Monday, November 9, 2015

Amanuensis Monday - Post #293: 1722 Will of William Cutter (1649-1723) of Cambridge, Mass.

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent  TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme years ago called "Amanuensis Monday."  John offers this definition for "amanuensis:" 

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

The subject today is the 1722 will and probate records for William Cutter (1649-1723) of Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts:

The transcription of the will is (transcribed line by line):

In the Name of God Amen this first day of June in the year 1722, I William Cutter of Cambridge in the county
of Mid'x in the provence of the Massachusetts Bay in New England yeoman, being of Perfect mind and memory, Praise be
to Almighty God, Do make and Ordain this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form as followeth. First and
Principally I do commend my Soul into the hands of God Almighty, hoping throgh the Merritts death and passion
of My Saviour Jesus Christ to Obtain full and free pardon of all my sins And to inherit Eternall Life, and my Body I commit
to the earth to be Buried at the Decresion of my Executors hereafter mentioned. And as touching my Temporal Estate which almighty
God has bestowed on me, I Give and Depose as followeth. First, that all my Just Debts and funerall Charges be paid and discharged.
Item I Give to my dear and loving Wife Rebeckah Cutter the full improvement of a third part of my lands, and the Est end of my now
Dwelling house during her Natural Life, and a third part of my moveable Estate to be at her own despose for ever.
Item My will is that my four sons, Richard Cutter, John Cutter, William Cutter and Samuel Cutter have all my home lands lying both in
Cambridge and Charlstown to be Divided equally amongst them according to quantity and quallity, and what I have given
by a deed of Gift unto my son Richard shall be accounted as part of his proportion of land, and I give to my son Richard my
Barns and I give him my dwelling house after the decease of my wife, and my will is that my lands shall be so divided as shall
be made commodious and convenient to their houses, and that my son William Shall Choose his house lot in my land
Lying in the Bounds of Charlstown and adjoyning to my home place. And that all my Other lands uplands and mea-
dows lying in Charlstown Cambridge and Lexington be divided into four parts to each of my above sd sons thir equal
part of quantity and quality. All which I Give to my above sd Sons and to their heirs and assigns for ever they pay-
ing the Leagacies hereafter mentioned and performing the things. Item my will is that my house-plot Lying in Cambridge
that I bought of Cousin Chamney shall be to my youngest Son, viz.: Ammi Ruhamah Cutter (which with the Learning
I bestow on him Shall be the full of his portion) which sd house-plot I give to him and his heirs and assigns forever, and my
Will is that my Executors hereafter Named shall provide and at thir equal Cost aford suitable maintenance for the
bringing up my son Ammi Ruhamah through the Schools of learning until he take his Second Degree in the Colledge, and
afford or give to him so many Books as shall be thought necessary by the president or fellows of the Colledge, and I
give him a young horse fit for riding when he has commenced Master of the value thirof out of personall Estate.
And I Give to my Son William Cutter that part of sd meadow which I bought of my brother Ephriam Cutter, and the other three
acres more or less which was my Fathers to be Divided between my other three Sons, viz. Richard, John and Samuel; there
equal part. And my Will is that my Mills now standing on my homested together with all the previledges
and apurtenances and utencils therto belonging be divided as followeth. I confirm unto my Son John Cutter the
fourth part which I conveyed unto him by a deed, and it is my will that the other three quarters be divided between
my other three sons to each a equal quarter, viz. Richard, William and Samuel
Item I Give to my Daughter Elizabeth Herington Forty Shillings. And I give unto her Children Fourty eight Pounds to
be divided Equally amoungst them, and paid by my Executors to each wone as he or she shall come of age, which
with what I have formerly Given Shall be the full of her and her heirs portion.
Item I Give to my Daughter Hannah Winshipp fifty pounds to be paid at two payments – twentty pounds within a year after my
Decease, and thirtty pounds more within three year after my Decease which with what I gave her formerly is her portion.
Item I Give to my Son in Law Joseph Adams twenty pounds to be paid by my Executors within two years after
My decease, and I Give to his Children born of my Daughter Rebackah (his first wife now deceased) Thirtty pounds
to be equally divided and paid to them as they come of age - by my Executors – which with what I formerly have
given shall be the full of thir portion.
Item I Give to my Daughter Sarah Cutter Eighty Pounds, to be paid by Executors, Twenty Pounds to be paid at her
Marriing and Sixty Pounds more within five years after my decease which shall be her and her heirs full portion.
And my will is that in the divisions of my Sons Lands they Shall have a due respect for each others conveniency, and if any
of my sons shall see cause to sell any of thir land they shall give the refusall therof to their brethren and any such Son neglecting
so to do shall forfit such land or the value therof.
And my Will is that if any of my Children or of my Sons in Law Shall Enter into a cause of law to brake and make
Void this my Last Will and Testament they or any of them Shall Hierby forfit all right to any of my Estate, and that
my body be decently buried in the Buriing place in Cambridge. And I Do Nominate my dear and loving wife Execut-
rix and my sons Richard Cutter, John Cutter, William Cutter and Samuel Cutter Executors of this my last will and Testam't
and do hereby disannull Revoke and make void all other and former Wills and Testaments by me made heretofore. In Witness
hereof I the sd William Cutter have set to my hand and seal the day and year above written being the Eight'th year of the
Reign of our sovereign Lord Gorge by the grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King &c.
Signed Sealed and Declared
in presents of us
Jno Bordman   } sworn                                                       William Cutter {seal}
Simon Holden } in the country service, but 1 other 2 swore also
John Smith      } sworn
                                          April 29 1723
                                 Present the widow and all the Children (Sons)
                                 herein named Except Richard (the Eldest Son)
                                 John Herington (who married Eliza) a Daughter
                                 and Jn'o. Will'm & Sam'l Consent their mother shall receve
                                 her Thirds in ther moveables without any Deductions, the ???? ??????????

The source citation of this document is:

"Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, American Ancestors ( : accessed 19 December 2014), Estate File 5,669 (13 pages), page 12, William Cutter will, written 1 June 1722, proved 29 April 1723; original records in Middlesex County, Massachusetts Probate Court, Cambridge, Mass.

William Cutter (1649-1723) and Rebecca (Rolfe) Cutter (1662-1751) had ten children, nine of whom lived to adulthood and marriage.  Sons Richard, John, William, Samuel and Ammi Ruhamah are mentioned, as are daughters Elizabeth and husband John Herington, Hannah (wife of Ephraim) Winship, Rebecca (deceased wife of Joseph Adams), and Sarah Cutter (future wife of Ebenezer Cutter).  Bequests were made to the children of Elizabeth, Hannah, Rebecca, but they were not named.  

The most interesting feature of this will is the provision for the youngest son, Ammi Ruhamah Cutter (1705-1746).  His father gives him the home lot in Cambrdige and the means to obtain two degrees at the College (certainly Harvard).  

The probate packet has four pages of moveables Inventory and signed receipts by the sons-in-law and Ammi.  There is no real estate inventory and no account in the estate packet.  

I am descended through the eldest son, Richard Cutter (1682-1756), who married (1) Mary Pike (1687-1721) in 1706, and (2) Mercy Kelsey (1698-1760) in about 1722.  I descend from Richard and Mercy (Kelsey) Cutter's oldest son, William Cutter (1723-1780).  Richard Cutter moved to Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey before 1706.

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at

No comments: