Monday, February 1, 2016

Amanuensis Monday - Post #305: 1792 Appraisal and Division of Estate of Norman Sever (1734-1787) of Westminster, 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 1791 Appraisal and Division of the Estate of Norman Sever (1734-1787) of Westminster, Worcester County, Massachusetts.  

[image 22 of 25]

[image 23 of 25]

[image 24 of 25]

[image 21 of 25]

The transcription of these pages is (transcribed line-by-line):

[image 22 of 25]

Pursuant to the Commission directed to us the Subscribers
from the Hon'le Joseph Dorr Esqr Judge of Probate
for the County of Worcester for the approving and
dividding the real Estate whereof Norman Sever Gent
late of Westminster in s'd County died seized and
possessed of – And having met on the Premises and
Sworn to the faithful performance of our Trust, then
proceeded to apprize s'd Estate as follows viz. The
home place with the Buildings thereon being all that
adjoins together containing one hundred and six Acres
lying in Westminster afore s'd bounded as follows viz.
Beginning at the Southeasterly Corner at a chesnut Tree
from thence North forty five degrees East one hundred
and forty Rods thence East seven Rods Thence North
forty five Degrees East forty nine Rods Thence North
twenty eight Degrees West forty four Rods Thence West
ninty one Rods Thence West ten Degrees South forty
eight Rods Thence South five Degrees East forty seven
Rods thence West fifteen Degrees South thirty three Rods
Thence South five Rods Thence West there Degrees South
thirty Rods Thence South thirty eight Degrees East
one hundred and eight Rods to the first mentioned Ches-
nut Tree – Appraised at the sum of two hundred
and twelve Pounds                                          £ 212 ~ .. ~ ..
Also a piece of Land in common with Timothy Haywood
Samuel Miller and William Murdock all of Westminster
appraised at three Pounds                               £ 3 ~ .. ~ ..
Then proceeded to set of to Sarah Sever Widow of the
s'd decease one full third of the above Estate as follows
viz. Ten Acres of Land on the West side of the Road
bounded as follows beginning at the northeast Corner of
the Shop on the West side of the Road and then running
northerly by the West side of the Road fifty Rods

[image 23 of 25]

Land belonging to Amos Gates Then West by s'd
Gates Land ten Rods to a Birch Stump Thence West
twenty seven Rods Thence South twenty Rods by Land
of Josiah Kendal to a hemlock Stump Thence South
seven Degrees West fifty Rods to a Stake and Stones on
the Medow Thence to the first mentioned Bounds.
Also fifteen Acres of Land lying on the East side of the Road
bounded as follows beginning at a Stake and Stones at the
southeasterly corner by the Road Thence running northerly
by the side of the Road to Amos Gates Land Thence
East sixty Rods to a hemlock Tree Thence South
forty one Degrees East seventeen Rods to a hemlock Tree
Thence South Sixty eight Degrees West eighty nine
Rods to the first mentioned bounds.
Also two Acres and one half of Medow Land lying on the
West side of s'd Land on the northerly side of the Brook
bounded as follows Beginning at a hemlock Stump the
northwest Corner of s'd upland running West four Degrees North
by Land belonging to s'd Kendal thirty two Rods to a
yellow Birch Tree Thence south Six Degrees East
thirty six Rods till it comes to the Brook then bounding
on the northerly side s'd main Brook twenty four Rods
to a Stake on the North side of the Brook then crossing
the Brook about eight Rods to a Stake and Stones on
the West Line of s'd upland Thence to the first mentioned
Bounds. Also the southeast Room below in the
dweling House the back Kitchen Camber also a little
Cellar under the Southwest Corner of the House and privilages
to go to it and come without any molestation and the
privilage of washing in the Kitchen passing and repass-
ing when she pleases and to bake in the Oven.
Also the East scaffold in the Barn and the Lenter [?}
under it and the South scaffold with the privilage
to thresh and cart.

[image 24 of 25]

Also the westerly part of the Yard beginning at the south-
east corner Part of the Barn running South two Rods
and an half to a heep of Stones then turning runs to
the Road. The whole appraised at seventy one Pounds
thirteen shillings & four Pence.                      £ 71 ~ 13 ~ 4

We then proceeded to set off the remaining two thirds of s'd
Estate to Benjamin Sever the eldest son of s'd
Deceased (and judged and determined the following Method
or Plan to be the least prejudicial to s'd Estate) which is
appraised at one hundred forty three Pounds six shillings
and eight Pence.                                            £ 143 ~ 6 ~ 8

His double Portion amounting to twenty two Pounds one
shilling                                                          £ 22 ~ 1 ~ 0
Then there remains in his hands one hundred twenty
one Pound five shillings & eight Pence      £ 121 ~ 5 ~ 8
Which sum we order the s'd Benj'n Sever to pay to
Isaac Sever, Ethan Sever, Daniel Sever, Heman Sever,
Luther Sever, Asel Sever, Eunis Whitney wife of
Elisha Whitney, Sarah Cutter wife of Josiah Cutter,
Relief Sever, Faithfull Sever, Lucinda Sever, each
of them eleven Pounds and six Pence which sum is
their equal share of the afore s'd                £ 121 ~ 5 ~ 8.

Westminster Dec'r 27'th 1791
                                        William Edggel }
                                        Josiah Puffe r     } Committee
                                       Edward Jackson }

[page 21 of 25]

We the Subscribers being Heirs and interested Persons
in the above s'd Estate hereby signify our consent
to the above Division
Sarah Seaver
Benjamin Sever
Heman Siver
Samuel Gerrish Garden for the following names
to s'd Estate viz. Asel Sever & Relif Sever having
given my Aprobation.
Sarah Seaver Garden for the following Names
to s'd Estate viz. Feathe and
Lucenden Seavers having given my Aprobation.

Worc. Mass. To all people to whom these presents Shall come
Joseph Dorr Esq'r Judge of the probate of Wills &c within
and for said county Sendeth                               Greeting
Know ye that parsuant to the Laws of the Common-
wealth of Massachusetts Relative to the Settlement of the
Estate of Intestates and the Direction power and Authority
to me therein given, I do truly accept of the Doings &
Report of the Commissioners & by me appointed to appraise
and Divide the Real Estate of Norman Seaver late
of Westminster deceased and I order the same to be recorded.
And I do hereby assign unto the said Widow the part
Set off to her to be Enjoyed be her for and During the
Term of her Natural Life. The Remainder I as-
sign unto Benjamin Seaver Within Mentioned to have
and to hold the Same to him and his heirs and as
signs forever as an Inheritance in fee Simple
upon condition of his paying to the Rest of the Heirs
as above mentioned the Sum of eleven pounds and
Six pence to Each. And I order the Costs of this Settlement
to be born by the Respective Heirs in proportion to his
or her Interest in the premises. In Testimony
whereof I have hereunto Set my Hand and Seal of the
Court of Probate this Third Day of January AD 1792.
By order of the Hon Judge Joseph Wheeler Reg'r.

The source citation for this record is:

Worcester County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Case file 52,914 Norman Sever, 1787, Estate appraisal and division (pages 21-24 of 25 pages); "Worcester County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1731-1881," digital images, New England Historic Genealogical Society, American Ancestors ( accessed 2 January 2016); citing original records from Worcester County (Mass.) Probate Court.

Norman and Sarah (Read) Sever are my 5th great-grandparents.  They married in 1755, and moved to Westminster in about 1773.  They had 13 children, 12 of whom are named in the division.   I am descended from their eldest son, Benjamin Sever (1757-1816), who received two thirds of the real estate in the division, but had to pay his 11 living siblings 11 pounds as their share of the estate.

Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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