Monday, June 10, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records of Jonathan Wade (1613-1683) of Ipswich, 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 probate file of Jonathan Wade (1613-1683) of Ipswich, Massachusetts.  He married Susanna --?-- in England before 1632, and they had seven children:

*  Mary Wade (1633-1713), married (1) 1669 William Symonds (1632-1679); (2) 1689 Francis Littlefield (1619-????)
*  Prudence Wade (1638-1711), married (1) 1659 Anthony Crosby (1635-1673); (2) 1673 Seaborn Cotton (1633-1686); (3) 1686 John Hammond (1626-1709)
*  Jonathan Wade (1640-1689), married (1) 1660 Dorothy Buckley (1640-1664), (2) 1664 Deborah Dudley (1645-1683), and (3) 1686 Elizabeth Dunster (1656-1721)
*  Sarah Wade (1642-1718), married 1661 Samuel Rogers (1634-1693)
*  Elizabeth Wade (1645-1721), married 1665 Elihu Wardwell (1642-1716)
*  Nathaniel Wade (1648-1707), married 1672 Mercy Bradstreet (1647-1715)
*  Thomas Wade (1650-1696), married 1670 Elizabeth Cogswell (1649-1726).

Jonathan Wade died 13 June 1683 in Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts.  Apparently, he had written several wills over the years, and resolving his estate became a big problem.

Among the several wills produced was the one in which the signature was torn off, made by Jonathan Wade of Ipswich, dated 22 May 1669, presented 27 December 1683 by Mr. Thomas Wade, who with Mr. Nathaniel Wade affirmed it was in their father's handwriting, and Capt. Jonathan Wade acknowledged he believed it, but said  "it was cancelled."  It reads (transcribed by Randy Seaver from Essex County Probate Records, Volume 304, page 125, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,860,486):

"I Jonathan Wade of Ipswich in New England being to go a voyage to sea and not knowing the day of my death, do ordain this as my last will and testament.  My will is that my Debts shall be First paid and my land in England should be equally divided betwixt my three sons Jonathan, Nathaniel and Thomas, only y-t land I had of Mr. Drury for rent should be sould to pay Sir William Peak what is due to him & ye Remainder to be sent over in goods to my executrix, whom I doe hereby apoint to be my beloved wife, Susanna.  Also I give to my son Jonathan the one half of my farm at Mistick with ye one half of all ye stock upon it.  Also I give to Nathaniel the other half of ye sd farme att Mistick & half of the stock on it to be equally divided betwixt them. I give to Thomas all my housing Land & mills at Ipswich & the stock on it.  I give to Jonathan all my land att Malden, to Nathaniel all my land at Wemeseck, to Thomas my grant of land of 800 acres.

"I give to Anthony Crosby my son Fifty pound.  I give to Thomas Crosby, Nathaniel Crosby & Jonathan Crosby Fifty pounds apiece to be for the use of Prudence Crosby their mother during her pleasure.  I give to Samuell Rogers my Son Fifty pounds & his three children Fifty pounds apiece.  I give to William Symonds my Son One hundred pound only fifty pound of it to his daughter Susanna.  I give to Elihue Wardell my son Two Hundred pound to be laid out in housing & land to be for the use of his wife Elizabeth during her life, & his two children after these legacyes to be apointed out my debts abroad at ye ... of my Executrix & to be gathered in by them to ... shares they shall ... & for ye Rest of my Estate.

"I give Equally unto my three Natural Sons to be possessed of it at the pleasure of my executrix or at her death or at ye day of her marriage with another man which shall first fall out, & so I Commend my Soul & body And Relations unto ye good pleasure of my Sovereign Creator & Mercifull Redeemer the day & year above written."

On 27 September 1683, the inventory of Jonathan Wade of Ipswich was apprized by John Aplet, Nehemiah Jewett and Nathaniel Rust.  The estate totalled 7,859 pounds, 5 shillings and 3 pence after the bequests and debts were accounted for.  The real estate included:

*  The buildings, orchard, plowland and pastureland being the homestead with Common privileges (60 pounds)
*  About 30 acres of land called the Windmill lot (90 pounds)
*  the wind mill stones, buildings and utensils with 30 rods of land (15 pounds)
*  A lot at labor in vain 6 acres (20 pounds)
*  A few rods of land by the water side with an old building upon it (10 pounds)
*  Marsh at Plum Island betwixt 20 and 30 acres (40 pounds)
*  2 6 acre lots of marsh with allowance for ... swamps, about 30 acres in all (90 pounds)
*  A sawmill with land, privileges and utensils (40 pounds)

The lands at Mistick included:

*  An old tenement and other buildings (200 pounds)
*  370 acres of upland (1,400 pounds)
*  80 acres of salt marsh (480 pounds)

The land and meadow in improvement of Nathaniel Wade at Mistick:

*  Improvement on 370 acres of upland (1,000 pounds)
*  Improvement on 80 acres of salt marsh (480 pounds)

*  Buildings meadows and upland at Mistick (3,560 pounds)
*  Land at Osburn 97 acres (97 pounds)
*  800 acres in Mr Russells hand since 1661 (25 pounds)
*  Lands in England cost (1,500 pounds)

The inventory was provided to the Court by Thomas Wade on 27 September 1683, when it was approved.  An account of Thomas Wade was also presented (Essex County Probate Records, Volume 304, page 094, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,860,485).

Another will, dated London 17 June 1657, provided all the land in "Norfolk in parish of Druer" was to go to eldest son Jonathan, after his mother had her thirds.

The probate of the estate of Jonathan Wade touched off an enormous wrangle.  He had made several wills over the years, all with varying provisions.  The court had no choice but to declare him intestate, since there were flaws in each.  With property in both New England and old England, the matter was quite complex.  In September 1683, Mr. Jonathan Wade's three sons appeared in court and desired administration upon their father's estate.  

"Court offered to appoint all three, but the second asked to be excused and the eldest refused to join with the rest, so court appointed the third son, Mr. Thomas Wade, he being the most acquainted with his father's affairs in Ipswich.  He was ordered to bring in an inventory to the next Salem court."  

But at the next Court, "Capt. Jonathan Wade appeared and asked for sole administration upon the estate," stating that he was the eldest son and entitled to administer without his brother and requested the removal of his brother Thomas.  The Court appointed all three sons administrators and they gave bond for 1,000 pounds.

The eldest son Jonathan complained that he had brought a valid will to court and seen it disallowed, and now was greatly damaged by the fact that the court was treating him as though he was not to be trusted with the estate, so that he could not be acknowledged as a claimant to land in other jurisdictions, including England.

The younger two sons petitioned the court that they had been to seven sessions of court with no settlement yet and would the court please make up its mind.

The case was not settled until November 1684 when the 1669 will was annexed to the letters of administration already granted.

The 1669 will names the husbands of his four daughters at the time it was written, and his three sons.  It names his wife as the executrix, but she died before the testator did.  All seven of his children survived him.  I don't seem to have any record of the distribution - it would be interesting to see if the inheritances from the 1669 will were granted to the heirs, or if the estate was divided equally (with a second share to the eldest son).

My ancestry is through Nathaniel Wade and his wife Mercy Bradstreet.

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Copyright (c) 2013), Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Geolover said...

Apprize/apprise: inform (someone about something).

Appraise: evaluate (as to value, quality); estimate (value, quality).