What's a "half wagon?"
First of all, I shared how two of Dorothy's sons, Daniel and Nicholas, were each given a "half wagon." When I first read about this, I thought it must be a type of wagon. But, someone suggested to me that it was literally half a wagon. In other words, the two brothers were sharing a wagon. That made sense, so I shared on my blog and at my group about the two brothers sharing a wagon.
However, someone in our group spoke up and said a half wagon was actually a small wagon. Yikes! I needed to do more research. When I got home, I started the research and had a hard time finding anything. But, then I found an explanation on a genealogy.com webpage under "notes for General Marion Hooper." Regarding a half wagon, it explained:
General built several roads in
So, it is likely the two brothers did not each inherit "half a wagon" that they had to share. Instead, they both inherited small half wagons.
P.S. Reader David Samuelsen posted a link which shows a photo of a half wagon—just scroll down to Nineteenth Century traps at this link. (Thanks, David!)
Five Pounds specie
I also discussed how three of the four granddaughters listed were receiving their five pounds "out of the money which their said father" was indebted to Dorothy, their deceased grandmother. However, I left off a word, because I didn't know what it meant. The will actually says each granddaughter will receive "Five Pounds specie." I kept thinking it meant "apiece" or each. But, someone in the meeting pointed out that the word is, in fact, specie, which is a type of money.
I just completed a little research about specie. Wikipedia explains that there were "three general types of money in the colonies of British America: specie (coins), paper money and commodity money." It also states that "cash in the colonies was denominated in pounds, shillings, and pence."
In light of this explanation, I believe the girls were each inheriting an amount of five pounds, and the five pounds was in coin, or specie, form. Do you agree? Am I still not understanding correctly?
No one had a good explanation about the money being out of the money "indebted to" Dorothy by her sons who were the girls' fathers. How were the girls expected to receive their five pounds? I still don't understand.
Dorothy to Her Namesakes
The last part of the will I discussed was about Dorothy primarily giving inheritance to her granddaughters who were named Dorothy or Dorothea. Three of the four girls listed were named Dorothy. I also have another will where a woman named Catharine only gave inheritance to her granddaughters who bore her name. I think this is a very odd practice, and I asked if anyone knew anything about it.
One person spoke up about German naming patterns, and yes, this family was German. But, although I understand she would have granddaughters named Dorothy, why would she primarily leave an inheritance to only them?
Another person suggested that Dorothea was likely the sponsor of these grandchildren named Dorothea/Dorothy, and would act as a godparent. It would make sense that, even in death, Dorothy would continue to take care of her godchildren. However, I have information on the baptism of Nicholaus' daughter, Dorothy, and her sponsors were did no include her grandmother. Instead, she was sponsored by William and Dorthea Gesell. So, it seems likely she was not named after her grandmother, but instead was named for Dorthea Gesell.
Have you had experience with a woman "only" (or mostly) leaving inheritance to her namesake? Do you know any background about this practice? Please leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will of Dorothy Klein of