Roger Terrell, witness to 1636 Surrey will

by Conrad W. Terrill, 17 Nov. 2010

This 1636 Surrey will, witnessed by a Roger Terill, could become an important clue in the search for our Roger1 Terrill's origins, as we learn more. Its most interesting aspects are: 1) that 1636 was, we believe, not long before our Roger1 came to New England; and 2) that we have been made aware of a record of a once-found inscription, "Roger Terrill or Tyrrel of Surrey, England, settled in New England about 1638," on a monument of some sort in Rahway Cemetery, Rahway, NJ. (If you are a member of DOR-Terrill, see our Research page article "Roger Terrill of Surrey—A Monumental Record?") We're not putting a lot of faith in that inscription, by the way, since we do not know its date or provenance, and we cannot even find the monument! But it does indicate that some person at some time was certain enough of this origin to inscribe it on a monument.

Other interesting aspects of the will, ones on which we have a better chance of following up, are the place (Walton upon Thames), the name of the testator (John Bythewood, yeoman), and perhaps the other names mentioned: Cicely Bythewood (John's wife, named executrix—note how many different ways her name is spelled!); Margaret Prichett (daughter of John Pritchett); John Pritchett Jr.; Richard Powton, wheeler; Nicholas and Thomas Barnes, kinsmen of the testator; Simon Kinge and Vincent Osborne, overseers of the trusts; and John Hudson, the other witness. Walton-on-Thames was a parish town at that time, about seventeen miles southwest of London, twenty-some miles upstream of London (since the Thames meanders). Roger Terrell, witness, was presumably associated in some way with John Bythewood (as a friend or neighbor, we think) and with Walton upon Thames.

Of our three best Possible Roger1 candidates (see "Possible Roger1s" on our Research page), this 1636 witness could not be Roger Tirrell bapt. 1620 at St Magnus The Martyr, London, since that Roger would not have been of legal age in 1636, and so could not have witnessed a will. Two possibilities are Roger Tirrell chr. 1605 at St Giles Cripplegate, London, who would have been 31 at the time of the writing of the will, and Roger Tirrell bapt. 1592 in Petersfield, Hampshire, who would have been 43, assuming that he did not die in 1625. And of course there may have been other Roger Terrills of that place and time of whom we are not yet aware.

Will of John Bythewood, yeoman, Walton upon Thames
written 14 June 1636, proved 15 June 1638

Church of England, Archdeaconry of Surrey, Court,
registered copies of wills, 1631-1638 (LDS FHL #97158)

See the original copy of the will (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Note: Transcription of underlined parts is uncertain.

In the name of God Amen ~
the 14th day of June Anno D[omi]ni 1636 I John Bythewood of the
p~{ar}ish of walton uppon Thames in the County of Surrey yeoman
being sick and weake in body but sound and p~{er}fect in my remem
brance Thanks be to Allmighty God doe make and ordayne this
my last Will and Testament in manner and form as follows ~
p{rimi}s ffirst and Principally I give and bequeath my soule into
the hands of Allmighty God my Creator and unto Jesus
Christ my Redeemer by whome I hope to have a Joyfull resur
rection in the world to come And my body to be buried in the earth
where it shall please my Executor ffirst I give to the pore of ys p~ish
iijs iiijd likewise I give and bequeath to Margaret Prichett ye

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Daughter of John Prichett tenn pounds and to her heires after
the decease of me and my Wife Cicely Likewise I will and
bequeath to John Prichett the sonne of John Prichett five pounds
and to his heires after me the decease of me and Cesyly my wife
Likewise I will and bequeath to Richard Ponton Wheeler five
pounds and to his heires after ye decease of me & Cesyly my
Wife Likewise I will and bequeath to Nicholas Barnes and
Thomas Barnes my kinsmen foure pounds a peice and to
their heires after the decease of me and Ciscely my Wife
And all the rest of my goods I give to Cecyly my Wife wch I
make my whole Executor ffurther I doe intreate Simond
Kinge and Vincent Osborne to be my Ov~{er}seers in trust
to see this my Will p~formed and furthermore my Will is this
money bequeathed to remaine in the hands of my Ov~seers —
giveing Cescely my Wife ye intrest of it during her Natural
life And I give to my Ov~seers twenty five shillings for their
paynes In witness whereunto I have sett my hand and seale
the day and yeare above written John Bithewood sealed
in the p{res}nts of John Hudson Roger Ter{r}ell {(smudged)}

Probatum {in Latin, proved 15 June 1638, to executrix Cicilia Bithewood}

Transcribed by C. W. Terrill