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Early Long Island Wills of Suffolk County, 1691-1703

The Lester Will Book

Early Long Island Wills

Title Page to Early Long Island wills of Suffolk county, 1691-1703

Up to 1844 the County Clerk’s office was wherever the clerk happened to live. Thomas Helme was clerk in 1691, and for many years after. William Henry Smith, a son of the Judge, held the office from 1730 to 1739. After the Revolution, under the State Government, Hon. Ezra L’Hommedieu was clerk from 1784 to 1810, and again in 1811. He died in office September 27, 1811. The book of which this volume is a copy was among his official books and papers. By some oversight it was not transferred to his successor in office, but remained in the hands of Thomas S. Lester, Sr., who died September 13, 1817. With the rest of his private papers it came into the possession of his only son Thomas S. Lester, Jr., who was a child at the time of his father’s death. Many years later, when he came to manhood, his attention was called to the book by the late Charles B. Moore of New York City, and he saw at once that it was an original Book of Records, belonging to the County Clerk’s office; and on October 13, 1871, he transmitted it to George C. Campbell, who then held the office, and it was thus restored to its proper place after having been lost to the public for a period of sixty years. The absence of any punctuation in this volume may attract attention, but in this they follow the original.

The life of Thomas S. Lester, who thus conferred upon the public a lasting benefit, was a curious episode in local history. Inheriting from his father a farm in Southold, he made these paternal acres his home during life, and was in the opinion of his neighbors a plodding, unambitious man, without aspirations for wealth. Dying intestate, it was found, to the astonishment of all who knew him, that by careful investments of his small income which were invariably successful, he had accumulated a fortune of $300,000, which went to heirs at law. Among these was a pauper, supported at public expense, who awoke one morning to find himself the possessor of thirty-eight thousand dollars. The sudden transition from the porridge pot to the palace was too much for him, and only a very brief interval elapsed (the most of which was spent in sampling ardent spirits in their varied forms) between leaving his home in the County House for one much narrower in the village grave yard.

  • Archive.org
    An unabridged copy of the manuscript volume known as “The Lester will book;” being the record of the Prerogative court of the county of Suffolk, New York; with genealogical and historical notes, by William S. Pelletreau.

SurnameGivenDateProbatedPage
BarkerWilliam16 Mar 170014 Sep 1702242
BigsJohn7 Feb 168220 Nov 169396
BowinDanielAug 169311 Nov 169389
BrewsterNathaniel16 Mar 1684/53 May 1695116
BrownRichard6 Jul 17011 Oct 1701216
BrushThomas8 Apr 169326 Apr 1699163
BurnatLot6 Jun 17021 Sep 1702231
ClarkeSamuel4 Oct ????21 Aug 1700211
ConcklinJohn4 Feb 168915 May 169499
CoreyAbram19 May 170214 Oct 1702256
CorwinJohn, Sr.26 Nov 170014 Oct 1702253
DaviceJoseph5 Oct 16893 Jun 169112
EdwardsJohn25 Oct 168510 Nov 169386
GreenvillJohn19 Mar 1689/906 Oct 169145
HalseyMary18 Dec 169921 May 1700205
HandStephen, Sr.17 May 16882 May 169376
HawkingsZachary17 Nov 169827 Apr 1699167
HerrickeJames9 Aug 17017 Dec 1701223
HortonBenjamin19 Feb 1685/629 Sep 169123
HortonCaleb30 Dec 169914 Oct 1702245
HowellEdward4 Aug 169728 Oct 1699183
HowellJohn3 Apr 16931 Dec 1696129
IngersollJohn1 Nov 169427 Nov 1694112
JaggerJohn18 Aug 169829 Oct 1699190
JamesThomas5 Jun 169623 Jun 1696123
jarvisSteven, Sr.10 Mar 1691/216 Apr 169497
JennerJohn8 Feb 1691/229 Apr 169220
JonesWalter11 Jan 1692/33 Jun 1699194
LawrisonJohn20 Oct 169313 Jun 1694103
LudlamWilliam27 Apr 16652 Nov 1667276
MilnerJonathan20 Jan 16887 Sep 1697147
MoorNathaniel19 Apr 169826 Aug 1698158
MooreThomas23 Jun 169130 Sep 169130
MorehouseJohn10 May 17014 Dec 1701222
NortonNathaniel22 Dec 168425 Apr 1733266
ParshallJames14 Oct 169228 Oct 1701226
PattonRobert25 Apr 170021 May 1700203
PeirsonHenry28 Aug 17012 Sep 1702239
PlatEpenetus1 Sep 169313 Nov 169393
PlatPhebe12 Jan 1696/724 Jul 1697143
PlattIsaac22 May 169122 Oct 169153
ReeveJames4 Mar 16924 Jul 1698154
RogersObadiah24 Jul 168923 Jun 169264
RoseJohn4 May 169610 Sep 1697150
RyderThomas11 Apr 169923 May 1699176
SammisJohn28 Nov 16933 Jan 169372
SayerFrancis14 Jan 169720 Sep 1699179
ScudderJonathan9 Dec 169022 Oct 169150
ScudderThomas7 Dec 168622 Oct 169147
SilvesterPeter14 Mar 1695/6(Petition)121
SmithRichard, Sr.5 Mar 16912 May 169378
StanbroughPeregrine17 May 16992 Sep 1702233
SwazyJohn20 May 169212 Nov 169268
TalmageWilliam23 Apr 168729 Sep 169126
TookerJames24 Apr 168830 Sep 169236
WellsPeter25 Sep 169619 Jan 1696/7140
WhiteJames18 Jun 169410 Oct 1694108
Whitehair (Whitier)Peter5 Jun 169729 Oct 1698171
WodhullRichard13 Oct 169928 May 1700208
WoodJonas20 Feb 168815 Apr 169260
WoodruffeJohn14 Jan 1700/11 Apr 1703261
YoungsGideon22 Dec 169922 Feb 1699196

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