My 10th-great-grandfather Maindort (or Meindort, Mindote, or Minor) Doodes wrote his will on 13 December 1677. It was recorded in the clerk's office of Middlesex County, Virginia. The seal has the impression of a galley. Maindort Doodes was a Dutch sea captain. In 1665, he lived in Lancaster County, Virginia. He was also recorded as being of Nansemond in Lower Norfolk County, Virginia records. ("Minor Family." William and Mary College Historical Magazine 8, 1900, pp. 196-200. Available from Google Books.)
William and Mary College Historical Magazine 8,1900, pp. 198-199. Available from Google Books.
Item My Debts being first paide I leave my hole persnall estate in the hands of my loving wife Mary Doodes during the time of her widowhood and if Inkase she should marry again then my will is thatt my sonn Doodes Minor's children shall have the one half of my Negroes forthwith delivered into the possession of there father for the sole use & behoufe of them while such time that it shall please God to take him away & then to Redound to the use of there Mother during the time of her widowhood & afterwards to them solely & Inkase of the Mortality of Ither without issue the Survivore to succeed thereon and the other half to be forthwith delivered into the possession of Peter Montague for the sole use of his wife whitch is now living and afterwards to the sole use of her children & inkase of the Mortality of Ither of them without Issue the Survivore to succeed thereon as abovesd & soe to Remaine them & there Increase male and female & not to be sould nor Mordgaged & furthere Increase male and female & not to be sould nor Mordgaged & further my will is that the two ould Negroes Degoe & Pallis his wife shall serve but ten years after my desease & then to be free & Doe make my loving wife Mary Doodes & my loving friend William Chance my sole Executor & Executrix to see my will truly performed in witness whereof I here unto sett my hand and seale the 13th day of December 1677.
& None of My other Negroes to serve any longer than fourty five yeares a. sold them nor there Increase.
MAINDORT DOODES (Seal).
Probat in Cur Com Midds die January 1677 at Recordat 9 die sequent Teste Chr Robinson Clerk.
This is the first record that I have found where one of my ancestors or collateral relatives makes provisions for the freedom of slaves. I hope to find more records like that! I hope that Degoe and his wife Pallis were surviving when the ten years had passed and that they were freed, as Maindort Doodes wanted.