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.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Abstract of Will of Thomas Pearsall of Spectacle Island Prepared in 1723 and Proved in 1732

On Thursday, December 21, 2006, I published to the Historic Pelham Blog an abstract of the will of Thomas Pearsall of Spectacle Island prepared in 1723 and proved in 1732. See Thurs., December 21, 2006: Thomas Pearsall, Owner in 1723 of Harts Island, Also Known as Spectacle Island, Bequeaths it To His Son, Henry Pearsall.

Today's posting provides a more detailed abstract of the same will, followed by a full citation to the source of the abstract.


Page 238. -- In the name of God, Amen. 'I, THOMAS PEARSALL, of Spectacle Island, otherwise called Harts Island, in the county of Westchester,' being in poor health. I leave to my wife, Christian Pearsall, the use and profits of all the real and personal estate 'towards her support in her decripet age and during her life.' 'I leave to my son, Nicholas Pearsall, £5, as his sole and only right, and not to claim or make any disturbance in law or equity as my heir at law' [Page 51 / Page 52] I leave to my son Henry one certain island named Spectacle or Harts Island, lying within the manor of Pelham in Westchester County. And he is to pay £300 in installments to my estate. I leave to my daughter, Eda Dobbs, £15. I leave all the rest of my estate to my children Nicholas, John, Henry, Hannah and Eda. I make Thomas Pell, Esq., Hermanus Rutsen, and my son, John Pearsall, executors.

Dated April 20, 1723. Witnesses, Johanes Roelofsen, Jane Francis, Edward Fitgerald. Proved, April 6, 1732. And the executors having refused, Letters of administration are granted to his son, Henry Pearsall. The widow was also dead. The daughter Eda married Walter Dobbs, the daughter Hannah married John Lanyon.

[NOTE. -- Harts Island is now owned by the city of New York, and a large part of it is the city cemetery, better known as 'Potter's Field.' -- W. S. P.]"

Source: Pelletreau, William S., Abstracts of Wills on File in the Surrogate's Office, City of New York. Vol. III. 1730 - 1744 with Appendix and Miscellaneous Documents in Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1894, pp. 51-52 (NY, NY: The New-York Historical Society 1895).

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