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One more look at the Will of Phebe Mather … two bequests of interest - and intrigue!

In an earlier blog we looked at the wills of both Rana and Phebe, the unmarried daughters of Deacon Mather.   The wills confirmed Ann Lockwood’s inheritance of the Homestead, Ann being the daughter of Betsey Mather Lockwood, the sister of Rana and Phebe.


A closer look at Phebe’s will, written October 1880, contains two other bequests of note:


Second: I give devise and bequest unto my beloved niece Anna B. White, all my right title and interest in and to the carriage house and lot of land upon which it is erected, to and for her own separate use and benefit forever.


Anna Bell White was the daughter of Nancy Mather Bell, Phebe’s sister.  In March 1842 she married James Herver White in New York City. The 1880 Federal Census shows Anna living in New York City with her husband and her unmarried sister Harriet.   Anna died in 1904 and is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn.   James died in 1887 and is buried there as well.

Did Anna use the carriage house year-round, in the summer, with James, without James?   And where was the carriage house located?


Third: I give, devise and bequeath unto my grand niece Phebe Ann Mather, daughter of my nephew William H. Mather of Tecumseh Michigan, one set of silver tea spoons.


Phebe was the granddaughter of Phebe’s brother David Scott Mather, the one Mather sibling who left the New England area.   Phebe was born in 1853 and died in 1895.

Was the bequest simply because the younger Phebe was a namesake or was there a greater connection? 


Like the silver spoons, the answers are undoubtedly lost to history. But the Homestead archives continue to give us questions to ponder and explore.

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