I got the transcription back yesterday for the Will of Thomas Hyde/Hide Kellow (my 5th great grandfather). The will was recorded in the Charles County, Maryland Will Book, 1780-1791, page 83 (actual text p. 26). The will is dated 1779, but was not executed until 1785, therefore Thomas must have made it until that date. I have another reference to him in 1780 where he says he is "about 86 years old." I guess we can put his lifetime at 1694-1785. Making it to 91 years of age in those days was darn near impossible - those were some good genes! The Will exactly as it appears in the will book (with a few notes for clarity):
Thomas H. Kellow's Will. June 20, 1779. [faded].
I, Thomas Hide Kellow in CC (Charles County), planter, am very weak in body but of perfect mind and memory.
To my wife Edice - during her natural life (if she continues a widow, but if she marries, nothing but what the laws of the State allow), all my lands, moveables, and immovables, except 2 feather beds, which feather beds I give to my dearly beloved children, viz ("namely"), Lidia and Thomas, one of the beds to each of them.
To my son afd (aforementioned?) - at the death of my wife or marriage, all my lands, viz, the tract of land I now live on, called Thomas' hard fortune, and Wheelers lott.
To my 2 children afd, at the death or marriage of my wife, all my moveables, to be equally divided between them, except my horse, which I give to Lidia at the death or marriage of her mother.
To my daughter Lidia during her single life - liberty to live in part of my house and work part of the land.
To my daughter Mary Lee - _?_ pence sterling. I also give to my beloved daughter in law Elizabeth (which appears to then be crossed out) Mary, ...of my son John Kellow 12 pence sterling.
To my daughter Elizabeth Moreland - 12 pence sterling.
To my sd (said) son Thomas - my pew in Portobacco (Port Tobacco) Church.
Executors: my wife Ectice (Edice, the "d" must have looked like an "ct") and son Thomas.
Signed - Thomas Hide (X his mark) Kellow. Wit. - Timothy Carrington, John (X his mark) Carrington, Jas. Russell.
Probated on April 9, 1785 by Thomas Kellow, one of the executors, and by the oaths of witnesses Timothy Carrington and James Russell.
[To John Muschett, Register of Wills for CC] - "As I am very old and not able to attend you at your office as executrix of my dec'd husband's will, I take this method to acquaint you that I am contented with sd will in every way, that of executrix only excepted, which I resign to my son, who is appointed executor of sd will by his father." Signed April 9, 1785 - Edice (E her mark) Kellow.
A FEW NOTES:
Thomas Hide Kellow had two sons we earlier knew - Thomas and William. A third is mentioned here, John Kellow, but he is not receiving anything. It may be that he is already dead hence the quote, "...I also give to my beloved daughter in law...Mary, ...of my son John Kellow 12 pence sterling." Thomas' son William Kellow was killed in the Revolutionary War in 1781. The will was written in 1779 though...before William's death, but was probated years later after his death. Maybe it was later modified to take William out? Or could "John" actually be William? There are descendants out there of William, so maybe one of them can fill us in.
We also now have a few daughters - Lidia Kellow, unmarried in 1779; Elizabeth Kellow Moreland; and Mary Lee. Is this Mary Kellow Lee or Mary Lee Kellow?? If it is written as Elizabeth Moreland, then she's likely Mary Kellow Lee. Plus, there's no mention of "...during her single life" like with Lidia.
Then there is the Elizabeth (crossed out!) Mary, the "daughter in law." I don't think this is the same as Mary Lee because there are separate awards of sterling to each in that clause. The simplest solution likely being the most accurate, this is probably Mary Kellow, wife of John Kellow, who was either deceased or "out of favor." I have heard that "in law" doesn't always mean the same thing in old records that we know it to mean nowdays. It sometimes meant stepdaughter, but there's no reason to think that here I guess.
Thomas' wife is here as "Edice." While during "googling" some internet searches, I have also come across an Eda and an Edith Kellow in Maryland, so keep those in mind! No clue yet on her origins. She was likely born around 1700-1710 I'd guess.
Thomas' property is confirmed here too. There is a record in the Maryland State Archives of the 1783 Charles County Property Assessment, and in District 6, there is the record of Thomas Kellow's 40 acres called "Thomas Hard Fortune." I didn't understand the entry at that time, or if it was his or his son's entry, but seeing it in the will as "Thomas' hard fortune" adds some perspective - Thomas named his piece of land in honor of the hard work it took him to get to that point in life. He was obviously proud of his work ethic. Hopefully we can someday put a preset day address to "Thomas' hard fortune."
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