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Will of Ephraim Williams
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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In 18th and 19th century New England, when the head of household died, the widow usually received one-third of the inheritance, so long as she remained a widow and did not remarry. A son ordinarily received the real estate, but the widow's "thirds" included the right for her to live on in the house until she gave up the right. This will left the real and personal estate in entirety to the widow. Upon her death, the property, both real and personal, was to go to the three unmarried children. The married daughter, Rebecca, who had presumably already received her portion at her marriage in 1859, received "the sum of One Hundred Dollars."
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