael Jr. and those mentioned to John--my will is that they both carry on together if they can--if not, the Divide half of my house goods between them, & my Will is that Joseph shall pay Ten pounds, as I shall order & that Joseph shall have equal share with John, in my River Meadow & further my will is that my Son John & Joseph shall keep for my wife Two Cows and a Horse, and Ten Sheep--my wife finding fodder for them--Also she shall have liverty of milking the Cows in pasture--further my Will is that John shall pay Five pounds to my Daughter Mary Hovey and Five pounds to my Daughter Elizabeth and Twenty Shillings to my Daughter Susannah Killum's child. Also my will is my Son Joseph shall pay to my daughter Maudlin Wholewright Five pounds to my Daught Johanna Five pounds, & to my Daughter Killum's child, Twenty Shillings.
Further my will is that Joseph shall have no power to sell my Land, without by power of His Mother, and she not to Grant any without by advise & counsell of Mr. Joseph Porter, Deacon Sam Howlett & Abram Glover, my tried, and faithfull friends, to oversee that matter.
Further my will is, that my son Holgate, shall have the use of One Acre of Land, in the Corner of that part of my home Road, as is to my Sons, Michael, John & Joseph, next to ye high way by Mr. Joseph Porters Line, if said Holgate shall see cause to come, and live upon it, in his life time.
Item, I Doe give & Bequeathe to my beloved wife Mary The East end of my Dwelling house, with all my land from the corner of my Son John's Orchard--Down to the Middle of the House, to the two Chimnies, from between the Two houses southerly to the Bars, before the Doors, so on a straite Line to Mr. Joseph Porters Line, with both my Orchard Collars, and Cydar Mill Also all my house hold Goods, and moveables, a Horse, and Two Cows, and Ten Sheep to be kept by my son John and Joseph Summer and Winter, only she find fodder for them, further my will is I Doe constitute my beloved wife Sole Executrix to this my last will and Testiment. In Testimony hereof, I have hereunto Sett my hand & seal this Twnety ninth day of June Seventeen hundred and Ten & in the Tenth year of the Reigne of our Soveraign Lady Queen Anne 1710.
John How Michael + Dunnel
Samuel Howlett his mark
Whereas It was forgott, in the other side of this my will to make Disposition and sale of what is in my Wife's hands C S to Lands, or other Estate. My Will is I Doe hereby Impower my beloved wife Mary to make free & full Disposal as she shall see Good, only not from my children. To whom & of whom she shall see Good, for it is always to be understood that my will is yet all my wife Doe--The Land shall not be sold from my sons, or given from my sons, provided They shall be willing to Give as any other will & also all parcells of Lands to give my Sons that shall be Living to have refusal of it--yet my Lands many not goe to Strangers, unless through my Son's Will.
This is the last article of my Last Will & Testament as witness my hand & Seale This Fifth day of Februay Seventeen hundred and Twelve and Twelfth year of ye Reigne of our Soveraigne Lady Queen Anne.
In Witness of Michael + Dunnell
John How his mark