Monday, August 5, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records of Henry Brooks (1592-1683) of Woburn, Mass.

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme 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 records of Henry Brooks (1592-1683) of  Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.  He married an unknown woman (~1595 to ~1651) before 1623 in England and they had six children:

*  John Brooks (1623-1691), married (1) 1649 Eunice Mousall (1628-1684), and (2) 1684 Mary Champney (1634-1704)
*  Sarah Brooks (1630-1705), married John Mousall (1626-1698)
*  Timothy Brooks (1638-1712), married (1) 1659 Mary Russell (1641-1680), and (2) 1680 Mehitable Mowry (1646-1730)
*  Joseph Brooks (1641-1643)
*  Isaac Brooks (1643-1686), married 1666 Miriam Daniels (1649-????)
*  Lestor Brooks (1645-????)

Henry Brooks married (2) 1651 Susanna Bradford (1610-1681), and they had no children.  Henry Brooks married (3) 1682 Anna Jaquith.

Henry Brooks died testate, and his probate records are in Middlesex County (Massachusetts) Probate Records, Packet #2,835 (original papers in probate packet were accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,386,035). The packet contains the will and inventory.  The will reads (transcribed by Randy Seaver):

"In the Name of God Amen.

"I Henry Brooks of the Towne of Woburne in the County of Midlesex in the Massachusets Collony in New England, cloathyer, being by thee Grace of God of Sound understanding and perfect memory yet Stricken in years and may expect every day my chainge the which my God fit me for, Do ordain & make this writting my last will and testament, and first I commit my soul to God father son & Holly Spirit in hopes of a glorious resarraction, and my body to the earth, expecting a decent buryall, and by these presents disannul all former wills by mee made, and when my full debts & funerall charges are Sattisfied the rest of my estate both reall and personall I give as followeth.

"Item.  I give and bequeath to Annes my loveing wife three pounds a yeare to be payd her by my Executor during her naturall life, the which three pounds by the yeare I have covenanted under my hand at day of marridg upon her renuncing any other dowry and also my will is that shee have the use of the bed and furniture to it during her naturall life, and then shee shall return it to my Executor.

"Item  I give and bequeth to my son John Brooks that tenn pounds which he oweth me for a yoake of oxen and one third part of my wearing apparill provided he medle not with my executors upon any pretence of debt due from mee I knowing there is none due but he hath had his portion alredy.

"Item  I give and bequeth to my son Timothy one third part of my wearing apparrell and a confirmation of all that land I gave him hee alsoe hath received his portion alredy.

"Item  I give and bequeth to my son in law John Mousall that fifty pounds the which I have a bond for under my son John Brooks hands which fivety pounds is for land and housing sould to my said son Brooks and my will is that his wife my daughter Sarah may have the disposing of twenty pounds of the said fivety in case she dye first.

"Item  I give and bequeth to my son Isack Brooks all my land on the east side of the highway leading to Charlstowne except eight acres of medow which I give to his two sons Isack and Henery and to bee measured out by my overseers where they shall thinck it most convenent also I give him halfe my herbidg and  halfe my wood lots to bee posted by my overseers and also I give him all my plowland lots except my great lot which I give to his daughter Mirriam all to him and his heirs for ever.

"Item  I give and bequeth to my daughter Lester five shillings and no more because shee hath resaived her portion alredy as will appeare by a resaite under her hand.

"Item  I give and bequeth to my two grand Children Isack and Henry sons of my son Isack all my lands on the west side of the highway leaving to Charlstowne I meane all that land which lyeth betwene my son John Brookes line horns pond horns pond river and the highway and also all that peece of land on the west side the river next James Convarse land and Eaighth acres of meaddow in the meadow on the east side the way as aforesaid and also halfe my wood lotts and halfe my herbidg all to them and there heirs for ever and a free passage for their catell to and from the common over the little playne to them and their heirs for ever.

"Item I give to my grand child Meriam daughter of my son Isack all my great lot to her and her heirs for ever.

"Item I give to my Revrant Pastors Mr Thomas Carter and Mr. Jabez Fox twenty shillings apece to bee payd by my executors within a yeare after my deseace.

"And for the performance of this my will I doe apoint my son Isack Sole Executor and desire my hearty and beloved friend Lieut William Johnson to bee overseere to this my will and in token of my love I give him twenty shillings in silver the which I have payd alredy.

"Moreover my will is that my Executors shall possess all the rest of my lands and Esteat not disposed by this will and further my will is that my two grand children which I have given my land to shall not Allienat any of the land I have given them during their fathers life. Thus so having by the help of God disposed of my temporall Estate I desire the God of all grace and peace to rest upon the persons and familyes of all my children and grandchildren and wish they may live in peace and love one to another and that this my will may stand firme and good I the said Henry Brooks have sett to my hand and seale this Eaigtheenth day of July Sixteene hundred Eaighty two.

"Signed and sealed in presants of us
Jabez Fox                                                        Henry Brooks  H  his marke   (seal)
Daniel Baldwin
Peter Fowle"

The will was proved at the Probate Court at Cambridge on 20 April 1683, the oath having been sworn by Daniel Baldwin and Peter Fowle.

The inventory of the estate of Henry Brooks of Woburn, deceased, was apprised by James Convers Junior and Nathaniel Peirce on 17 April 1683.  The inventory totaled 377 pounds, 12 shillings and 6 pence. The real estate included:

*  about 20 acres of upland on the east side of the highway (20 pounds)
*  7 acres of meadow adjoining the said land (28 acres)
*  8 acres of meadow in 40 pound meadow, given to the children of Isaac Brooks (32 pounds)
*  about 80 acres of upland on the west side of the highway on both sides of the river given to the 2 sons of Isaac Brooks (90 pounds)
*  the Great lot in Woburn common given to Miriam the daughter of Isaac Brooks, 62 acres (10 pounds)
*  3 small lots in Woburn Common, about 15 acres (7 pounds)
*  division of woodland in Woburn common land, one half given to the two sons of Isack Brooks (12 acres)
*  6 acres of meadow land in Third Pine meadow (20 pounds)
*  Town privilege in herbage, one half given to the two sons of Isaac Brooks (2 pounds)
*  5 acres of swamp bottom (2 pounds, 12 shillings)
*  15 acres of land near Mount Discovery (5 pounds)

The inventory was accepted by the Probate Court on 20 April 1683.

Henry Brooks names his current wife, his five living children, and several grandchildren in his will, plus his two pastors.

I descend through son John Brooks, who married Eunice Mousall and had 8 children, including Sarah Brooks (1652-1720), who married Ephraim Buck (1646-1721).

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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