Week 9 of 52 Ancestors – Where There’s a Will

Week 9 (26Feb-4Mar) prompt was ‘Where There’s a Will’

Straight away I thought about my 3xgreat grandparents James and Mary Ann Shingles as I had found a digital copy of their probate papers on the Public Record Office of Victoria (PROV) website but realised that an actual copy of their wills were not included.

I decided to do a search on the word ‘Will’ under my Family Tree folder on my external hard-drive.  As you can imagine I got numerous results because anyone with the name William came up straight away.  As I was scrolling down I found one entry that I immediately knew I was going to use.

Henry Witt (1679-1749)

My 7th great grandfather Henry Witt was born in 1679 in Broad Hinton, Wiltshire, England to Henry Witt and Esther Sawyer.

He was baptised on 8 Feb 1679 at St Peter’s Church in Broad Hinton.

On 29 Oct 1713 he married Mary Goodbody at St Peter & St Paul’s Church in Ringwood, Hampshire, England.

They had four children Henry (1714-1757), John Witt (1717-?), William (1719-1804 – my 6th great grandfather) and Elizabeth Witt (1723-?).

On 11 Feb 1748/9 Henry signed his will in Ibsley, Southampton, England.

Henry Witt Will 1748

Translation – In the name of God Amen I Henry Witt of the parish of Ibsley in the county of Southampton being weak in body but sound in mind and memory than be to God do make this my last will and testament in manner following principally I resign my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it me and my body to the Earth from whence it was taken to be decently buried at the discretion of my executors hereafter named as for that position of thy worlds goods it hath pleased Almighty God to intrust me with all I give and bequeath as follows.  First I give unto my son William the sum of five pounds of Lawfull British mony. Item I give unto my four children that is to my three sons Henry, John and William and to Elizabeth my daughter each the sum of twenty pounds of like money all with Legacys to be paid within one year after my decay.  Item all the residual and remainder of my goods and chattels rights and credits my debts funeral charges and proving this my will being first paid I give unto my two sons Henry and William share and share alike which said two sons Henry and William I do nominate and appoint joint executors in full of they my will. I’m witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this eleventh day of February in the year of our Lord 1748/9.

Signed sealed and published and declared by the above named Henry Witt (the words of like mony and of this my will be first interlined to be his last will and testament in the presence of us George Bussey (&) Henry Goodbody

Henry died in Ibsley on 20 Aug 1749. Mary had preceded him on 22 Aug 1733.

Henry Witt Grave

It reads: Here lyeth the body of Henry Witt who died Aug the 20 1749 aged 65 years also Mary his wife who died August 22 1733 aged 55 years.

Photograph and copy of will supplied by Len and Val Meylin.

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I have been researching my family history since 2009. I am interested it the family names Shingles, McEwan, Snowdon & Witt around Gippsland and Wodonga areas of Victoria, Australia

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