I will have to say that I feel that your inclusion of a wife, Mary Clark for Richard Empson, does not follow the research that I have. Richard did not come to America and thus did not have any sons born here. I have not seen a full copy of the will but, as I recall, he mentions a wife, Ann, maiden name not known. A brief abstract of the will is as follows:
>>Richard's will was written 20 April 1675; probated 27 September 1675; and registered in Probate Registry at York, named all of his children and a grandson, Benoni Empson, who came with his uncle, Cornelius, to America. The father of Benoni was not named, but he shows up in the tax lists of Delaware 1796/7 "land demise from Christopher Empson"<<
Also, I have never heard of Cornelius' first wife referred to a Mary Watkins; I have known her to be Mary Sanderson. Have you any reference for the Watkins? I know that in the following accounting of some of the MM of the Quaker Church, that Cornelius' second wife was referred to as Elizabeth Sanderson:
>>1689 __ day 10th mo The monthly Meeting being held at Valentine Hollingsworth appoints a meeting to be held at New Castle ye first first day after every Quarter Sessions to be held at Edward Blakes. Cornelius Empson & Elizabeth Sanderson signifying their intentions of marriage to mens & womens meeting which being taken into serious consideration. Could in no wise be joyned with by ye meeting by reason of their nearness of kin, she being his former wifes own sister. George Harlan Desireing ye Concurance of ffreinds on behalf of family on ye other side of brandywine for ye holding of a meeting this winter season amongst themselves by rease of the dangerousness of ye ford, to which ye meeting agress & Consents.
1689/10 4th day 11th mo The Monthly Meeting being held at Corneliuis Empsons. said Empson addressing himselfe to ye meeting on account of his intentions of marriage and desireing some assistance from ffreinds to go to ffriends of Upland Meeting to take their advice on ye said matter. John Keyham & Thos Perison are appointed to spake to Edward Blake to come to ye next monthly meeting in order to ye settling of a meeting at New Castle.
1689/10 1st day 1st mo The Monthly Meeting being held at valentine Hollingsworths forasmuch as Cornelius Empson hath proceeded contrary to ye or ___ Trith & ye advice of ffriends in marrying his late wifes own Sister.
It is therefore ye judgment of this meeting yt he ought not be Commeted amoug us any more in our mans meeting untill he give Satisfaction for his os doing & cleareth ye truth & untill then ffriends have with drew the meeting from his
house. Morgan Druet & George Harlan are desired by ye meeting to give Cornelius Empsons to give him ye sence of ye meeting and of the proceedings as aforesaid. The Meeting desires Val Hollingsworth to speak to his sone.<<
I am not aware of any Sandersons or Watkins who came to America; it would seem that the MM's concern over his marrying his wife's sister, is that she was probably part of his household; she may have come with her sister to America as a younger child, and this would have seemed improper in the eyes of the Quaker Church, as she would have been much as a daughter in the household.
I don't believe that James was of age when Cornelius wrote his will, as he did make the following statement in the will: >>Item, it is my absolute mind & will that all I have given unto my son Charles and James Empson my plantations Chestnut Hill & Horse Hooke that my loving wife, Mary, shall during her widowhood have the full benefit of those mentioned plantations and all the Negroes wh: is given unto my said Children wh: are not at age, that my said wife to have the benefit of those Negroes until my sons shall arrive to age and my Daughters to the age of twenty one or when they shall marry,<< Charles, James, Ann and Susanna are children of Mary Richarson Empson, and she did not marry Cornelius until October 1703 and Cornelius' will was being written in December of 1710. Somewhere in the court records should be some guardianship papers to cover the care and condition of the estate of the children. The mother would not have been granted the ability to decide,as she could have been wooed by some suitor with gold crowns in his eyes, and the estate could be just whisked away, leaving the children out of the estate picture.
I have tentatively placed the parents of Richard Empson, as also a Richard with wife, Isabel Gathorne; and grandfather of Richard as Gregory Empson. Someone has just shared those names with me, so I have not had time to seek out documentation for it. There are a number of Empson researchers in England, and records must be quite absent, or they would be able to better assign these earlier generations. I have to remind myself that England had so much destroyed during World War II; that they are very lucky to have anything in the way of records to which to attach their lineages.
I do have a rootsweb site at:
to which I am constantly adding and updating my data. I do appreciate your posting the complete will of Cornelius. I have been working with a much abstracted version of that.
BTW, there are lots of Whitakers in Caswell and Person Counties, NC, very near where my James Bird settled from New Castle County, DE.
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