#52Ancestors “Where There’s a Will”

Welcome to week 18 of my Genealogy challenge, from the wonderful Amy Johnson Crow, of writing something about your Ancestors for a whole year, #52Ancestors in 52 weeks.

Week 18’s prompt is “Where there’s a Will”, but which Will to choose?

This is The Last Will and Testament of my 5 x Great Grandfather John Haynes of Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, dated 12th September 1783.

I chose this Will for a couple of reasons, firstly it’s the oldest Will that I have managed to trace and secondly because it enabled me to jump an extra generation by mentioning John Haynes Grandson, Thomas Day, my 4 x Great Uncle.

What was even more special, amongst the items left to Thomas Day were two lambs.

John Haynes Will 2


The transcription of the Will is as follows;


The Last Will and Testament of John Haynes


In the name of God amen,

I, John Haynes of the parish of King Stanley in the county of Gloucester, Husbandman being through the abundant mercy of God, though weak in body but sound of disposing mind and memory, thanks be to almighty God.

Calling to mind the certainty of death but the uncertainty of the time to make constitute and ordain this, my last will and testament in manner and form following (preceding all former wills made) in the first place I commend my soul into the hands of God who gave it and my body to the dust from whence it was.

John to be buried in decent and of Christian burial at the discretion of my executrix hearing after, Samed and as for my estate of worldly things I should dispose here as follows. First I will that all my just debts shall be paid by my executrix and after that my funeral expenses and just debts are paid I give and bequeath unto my grandson Thomas Day. Two lambs, a silver watch and a pair of silver buckles _________. All other my monies, household good and chattels and whatever to me belongs shall be divided into three equal shares, two thirds of the share I give and bequeath unto Sarah Haynes my loving wife for she to do, order and dispose of her own free will and pleasure. And the third share I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Day. Also I order and appoint Mr John Dimock of Bridge End in the parish of Stonehouse in the county of Gloucester, Clothier and Mr William Clarke of Sastend in the parish of Eastington in the county of Gloucester, aforesaid Husbandman to be sole trustees to this my last will and testament and lastly I appoint Sarah Haynes my loving wife to be sole executrix to this my last will and testament written this 12th day of September within the year of our lord 1783.


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10 thoughts on “#52Ancestors “Where There’s a Will”

  1. Your documentation is superb. Amy Johnson’s hints have really helped us with our choices of stories to write. Thank you for sharing yours.


  2. It gives goosebumps to read a document with is THAT old, knowing that it was written by one of your ancestors!


  3. You can learn so much from reading wils, and now you can download PDF’s very cheaply from the probate office. I’ve managed to find quite a few of my ancestors wills there.


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