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HomepageWill of Susanna Cullin
Widow of Upton 1652
Warren McKay, Jim Cullen


Warren McKay of New Zealand, a descendant of the Cullens of Maungaturoto, has located the will of Susanna Cullin, widow of Upton, Nottinghamshire, in the UK Public Records Office. The will was proved 29Sep1653. Susanna's will was dated 18Dec1652 and she was buried in Upton on 19Dec1652. Susanna (Susan Saman) was the wife of Thomas Cullen, Yeoman of Upton (c1573-1628). They were married in November of 1611 in Upton. This document is particularly useful as it provides the documentation needed to sort out the first few generations of Cullens known to have lived in Upton. The transcription of the will provides some new family details which lend support to the idea that Thomas Cullen , son of Richard Cullen ( who died 1579/80 in Upton ), and Thomas Cullen, grandson of Richard, are actually one and the same. We'll first compile a list of the sons of Thomas & Susanna Cullen from their respective wills; Thomas in 1628 and Susanna in 1652:

Thomas Cullen - 1628Susanna Cullin - 1652
  • Sara - £20 - ch04Oct1612
  • John - 40/- ch10Apr1615
  • William - £20 - ch30Mar1617
  • Thomas - inherited farm - ch06Mar1618
  • Richard - £5 - ch03Feb1621
  • George - £10 - ch09Jun1625
  • John - oldest son
  • Thomas - son
  • Richard - son
  • George - no relationship stated
  • Jervas - son ( all the above received two shillings )
  • William - son, executor, received what was left of her possessions

Note that the first-born, Sara, is mentioned in Thomas' will but not in Susanna's. The reason may be that the Sara Cullen, spinster, buried in Upton 13Jun1647, was the 35 year old daughter of Thomas & Susanna. Gervase, son of Thomas & Susanna, is not mentioned in his father's will; he was barely four months old at the time. Margaret is not mentioned and would not be born for another eight months. She had just been conceived when her father Thomas died. Compare these lists to the known sons of both Thomas Cullen ( son of Richard ), and Thomas Cullen (grandson of Richard ), with baptismal dates, compiled from Parish records, Thomas Cullen's will of 1628, and other sources:
  • Sarah Cullen - 04Oct1612
  • John Cullen - 10Apr1615
  • Thomas Cullen - 06Mar1618
  • Richard Cullen - 03Feb1621
  • George Cullen - 09Jun1625
  • Gervase Cullen - 02Apr1628
  • William Cullen - 30Mar1617

Note that William has been pulled out of order and placed at the end of this list since William Cullen is listed last due to holding the special honor of being Executor of his mother's will. We can draw further family information on these sons by noting the details concerning the daughters of the sons of Susanna Cullin mentioned in the will:
  • Katherine Cullin daughter to William Cullin my sonne
  • Elizabeth Cullin daughter to John Cullin my sonne
  • Sarah Cullin daughter to Richard Cullin
  • Susanna Cullin daughter to Thomas Cullin my sonne
  • Susanna Cullin daughter to Jervas Cullin my sonne

What this new information confirms is that Thomas Cullen ( d05Aug1628 ) is the father of the sons listed for both generations. The year of birth for this Thomas ( abt1573 ) is assumed by estimating his age at the time of his marriage to Agnes. There is however still the possibility of two generations of Thomas Cullens. Thomas Cullen, son of Richard (d1579/80), married Agnes Kitchen on 17Nov1593. He was married to her for about eighteen years before she died on 06Aug1611. There are no known recorded children at all during these eighteen years. It is then presumed that this same Thomas Cullen remarried to Susan Saman a few months later on 19Nov1611. Both marriages taken together cover a span of about 35 years; about 18 years of marriage to Agnes Kitchen and about another 17 years of marriage to Susan Saman.

Other family details clarified by the will of Susanna Cullin: The below transcription and image of the will of Susanna Cullin is also included here as an example of a handwritten will from mid 17'th century England.


Will of Susanna Cullin, widow of Upton, Nottingham
(proved 29 Sep 1653)


In the name of God Amen I Susanna Cullin of Upton near Southwell in the county of Nottingham widdow do make and ordaine this my last will and testament in form and manner following First I commit my soul to God from whom it came and my body to be decently and orderly buried in the Churchyard of the parish Church of Upton aforesayd
First I give unto John Cullin my oldest sonne two shillings for a full satisfaction for his part or portion
Item I give unto Thomas Cullin two shillings for a full satisfaction for his part or portion
Item I give unto Richard Cullin my sonne two shillings for a full satisfaction for his part or portion
Item I give unto George Cullin two shillings for a full satisfaction for his part or portion
Item I give to Jervas Cullin my sonne two shillings for a full satisfaction for his part or portion
Item I give unto Katherine Cullin daughter to William Cullin my sonne one pillowscase?
Item I give to Elizabeth Cullin daughter to John Cullin my sonne one pillowscase?
Item I give unto Sarah Cullin daughter to Richard Cullin one Towell
Item I give unto Susanna Cullin daughter to Thomas Cullin my sonne one Towell
Item I give unto Susanna Cullin daughter to Jervas Cullin my sonne Shiffe? Curtains for a bedd
All the rest of my goods I give and bequeath unto William Cullin my sonne whom I make full and sole Executor of this my last will and testament to see my debts dischargded my body decently interred in the Churchyard of the parish Church of Upton aforesayd
In witness whereof I have sett my hand or mark to this my last will and testament the eighteenth day of December in the year of our Lord God One Thousand Six hundred fifty and two
Susanna Cullin her mark Witnesses George Eliot Robert Eliot his mark


This will was proved at Westminster the nine and twentieth day of September in the year of our Lord God One Thousand Six hundred fifty and three before the judges for probate of wills and graunting Administrations, appointed by an Act of Parliament entitled an Act for probate of wills and graunting Administrations, by the oath of William Cullin the natural and lawful sonne of the sayd deceased and sole Executor in the sayd will named to whom was comitted the Administration of all and singular the goods chattells and debts of the sayd deceased he being first sworn by Comission truly to Administer the same according to Law








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