Query

The family of Jonathan Olin, Sr. (1737- 1826) is something of a mystery. He married first to Anne Gardiner in 1757. As far as is known, this marriage produced no NATURAL BORN children. After Anne's death in the early 1800's, he remarried to a Mereba _______. He was supposedly the father of an illegitimate daughter (Hannah Dyer).

In the will of Jonathan Olin, Sr., he twice refers to "my ADOPTED son", Jonathan Olin, Jr. (1766-1851). Jonathan Olin, Jr. is my ancestor. In his will, Jonathan, Sr. also bequeathed property to Phebe Matteson (wife of Isaac Matteson, of Shaftsbury), who is also believed to have been a daughter of Jonathan, Sr. [but NOT the daughter of Anne (Gardiner) OIin]. Whew, this family is confusing!!! Can anyone provide any more information to help sort out this family? The following is the will of Jonathan Olin, Sr.:

April the 5th day of 1826

Jonathan Olin Estate

Whereas David Mattison the 2d of Shaftsbury in said District heretofore presented to the probate ourt a certain instrument purporting to be the last Will and Testament of Jonathan Olin late of said Shaftsbury deceased for probate and allowances where when it was ordered that the said David Mattison the 2d who was amed as the Executor to said will to that he gives notice to all persons concerned to appear before said probate court at the probate offie in Bennington in district on the first Wednesday of April AD 1826 and then and there show cause if any they have why said Will and Testament should not be proved and approved by said court and it appearing to said court that the said David Mattison the 2d has complyed with the said order by publishing the substance of his application aforesaid and also a copy of said order the said probate court then when provided to take the proof of said Will and Testament which said Will and Testament was duly proven to be the last Will and Testament of the said Jonathan Olin deceased and the same was approved and ordered to be recorded by the court and which said Will and Testament was in the words and figure following to wit--

In the name of God Amen

I Jonathan Olin of Shaftsbury in the County of Bennington and State of Vermont being of sound isposing mind and memory and being desirous of settling my worldly affairs whilst I have culpability so to do make this as my last Will and Testament hereby revoking and making void all former Wills by me at any time heretofore made and first I commit my soul into the hands of my Creator who gave it and my body to be decently buried in the earth by my Executor hereafter named and as to such world Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to intrust me to dispose as follows--

First--That all my just debts be paid out of my goods and Estate. Second--I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Mereba the one equal half of all my real and personal estate to her and her heirs forever after the payment of my just debts and other charges and expences meaning and intending to give unto my said wife the property under which the word be intitled to be law should I die intestate. Thirdly--I give and bequeath unto Phebe Mattison the wife of Isaac Mattison of the Town of Shaftsbury in the County of Bennington State of Vermont the right to use improve and occupy all singular the rest and residue of my real estate with all the privilidges and appertainances thereto belonging for and during the natural life and after the death of the said Phebe I will and bequeath the said real estate unto her heirs as the law directs to their use forever meaning and intending hereby and it is especially to be understood to be my last will that after the payment of all by just debts out of my personal Estate if sufficient my wearing apprarel and joiner tools excepted and if not sufficient then after disposing of my said personal Estate towards the payment of my just debts my Executor is hereby impowered to sell so much of my real Estate as will pay the residue and that after the payment of debts in the manner aforesaid and after the said one equal half of real estate shall be set apart to my said wife then as the remaider of my real estate the said Phebe Mattison is to have and enjoy that the right of holding possessing and improving the same for her own benefit during her natural life and that after her death the said real estate is to descend to her heirs as before mentioned.

Fourthly--I give and bequeath unto my ADOPTED son Jonathan Olin of Shaftsbury aforesaid all my wearing apparel and all my carpenter and joiner tools and should there be any remaining part of my personaal estate after the payment of my just debts and not otherwise bequeathed for that case I give and bequeath the same to my ADOPTED son Jonathan Olin to his own proper use and benefit and lastly I do hereby consitute and appoint my trusty friend David Mattison the 2d to be my sole Executor to this my last

Will and Testament--

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 14 day of September in the year of our Lord Christ one thousand eight hundred and twenty.

Jonathan Olin [SEAL]

Signed sealed published and declared by the above named Jonathan Olin to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as Witnesses In the presence of Jonathan Olin and in the presence of each other

Henry Mattison

Henry Mattison Jun.

Susannah Mattison


Another Bit of Information from Chris Robinson

Jonathan Olin, Jr. was my 5th GGF. His father, Jonathan Olin, Sr. referred to Jonathan, Jr. several times in his will as "my adopted son". Jonathan, Jr. is the only child I know of from Jonathan and Anne (Gardiner) Olin's marriage, and he was born 9 years after they were married. This seems to indicate that they could not have children and that they possibly took in a nephew or perhaps some other relative to raise. This is just conjecture on my part, but it was fairly common in those days. I doubt that any records would exist in RI that could point to who they "adopted" or who his biological parents were. It is hard enough for adoptees to find their parents today, much less after 200+ years. By the way, when Jonathan Olin, Jr. married Penelope Harrington, his uncle Gideon Olin conducted the wedding ceremony.