This weekend I’ve was working on a part of my tree that has me greatly perplexed. Morgan Shipman, my 9th great-grandfather through his daughter Elizabeth, was a complicated sounding man based on what I can see from many legal entries in various archives.
Morgan Shipman’s Will
Most of what I initially gathered about Morgan Shipman was based on his will, which can be found at the National Archives in Kew. I gather he was born about 1666 and died in 1732 in Aberhafesp, Montgomeryshire, Wales.
His will left the following to his relations:
- to his son, John Shipman, a tenement Pentre Drayne in Montgomery Co., Wales; the best horse or mare (John’s choice) with saddle and bridle; 20 ewes and lambs with shearing apparel.
- to grandsons – William, John and Richard – and granddaughters – Margaret and Eliza ?oster and Anna Maria Tylsley – a sum of one guinea to be paid to them at the age of 21.
- to grandson, Jeremy [Jeremiah] Griffiths, the son of Richard Griffiths, clerk, and daughter Rachel, the sum of one guinea to be paid to him at his going to Oxford [University].
- to Morgan Griffiths and Richard Griffiths the sum of one guinea each, paid to them at the age of twenty-one.
- to granddaughter Hannah?, the daughter of Thomas Powell, the sum of one guinea to be paid at age twenty-one.
- to daughters, Mary Shipman and Hester Shipman, a tenement situated in the parish of Beguildy in the county of Radnor, Wales – currently occupied by Richard Owens.
- the rest and residue of the estate, of good and chattels both within doors and without in the counties of Salop, Montgomery, and Radnor to be divided equally between Mary Shipman and Hester Shipman.
- the joint executors of the estate were Mary Shipman and Hester Shipman.
- he asked that a debt of eight or nine pounds due to Robert Shipman of Beguildy be paid from his estate.
He evidently had much to give and many relations to give it to. But this is where it gets complicated – as it doesn’t appear that his wishes were carried out without complications after his death. In 1750 there is a document in the Exchequer regarding the wife and daughter of Morgan’s son John Shipman. It can be viewed here.
More Relations and a Missing Testement
Although the description is quite muddled I have been able to surmise from this Exchequer document that John Shipman was deceased prior to 1750, John and Patience had a daughter Anne (an infant), and Patience had remarried to Charles Davies. I would suspect John’s beneficiaries, Patience and Anne, were in some kind of legal issue regarding property willed by Morgan Shipman.
The document see Charles, Patience and Anne in a dispute with John’s siblings Rachel Griffiths, Mary Bowen, and Hester Bowen. This seems to centre around the properties of Pentre Drayne in Trefeen, Montgomeryshire, Wales (which was willed to John by his father) and Derwen Rhyddwr in Beguildy, Radnorshire, Wales (which I suspect could be the property in Beguildy willed to Mary and Hester). But as I am in Canada and not the UK I cannot visit to see the document, and I don’t have the spare funds to order a copy at the moment, so we’re at a standstill there.
I feel like if I could find a copy of John Shipman’s will I would possibly get a few more answers. But I can’t find one that fits! Not in the National Archives in Kew or in the Welsh Archives in Aberystwyth. It would also help if I could confirm these relationships with parish records, but I’ve struggled to do that too.
More Questions than Answers
Morgan Shipman and his descendants leave me with more questions than answers. Who was Morgan’s wife? What were the various financial and property disputes about? I really want to know more about Richard and Jeremiah Griffiths the clerks but have yet to find them in the clergy database. I guess I must continue further research and hopefully the answers are out there!