Josiah or Josias Churchell as he spelled his name, was born in England about 1613. He was in Wethersfield, Connecticut early on, but was not among the first settlers. He was living there in 1638 when he married Elizabeth Foote, daughter of Nathaniel Foote & Elizabeth Deming(?). Elizabeth was baptized in Shalford, Essex, England on January 14, 1617/18. She died on September 8, 1700, in Wethersfield. Josiah died on January 1, 1686/7 in Wethersfield. His will dated November 17, 1683 is as follows:
I, Josiah Churchill of Wethersfield do make this my last Will & Testament: I give unto my wife Elizabeth Churchill the use of all my estate, whether Real or Personal, during her natural life, excepting such parcels of Land as shall hereafter be excepted, she paying all my Just Debts. And after her decease my Will is that all my Land & other Estate of mine she shall then stand possessed of, to be divided as follows: I give unto my son Joseph the House & Homelott he now liveth on, with all other Buildings thereon, and one Lott in the Little West field, containing 10 acres, and another Lott containing 6 acres. I give unto my son Joseph my 50-acre Lott at the West End of Wethersfield Bounds. I do give unto my son Joseph, after the decease of my wife, Elizabeth, 5 acres in the Great Swamp, & 2 acres of Meadow lying toward the lower End of sd. Meadow, & half of my 5-acre Lott at the upper End of the Great Meadow. I give unto my son Benjamin Churchill 6 acres in the Little West Field, also 10 acres more in the West Field. I give unto my son Benjamin, after the decease of my wife, my now Dwelling House & Homelott & other buildings upon sd. Lott, & 7 acres of Land in the Great Swamp, & 4 acres in Beaver Meadow, & half my 5-acre Lott at the upper End of the Great Meadow. My will is that all the rest of my Moveable Estate be equally divided betwixt my daughters Marah Church, Elizabeth buck, Ann Rice and Sarah Wickham. My will is that my wife be sole Executrix. Witness: Samuel Talcott, John Deming.
An inventory of his estate was taken on January 5, 1686/7 by Mr. James Treat and John Buttolph.
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