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.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

1791 Will of Benjamin Guion of the Town of Pelham

As previously noted, in 1951, the New Rochelle Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution prepared and distributed a typewritten manuscript entitled "OLD WILLS OF NEW ROCHELLE Copies of Wills By Citizens of New Rochelle, N. Y. 1784-1830". The manuscript includes transcriptions of a number of wills of early residents of the Town of Pelham.

One such will was that of Benjamin Guion of the Town of Pelham prepared on August 15, 1791 and proved on September 24, 1791. The text of that will appears below, followed by a citation to its source.


Liber B of Wills, page 188 Aug. 15, 1791

In the name of God Amen, I Benjamin Guion of Pelham in the County of West Chester and State of New York, being sick and Weak of body but of a sound disposing mind memory and understanding Do make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following: First I order my just debts and funeral charges to be paid by my Executors hereafter named. Secondly I give to my wife Sarah the One third of all my real Estate and the room in the south west end of my house during her Widowhood. Thirdly, I give to my sister Elisabeth Guion that part of my house where she now lives to-wit: The Northeast and thereof, her firewood and Victuals as long as she shall live. Fourthly, I give all the remainder of my real Estate (or all my real Estate) to be divided at the Death or re-marriage of my said wife to my daughters Elizabeth, Susanna, Phebe and Mary or the survivor or survivors of them to be sold or divided as they and my Executors hereafter named shall thin most adviseable. Fifthly, All my personal estate I give to my said daughters share and share alike to be divided to them respectively as they come of age or marry, by my Executors hereafter mentioned. Except the bed, bedding and furniture which at present belongs to and is claimed by my wife and also my Negro man named Pomp, who I hereby give her if he is contented to live with her in peace, if not she may dispose of him as she thinks proper. I think it would be best not to sell the real Estate if any of my daughters remain unmarried at the death or remarriage of my said Wife Though I am free and it is my will they use their discretion. And if they or the survivors of them or who of them shall take upon themselves the execution of this my will shall think it most advisable, I hereby impower them in any manner they may they may [sic] think fit to sell it and to give good and sufficient deeds in law to the purchaser or purchasers. It is also my wil that all my stock of cattle Horses, Hogs together with my farming utensils, remain this and the ensuing year on the farm for the use of my Wife Sister and Children and longer even as long as my Executors hereafter named shall observe my wife to manage with prudence & Discretion. Lastly I hereby nominate & appoint my brother Elias Guion & ye Revd Theodocius Bartow executors and my daughter Elizabeth executrix of this my last Will and Testament. In [Page 21 / Page 22] Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fifteenth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Ninety one.

Benjamin Guion (L. S.)

Signed, Sealed, published and declared by the said Benjamin Guion as & for his last will and testament In presence of us who subscribe our names as Witnesses thereto in the presence of the testator & in the presence of each other.

N.B. The word 'fourthly' wrote on the margin, the word 'to' interlined, the word 'my' interlined, the word 'manage' wrote over an erasure, the word 'Last' interlined before signed.

Philip Pell
Francis LeCont
Theos Bartow

Proved September 24, 1791 by deposition of Francis LeCont, carpenter.


NOTE: Benjamin Guion, the maker of the above will, (Liber B, page 188) was the son of Aman Guion of New Rochelle and his wife Elizabeth Samson. He was born February 8, 1731 and was baptized February 28, 1731 in the Anglican Church, (now Trinity) New Rochelle. He married Sarah Pell, daughter of Joshua Pell and settled in Pelham on a farm close to the New Rochelle Town line."

Source: BENJAMIN GUION in OLD WILLS OF NEW ROCHELLE Copies of Wills By Citizens of New Rochelle, N.Y. 1784-1830, pp. 21-22 (New Rochelle, NY: 1951) (typewritten manuscript prepared by New Rochelle Chapter, Daughts of the American Revolution).

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