George Phelps Will


Courtesy Angela Dean


GEORGE PHELPS born about 1606 Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England, died May 6, 1687.


He emigrated to New England, unmarried, with his elder brother William, and his wife and family, sailing from Plymouth, England, march 20, 1630 on the ship MARY & JOHN of 400 tons burden, Capt. Squeb, Master, with about 140 passengers.  They landed at Nantasket, May 30, 1630.  He settled at Dorchester, Massachusetts, with his brother and others of the Rev. Mr. Warham’s Church, the first settlers of Dorchester.In the Fall of 1635, he removed to the founding of Windsor, Ct, with the Rev. Mr. Warham’s Church, of which he was a member, in all about sixty.  He located in Windsor, at the junction of the Farmington and Great (Connecticut) Rivers.


APRIL: YE 24TH: 1683:  The last Will & Testament of George Phelps of Westfield, in the County of Hamshire, in the Colony of the Massachusetts Company, who being cracy of Body though yet my Memory of understanding by God’s Goodness is continued:  yet not knowing the tyme of my departure which I wait for, & Desire to commit my Soule to God that gave it & my Body to christian Burial; & Leave this as my Last Will.


Concerning my wife If it shall please God to continue her after me, & concerning my children:  And before I come to the disposal of my outward Estate, I desire thanke fully to acknowledge ye great and abundant Goodness of God to me in takeing care of me & providing for me the Comforts of this life, the hopes of a better, in and through the abundant riches of his grace through Jesus Christ:  And I desire to Leave this as a word of most solemn & weighty counsel to my deare children, firstly and chiefly above all things that they cleave to God, & to the covenant of his grace with all theire hart, & with all their souls laboring in sincerity to keep his covenant & to walke in his wayes, to observe his statutes & do ym. & to associate ym selves with them that feare God to live in love & peace both one with another & with all men, that so the God of Love & peace may dwell with them & keep them in his feare & crown ym with his blessings especially with spiritual blessings in Cnt Jesus.


Concerning my Dear wife, I exhort my children to be careful & tender of her, Loveing and dutyful towards her in all things, that she want nothing that may be necessary to her comfortable subsistence, to hearken & attend to her Counsel from time to time: and I give unto my wife, all my bedding & house hold stuffe for her use & to be at her free dispose at her decease, and twenty pounds which is due to me from Taham Graunt of Windsor, if she need it not herselfe, to be disposed of by her to such of her relations as she shall judge have most need:  And for her maintainence while she lives, I give unto my wife Two pounds fifteen shillings p Annum, to be paid by my Son Joseph Phelps of Windsor, in halfe wheate and the halfe Indian Corn, during her life:  Also I give unto my wife six pounds per Annum to be paid by my three Youngest sons, Jacob, John & Nathaniel, each of them forty shilling to be yearly paid during her life:  further I give unto my wife the use of my Land at Windsor, which Lyes on the east side of the great River, being Ten Rods in breadth more or less, & a quarter part of yt orchard & if these be expended & the use of yearly income be not sufficient for her comfortable maintenance, then a part of all this Land shall be disposed of as need shall be:  But if the Sale of this Land be not needed for my wive’s necessary use whilst she lives, then after her decease with what other Lands, now in Common may afal to me at Windsor, I give to my Sons as followeth:


To my son Isaac a Third Part & to my son Joseph a Third part, & the remaining third part I give to my sons Jacob, John and Nathaniel:  Also I give to my son Jacob four acres of the Northerly end of my home lot here in Westfield, with the  house, barns & orchard  upon it, only reserving one end of the house for my wife whilst she lives:  And seeing he hath all my buildings here, he shall help his brothers John & Nathaniel, if ye build in Westfield, each of them a month work with his own hands, & his Team six days:  And a third part of the fruit of the orchard to John if he live here, & a third part to Nathaniel for seven yeeres after the date here of.   They maintaining each of ym a third part of the fence of the orchard:  Also I give to my son Jacob a third part
of my Meadow Lands in Westfield, the whole being in estimation four score acres:   further I give to my son John all my land on the East side of the Highway at my house with the Low Land by the River, for a home lot, one third part of my meadow Land in Westfield, the whole being in estimation 80 acres.


I give my son Nathaniel the remainder of my House Lot, being about seven acres & one third part of my Meadow in Westfield, the whole being in estimation four score acres.


I give to my son Isaac, the best coats of my wearing apparel & My Mare, the colt I give to his son Isaac my grandchild:  the rest of my wearing apparel, I give to my Sons Jacob, John and Nathaniel.  That this is my last will & testament if I doe not otherwise order before my Decease.  I testify by subscribing my hand; And doe desire Ensign Lumes & my Son Isaac Phelps be over seers, & take care that my Last will be pformed to the true Intent & meaning thereof:  And I doe order my three youngest
Sons to se al my Just debts paid.  And if anything appeare dubious, or any difficulty arise in or by the Interpreting, or understanding of my will or anything relating thereunto, I order it may be referred to the hearing & determination of or Reverend Pastor Mr. Taylor and Ensign Lumes, whom I impower to determine the same as they shall.


Jude right:  That this is my Last will & Testament I testify by subscribing my hand the day & year before mentioned.


the Mark  X  of George Phelps
Subscribed in the presence of:  Edward Taylor, Samuel Loomes, Isaac Phelps.


Mr. Edward Taylor & Samuel Loomes did Personally appeare before John
Pyncheon Esq., the Judge of the prerogative Corte for the tyme of George Phelps deceased his signing the writing on the three sides this Instrument, & that he did sign it as his last Will and Testament, and that he was of sound memory & mind to the best of their discerning, and Isaac, Jacob & John & Nathaniel Phelps, four of said deceased sons, are approved & legally confirmed to be Administers to the Estate of ye said father & to see to the true performance of this their said father’s last will and testament according to the true Intents year of:


As attests John Holyoke, Clerke of Said Corte.


June 15th, 1687, this is here recorded in these records for Will from the original last will and Testament of the above said George Phelps of Westfield late deceased.


P. John Holyoke, Clerke for said Records


A copy of the Inventory of the Estate of George Phelps of Westfield, in Hampsire, deceased presented to the Judge of the Prerogative Corte for Hamshire, in his ma ties Territory & Dominion of New England.


An Inventory taken of the Estate of George Phelps of Westfield, who
departed this life May 8, 1687.
1.  The Homestead was prized at….38p. 0s. od.
2.  Lands in the field 80 acres in est…..206p.
3.  Land at Windsor…..40p.
4.  Bedding & Household Stuff at…..18p.
5.  Wearing Apparel…..8p. 16s.
6.  Bookes, Tooles, Iron, Saddle, Bridle, Jersey Cloath & other small
things at….6p.14s.


This estate was taken and prized by us…..317p. 10s.
Samuel Loomes
Jno. Sacket
June 4th & June 6th 1687


Source:  THE PHELPS FAMILY OF AMERICA & THEIR ENGLISH ANCESTORS, compiled by Judge Oliver Seymour Phelps of Portland, Oregonand Andrew T. Servin of Lenox, Mass.  Published Pittsfield, Mass. 1899.