Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Common Phrases

Even though I have read many old documents, I rely heavily upon common phrases that were used to help with transcription.  It makes a big difference on these aging eyes of mine!  Even after all these years, I do find it sometimes difficult to transcribe an entire document word from word.

For example, I transcribed the will of 6th generation grandfather, John Worsham, last evening.  The important parts of the will had been shared many years ago, but the entire will gives me a better impression of the man.  Common phrases for the period like, "I give my soul into the hand of God" and, "I have hereunto set my hand and seal," made the will easier to understand.  Other phrases like, "my well beloved wife," and "...things I give her during her life then to be sold..." told me that John wanted to make sure my 6th generation grandma was going to be okay without him.

 The will of JohnWorsham
written 24 June 1806
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

"In the name of God Amen, this 24th day of June 1806
I John Worsham being sick & weak in body but of
perfect mind & memory thanks be to God for its calling
to mind the mortality of my body & knowing that it is
appointed for all men once to die, Do make & ordain this
my last Will & Testament, that is to day principally & first
of all, I give my soul into the hand of God who gave it & my
body to the Earth to be buried in a decent Christian man-
ner nothing doubting but at the Resurrection I shall receive then
again by the mighty power of God, and as touching such worldly
Estate as it has pleased God to bless me with in this life, I do
dispose of the same in the following manner & form -
1st I give to my well beloved wife Dicey the plantation on whereas
I now live with two horse ? two cows & calves, two
sows & pigs, two feather beds & furniture with her choice of two
plows & two pairs of gears.  These things I give her during her
life then to be sold at 12 months credit & equally divided
between all my heirs my son Jeremiah Worsham ? I 
? and/or him to have no part of it; 2nd I give & bequeath
to my son Jeremiah Worsham fifty shillings currency - 
3dly I allow all my land &property except what I have
already willed to my wife & my son Jeremiah to be sold at
twelve months credit by my Executors which I shall here-
after name & my first debt paid out of it & the balance to be
equally between my son Hines & my daughter Whittey my
son Miles, my son William, my son Branch my son James, my 
daughter Nancy, & my daughter Dicey.  Lastly I constitute
& appoint John Harris Esquire & Thomas Barnett Executors
of this my last Will & Testament, and I evoke & disannul
all former Wills & Testaments by me made to be void & this
only to be my last Will &Testament in witness whereof
I have hereunto set my hand & seal this day and
year above written - "

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