Monday, November 12, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records of Isaac Learned (1624-1657) of Chelmsford, Mass.

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday blog theme several years 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 probate file of Isaac Learned (1624-1657) of Chelmsford, Mass.  Isaac married Mary Stearns (1627-1664) in 1646 in Woburn, Mass. and they had six children:  Mary Learned (1647-????); Hannah Learned (1649-????); William Learned (1650-1684); Sarah Learned (1653-1695); Isaac Learned (1655-1737); Benoni Learned (1657-1738).  Mary (Stearns) Learned married (2) John Burge in 1662, and she died in 1664.


Isaac Learned died intestate in late 1657.  His widow, Mary Learned, and her father Isaac Stearns, were appointed administrators of the estate by the Court on 6 April 1658.  His probate records can be found in Middlesex County [Mass.] Probate Records, Packet 13,855 (original papers accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,416,791, transcriptions by Randy Seaver).

An inventory of the estate of "Isack Larnet of Chelmsford deceased the 7th day of the tenth month 1657" was made on 18 December 1657 by James Blood, James Parker and William Fletcher.  The estate totalled 187 pounds, 18 shillings, 6 pence.   The real estate included a dwelling house upland and meadow (80 pounds).  The personal estate included his apparel, one mare, one colt, three young steers, four cows, one heifer, two oxen, one ewe and two weathers, six young swine, one cart, one harrow, one plow with yokes and chains, one Costlet and Arms, household goods, hay, wheat, corne, beds and bedding, debt due from the estate of Edward Chamberlain (5 pounds 12 shillings 6 pence), and one servant (4 pounds).  The estate was indebted to David Frishall for 2 pounds, 10 shillings.

"Mary the widow of the above named Isake Learnett deceased and Isacke Sternes, her father, appearing before the Court at Cambr: 6 (2mo) 58, attested upon oath that this is a true inventory of the estate of the said Isaake Learned at his descease, according to their present knowledge, and that if any more doth appeare they will discover the same so as to be added here unto."  The Court granted them joint administration of the estate.

A proposal for the division of the estate of "Isacke Lernetts" was made, approved and allowed by the Court on 1 April 1662:

"A proposall for the division of Isacke Learnetts estate as followeth

"vizt.  To his widow 1/3 of the whole to be taken out of the moveables, to his Children the remainder. the eldest sonne having a double porton.


"The children and portions to remayne with their mother, and as they grow of age to be pd their portions.  The House and fences to be kept in repayre at the charge of the incumbant and in such repayre to be delivered to the Children, inevetable causaulty by fire of the Houseing excepted.


Izak  Sterne

his mark
John Burg  Mary  Larned
her mark"

On 1 April 1662, the Court ordered the division of the estate:

"This Court doth order that the Inventory of the estate of Isacke Learnett deceased lately at Chelmsford, be divided between Mary his relict widow, and the children of the said Isacke in manner as followeth, vizt.

"To his widow one third part of the sd estate, and the same to be taken out of the moveables, unto his Children the remainder, the eldest Sonne to have a double portion, and the other Children equally. Also this Court do further order that the said children with their portions do remayne with their mother, and as they grow of age to be payd their portions, the Houses and fences to be kept in repayre at the Charges of the incumbant and in such repayre to be delivered to the Children, inevitable causalty by fire, of the Houseing excepted.


Margin note:  "by age is to be understood 18 for girles 21 for Boyes."

"This Divission of the sd estate, and order of the Court concerning the same is consented unto by the grand father of the sd children, Isacke Sternes of Water Towne and by Mary Learned, the relict of the sd Isacke deceased, and Jno. Burg: who is in treaty of mariage with Her: as by a writeing on file exhibted to this Court under all their Hands doth fully appeare."

On 23 September 1673, the estate was divided:

"To the Honored Court at Cambridge sittinge on ye 7th day of Octob. 1673 23 of 7m 1673
According to order of the Honored County Court at Cambridge sitting April 4th 1671, we whose Names are subscribed have endevored the divission of the Remainder of the Estate of Isaak Lernet deceased Lying in Chelmsford, as followeth, propounded as the Result of or best thought respecting the sd. Concernes:

"Impris  To Wm Lernet, the eldest son:  Two pts of 6, viz. The housen Oarchard, & Houselott Apprised by us 25.10.00

It On sd pte of ye River Meddow, joyning to his house lott  10.00.00
It Three Acres & a halfe Meddow lying in Robbins Hill Meddow - Joyning to Moses Barrons on ye North  07.16.08
Tot.  43.06.08

"Imprs  To Isaak & Benoni Lernet, Two other pts of ye sixe

Thirty Acres of upland & Seaven Acres of Meddow Lying at Greate Tadny  15.00.00
It  Halfe the broken upland in New-field joyning to Samuel Fletchers lott  06.00.00
It  Eighteene Acres of Upland lying in ye pine plaine  09.00.00
A third pte of River Meddow Adjoyning to John Blanchier, South  10.00.00
It  Two Acres of Meddow in Robbins Hill Meddow, adjoyning unto William Lernets Meddow  03.06.08
Tot.  43.06.08

"To Mary, a daughter: now wife to Moses Barron & Sarah Lernet - Two other pts of the sixe

Imps  Halfe the broken up land in the new field, adjoyning to Josias Richardson his lott  06.00.00
It  Eight Acres of upland lying South & west of the Mill highway  12.00.00
It  Six Acres upland adjoyning to River Meddow  04.10.00
It  Farlies Meddow & Round Meddow  08.00.00
It  One third of the River Meddow, Lying betweene the former specified Meddowe of William & Isaak  10.00.00
One Acre & halfe of Robbin Hils Meddow, adjoyning to Thomas Barrets Meddow on north-west  02.16.08
Tot.  43.06.08

"We being not certeyne of the exact quantity of the sayd Robbins Hill Meddow doe intend that if there arise any more meddow of it, then seaven Acres the Residue should be Equally divided to the three ptes.  Further we doe allow equall portions of Towne rights & priviledges unto the sayd three ptes.  We allow to Hannah, a daughter, the wife of Joseph Farwell, in the hands of Moses Barron  03.10.10


"Tho: Henchman William Fletcher."  


If this estate had been divided soon above the death of Isaac Learned, we might not know the names of his children from this probate file.  Because the division occurred in 1673, 15 years after Isaac's death and 10 years after his wife's death, we know the married names of two of his daughters - Mary (Learned) Barron, wife of Moses Barron, and Hannah (Learned) Farwell, and learn that the other four children are alive in 1673.  My ancestry is thorugh both Mary (Learned) Barron and Hannah (Learned) Farwell.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2012/11/amanuensis-monday-probate-records-of.html

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

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