10th Great Grandfather Edward Sprague’s Will (1614)

Will of Edward Sprague of England – – – 1614.

The VI-th day of June in the year of our Lord God, 1614.  In the name of God, Amen.

I, Edward Sprague of Upway in the County of Dorset, fuller, being sick and weak of body, but well and perfect in mind, thanks be given unto Almighty God, do ordain and appoint this my last Will and Testament to be made in manner and form following. This is to say, first of all, I do bequeath my soul unto Almighty God, my savior and redeemer, and my body to be buried within the church yard. As for such temporal goods as God has blessed me withall, I give and bequeath as hereafter follows: viz. I give unto the parish church of Upway ten shillings.

Item – I give unto the poor of the said parish of up way ten shillings.

Item – I give unto Ralph Sprague my eldest son one of the oldest pairs of shears in my shop and one lesser pair called the quarrell.

Item – I give and bequeath unto my eldest daughter Alice Sprague fifty pounds, to be paid within one year after my decease.

Item – I give and bequeath unto Edward Sprague my second son, two pairs of shears and twenty pounds to be paid likewise within one year after my decease.

Item – I give and bequeath into Richard Sprague my third son twenty pounds to be paid when he shall be one in twenty years of age.

Item – I give and bequeath into Christopher Sprague my fourth son twenty pounds to be paid when he shall be of the age of one and twenty years.

Item – I give and bequeath unto William Sprague my youngest son twenty pounds to be paid when he shall be of the age of one and twenty years.

All the rest of my goods movable and unmovable I give and bequeath into Christian [Christiana] Sprague my wife whom I do make my whole [sole] executrix of this my last will and testament.

Memorand: that if Richard Sprague, Christopher Sprague or William Sprague shall happen to die either of them before they shall be of the age of one and twenty years that then his legacy to be divided between the other two, or if two of them shall happen to die before they shall be of the age of one and twenty years, that then their legacies to remain to the other then living.

Finally, I do appoint Harvey Samweys and Willia[m] Bryar overseers of this my last will and testament in presence of those whose names are underwritten.

John Bishop.

John Taylor.




Memorandum: that whereas, the living of the aforesaid Edward Sprague does fall into his son Ralph Sprague after his decease, the said Ralph Sprague doth upon his father’s request promised that his mother Christian [Christiana] Sprague shall quietly enjoy the said living until he shall be one in twenty years of age.


A true and perfect inventory indented of all and singular the goods rightes, chattels and dets of Edward Sprague late of Upway in the County of Dorset, fuller, deceased made sixth day of June and priced and valued by Thomas Leball, John Sellar, William Bryar and Francis George, as follow with, viz., 1614.

Imprimus, his wearing apparel                                               

Item, a piece of russet cloth                                    

item, two beds furnished                                          

item, one coverlet and a carpet                

item, ten pair of sheets, board cloths, with two pair of pillow buys, and six table napkins  

Item, thirteen silver spoons                                      

item, 1 cupboard, nineteen pewter vessels, three candlesticks, and three salts

item, four coffers, one chest, two chairs and a flasket      

 item, a sword and dagger                                                         

item, two other beds furnished                               

item, mill

item, a sack of wheat and a sack of malt              

item, iron ropes, with other old yron                     

item, one willow, for old tugs with a hedlop                       

item, one table, board and cupboard                                    

item, five barrels, with other timber vessels        

item, to frying pans, one spit, to andyrons,   three pair of pot hooks, with other kytchin stuff         

item, one in twenty brass vessels                            

item, butter and cheese                                             

item, a cheese press, the latter thread, with other small implement                             

item, for pair of Fuller’s shears with the sheer boards and iron bar, beams, and scales and weights with other things in the mill 

item, three saddles                                                                   

item, one pyge                                                               

item, seven kyne with three yearlings                           

item, one horse                                                              

item, fourscore sheep and forty-two lambs                   

item, 4 acres and a half of corn                                     

item, due unto the administratrix without specialty      

item, due upon bond                                                      

suma totalissimus Inventury,                                        

So, the estate was valued at £ 257, 6 s.

Probation and Registration of the Will of Edward Sprague

We, George, by Divine Providence, Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England and Metropolitan, make it known that on the 13th day of the month of October in the year of our Lord, 1614, at London, before that venerable man Sir John Benet, Knight and Doctor of laws, custos or commissary of our prerogative court of Canterbury, due proof was made of the Will of Edward Sprague late of Upwaie in the County of Dorset, in the diocese of Bristol, of our providence of Canterbury, deceased, having while he lived and at the time of his death goods rights and credits in the aforesaid diocese or peculiar jurisdiction.

Upon the production and proof of the same testament, the administration of all and singular, is goods, rights and credits, the accounts calculations and reckonings of an administration of this sort having been heard without diminution from the same are adjudged to pertain to us alone and not any other, judge inferior to us.

Mission was issued for ministry all and singular, the goods, rights and credits of the said deceased and all things whatsoever contained in his will to Christiana Sprague, widow of said deceased and the executrix nominated in his will, well and faithfully to administer the same and to make a full and true inventory of all and singular, the goods, rights and credits of the said deceased to be brought to our prerogative court of Canterbury, on the 2d day after the feast of St. Oblasus, Bishop, and also to exhibit and return a full and true computation, calculation, or reckoning thereof.

Even on the year, day, and the hour above written, and of all our translation the fourth year.              

Edmund Woodhall


Looking at Grandfather Sprague’s inventory and who got what bequests, it appears that the family was living comfortably in 1614. I am glad I looked up what a fuller was as an occupation since him calling out a number of scissors would be confusing if I had not done that. From the looks of the bequests, a number of the sons were following in the same trade.

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Genealogy (in part) of the Sprague Families in America.

As descended from Edward Sprague of England from 1614. This book starts out the with the wills of Edward Sprague and that of his son William, who settled in Hingham, Massachusetts in 1636.

Edward Sprague (1576 – 1614) was my 10th great-grandfather. He is the starting point of this small, 49 page, book published by Augustus B. R. Sprague in 1905.

“The purpose of this work is not to give a complete or exhaustive history of the Sprague Families who settled in America, but to briefly record their origin as descended from Edward Sprague of England, three of whose sons emigrated to this country during the year 1628. Also, to furnish brief genealogies of three of his sons, particularly that of William who settled in Charlestown and Hingham, Mass.”

So for further reason of my interest in obtaining this book, William mentioned above was my 9th great-grandfather.

Edward Sprague (1576-1614) – Christina Hollard (1578-1651)

Edward Sprague was a resident of Upway, Dorset, England, and a fuller by trade. Not knowing what a fuller was, I looked it up in wikipedia: “A fuller, a worker who cleanses wool through the process of fulling .” I guess I had better find out what is the process of fulling. So, I found “a step in woollen clothmaking which involves the cleansing of cloth (particularly wool) to eliminate oils, dirt, and other impurities, and to make it thicker.” and “process that increases the thickness and compactness of woven or knitted wool by subjecting it to moisture, heat, friction, and pressure until shrinkage of 10–25% is achieved.” OK, got it, I think.

“Edward and Christina had six children: Ralph, Alice, Edward, Richard, Christopher, and William. Ralph, Richard, and William, in company with John Endicott, arrived at Naumkeag (Salem) in 1628. They came over in the interest of the Massachusetts Bay Company, to prepare a new colony, and this company decreed ‘that none but honest and Godly men should go over to settle'”.

And in Prince’s Chronology we learn they were to explore and take possession of the country westward. They traveled to Charlestown on the neck of the Mishawum (between the Mystic and Charles Rivers) and made peace with the natives there.

On February 10, 1643-5, the order creating a Board of Selectmen was passed. Richard and William Sprague, among others, signed said order.

William Sprague (1609-26 Oct 1675) – Millicent Eames (1615-1696)

William Sprague of Charlestown and Hingham, is called a planter. He married Millesaint Eames, daughter of Anthony Eames. She passed away on 8 February 1696. William and Millesaint were the parents of 11 children: Anthony (1635-1719), John (1638-1690), Samuel (1640- ), Elizabeth (1641- ), Jonathan (1642-1647), Perses (1643- ), Joanna (1644- ), Jonathan (1648-1741), William (1650- ), Mary (1652- ), and Hannah (1655-1658).

Jonathan Sprague (1648-1741) – Mehitable Holbrook (1649-1710)

Jonathan and Mehitable Holbrook Sprague (my 8th great grandparents) were married on 20 July 1670 in Providence, Rhode Island. Mehitable was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Pitts Holbrook. William was a member of the house of deputies for 16 years between 1695 and 1714, and was Speaker of the House in 1703. The couple were the parents of Jonathan ( -1712), William (1691-1768), Patience (1674- ), Joanna ( -1757), and Mary ( )

Patience Sprague married William Jenks. son of Joesph Jencks, Jr. and Esther Ballard. These were my 7th great grandparents. The recount of my pedigree ends with the statement that they were the parents of 10 children.

A very small book, but with a great deal of early American history with the merging of the Sprague family with that of the Eames, Holbrook, and Jenks families. The wills of both Edward and William have been transcribed into this tiny tome. I will be posting the contents of each at a later date.

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Books, Books, and More Books

Over the years, my genealogical research had led me to collect a number of Family Histories that now reside in my library. The collection has grown, and I know I am the only one who has the key to why these books are on the shelves. So, the 2022 blog will center on the Library Contents — both books that take up shelve space and those that reside in digital format.

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To Wrap Up Back at the Beginning

Charlemagne, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire

At the beginning of the year I said I was going to review my ancestry that pointed back to Charlemagne (747 – 814). And I did just that with a great number of side trips throughout the year. I found a number of hypothesized links, but there was only one that went through a proven “gateway” ancestor. I can claim Charlemagne as my 40 times great grandfather.

Through this line, we meet Adelaide of Normandy, daughter of Robert of Normandy and sister of William the Conqueror. William led the Norman Invasion of Britain and took the island nation as his own kingdom.

But, how did William get from Normandy to England? He sailed on the Ship Mora given to him by his wife Matilda of Flanders. He used this ship to covey the Norman forces to England for the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Why do I mention this? Well, in command of the Mora was Airard Fitz-Stephen, my 28th great grandfather! He remained with William for the battle. So, another line crosses in the history of the European Events.

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Mom Provides Us with Christmas

In the early 80s, my mother got caught up in ceramics. She was a dynamo once she got the feel of it. The iconic Christmas Tree was made for her mother-in-law when she mentioned she was getting too old to put up a tree, but wanted to have some “Christmas”. Mom had just completed one for her and my father, so back to the kiln she went. When Grandma passed way, I took possession of the tree. My daughter has the one Mom made for herself. The church nestled in the snow-covered pines is another of Mom’s creations. I got possession of it when we were cleaning out my parents’ house getting it ready to sell.

In case I did not post the Easter display that Mom made:

Three rabbits, a basket, and over a dozen eggs of varying colors and decorations. Mom had a problem painting the eyes and admitted to having her instructor do them.

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Stag – makes a great hat ornament

I am not sure why I started wearing a fedora again — might be a reaction to the doughnut hole bald spot on the back of my head; might be a flashback to my youth:

I am on the right — about age 5.

I digress. The jumping stag pin was found in my mother’s jewelry box as I was cleaning out the house before selling it. I remember it as a child in my mother’s things, but never remember her wearing it. I can only assume it dates back to the 1940s, at the latest. I was surprised to find out it was Sterling Silver — marked on the back. Anyway, I have it and whenever I wear the hat, I think of Mom.

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Grandma graduated from High School in 1914

It was June 18, 1914, and my grandmother, Florence Marie Koontz, became the first female in her family to graduate from High School. Grandma was the third of five children of Casmear and Phebe Gardner Koontz, and the youngest girl. She had two sisters older than her and two brothers younger than her. Her two older sisters did not continue their education beyond what was determined to be necessary. Her two brothers went on to Ohio State University – one graduated from the School of Pharmacy (Henry Allen), the other one as a Chemical Engineer (William Peter). But, Grandma persisted and insisted that she get a diploma. Her diploma states:

The Board of Education of Columbus. O. Hereby Certified that Florence Marie Koontz has completed the TECHNICAL AND COMMERCIAL course of study prescribed in the HIGH SCHOOL OF COMMERCE Columbus, Ohio a certified HIGH SCHOOL of the FIRST GRADE, that she has sustained a good character and made such attainments as entitle her to this Diploma.

In Testimony Whereof, the President and Clerk of the Board have hereto attached their signatures and the Corporate Seal of the Board

A number of factors may have led into Grandma being allowed to continue her education. First her two older sisters were married in 1912 and 1913 respectively. Her two younger brothers were 16 and 14 at the time. Grandma’s parents owned a furniture store where Great Grandfather made various pieces of furniture for customers and refurbished pieces of older furniture that he would purchase and resell. They needed a clerk for the store. Grandma worked in the family store as a bookkeeper.

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Back when there was a real militia

Commission of Morris Jenks

Lewis Cass, Governor In and Over the Territory of Michigan

To all to whom these presents may come, Greeting:

KNOW YE, That reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity and valor of Morris Jenks I DO HEREBY APPOINT him Captain in the Militia of the said Territory. He is therefore, carefully and diligently to discharge the duties of Captain by doing and performing all manner of things thereto belonging. And I do strictly change and require all Officers and Soldiers under his command to be obedient to his orders as Captain. And he is to observe and follow such orders and directions from time to time as he shall receive from the President of the United States of America, the Governor of the Territory, or his superior officer set over him according to law. This COMMISSION to continue in force during the pleasure of the Governor of the said Territory for the time being.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have caused these Letters to be made Patent, and the great Seal of the said Territory to be hereunto affixed.

Given under my and at Detroit, this Second day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Twenty Nine and of the in Ae penance of the United States of America.

Lewis Cass

The document has been damaged over the years and one of descendants of Morris attempted to preserve it by using Scotch Tape which over the years made the situation worse. I was loaned to document by my mother’s second cousin and made the above copy. The original of the document has been donated to the Southfield Historical Collection at the Southfield Public Library, Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan.

The house Morris Jenks built in 1853 – Berg Road, Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan

The house that Morris Jenks built as photographed in 1905. Morris’ daughter, Esther Jenks Lee is the owner at that time with her husband, Charles Norton Lee. Morris’ grandson, Lewellyn Lee is at the gate.

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Never mentioned when I was a child …

These two glass dishes were always brought out when the table was set with the good china and silver. Both were used for various relishes — pickles, olives, celery, etc. The thing that was never mentioned was where did these come from and what was so special that they were only brought out with the good stuff? Again, like and earlier post, I discovered that each piece was a wedding present to my parents in 1943. It seems the leaf motif was very big during that era. I found both items on eBay for approximately $10.00 each.

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Great-Great Grandpa Before, During and After

The building of a photograph:

Ezra Peter Koontz

This is the way the photograph arrived from one of my cousins.

Ezra Peter Koontz – enhanced

I uploaded the photo to MyHeritage and used the repair damaged photo option. This is the improved Great Great Grandfather Koontz

Ezra Peter Koontz – colorized

I then took the next step and had the photograph colorized.

My great-great grandfather, Ezra Peter Koontz was born on 15 May 1832 in Navarre, Stark County, Ohio. He then migrated West to Ligonier, Noble County, Indiana where he was a cabinet maker.

Grandfather Koontz, did a bit more than make furniture:

Patent Application 430,963, Refrigerator, Ezra P. Koontz, Ligonier, Ind. Filed Sept. 1, 1898. Serial No. 284,364.
1 In a refrigerator, an inner compartment containing an ice-tank, and waste-water tank, in combination with a pipe leading from the bottom of the ice-tank to the waste-water tank, a pipe leading from the bottom of the ice-tank to the drinking-water tank, an overflow pipe extending from the drinking to the waste water tank, and an overflow-pipe leading out of the waste-water tank, all substantially as and for the purpose herein set forth.
2 In a refrigerator, a plurality of tanks, one of which is designed to contain ice, and is located immediately above another which is designed to contain drinking-water, milk, or other fluids, in combination with the pipe connecting said tanks, means, substantially as described, for closing said pipe when the under tank contains a fluid other than water, and means, substantially as described, at the opposite site of said ice-tank extending there from to a point outside the refrigerator, serving to carry off the waste water.

Digest of Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents and of United States Courts in the Matter of Patents, Trade-Marks, &c., Official Gazette – April – June, 1890., page 2061.In an earlier photograph used to advertise his Furniture Business:

Provided by my 3rd Cousin, Enhanced by MyHeritage.

Animation by #MyHeritage

Ezra Peter Koontz died on 21 January 1907.

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