These files were donated to the site by Mrs. Barbara Clayton, thank you!
The following is the last will and testament of Thomas Noble, paternal 9th great grandfather of Olin Clayton of Raymond, Il. See "Genealogy of Thomas Noble" by Lucius Boltwood available through Higginson Book Store in Salem, Mass.
Last Will and Testament of Thomas Noble
"The last will and testament of Thomas Noble of Westfield, in ye county of Hampshire, in ye Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, being weak in body, but of perfect understanding.
Impr, I commend my soul into the hands of Christ my blessed Lord and Saviour and my body to Christian burial, in full faith of a blessed resurrection, through the rich Grace of God in Christ my Saviour.
Item, I give unto my son Thomas, that parcel of land lying in the farm purchased from Mr. Jn. Pynchon, from the gate beyond the house entering into the field bounded by the plowing land, the way to Springfield, John Noble's land and the drain all along the swamp.
Item, to my son Matthew, a tract of land in the same farm, lying by a ditch easterly and bounded at both ends by the river.
Item, I give unto my sons Mark and Luke, my little meadow, lying against the orchard of Noah Cooke and that homelot that I have bought and they have raised frames upon.
Item, I give the lot that the town gave me on the top of the hill against my house on the same farm, to all my six sons for pasture. Item, to my son James, a parcel of land and house upon it, on that farm that is fenced in, being six or seven acres more or less.
Item, I bequest the rest of this my farm lying bounded upon James northerly, Thomas on the east, Matthew on the south, ye river on the westerly sides, to all my sons, i.e., to my sons John, Thomas, Matthew, Mark, Luke and James, equally to be divided amongst them by my brother James Warriner and John Hitchcock of Springfield and by Capt Isaac Phelps of Westfield.
Item, I give to my son James, all my land in the plain, on this side the hundred acres and the lot by the way to Pochastuck.
Item, I give to my son John, the rest of my lot in ye fort meadow.
Item, I give unto my beloved wife, Hannah Noble, an acre of land reserved out of my son John's homelot; also half my dwelling house, that is to say, that end next the street, and halfe the land and orchard and barn we dwell on, and the other halfe of the house lot and barn to my son James, as also the thirds of all that I here will to my sons and after her decease, I give to my son James the whole of the house, houselot and barn and the acre reserved out of my son John's homelot.
Item, I give unto my four daughters, Hannah, Elizabeth, Mary and Rebecca L 20 apiece, to be paid them by my sons (viz.), Thomas, Matthew, Mark, Luke and James, to Mary and Rebecca about half a year after their marriage and a cow apiece at their marriage. And in case any of my children should dye, not leaving any issue behind them, then my will is that the legacies that I here give them, be equally divided among the surviving and also I order these my sons to find my wife fewel wood and two load of hay every year, so long as she shall remain widdow. Item, I give unto my wife also a cow and heifer, also all my household goods, which household goods I would have her at her pleasure dispose of to my two youngest daughters.
Item, my team (one yoak of oxen excepted), I give unto my three youngest sons, Mark, Luke and James. And for the well and faithful execution of this my last will, I ordain and make my beloved wife Hannah Noble and my son Thomas Noble joynt executors, to defray all my lawful debts and for that end leave one yoke of working cattle, a yoak and fatt oxen and the money in the Bay due me and all other dues, the which, when my debts are defrayed, the remainder I would have go to pay my daughter's portions. But in case the same shall be too little to clear my due debts, that then they are to raise what is sufficient out of the legacies, I have here given to my children, to do the same. In witness whereof I set to my hand and seal this eleventh day of May, Ano Dom., 1697.
Signed & sealed in the presence of
William Montgomery Gage