Monday, November 7, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - the Will of John Heald (1611-1662) of Concord MA

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme many months ago called Amanuensis Monday. What does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition:

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is the will of John Heald (1611-1662) of Concord, Massachusetts, who died testate on 24 May 1662.  He married Dorothy --?-- (perhaps Royle? 1615-1694) in 1636 in England, and they had  nine children - John Heald (1637-1689), Hannah Heald (1639-1689), Timothy Heald (1641-1689), Dorcas Heald (1645-1650), Gershom Heald (1647-1717), Dorothy Heald (1649-1674), Thomas Heald (1652-1725), Isaac Heald (1656-1717) and Israel Heald (1660-1738).

John Heald died testate, and his probate records are in Middlesex County (Massachusetts) Probate Records, Probate Packet #11,053 (image copies of original papers accessed on FHL Microfilm 0, 397,091).  His will reads:

"I, John Heald of Concord in County of Middlesex in Massachusetts Collony, being sick in body but of perfect mind and memory, I do make this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following: first i commit my soule into the hands of the lord my gratious God in Jesus Christ resting upon his free grace that he will receive it to his mercye and my body to the Earth to be decently buryed therin; believing the ressurection thereof at the Last Day, and hoping that both soule and body shall bee glorified together with my blessed redeemer forever;

"Also for the outward estate which god hath given me;  my three eldest children that is to say John my eldest son and Timothy and my daughter Hannah having received their portions of my estate; I do here by give and bequeth to my five younger children; to each of them the sum of thirteen (13) pounds six shillings and eight pence to be payed unto the said children by my loving wife Dorothy or her assigns when the foresaid children shall come to the age of twenty and one years or at their marriage; and the rest of my estate be it more or less I do herby give it to my said wife to dispose of as she shall think good excepting one suit of cloaths which I give to my eldest son John, and my great coat to my son Timothy: and a wastcoat to my daughter Hannah; Also I do hereby appoint and constitute my said beloved wife Dorothy, the sole executrix of this my last will and testament.

"In wittnes wherof I doe herto set my hand and seal this ninteenth day of April one thousand six hundred sixty two.
.................................................................................. (signed) John Heald
Wittnesses herof
John Flynt (signed)
Ephraim Flynt (signed)
Thomas Brown (signed)
Attested, Simon Willard (signed)"

The will was proved by the Court on 18 June 1662 by Clerk Thomas Danforth.

An inventory of the estate of John Heald was taken by Robert Meriam, George Wheeler and Thomas Brooks on 31 May 1662, which shows an estate of 141 pounds, 1 shilling and debts of 1 pound to be paid, leaving a net estate of 140 pounds, 1 shilling.

Because John Heald died relatively young at age 51, he left five minor children.  His will named only son John, daughter Hannah and son Timothy, and requested his wife Dorothy to give money (13 pounds, six shillings) to each of the five minor children when they reached the age of 21, or at the time of their marriage.

My ancestry is through daughter Dorothy Heald (1649-1674), who married Jonathan Prescott (1645-1721), and their son Samuel Prescott (1674-1758). 

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