This is the earliest document located so far on the Odell side of the tree. And, look, only one “L”! Imagine having to say that’s “small “d”, no apostrophe and only one “L”….Of course, correct spelling was not emphasized in those days, when many could not read or write. Obviously, Thomas could read and write. That’s an image of his signature above.
A resident of Stratham, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, Thomas also owned property in five other towns. He died in 1781.Transcription of the Will of Thomas Odel drawn 20 December 1779, Rockingham County (NH) Probate Records [microfilm], 1771-1862, [microfilm], Docket 4742, p. 194, New England Historic Genealogical Society Library, Boston, transcribed by Malissa Ruffner, 10 March 2010. In the Name of God Amen, I Thomas Odel of Stratham in The County of Rockingham in the State of New Hampshire Yeoman[?] Being weak in Body, but of a Sound Disposing mind and Memory, thanks be given to God Therefor. Calling to mind the Mortality of my Body, and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to Die: Do make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament: that is to Say Principally and first of all, I give and Recommend my Soul into the hands of God that gave it: and my Body I Recommend to the Earth, to be Buried in a Decent manner, at the Discretion of my Executors; Nothing Doubting, but at the general Resurrection, I Shall receive the Same Again, by the Mighty Power of God.
And as touching such Worldly Estates wherewith it hath pleased God to Bless me in this Life, I give Devise and Dispose of the Same as follows. viz. My Will is that my Just Debts and Funeral Charges be paid Equally by my two Sons Thomas and James, out of what I herein give to them. Imprimis. I give unto Mary my Beloved Wife her Heirs and Assigns, two Cows, four Sheep, my Riding Chair and Horse; and all my Household goods And I also give to her, During her Natural Life, the improvement of one third of all my Real Estate, as the Law allows her. Item. I give unto my Son Thomas Odel, his Heirs and Assigns forever, all my Hundred acre Lott of Land in SummerStreet, in the Town of Notingham in Said County, where he now Dwells being N°-21. with the Edifices thereon Excepting his Mothers thirds out of it. I also give him two of my ox Chains he paying one half of my Debts and funeral Charges. Item. I give unto my Son James Odel, his Heirs and Assigns forever, all my Land and Buildings in Said Stratham: and my Salt Marsh in Exeter in Said County at a place Called Broad Cove: and all my Stock of Cattle Sheep and Swine: all my Husbandry Utensils (Except Said two ox Chains) and my Pew in the Meetinghouse; he paying one half of my Debts and funeral Charges as aforesaid; he to come into possession thereof at my Decease; Excepting his Mothers out thirds of it. Item. I give unto my Daughter Mercy Wiggin her Heirs and Assigns forever, all the Land I now own in the Town Bow in Said County. Item. I give unto my Daughter Hannah Kennison; and my Grandson Daniel French, their Heirs and Assigns forever, all my Hundred Acre Lot of Land in the Town of Barnstead, in the County of Strafford in Said State, which belongs to the original Right of John Wallingford, to be Equally Divided between them. Item. I further give unto my Said two Sons Thomas and James their Heirs & Assigns, All the Remainder of the Land I own in Said Barnstead: and all the Land I now own in Deerfield in Said County of Rockingham, and all the Remainder of my Estate, whether Real or Personal, whatsoever and wheresoever; that I have not in this Will given away; to be Equally Divided between them. And I Do herby Constitute and Appoint my Said two Sons Thomas Odel and James Odel, Executors of this my Last Will and Testament; and do hereby utterly Disallow Revoke and Disannul, all former Wills and Testaments, Bequests and Executors, by me before this time Named Willed and Bequeathed; Ratifying and Confirming this and no other, to be my Last Will and Testament.
In Witness whereof I hereunto Set my hand and Seal the twentieth Day of December, anno 1779.
Signed Sealed and Declared by the Said Thomas Odel }
To be his Last Will and Testament, in Presence of us the Subscribers}
s/Thomas Moore Junior[?]
s/Sam Lane ROCKINGHAM Sep. 26th 1781
Thomas Moore Jr.[?] and Martha Moore made solemn
Oath that they saw Thomas Odel deceased sign and
seal and heard him declare the said [“this” inserted above] Instrument
to be his last Will and Testament that at the doing it
he was to the best of their Judgment of Sound
and Disposing mind that they with Sam Lane
Signed the same as Witness at the same time in the