Monday, December 26, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - the Will of Thomas Graves (1686-1756) of Southborough, Mass.

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 Thomas Graves (1686-1756) of Southborough, Massachusetts. He was married in about 1710 to (1) Ruth Collins (1685- before 1715), and they had Ruth Graves (1711-????).  Thomas Graves married in 1715 to Ruth Taylor (????-1756), and they had children:  Hannah Graves (1715-????); Joseph Graves (1717-1788). 

Thomas Graves of Southborough died testate, having written a will on 16 February 1756.  The will reads (transcribed from Worcester County Probate Records, Volume 5, page 5, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,856,277 (clerk's copy);  in places, the handwriting is difficult to decipher):

"In the name of God Amen the 16 day of Feb'y in ye 27 year of His Majestys Reign Anno Domini 1756.  I Thomas Graves of Southboro'h in ye County of Worcester within his Majestys province of ye Massachusetts Bay in New England yeoman being ??? to a Considerable degree of age but of perfect mind & memory Thanks being given to God therefor calling to mind the Invitality of my body and knowing it is appointed for all men to die do make & ordain this my Last Will and Testament That is to Say former nul & first of all I give & Commend my Soul into the hands of God that gave it and my body I Commend to the Earth to be buried in a decent Christian buriall at the discretion of my Executor nothing doubting but at the Generall Resurrection I Shall Receive ye Same again by the mighty power of God and as Touching such worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give demise & Dispose of the Same in ye following Manner & form.  In the first place I give to my Daughter Ruth Buck Six shillings & Eight pence Lawfull money and one Cow to be paid unto her at the end of one year after my decease and these with what she hath already had to be to her in full for her part of portion out of my Estate.

"Secondly I give to my Daughter Hannah Wait five pounds Lawfull money and three Sheep & one bed & beding & her mothers wearing Cloths & Linin & Two Chests which to be delivered her in one year after my decease which is to be in full unto her the said Hanah for her part of Portion out of my Estate.

"Thirdly I give to my Son Joseph Graves all the Remainder of my Estate not otherwise disposed of both of lands buildings Creatures & out Door moveables, and also my will is that he the said Joseph Graves pay all my debts and all the funerall Charges of my self & wife at his own Cost & Charge.

"Fourthly & Lastly I do hereby make & ordain him my said Son Joseph Graves my Sole Executor of this my Last Will & Testament & I do hereby ??? Disallow Revoke and Disanull all & Every other former Testaments Wills Legacys requests & Exec-r by me in any ways before Named Willed & bequeathed Ratifying & umpowering this and no Other to be my last Will & Testament, In Wittness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand & Seal the day & year Above written.

"These words vizt. eight pence Interlined & one Cow were done before Signing & Sealing.
.................................................................... Thos Graves  (seal)

"Signed Sealed pronounced and declared by the said Thomas Graves as his Last Will & Testament In the presence of us the Subscribers John Newton Ezekiell Collins Ephraim Woods."

"Southboro-h Feby 24 1756 we the Subscribers being heirs to the above named Thomas Graves Dec-d do hereby Submitt unto & Consent that the abovesaid Will and Testament as Wittness our hands Isaac Buck, John Wait, Ruth Buck her mark and Hannah Waight her mark."

Joseph Wilder, Judge of Probate of Wills for Worcester County proved the will on 23 March 1756 with John Newton and Ezekiel Collins making an oath that Thomas Graves signed, sealed and declared that the abovewritten was his Last Will and Testament, and approved Joseph Graves as Executor of the estate of Thomas Graves.

My descent is through daughter Ruth Graves (1710-???) who married Isaac Buck (1706-1780) in 1729 in Reading, Massachusetts.

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