Monday, January 9, 2017

Amanuensis Monday-Will of Walter Franklin Terry

One of my third great-grandfathers was Walter Franklin Terry.  (See post Using Census Records to Tell the Story of Walter Franklin Terry)

Walter was born on the 12th of October 1804, to Joshua Terry and Elizabeth Ruland Terry.
Walter married Eliza Ann Tooker.
Walter and Eliza had 10 children-6 boys and 4 girls; Walter, Albert, Gilbert, Edward, Elizabeth, Ira, Emily, Josephine, Amelia and Charles.
Walter died 24th of March 1871.

At the time of the writing of the will,16 March 1871 (8 days before his death):
  • Walter’s first wife Eliza Tooker had passed away
  • Walter married Elizabeth Ruland in 1860
  • son-Walter, Jr. was married with children
  • son-Albert was married with children
  • son-Charles died in 1841
  • son-Gilbert was married with children
  • son-Edward was married with children
  • daughter-Elizabeth was married with children
  • son-Ira was married with children
  • daughter-Emily was married with a child
  • daughter-Josephine was 26 years old and married
  • daughter-Amelia was 18 years old
click on image to enlarge
Terry Walter 1871 Will page 1 Terry Walter 1871 Will page 2

The transcription of the Will is:

Suffolk County : Be it known that at a Surrogate’s Court held at Riverhead in and for the County of Suffolk, August 12th 1872. Present John R. Reid, Surrogate, the last Will and Testament of Walter F. Terry late of the Town of Southold in the said County, deceased, was proved before said before John R. Reid, the said Surrogate as a valid Will of Real and Personal Estate, which Will and Proofs are as follows:
I, Walter F. Terry Sen. Of the town of Southold, county of Suffolk, do hereby publish and declare my last will and testament as follows-

First, I give and bequeath to my daughter Amelia A. one hundred dollars, to my daughter Josephine V. fifty dollars, to my daughter Elizabeth F. twenty five dollars and to my daughter Emily A. twenty five dollars each one to receive the full amount clear of expense.

2ndly- After paying all incidental expenses, I will and bequeath to my wife Elizabeth the use of all the rest of my real and personal estate as long as she remains my widow. Upon her marriage or decease, I direct the same to be equally divided among my five sons and four daughters each son to have twice as much as each daughter. I desire also that the executors of this my last will and testament at their discretion as regards the sale of my real estate during the time my wife Elizabeth remains my widow. I also provide that my daughter Amelia have a home as long as my real estate remains unsold.
Lastly, I hereby appoint my two sons Edward H. and Gilbert as the executors of this my last will and testament.

Witness my hand and seal this 16th day of March, one thousand, eight hundred and seventy one, in the presence of  Clark Wright   &   Theodore A. Turner         
       W.F. Terry                         L.S.                                                     

I think it’s interesting that Walter left money to his daughters and the remainder of his estate to his wife.  Nothing was left to his sons unless his widow decided to remarry.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,


  1. It's interesting what is left to whom. I was working on a transcription of a will today also. This one was from back in 1699. It may be the oldest one I've transcribed. I think we really learn a lot by transcribing, rather than just reading through them.

  2. Yes, Diane, I definitely learn more by transcribing then by merely reading the document.