Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Abstract of 1752 Will of Joseph Pell of the Manor of Pelham

Yesterday I posted to the Historic Pelham Blog an item entitled "Abstract of 1752 Will of Thomas Pell, Jr. of the Manor of Pelham". Today I am providing a transcription of an abstract of the 1752 will of Joseph Pell of the Manor of Pelham. Joseph Pell [Sr.] was the eldest son of Thomas Pell [II] who, in turn, was the eldest son of John Pell, nephew of Thomas Pell, First Lord of the Manor of Pelham. Thus, Joseph Pell [Sr.] has been referenced by Pell Family genealogists as "Fourth Lord of the Manor of Pelham".

"221. Joseph Pell Esq, Pelham.

Leaves to son Joseph all my neck of land with half my meadow in the Manor of Pelham, commonly called the upper neck, joining to the west side of Ann Hooks neck, now belonging to Samuel Rodman. Leaves to son Thomas all the Tract or Plantation whereon I now live, and the other half of meadows. Provides for wife Phebe, and daughters Susannah, Sarah and Ann. Makes 'my trusty friends John Bartow of Westchester, Samuel Sneden of Eastchester, and Jacobus Bleecker of New Rochelle,' executors.



Aug. 31, 1752.
Proved Sept. 28, 1752."

Source: Pelletreau, William S., Early Wills of Westchester County, New York : From 1664 to 1784 : A Careful Abstract of All Wills (Nearly 800) Recorded in New York Surrogate's Office and at White Plains, N.Y. From 1664 to 1784 : Also the Genealogy of "the Havilands" of Westchester County and Descendants of Hon. James Graham (Watkinson and Ackerley Families) : with Genealogical and Historical Notes, p. 122 (NY, NY: F. P. Harper 1898).

In his book on the history of Pelham published in 1946, Lockwood Barr traced the "line of descent of the title of Lord of the Manor of Pelham", though he indicated that he had been unable to establish a date of death for Joseph Pell [Sr] born in 1715. See Barr, pp. 35-36. Barr further suggested that Joseph Pell [Sr.] died before his father, Thomas Pell II who died in 1752. According to Barr, Thomas Pell II's will was filed August 18, 1752. See Barr, pp. 35-36 (citing Surrogate Office, New York Record of Wills, Vol. X, ong. pp. 155-156, dated 1751-54").

The abstract of the will quoted above seems to establish that Barr was incorrect. If Thomas Pell II's will was filed August 18, 1752 he must have died on or before that date. The will of his eldest son, Joseph Pell I, is dated August 31, 1752 and was proved September 28, 1752, indicating that Joseph Pell I, died some time between those two dates, apparently only weeks after his father's death. To make matters even more interesting, 1752 was the year that England and its colonies including America adopted the Gregorian Calendar. September 2, 1752 was the last day of the Julian Calendar. The following day, due to the change over to the Gregorian Calendar, was September 14, 1752. There was no September 3 - September 13 that year. Thus, it would appear that Thomas Pell II and his son, Joseph Pell I, died even closer in time to one another -- within about a one month period.

The fact that the two died so close in time suggests, but does not establish, that the two died of a related sickness.

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