Will of John Mayo Sr.

Copy of the will of John Mayo of Thorpe Mandeville, Northamptonshire, England (father of John Mayo, immigrant to Massachusetts (Plymouth Colony) in about 1638)

I John Mayo of Thorpe Mandeville in the County of Northampton do make my last will and testament bequeathing my soul unto God and my body to be buried in the churchyard at Thorp. And for my temporal goods I do bequeath as follows, I make the executors Katherine Mayo my beloved wife and Elizabeth Mayo my daughter and further my will is that my two executors shall divide my goods equally between them and also shall equally be enforced to pay my debts for the rent of the house and close and also those legacies hereafter named. To my son Mr. John Mayo I by legacy bequest a coffer of ash standing over the kitchen. Item to my son Thomas Gilbert of Slapton I give all those tools which he have now with him in his keeping. Item I give to my daughter Anne Gervice one pewter platter as my executrix shall please to give. In witness hereafter I have subscribed my hand the eighteenth of January 1629. Item I make my overseer Daniel Gervice my son in law. Signed John Mayo Witnesses William Gardener, Hannah Jarvis

(Northamptonshire County Council Corporate Headquarters Record Office, Rachel Watson, county archivist modernized the spellings)

The will is dated 18 Jan 1629/30 and was proved 30  1629/30.


Some observations of John Mayo’s will (from Reverend John Mayo and his Descendants by Jean Mayo-Rodwick, p. 6):

Spelling was fluid in the 1600s. When his daughter, Hannah Jarvis, witnessed the will she signed her name as she spells it. John must have nick-named her Anna which is a shortened form of Hannah. He spells her name Anne Gervice. Note that her husband’s name is also Daniel Gervice rather than Daniel Jarvis. So he was consistent in his way of spelling his daughter’s married name.

It would seem that his youngest daughter, Joyce who lived in Slapton may have died in giving birth to her second child perhaps shortly before her father wrote his will. John does mention her husband Thomas Gilbert. There are no other children of Joyce and Thomas in the records, lending credence to the fact that she may have died giving birth to her son.

According to Chauncy’s Last Living, Rev. John Mayo’s father was from Thorpe Mandeville and was buried there. Rev. Charles Chauncy was a vicar in nearby Marston St. Lawrence (on present day MapQuest map between Thorpe Mandeville, and Farthinghoe), before coming to America and he was friends with Rev. John Mayo’s father.


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