So it’s been like a year and a half since I went on my Genealogy Road Trip and I’m just now getting to some of the cool things I found. What can I say, I was in the middle of writing my novels. Now that I’m half way done publishing them, I’m trying to get through some of my backlog of work. Plus I got back into my study of the Rogers family since they figure so prominently in my third Novel (The Blood That Binds, The Purity of Blood Vol III available on amazon.com)
This week I’ve been working on the handwritten copy of the will of John Rogers Jr (1674-1753, husband of both Bathsheba Smith and Elizabeth Dodge) that I photographed while I was up at the New London County Historical Society. This copy is located in the Shaw Mansion where the Society’s little library is located. I have to say, it’s small but very impressive. I’m totally planning to stop back in when I take my next trip up to the area this fall. Now that I think about it, I actually mention the Shaw Mansion and the Society in my third book as a place my main character want’s to visit. She’s a genealogist too. :-)
So, down to the will …. This is what it says on their little library card slip that was in the file with the will:
Ms Q .R63jo Rogers, John
Will of John Rogers, N.L., 11 Sept. 1750, witnessed by Joshua Hempsted, Joshua Rathbun, Abigail Ames, executors to be Andrew Davis, son John Rogers, John Waterhouse. Mentions wife Elizabeth, sons John, James, Ichabod, Alexander, Nathaniel, Jonathan, Daniel, daughters Elizabeth Whipple, Bathsheba Stoddard, Jemima Cooley, Deborah, Sarah.
4p., 12 ½ x 7 ½.
Here’s a recap of John’s family so you know the players:
John Rogers Jr (1674-1753)
Married 1700: Bathsheba Smith (?-1721)
John Rogers III (a) (1700-1721) Died before will was made.
James Rogers Sr. (1701-1754)
Samuel Rogers (a) (1703-1704) Died before will was made.
Samuel Rogers (b) (1704-1708) Died before will was made.
Elizabeth Rogers (1706-?) Married Zachariah Whipple
Bathsheba (1708-?) Married Robert Stoddard
Jonathan (1711-?) Not mentioned in will so he may have died before September 1750.
Samuel (c) (1713-1805)
Jemima (1714-?) Married Unknown Cooley
Married 1722/3: Elizabeth Dodge (1695-?)
John III (b) (1724-1799)
Mary (1725-Aft 1800) Married Ebenezer Bolles
Sarah (1725-?) Since only one Daughter Sarah is mentioned in the will, one could assume that this Sarah died before 1730 and they named their next daughter Sarah as well.
Sarah (1730-?) This daughter Sarah is probably the one mentioned and although I have no reference for a death date, since the will is dated 1750 and she’s in it, it’s safe to assume her death occurred after September 1750.
Jonathan (1736-?) Not mentioned in will so he may have died before September 1750.
(Words in BOLD are my personal notes and not in the original will)
John Rogers Will Page 1
The 11th Day of the 7th month called September in year 1750
I John Rogers of New London in the County of New London Colony of Connecticut being weak of body but of sound mind memory considering my age and the mortality of my body and that it is appointed for all men once to dye, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say that first I do freely submit and surrender my spirit to god that gave it and my body to the Earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my executors nothing doubting xxx xxxx said last day of judgment, by the mighty power of God my Spirit and body shall again be united together. And as touching such world estate where with it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and from – first for the payment of my just debts if any should be and the maintenance of my Beloved wife Elizabeth and the bringing up of our small children. In case I should die before our youngest son Daniel comes to the age of fourteen years that then an inventory shall be taken of the movables and my son John xxx xxxis to pay his own part and my son James —— xxx till my son Daniel comes of the age of 16 years together with all-
Implements and for managing the farm as carts plows taxes hoes chains and all other tools of husbandry what sowes as alto what stock of creatures he sees cause to take for stocking the farm, that part of it above mentioned also all my servants to be at his command during said time in Consideration where of he is to maintain the family in and same way and manner as it now is and to pay such a rent annually towards the legacy hereafter mentioned as John Walterhouse Broth, John Bolles and my son Ebenezer Bolles (I believe this is probably his son-in-law, husband of daughter Mary) shall judge moderate and shall appoint him
Item, after my son Daniel comes to the age of fourteen years (In 1750, Daniel would have been 11 years old) I would have him put out to a trade and my son James is the to take his part of the farm which I now give unto him and is Bounded as followeth being the South part of the farm where I now dwell bounded on the North with a line from the Cold Spring
John Rogers Will Page 2
Spring which runs into the Cove near the old barn near I xxx to a heap of stones at the road from New London to Norwich errected by Capt Joshua Hempsted near a niery? Cassway in said road and on the west with said road to John Prentiss s land and South with said Prentess s land to the river (Probably Thames River) and east bounded by the river and Cove to the first mentioned Cold Spring with all xxx ledges and appartinances to him my said son James Rogers and to his heirs and assigns for ever upon some small considerations hereafter mentioned
Item to my son Samuel I give and bequeath that part of my farm on which he now dwells bounded as follows North with land now in said possession of the Wheelers west with the road from New London to Norwich (Probably the current Old Norwich Road/Williams Street that runs parallel to the Thames River) to a heap of stones errected Capt Joshua Hempstead near about 20 rods (About 330 feet or 110 yards) northward of Bakers barns an apple tree standing in the place thence running north to a stone in a Crocthed tree on a side hill near the Round pond and to in said same line to a heap of stones att a stump on the back of the bank of the round pond thence northward a straight line about thirteen rods (about 214.5 feet or 71.5 yards) to a rock with stones on it by a bit of Salt marsh xx westerly from the narrowest place in the gut thence bounded by the river (Probably Thames River) and coves to the before mentioned land in the possession of the Wheelers all which I give my said son Saml his heirs and assigns for ever
Item to my son John I give and bequeath the middle part of my farm I now live upon bounded as following on the north with Samuels part on the west with the road on the south with James part on the east with the Cove and river (Probably Thames River) containing mamacock and the Round pond.
Item, my land on the west side of the road I give and bequeath unto my three sons James Samuel and John to be equally divided between them James to have said south part Samuel the north part and John the middle part and as to said maintenance of my beloved wife Elizabeth my will is that after my son Daniel comes to the age of 14tn years in case I should not be living that then my executors here after named shall have full power to let
John Rogers Will Page 3
Let her out such bedding and household stuff together with all such privileges and convenencey as my and executors shall from time to time judge most proper as garden or fowls or any other privilege for the comfort of her life and also my executors shall have full power to order my three sons which have my homestead (viz) James, Samuel and John to provide her with wood and summering and wintering a cow or two as and Executors shall see needful and help convenient to make fire or other business as they shall from time to time shall judge needful both for herself and to entertain her friends in a proper manner and in case any or either of my And sons shall refuse or neglect to perform their part as theX and Executors shall order them so much of his or their land as they shall to neglect or refuse shall be chargeable with it my will is that my wife shall have then Eastroom of my dwelling house at her command and chamber over it and bedroom joining to it only my two youngest daughters is to have the liberty of living in the afore said East chamber and keeping their beds in it and other XXX until such time as they can be married if their mother sees case and if she dies before they marry their priveledge to remain what is above mentioned concerning my wife is to understood while she remains my widow but in case she marry again my will is she shall have two hundred pounds old tenour? In the room & stead of her hew dowery in my house and lands,
Item, I give to my son Ichabod my land att alewife cove Commonly called our upper place which I bought of Thomas Williams being about twenty acres to him his heirs and assigns for ever—
Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Alexander the land which I bough of Joseph Bolles xxx head of alewife cove being six acres and some rods the deed from said Bolles to me will describe the bounds att large to him his heirs and assigns for ever also I give my said son Alexander twenty pounds equal to New York money out of said moveable?
Item, to my son Nathaniel I give one hundred pounds in or equivalent to new york money
Item, to my son Jonathan I give one hundred pounds in or equivalent to new york money
Item, to my son Daniel I give one hundred pounds in or equivalent to new york money
John Rogers Will Page 4
Item, to my daughter Elizabeth Whipple I give xxxx one hundred and thirteen pounds as may be seen by my book my wife is that after my death she shall have one cow more.
Item, to my daughter Bathsheba Stodder I have given sixty nine pounds as may be seen in my book my will is that she be made equal with her sister Whipple in quality and quality in respect to the fall of money and also to have a good cow in part.
Item, to my daughter Jemima Cooley I have given one hundred and thirty pounds as may be seen in my book my will is that she shall have xxx pounds in or equal to new york money and xxx
my son Ebenezer Bolles to lay xxx for her in what she sees cause the reason on my giving her more than her Elder sisters is for the loss of her tender mother when she was young
Item, to my daughter Deborah I give fifty pound in or equal to new York money to be paid out of the moveable or rent a soon after my death as conveniently may be as also to have full liberty to live in the house and use the cellar and other conveniency about the house as she may have occasion of and the Little Chamber wholly to her self so long as she sees cause to live single XXX what she hath had already is not to be rekond as part of the 50 this I do in consideration of xxx xxxx she was very young
Item, to my daughter Sarah I give thirty five pounds in or equal to new york money also one bed and furniture to it equal to the best bed that either of my three eldest daughters has had
Item to my daughter Eliz the younger (John had two daughter named Elizabeth, one by each wife) I give thirty pounds in or equal to new York money as also a bed and furniture as is above expressed to my daughter Sarah, also my will is that in case X moveables and rents do not answer to pay my debts and legacy that they my 3 sons viz James, Samuel and John shall be accountable for them and that my son James in consideration of seventy eight pounds XX which he has formerly had of me when money was much more valued than now it is which is to be seen in my book as also so that his part of land with the buildings is more valuable then his brothers for these considerations my will is that in case the moveables and rents as afore said should not answer said legacy then James shall pay one half and Samuel and John each one a quarter of what remains yet none of them shall be compeled to pay their part xxx
John Rogers Will Page 5
Item, my son Samuel is to enter upon his part of the farm immediately after my death yet to pay such a rent as those three persons above mentioned shall order him till his brother Daniel comes to the age of fourteen years the rent is for the payment of the legacy hereafter mentioned.
Trying to decipher exactly where the land that is bequeathed in this will is located is very difficult seeing as it’s hard to determine where the apple tree and heap of stones were located in 1750 that define the borders of land.
About the only place mentioned that I was able to locate with certainty is Alewife Cove. Here is a map showing where it is located:
John gives the land at the head of the cove to his son Alexander (My grandfather)
“Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Alexander the land which I bough of Joseph Bolles xxx head of alewife covebeing six acres and some rods the deed from said Bolles to me will describe the bounds att large to him his heirs and assigns for ever”
John leaves what I would presume is the land below the head of the cove to his son Ichabod:
“Item, I give to my son Ichabod my land att alewife cove Commonly called our upper place which I bought of Thomas Williams being about twenty acres to him his heirs and assigns for ever”
I find it odd that John calls this parcel of land by Alewife Cove to be his “Upper Place” as geographically it’s more of a lower place.
The farm where John’s father & Grandfather (John Rogers Sr/James Rogers) lived is mentioned. Called Mamacock Farm (Sometimes spelled mamacocke or mamacoke) The farm was in the general vicinity of where Connecticut College stands as we know the family burial ground was located on its grounds and the Rogers Burial Ground is located down by the river just off the C.C. sports fields (see other blog entries I’ve done on this cemetery)
These entries in History of Montville and James Rogers of New London confirm that general location:
History of Montville, Connecticut, By Henry Augustus Baker, Published by, 1896, Pages 179-181
“II JOHN (4), b. 1 Dec., 1648, third son of James Rogers and Elizabeth Rowland; m. 17 Oct., 1670, Elizabeth, daughter of Mathew Griswold. The rite of marriage was performed by the father of the bride, and accompanied with the formality of a written contract and dowry, the husband settling his farm at upper Mamacock upon the wife in case of his death or separation from her during life.. This farm was situated about two miles north of New London, on the Thames River.”
James Rogers of New London, Ct: And His Descendants, By James Swift Rogers, Page 42
4. John Rogers (James), born Dec. 1, 1648 ……. John Rogers’ home farm extended on both sides of the Norwich road, two miles from New London, and was Mamacock farm, from the small rocky peninsula of that name which was one of it’s eastern boundaries. It was boarded for some distance by the Thames River. The central portion – Mamacock proper – was originally a grant to Rev. Mr. Blinman. It was but a part of his landed estate, much of which was disposed of in his life-time by gift. He was buried upon the bank of the Thames within the bounds of his Mamacock farm. This portion was set aside as a burial place, and was secured by his son John to his descendants for this purpose, by deed dated Nov. 13, 1751. (See page 23, supra.) It has been crossed by the railroad, and a portion bordering on the river was washed away by the great “September gale” (Sept. 23, 1815). A part of this burial place is still intact.
In his will, John leaves part of this land to his son John.
“Item to my son John I give and bequeath the middle part of my farm I now live upon bounded as following on the north with Samuels part on the west with the road on the south with James part on the east with the Cove and river containing mamacock and the Round pond.”
Here is a map showing what is now called Mamacoke Cove. On this map it is just a little north of where the cemetery is located and may be the cove mentioned in the above bequest to John from his father.
Mamacock Farm Location
Round Pond is mentioned as being close to Mamacock but I have not been able to find any reference yet to where it might be other than what it say below:
“Item to my son John … part on the east with the Cove and river containing mamacock and the Round pond.”
“Item to my son Samuel … near about 20 rods northward of Bakers barns an apple tree standing in the place thence running north to a stone in a Crocthed tree on a side hill near the Round pond and to in said same line to a heap of stones att a stump on the back of the bank of the round pond thence northward a straight line about thirteen rods to a rock with stones on it by a bit of Salt marsh xx westerly from the narrowest place in the gut thence bounded by the river (Probably Thames River) and coves…”
What we can take from the above: Round Pond is …
Close to Mamacock
Has a stump on the bank on the pond with a heap of stones by it.
Lies 13 rods south of a rock with stones on it by a bit of salt marsh.
Not much to go on, is it L and so I still have no idea where Round Pond is. Anyone out there know??
Another place that is referenced several times is a cold spring.
From the will we can deduce that the Cold Spring ran into a cove near the old barn. It is north of the farm that John Jr lived on. Not terribly far from the River. I did a lot of googling to see if I could find any other references that would help me, but didn’t find anything. I think this might take a bit more in person research.
If anyone out there has any insights on the boundaries described in the will, I’d love to hear from you.