QUAKER-ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > QUAKER-ROOTS > 1999-03 > 0921425718
Subject: Re: Language of Wills
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 10:35:18 EST
My thought on the language of wills is that the person preparing the will
would have a lot to do with the way the will is worded, not necessarily the
person whose will it was. I appears to me the most wills were written by a
scribe called in for that purpose, so if the phase "In the Name of God Amen,'
was the first line of a will, it was probably the conventional method for that
scribe to begin a will, and nothing to do with the person whose will it was.
If the scribe was a Quaker, then maybe the dating would be more apt to reflect
the Quaker method? I assume that the wills were read back or shown to the
person whose will it was, so that changes or approval could be made, so I
there were objections to wording it could be addressed.
>I have been gone for a couple of weeks, so am trying to catch up on earlier
>messages. Feb. 26, Virginia Phelps said she had read somewhere that if
>phraise "In the Name of God, Amen" was in the will, then it could not have
>been written by a Quaker, and wondered if this were true.
>I had never heard this before. I have transcribed 60 OVERMAN wills (all
>those listed in Mitchell's Index of Wills) from North Carolina--most of
>them dated prior to 1850. I checked them & found the phrase "In the Name
>of God, Amen" used in 6 Quaker wills. (I am considering them to be Quaker
>if they used the Quaker dating.) In a slightly larger number (7-8) that
>phrase is used by non-Quakers (who used regular dates). The phrase used
>begin most of the rest of these wills--Quaker & non-Quaker was some form
>the phrase "Be it known unto all men by these presents that I,____ _____,
>etc." There were a few that just started out "I, _____ _____, being of
>sound mind & memory etc." or variation thereof. It doesn't seem to me
>there is any Quaker significance to using or not using that phrase.