When I was in Salt Lake City at the British Institute, last October 2014, I found a Surrogate Court Estate file for Benjamin Ward and was surprised to find it for I was having trouble locating documents and sources on Benjamin and his wife Sarah. I am trying to prove they are my 2nd great grandparents and the parents of Emma Ward Brown, my great-grandmother.
Included in the Estate was Benjamin’s Last Will and Testament.
Copy of the last Will and Testament of Benjamin Ward late of the Township of Adelaide in the County of Middlesex yeoman deceased.
Source: The Estate of Benjamin Ward pg. 365 #1155 – Probate Records 1846-1900 Ontario, Middlesex Co., Surrogate Court. (FHL#0428259)
This my last Will and Testament. I Benjamin Ward of the Township of Adelaide living of sound mind but feeble in Body do Will and Bequest to my children the following property. First – I give to my son George Ward all my Real Estate – Secondly I give to my daughters Emily and Elizabeth and Sarah Ward one hundred dollars eat subject to the following conditions. First the said George Ward shall pay all my just debts and therein my daughters Emily, Elizabeth and Sarah [Elas] shall receive Fifty dollars each for two years [maten] in full three hundred dollars. The date of my daughters payments to commence from one thousand Eight hundred and seventy nine. It is also my will that my daughters Emily and Elizabeth and Sarah Elas shall have one Cow each and I constitute Samuel Mitchell and John Paine my Executors of this my last Will and Testament. Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of on the Thirty first day of October in the year of our Lord 1874 one thousand eight hundred seventy four. Benjamin Ward his Mark X
Witnesses James Thompson (signed) and David Thomas X his mark
According to my research in the census, Benjamin and Sarah had about 11 children maybe 12 but in this Will above he mentions only four children, so what happened to the rest of them?
It is believed the Sarah, the mother’s maiden name was Paine/Payne.
Those children were found and listed in the 1851 and 1861 Census.
1. Joseph born about 1836
2. Vere Ward born about 1836. I found Vere in the 1861 census working as a domestic for George B. Knoyle a Merchant. She is listed as Wesleyan Methodist.
3. William Ward born about 1839
4. Charles Ward Born about 1839 to 1857 and he is buried in the Fourth Line Cemetery.
5. Esther Ward 1841
6. Daniel Ward 1843
7. Sabena/Rebina 1845
8. George Ward 1849 to 1838 and he married Harriet Jones 1845 to 1928 and they are both buried in the Strathroy Municipal Cemetery.
9. Emma/Emily Ward – my great-grandmother born 1851 and died 1905. Emma/Emily has been featured in many posts on this blog with her husband Richard Brown. Her birthdate is the same in the St. Anne baptismal record I found as on her tombstone so it is probably her.
10. Sarah Ward 1852 to 1857 buried in the Fourth Line Cemetery and she appears in the baptismal records.
11. Elizabeth Ward 1854 who married John Brodie and moved to Petrolia. She was in the St. Anne Baptismal record.
12. Sarah 1857 – I am not sure about her and wonder if she is mixed up with the Sarah I have as #10. Or she is the Sarah in the will who looks like she married someone named [Elas].
Here is a summary of the contents of the Estate file of Benjamin Ward. FHL#0428278.
1. Notice of Application of the goods of Probate of the will bearing the date of 31 October 1874, in receipt of.
2. Petition of Samuel Mitchell and John Paine of the Township of Adelaide in the County of __________
Humbly showeth that Benjamin Ward Township Adelaide County of Middlesex, Farmer, deceased died on or about the first day of November in 1874 in the Township of Adelaide county of Middlesex and the said deceased at the time of his death his fixed abode was in the Township of Adelaide, County of Middlesex and the said deceased in his life time duly made his last Will and Testament on the thirty first day of October 1874. That your petitioners are the Executors named in the said will. That the value of personal estate and effects if $500.00. That the probate be granted to them this fourteeth day of December 1874, Signed Samuel Mitchell and John Paine.
- Affidavit of the Witness David Thomas in witnessing the will of Benjamin Ward. 14 December 1874.
- Handwritten copy of the will of Benjamin Ward
- General Description of Property – Household $40, Farming implements $40, Horses $150, Horned cattle $140, Sheep and swine $100, Farm produce $30, total $500. Signed by Samuel Mitchell in Strathroy Dec 6, 1874.
- Handwritten affidavit of John Paine – Promises to pay debts and follow the will’s requirements as Executor – signed by him 14 Day of December 1874.
- Handwritten affidavit of Samuel Mitchell – As Executor will follow the Wills requirements. Signed 14 Day of December 1874.
- David Thomas – Affidavit of knowing Benjamin Ward and witnesses his Will and Testament and James Thompson did mark and subscribe their names 14 Day December 1874.
- Affidavit of Samuel Mitchell saying he will follow the will. 14 Day of December 1874.
- Granting of the Petition to probate the Will, 29 day of December 1874.
The only thing missing is the description of the land that he gave to his son George Ward.