Monday, October 19, 2015

Levi Younger, Last Will and Testament, 10 June 1857

Suffolk County (Massachusetts) Probate Records, 1636-1899; Author: Massachusetts. Probate Court (Suffolk County); Probate Place: Suffolk, Massachusetts


“Know all men by these presents, that I, Levi Younger of Boston, in the County of
Suffolk and State of Massachusetts, being of sound disposing mind and memory
do make and publish this my last Will and Testament.  First, I give and be-
queath to my daughter Catharine five dollars.  To my daughter Mary Ester and
each of her children I give and bequeath one dollar.  Second, The rest and resi-
due of my personal property after paying my debts and the amounts already-
y named as named as given to my daughters,  Catharine and Mary Ester and her child-
ren,  I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Margaret A. Younger and her heirs
forever.  Third, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Margaret, all my
household furniture and wearing apparel.  Fourth, I ordain and appoint
my beloved wife, Margaret Younger, as Executrix of this my last will and tes-
tament. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal and pub-
lish and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament in the presence of the wit-
nesses named below this tenth day of June, in the year of our Lord eighteen hun-
dred and fifty seven.                           Levi Younger, L.I.

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Levi Younger as and for his last
Will and Testament in the presence of us, who in his presence, and in the pres-
ence of each other, and at his request have hereunto subscribed our names as
witnesses.               Joseph I. Coolidge,  John T. Coolidge, Jr.,  A. C. Slater
L. I. Suffolk ss.  Commonwealth of Massachusetts. At a Probate Court holden
In Boston within and for the Country of Suffolk, on the tenth day of January
in the year 1858. By the honorable Isaac Ames Esquire, Judge of Probate, At-
torney.  The annexed Will presented by Margaret A. Younger the Exec-
utrix therein named for Probate.  And all the heirs.  A?? of said Levi Younger
deceased having in writing requested that said Will might be admitted to Pro-
bate upon the testimony of any one of the subscribing witnesses thereto without
further notice to them.  A. C. Slater appears and makes oath that he saw the said
Levi Younger sign, seal, and heard his publish the same Instrument as his
Last Will and Testament, and that he was then, to the best of his discernment of a
sound, disposing mind and memory and that he with Joseph I. Coolidge and
John T. Coolidge, who are absent, subscribed their names thereto, as witnesses in
the presence of said Testator and of each other, and I do prove, approve, and al-
low the same and order it to be recorded.  Given under my hand, and seal
[new page]
Of office the day and year above written.  Isaac Ames, Judge of Probate & Insolvency
Examined Mr. C. Brown, Reg.

Levi Younger
Heirs Consent to Prob. Of Will
To the ??  Judge of Probate & Insolvency in and for the County of Suffolk.  The un-
dersigned being all the heirs at law of Levi Younger late of Boston in said Coun-
ty deceased do hereby request that the last Will of said deceased being late June
 10th in the year 1857 may be admitted to Probate upon the testimony of any one of
the subscribing witnesses thereto, without further notice to us. Boston Dec. 28, 1858
Catherine Wise                 Mary E. Emerson
Examined     Mr. C. Brown, Reg.


Levi Younger was my 4th great grandfather.  He was born on 1 May 1786 in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the son of Levi Younger and Mary Wotten.  He married first to Catherine Plummer Jones on 23 October 1816 in Boston.  She was the daughter of Owen Jones and Elizabeth Lambert, and the older sister of Mary Lambert (Jones) Dominis who went to Hawaii with her husband and became the mother-in-law to Queen Liliuokalani.

Levi was a mariner.  He was relatively poor compared to his wife's family.  She died very young, on 2 May 1828, at age 29 after having five children.  Levi remarried to a woman named Jane, who died 26 November 1845, and then remarried a third time to Margaret (named in the will), who survived Levi and died on 21 February 1895 in Boston. 

At the time I discovered Levi's will on the new collection of probate records, I didn't know that he had a daughter named Catharine.   I descend from the younger daughter, Mary Ester (Younger) Emerson (17 Feb 1826 - 7 Jan 1913).  It was quite a surprise to me to learn about this daughter.

Catharine was born in 1817 in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  She married Henry Wise on 29 May 1836 in Boston, and I haven't been able to find any census records, nor any records of children born to Henry and Catharine.  She died on 17 October 1859 in Boston of consumption.  There was a Henry Wise in the Boston City Directory in 1839 as a printer on Franklin Street, and again in 1842 living on Nassau Court.  In the 1855 the Boston Directory shows a Henry Wise, peddler, living at 22 Oneida (this street was demolished in 1956 as part of urban renewal).   In the same 1855 Boston Directory there was a "Mrs. Kate Wise" living at 28 Vine (there is a Vine Street both in Charlestown and in Dorchester).  

My 3rd great grandmother, Mary Esther Younger married George Emerson on 11 August 1845 in Boston and had eight children.  According to the Will, she, and each child received a dollar.  I descend from Mary Esther's eldest daughter, Mary Katharine (25 December 1847 - 23 April 1932).   Levi's sister-in-law, Laura Williams Jones (1809 - 10 December 1887) married a John Lee and named one of her daughters "Catharine Younger Lee" (born 1835).  This Catharine married Lorenzo Virgil Morse and had a daughter "Catharine Morse" (born 1875 in Omaha, Nebraska).   You can see that the name Catharine/Katharine was passed along in this family!

As a mariner, during the War of 1812 Levi was captured by the British and impressed to join the British Navy. In other words, he was a prisoner of war.  I know from certificates of protection that he was of light complexion, living in Gloucester and I've recorded the years of those certificates (from 1801 - 1815).  The Boston City Directories list him as a mariner living on Love Lane (now Tileston Street in the North End, and Ship Street (now Atlantic Avenue), and then on Fleet Street, Hanover Street and Charter Street (all in the North End), from the 1820s to the 1850s.  

Despite his reduced circumstances, Levi Younger left money to his daughters, and his household goods to his third wife, Margaret. The will mentions that the money for daughter Catherine was to go to her and her heirs.  I wonder if I will be able to find those descendants?


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Levi Younger, Last Will and Testament, 10 June 1857", Nutfield Genealogy, posted October 19, 2015 ( : accessed [access date]).


  1. Heather. Isn't that a wonderful surprise? I too have found things I wasn't expecting in probate records. One or should I say two of those things, were children born to a wife I didn't know about. I did confirm there was a first wife and that she had died just weeks after the birth of the second child.
    As always, I enjoy your posts.

    1. Thanks for your kind words about my blog! I'm sure that lots of people will find some surprises in this record collection. It's much easier to research from home, than visiting the courthouse!