Amy Palmer was born in Branford, Connecticut in 1713. She married Amos Johnson sometime around 1730 and moved to Cornwall in 1742, Amos died in 1766, leaving Amy a wealthy widow. As a widow, she had greater freedom and privileges than either married or single women.
Amy maintained control over the real estate and personal property left to her, appearing on the Grand List almost every year for three decades. Typically, widows were the only women to appear on the Grand List during the 1700s, becoming property owners by default when their husbands died.
Amy died in 1796, leaving her land and other real estate to her son Amos. She left only five pounds to her son Solomon, who had left town some years earlier, after cheating on his wife. To her only daughter, Amy Pierce, she left money and personal property.
“I give and bequeath to my Daughter Amy Pierce, Widow and Relict of Joshua Pierce late of Cornwall, deceased, the value of Thirty Pounds Lawful Money… one string of gold beads, six silver tea spoons, one Cow, one full sett of white linnen bed Curtains, my best blue and white bed Coverlid, one blue and white checked bed blanket, one black silk Gown, one Chintz Gown, one pewter Tankard, one pint Cup, one Pewter Platter, four pewter Plates. I also give to my said Daughter Amy one bed, two Coverlids, two Sheets, two Pillows and one Boulster….”
~ Excerpt from the will of Amy Johnson, 1796