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I, Ephraim Williams of Deerfield, in
the County of Franklin and Common-
wealth of Massachusetts, being of sound
mind and memory do make and publish
this my last Will and Testament.

1st. I give devise and bequeath
to my wife Rebecca, All my real and
personal estate, that shall remain
after the payment of my just debts
and the legacies herein mentioned;
to have and to hold the same during
her natural life, if she shall so long
remain my widow and not contract
a second marriage; and in case she
shall contract a second marriage, after
my decease, all my estate shall imme-
diately pass to, and be equally divided
between my son William S. my daugh
ter Eliza D. and my son Ephraim.

2nd. I give and bequeath
to my daughter Rebecca J. Field, the
sum of One Hundred Dollars.

3rd. I give devise and bequeath
to my sons William S. and Ephraim
and my daughter Eliza D. all my
estate both real and personal, after
the decease, or after the second mar-
riage, as aforesaid of my wife Rebecca;
said estate to be equally divided be-
tween the said William S., Ephraim
and Eliza D. to have and to hold the
same to them severally and their re-
spective heirs forever; excepting only

(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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Will of Ephraim Williams

author   Ephraim Williams (1797-1870)
date   Jul 27, 1865
location   Deerfield, Massachusetts
height   13.0"
width   8.25"
process/materials   manuscript, paper, ink
item type   Legal Documents/Will
accession #   #L99.146

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See Also...

Letter to Rebecca Jackson Williams from her son

"History of Deerfield"

Sketch of the Union Naval Attack on Charleston Harbor

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