NL GenWeb Wills

Transcribed and contributed by David Anstey July 2020.
While I have endeavored to be as correct as humanly possible, there may be typographical errors.
Always confirm with original documents if possible.

Conception Bay North

Additional endnotes added July 2021
Will of John Davis
PCC Will of John Davis, of Bristol, made on July 18, 1737. Probated at London, on January 3, 1739.

Probate Reference: PROB 11/700/16.

In The Name Of God Amen, I John Davis of the parish of Saint Stephens in the City of Bristol, being in perfect health and sound of memory praise be to God, do make and constitute and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following: First I recommend my Soul into the hands of almighty God who gave it and my Body to be decently buried at the discretion of my Trustees. And touching such Worldly Goods which it hath pleased God to bestow upon me, I give and bequeath after my just Debts and funeral Charges are paid, in manner and form following: I give unto Edmond Carwithen, and to Susanna his Wife, five pounds each to be paid in two months after my decease by my Trustees, and likewise a Gold Chain which was her Mother's. The Mark of + P. D. I give unto Henry Pynn Jr., one Guinea to be paid unto him one month after my decease. I give unto John Mores of Newfound Land one Guinea to be paid unto him one month after my decease. I give unto Charles Edwards of Newfound Land one Guinea to be paid unto him one month after my decease. All the rest and residue of my Goods and Chattels and Effects whatsoever, I give and bequeath unto Samuel Davis my natural Son, by Joan Stevens, and to his Heirs forever. Whom I make my whole and Sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament. And I Do appoint and desire my trusty and well-beloved friends Mr. Richard Farr, Mr. Richard Farr Jr., Mr. Joseph Jones, and Mr. Henry Rogers, Executors in Trust, and Trustees of this my last Will and Testament. And I desire that the care of my Son may be left to his Mother during his Minority, till he comes to be fit to go to a Trade, or to go to Sea, if she desires the care of him. And to allow her per year any sum that shall be thought reasonable for maintaining him in Meat, Drink, Clothes, and Schooling, not exceeding twenty-five pounds per year. And I desire that all the Ships, and Vessels shall be sold on my death, except it shall be thought needful to employ and or to bring off what Effects may be in Newfound Land. And my desire is that King Davis is employed in the same, in any Station that he is capable to undertake, and to be paid such Wages for the same as he shall reasonably desire. And I desire that as money comes into hand, it may be put out to Interest for the use of the Child at the discretion of my Trustees. And I desire they will act for King Davis in the recovery of his right for the money due to him from William Roope Esq., of Frye, in the County of Devon. And what Charges they are at for recovering the same, to allow it out of my Estate, and not to Charge the said King Davis for the same, or get for any meat, drink, clothes washing, or lodging in school, nor any Charge or expense. I have been about the same and I give unto each of my Trustees one Guinea each to buy them rings, and I do allow them to charge the Charge Customary Commission for what business they shall do. And I do by these Presents revoke all other Wills. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this 18th day of July, 1737. John Davis. Signed, Sealed and declared as my last Will and Testament in the Presence of Henry Griffith, Thomas Hughes, Thomas Oliver. This Will was Proved at London on January 3, 1739; by the Oaths of Richard Farr, Richard Farr the Younger, Joseph Jones, and Henry Rogers.

Transcriber Notes:
*Patience Edwards wed John Davis, Oct 8, 1695, Bristol. At St. Stephen's Church? *Patience Edwards wed Thomas Bowen, Aug 14, 1716, Bristol. At St. Stephen's Church?
Short title: Davis v Adams. Document type: Bill only. Plaintiffs: King Davis of Bristol,...
The National Archives Reference: C 11/2719/54.
Plaintiffs: King Davis of Bristol, aged 12 years, infant (by John Davis, merchant of Bristol, his uncle), William Baker, mariner of Woodbury, Devon; and Mary Baker his wife (daughter of Bethiah Adams, widow, deceased, late of Woodbury, who was grandmother of said King Davis). Defendants: John Adams and Patience Adams his wife and William Roope. Date of bill: 1732.

Additional research by David Anstey added in July 2021


*Richard Farr, Richard Farr the Younger, Joseph Jones, and Henry Rogers. ( Bristol merchants. )

King Davis baptized Aug 15, 1720, Dartmouth, Devon. Son of William & Anne Davis.

William & Ann Davis had children baptized at Topsham, Devon: John Jan 28, 1726; & William Nov 8, 1727.

An Edward Davis of St. Stephen’s, Bristol wed Mary Smys?, April 1, 1780, at St. Petrox, Dartmouth, Devon.

One considers whether the Carbonear Davis family, originated at Topsham.

George Davis of Topsham, became an ocean going captain. John Davis before him. What member(s) of the Davis family would look after the plantation in Newfoundland?


A “Society of Friends” Will.

Association of Jones’, Coysgarnes, Clements, Penns, Harfords, etc.

*The April 26, 1744 PCC will of Joseph Jones of Bristol, Sailmaker; was probated by Elizabeth Probert? The Aunt of the minor children, John, Joseph, William, & Mary Jones. The named executor of Joseph Jones’ Will, Charles Harford of the Society of Friends; being deceased. Charles Harford’s executors, Thomas Butler and William? Matthew, renouncing.

**Minute book of the Men's Meeting of the Society of Friends in Bristol, 1686 - 1704. ( Two-weeks Meeting )

John Jones ( 1665 - 1702 ) mercer, linendraper, son of Charles ( died 1714 ) & Ann Jones; of Maryport p.; married Hester ( died 1690 ) dau of William & Ann Smith, March 10, 1687; dau Ann ( 1689 ). Will dated Dec 18, 1699, proved Aug 4, 1702. PCC. Disputed 1702 - 1704.

? This John Jones, a petitioner for sailing of the "George and Betty" to Newfoundland, 1693 ?


Butler and Matthews captains, Bristol to Newfoundland otherwise noted. But no connection realized to date, with the Port de Grave Butler family. AALT Page (

*Court of Chancery documentation.
*Some Newfoundland info, contained on the website noted. *Thanks to P. N. for drawing attention to this webpage. An individual, P. Nool, shows at date of Feb 18, 1734, as below here.

Hilary Term, 1762. Samuel Davis exhibited a Bill of Complaint in the Court of Chancery against Richard Farr.

Samuel Davis went through decades of court work, looking for what he thought was proper justice surrounding his father’s (John Davis’) 1739 Will, and bequests therein. After tabulation of available accounting, the final judgement of the Court of Chancery came down in 1782, in favor of Richard Farr. Samuel Davis was directed to pay circa 1600 Pounds to the Estate of Richard Farr.

At the time of John Davis' death (late of Bristol), he was Possessed of, and Justified to:
- a large and considerable Personal Estate consisting of diverse Plantations at Newfoundland
- several ships whereof he was Owner, and which he used to freight from Bristol to Newfoundland.
- stock in Trade
- ready money
- Securities for money
- plate
- household goods, furniture
- and other Personal Estate and Effects
to the amount of Twenty thousand Pounds and upwards.

John Davis made his Will on July 18, 1737. He afterwards died in Newfoundland, about Oct 13, 1739.

Samuel Davis was about 7 years of age at the time of his father's death.

The executors proved John Davis' will on Jan 3, 1739/40 in the PCC.

John Davis was sole owner of several ships in the Newfoundland Trade for many years.

John Davis died leaving Susanna his daughter. The only Legitimate child and heir at Law, then the wife of Edward Carwithen, of Exeter, Devon.

Samuel Davis is named as his natural son. ( Ie: an acknowledged child of the testator, who had been born out of wedlock. )

George Garland; and Captain Samuel Thurman, who had captained for many years to Newfoundland for John Davis; was enjoined to collect debts owing to John Davis at Newfoundland. These debts were collected via fish and oil shipped to Lisbon.

Captain Thurman and King Davis captained the vessel "Triumvirate" to Newfoundland for only two voyages, for John Davis' executors; after his death.

*Pounds, Shillings, and Pence amounts, not extracted for the lines following here.

1742. Jacob Thrale, freight on the Triumvirate

1746. Elias and John Pike, one bill.

1749. John Gresley.

Feb 8, 1734. Thurman and Davis' Bill to Elias Le Gresley.

Feb 18, 1734. Thurman and Davis' Bill to P. Nool.

April 15, 1734. Thurman and Davis' Bill to J. Snow. And to J. Snow Junior.

April 14, 1741. James Butler's Bill to Thurman and Davis.

June 13, 1741. John Clements, shipwright on the "Saint Joseph".

July 21, 1742. Samuel Munckley expenses going to stage about King Davis' Mortage.

March 22, 1742/3.

- George Garland's three notes of hand and balance.

- Thomas Thistle Balance of Account.

- Charles Mercer, Captain Davis' note of hand.

- John Erle Balance of Account.

- James Butler's Balance of Account.

*One may expect to find some Probate Administration material in the PCC relating to Newfoundland, if and when, the documentation enters the public eye. In similar fashion to the Court of Chancery.

© 2020 & 2021 David Anstey and NL GenWeb
Wills Index