To all people to whome these presents shall come, I Edmund Shearman of Dartmouth in the County of Bristol in the Province of the Massachusets Bay in New England: do hereby manifest & declare that I being at this time very sensible of the weakness of my body but my memory and understanding being yet good, do for the disposing & settleing of my wordly estate make this my last Will and Testament to be of force after my decease hereby revoking and declaring to be null & void all other Wills & Testaments by me formerly made & this to be my last will.
Impress. I will and bequeath to my son Samuel Shearman five shillings to be payed by my Executor hereafter named with what is already given him by deeds.
Item. I give and bequeath to my son David Shearman of my Homestead lot of land twenty rods wide on ye south side of my said lands to run the whole length from the foot to the head and to remaine unto my said son David Shearman and his heires and assigns for ever.
Item. I give and bequeath to my son Nathan Shearman of said lott of land twenty rod wide on the north side of said lands & to run from the foot to the head & to remain unto him my said son Nathan Shearman, his heirs and assigns for ever.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Natha'l Shearman twenty rods wide of my said lott of lands and to lye on the south side of the remains of my sd homestead lot of land and on the north side of my son David aforesd and to run and even bredth from the foot to the head and to remain unto my sd son Natha'l Shearman his heirs and assigns for ever.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Dorcas Shearman all the rest of my said lot or farm of lands with all the housing orchards & fences priviledges and commodities in upon or to the sd lands, dureing all the time of her natural life and allso for her more comfortable support: I give to said loving wife all my personal or movable estate either to make use of for need or to dispose of amongst our children as she shall see cause; but after the death of my said wife: Item. I give & bequeath all that my lands given to said wife with the housing orchards and fencing as abovesd unto my two sons Elkanah Shearman & Joseph Shearman and is to be equally divided beginning exactly in the middle at the foot and so to extend to the head with a straight line; and my will is that my son Joseph Shearman shall have the north side with the housing that is on it, and shal be and remain to my two sons Elkanah Shearman & Joseph Shearman and to their heirs and assigns forever.
Item. I give and bequeath to my son Elnathan Shearman, twelve
and a halfe of the land which was bought of Thomas Hicks, Scituate,
and being in Dartmouth all the allowance layd out and surveyed by
Grant and is bounded as the return of sd survey makes mention and is to
be and remain unto said son Elnathan Shearman his heirs and assigns
Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Lidia Maxfield seven acres of land in the next division of lands in Dartmouth after eight hundred acres is compleated to the one whole share to be and remain unto her and her heirs and assigns for ever.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my five sons, David Shearman, Nathan Shearman, Natha'l Shearman, Elkanah Shearman & Joseph Shearman all my land lyeing between my said son David __ land and Jonathan Russel's to be equally divided among them my said son David to have the east and my son Nathan next and my son Natha'l next to Nathan and Elkanah next to Nathaniel and Joseph to have the west end, and all to run across the sd land.
Item. I give and bequeath all my salt marsh meadow to my seven sons Samuel Shearman, David Shearman, Nathan Shearman, Natha'l Shearman, Elkanah Shearman, Joseph Shearman & Elnathan Shearman and to be equally divided among them and to remain unto them my sons their heires & assigns for ever.
Item. I give & bequeath all the rest of my undivided lands in the Township of Dartmouth to my six sons David Shearman Nathan Shearman, Natha'l Shearman Elkanah Shearman Joseph Shearman and Elnathan Shearman and to remain unto them their heirs and assigns for ever. And for the performing and executing this my last will and Testament, I make my loving wife my whole and sole Executrix and so for her my said wife Dorcas Shearman to act and perform according to law: In witness whereof I the said Edmund Shearman have hereunto sett my hand and seal thiss Twentyeth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and twelve: 1712.
EDMUND (the mark of) SHEARMAN
Signed, Sealed, Published and Declared by the above Edmund Shearman as his last will and Testament in presence of us the subscribers George Codman James Tripp John Tripp
Proved July 6, 1719. Tauton, Mass. Bristol County Probate Records. Vol. 3; page 565
Those words that I could not read were marked (ie. ______ ).
The above Will can be found in:"Some of the Descendants of Philip Sherman, The First Secretary of Rhode Island" by Roy V. Sherman, pp. 293, 294.