Posts Tagged ‘Wills’

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – My Most Unique Ancestral Name

The following challenge comes from Randy Seaver of

Hey, genealogy fans – it’s Saturday Night – time for more Genealogy Fun!

In honor of Surname Saturday (the new, official genealogy blogging prompt for Saturdays), let’s consider this, assuming you accept the challenge to play along (is it Mission Impossible?):

1) What is the most unique, strangest or funniest combination of given name and last name in your ancestry? Not in your database – in your ancestry.

2) Tell us about this person in a blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook.

3) Okay, if you don’t have a really good one – how about a sibling of your direct ancestors?

by Sherry Stocking Kline
October 24, 2009

Because Most folks laugh when I tell them my maiden name, Stocking, I picked an ancestor from that side of the family.

When folks asked me how to spell my maiden name, I’d say “Just like you wear, just like it sounds.” When my brother was in high school, his friends nicknamed him “Sox” a name that stuck with him, and after he graduated and I entered high school a few years later, my friends called me “Sox”  as well.

The ancestor’s name that I’ve been curious about ever since I read it in the family history book, was Deacon Samuel Stocking, son of George and Anna Stocking who immigrated from Suffolk, England on the ship Griffith in the 1630’s, and traveled to Hartford, Connecticut with Thomas Hooker’s party. George became one of Hartford’s founders.

According to family records, Deacon Samuel married Bethiah Hopkins on May 27th, 1652. A quick Google search brought his will to light in several places on the internet. Awesome, considering 10 years ago, it was only available in one place.

My question has been, was Deacon Samuel his name, or was Deacon his church title? And I realized when I re-read the wills, one after the other, (for what was NOT the first time) that George’s will refers to his son Samuel, not his son, Deacon Samuel.

So surely Samuel’s “Deacon” is a church title. On the other hand, Deacon Samuel’s will does refer to him as Deacon Samuel, sen.

So, while I think the question is answered tonight, I’d be happy to hear comments from those with more experience.

A Digest of the Early Connecticut Probate Records: Hartford district, 1635-1700

By Charles William Manwaring

Page 136.

Stocking, George. He died 25 May, 1683. Invt. £257-09-00. Taken by Nath. Willett, Tho. Bunce, John Easton. Invt. in Middletown taken 8 June, 1683, by Nath: White & John Warner.

Court Record, Page 73—6 September, 1683: An Inventory of the Estate of George Stocking was exhibited in Court. Adms. to Samuel Stocking.

Page 78—18 December, 1683: This Court haveing viewed that presented as the Last Will & Testament of George Stocking in the circumstances of it, together with what George Stocking hath declared to George Stocking & Capt. Allyn, & his declaration of his will in part contradicting, doe Judge that the will presented is of no value, & therefore the Court distribute the Estate as followeth: To Samuel Stocking, £100; to Hannah Benton’s children, £41; to the wife of John Richards, £41; to the wife of Samuel Olcott, £41; & to John Stocking, who hath lived with George Stocking, his grandfather, for some years, the remainder of the Estate, being £34, we distributed to John Stocking; and desire & appoint Marshall George Grave & Thomas Bunce to make this Distribution. (See Will, Vol. III.)

Page 168-9.

Stocking, Deacon Samuel sen., Middletown. Died 30 December, 1683. Invt. £648-08-08. Taken by Giles Hamlin, William Ward. The children: Samuel 27 years of age, John 23, George 19, Ebenezer 17, Steven 10, Daniel 6 years old, Bethia Stow 25, Lydia Stocking 21 years. Will dated 13 November, 1683.

I Samuel Stocking of Middletown do leave this my last Will & Testament : I give unto my loveing wife Bethia Stocking my whole Homestead lying on the both sides of the Highway with all ye Buildings thereon thereunto belonging, with my whole Lott in the Long Meadow, with my Lott at Pistol Poynt, & half of my Meadow lying on the other side of the Brook, that part of it that lyeth next to the Great River, with all my Meadow Lands at Wongunk, together with all my Stock & Moveables; these I give my wife during her Widowhood, and upon marrying again I Will to her £4 yearly to be raised out of that Estate which I have agreed to my son Daniel Stocking.

I give to my son Samuel Stocking my whole Allottment upon the Hill between the Land of Lt. White and Israel Willcox, only excepting 6 acres adjoining to the Land of Lt. White, which I give to my daughter Bethia. Moreover I give to my son Samuel the remaining half of the Meadow over the Brook, with 10 acres of the Swamp adjoining to it. I give him my whole Allottment at the Cold Spring on the west side of the Way to Hartford. I give to him, sd. son Samuel, the whole of my Lott at Pipe Stave Swamp, with the half of my Allottment next unto Wethersfield Bounds, with the halfe of my Lott at Pistol Poynt, upon his Mother’s decease.

I give unto my son John Stocking the whole of the Land and Buildings at my Father Stocking’s decease bequeathed me by his last Will, within the Bounds of Hartford. I give unto my daughter Lydia my Lott lying next unto Thomas Ranny’s, and butting upon ye Commons West and Dead Swamp East, with a good Milk Cow, to be delivered her within 12 months after my decease.

I give to my sons George & Ebenezer all my Lands on the East side of the Great River, to be equally divided between them, excepting the y2 of my Great Lott next unto Haddam Bounds.

I give to my son Steven my whole Lott upon the Hill, bounded upon ye Lands of Thomas Rannie North, the Commons East, West & South, with my whole Allottment in Boggy Meadow, with all my Meadow & Upland in the farther Neck, giving the Improvement of the Boggy Meadow unto my son Samuel till the abovesd. child is of age to inherit.

I give to my son Samuell (Daniel, see original paper on File) my whole Homestead lying on both sides of the Highway, with my Lott in the Long Meadow, with half my Lott at Pistoll poynt, with ^ of my Lott lying on the West side of the way as you goe to Hartford, adjoining to the Land of Anthony Martin on the North, the Land of Thomas Ranny South, the Highway & Commons West.

This I say I give to my son Daniel, that is to say, the West end of it, the other halfe of sd. Lott to be to my son Samuel. These aforementioned parcells of Land as specified I give to him my sd. son Daniel & his heirs forever, with the other halfe of my Lott next Weathersfield Bounds.

I give to our Pastor, Rev. Nathaniel Collins, £3, my son Samuel to be sole Executor.

After the decease or marriage of my wife, my Estate to be equally divided amongst my children. I desire Mr. Nath. White & John Savage sen. to be Overseers. Witness: Nath: White, Samuel Stocking Sen.

John Savage sen.

A Codicil, without Change of the above, signed 25 December, 1683.

Court Record, Page 85—6 March, 1684: Will proven.

My First Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!

By Sherry Stocking Kline
written for on September 19, 2009

Hello all!  This is my first foray into Saturday night genealogy fun, (see Randy Seaver’s website at and I will most ashamedly admit that although I’ve done genealogy for 20 years and written about it for 10, I’ve not taken the time to understand the ahnentafel numbers.

Mea culpa. What is it Johnny Carson used to say “so many lashes with a wet noodle?”  Anyhow, I’m not sure, well, actually, I’m pretty darn sure I played the game wrong, but I tried.

Like R. J. Seaver, my father was born in 1911, but he would have been 98, almost 99 by now. So I began with me, and went back almost to 19 back from me. Got to George before 19.  If someone can explain to me how to do an ahnentafel in Family Tree Maker 16, and have it tell me what numbers are what, I’ll re-do my entry here.

My Ancestor is George Stocking

Anyhow, My ancestor is George Stocking, who emigrated to America in 1633. The following is the info from my Stocking Ancestry Book, compiled by Hobart Stocking by research and previous books!

George Stocking, born about 1582, Suffolk, England, married Anna ?

He emigrated to America on the ship Griffith, and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and built a house there in 1635 at the corner of the present Holyoke and Winthrop Streets.

George joined the Thomas Hooker Party

On May 6, 1635, he was made a freeman. (I don’t know what he was indentured as) He joined the company of the Reverend Thomas Hooker (one hundred in number according to family history) and traveled on foot through the wilderness to the Connecticut River in 1636.

Helped Found Hartford, Connecticut

He was one of the original founders of the city of Hartford, CT, and you can see his name on the stone of founders in the city there, as well as find his tombstone in the cemetery.

George was a prominent proprietor there, and “in the general distribution of land, he received twenty acres, “on the south side of the road from Geoge Steel’s, to the south meadow,” other grants being made later on.

On the death of Anna, whom he had married in England, he is understood to have m. 2d. Agnes (Shotwell) Webster, widow of John Webster, governor of the colony.  The Stocking Ancestry Book states  “It does not seem probable:  Agnes is not mentioned in the 1683 court distribution of George’s property.)”

He took from the first an actiave part in local affairs; was selectman in 1647; surveyor of highways in 1654, and ’62; chimney viewer in 1659, and was excused from military duty in 1660, owing to “great age.”

George became a freeman, October 4, 1669.  (again?? I wonder what this means?)

Living to 101 is Pretty Good for those Times!

He died May 25, 1683, aged 101 years, and his name is inscribed on a large monument erected to the memory of Hooker’s party, and which now stands in the old Center Church burying-ground in Hartford.


“15 July, 1673.
“George Stocking of Hartford upon the River of Connecticut planter dos in this my last Will and Testament Give unto Anne my Wife all my housing barn orchards homelott upland and meadow & swamp land cattles and all other estate for her to use during the time of her life, and after her decease to be disposed of as follows.  I doe give to my daughter Lidia Richards the wife of John Richards The sum of (pounts) 14.  and do also give to my dau Sarah Olcott the wife of Samuel Olcott the sum of pounds 10.  I doe also give unto the six children of Andrew Benton, that is to Andrew Benton, Jr., John Benton, Samuel Enton, Joseph Benton, Mary Benton, and Dorothy Benton, the sum of (pounds) 12.  to be divided among them I doe hereby give unto Hannah Camp one Mare.  My will is that these legacies be discharged within one year next after my wifes decease.  My will also is that my wife shall keep the housing and barn in repair unless something more than ordinary befall any of them.  The remainder of my estate to my son Samuel Stocking and make him my executor.  The land to pay its due proportion to the Ministry of the New Meeting house.  I desire Gregory Wollerton and St. Bull to be oversers.
“George Stocking (seal)

“Gregory Wollerton
“George Grave,Sen.”

“December 1683.  This Court (at Hartford, CT.) haveing viewed that presented as the last Will & Testament of George Stocking in the circumstance of it, together with what George Stocking (#1) hath declared to George Stocking (a granson, #11) & Captain Allyn & his declaration of his will in part controdicting, doe Judge that the Will presented is of no value, & therefore the Court distribute the Estate as followeth: to Samuel Stocking (Pounds) 100; to Hannah Benton’s children (Pounds) 41; to the wife of John Richards (Pounds) 41; to the wife of Samuel Olcott (Pounds) 41; to John Stocking who had lived with George Stocking, his frandfather, for some years, the remainder of the Estate, being (Pounds) 34, we distributed to John Stocking; and desire & appoint Marshall George Grave and Thomas Bunce to make this distribution.”

It’s Definitely A Small World

One interesting aside note, or interesting to me, anyhow. When six of us gathered here in Sumner County, Kansas some 300 years later to form the Sumner County Genealogical Society, FOUR of us could trace our history back to Hartford, CT founding fathers, and one of us descended from the man Hartford was named for.

Small world indeed, and when we did closer research, a librarian friend and I discovered that our ancestors had witnessed each other’s wills back and forth.

Keep Your Family History From Ending up in the Dumpster

By – Sherry Stocking Kline
Printed in Wichita Eagle’s Active Life Magazine – Aug 04

The nightmare of many genealogists is that the minute they die their kids will haul years of family history research, one-of-a-kind documents, and priceless photographs out to the curb for the first trash truck that comes along.

What can you do to keep countless hours of research and family history from becoming part of tomorrow’s landfill?

First, make sure you have something someone will want to keep. If you leave behind a jumbled up pile of unidentified photographs, mixed-up documents, and notes with no organization, your genealogical heir may throw up his (or her) hands and throw in the towel.

Your research “has a much better chance to be saved if it’s organized,” said Donna Woods, former librarian for Midwest Historical and Genealogical Society.

“My granddaughter’s husband sat me down one day,” and told me that I needed to get it (my genealogy materials) in some kind of order because if something happened to me they wouldn’t know what to do with it.”

Woods said that she doesn’t believe it makes any difference what system you use, just that you use one, and don’t use the ‘pile-it’ method, though she added that she still does “have a few piles” even after organizing with file folders and notebooks.

“Mark in your books which ones are keepers and should not leave the family,” Woods said, adding she wrote a note inside the cover of each book that pertain to the family.

Nancy Sherbert, curator of Photographs, Kansas State Historical Societysuggested that you label documents, write on photographs, and organize materials into family groups alphabetically. Sherbert said photographs without identification or dates have very little meaning to family members or as historic documents.

“We don’t think about that when we take our photographs,” Sherbert said, “we know who they are. But when we’re gone, others can’t appreciate the historical value of those photographs because they don’t know who the people are, what they are celebrating, and why they are all together.”

Woods said you should have a really serious discussion with your family, and see if someone is interested in your genealogy work.

“It may not be your child,” Woods said, “it may be a grandchild or a niece or nephew.” Woods’ daughter was not interested in furthering her genealogy research, but a discussion with a granddaughter in her mid-twenties rewarded Woods with a possible new home for her research.

“I’m so glad that you are doing this, Grandma,” said Wood’s mid-twenties granddaughter, “I want to do it someday, but I can’t do it right now.”

Preserving your family’s history doesn’t necessarily mean keeping all the information in your immediate family. Woods said she made the decision to place some of her research where it would do the most good, in the two counties in Illinois where her ancestors originally resided.

“It makes a lot more sense to place my research there in those counties,” Woods said, “for other researchers to find.”

Once you’ve made sure that no one in your family wants your collection, the safest way to keep your materials out of the dumpster, according to Sherbert, is to add to your will “I’d like for my photographs, letters, and diaries to be donated to…….

“Go ahead and establish some kind of collection with an institution,” Sherbert said, “and make it clear to your executor and family that remaining materials are to go to the institution.”

“Just make some sort of arrangements,” Sherbert said, adding that materials donated to a historical society, library, or museum should be preserved and available for research for decades “unless there is some kind of preservation problem.”

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