I finally got over to Alfred and copied the probate packet of John Fernald III who died shortly prior to May 13, 1773 when his wife Miriam was appointed administrator and inventory ordered. Sometime prior to July 11th 1774 his widow Miriam married William Haley as they sign as Haleys on that date. I found in Kittery vitals their marriage intentions as 22 Oct 1773. It is supposed the Miriam died in 1794, but I think it was her son John below who died in 1794 and that John III and Miriam Lewis mentioned in that division were his grandchildren.
This may or may not be correct, but it might help you or someone else so I will post it. Many sets of eyes and brains are better than one!
I got a copy of an inventory and other paperwork from 1773-1774, an account from 1777 and final estate division dated June 10th 1782. At that late date he was not called John III but just plain John Fernald. Maybe his son below had become "John III" by then if John Fernald Jr mentioned below and who lived on the lane nearby was still alive.
Property to the following under the terms of the division:
(1) Miriam, widow of the said deceased" 1/3 of the estate plus 27 1/4 acres bounded "by the lane of John Fernald Jr" (whoever he is), plus 6 acres of land in Pudden Hole Common. Throughout they refer to her as the widow Miriam, not Miriam Haley.
(2) "Eldest son John". 37 1/2 acres of homestead land running by that of John Fernald Jr, William Haley and by Nathaniel and Eleazer Fernald, plus mowing land in Pudden Hole with other stipulations about shares to James Fernald, his brother. Also part of homestead home and 37 1/2 acres.
(3) James Fernald, "minor, second son, 10 acres near James Johnson, plus 1/5 of 100 acre lot called Kittery Commons in Berwick and some personal estate and live stock.
(4) Benjamin Fernald, "minor, youngest son", 1/5 of 100 acre lot in Berwick and some personal estate items and live stock.
(5) Miriam Fernald, daughter (not called minor), 1/5 of 100 acre lot in Berwick, some personal items and live stock.
So we have John Fernald III who died in 1773 with widow Miriam who very shortly thereafter married William Haley. Debts against estate dated 1774 and 1777. Both signed by Miriam and William Haley.
Then we have an order for division of the estate of John Fernald late of Kittery dated 15 April 1782 and a copy of this division among widow Miriam and son John and minor sons James and Benjamin and daughter Miriam. No mention of William Haley anywhere, but the inventory given to the children of plain John Fernald in 1782 is the same as the inventory given to the court in 1773 for John Fernald III, right down to the 10 acres near James Johnson.
I think John III's son John died in 1794 and his property was divided between children John (who is now John III) and Miriam Lewis. It did not mention what daughter Miriam got, but it said that John III got 39 acres in a homestead with a dwelling. In the above earlier division, son John got all of the homestead, including siblings shares, other than an end for his mother Miriam. It contained 37 1/2 acres. Close enough.
I think there is little doubt that John III who died in 1773 with widow Miriam had son John who was no longer a minor in 1773 and who died in 1794 and had children John III and Miriam Lewis.
Any ideas? I hope some of this helps you.
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