Monday, November 28, 2016

Amanuensis Monday - 1744 Will of Nathaniel Harwood (1669-1751) of Chelmsford, Mass.

This week's document for Amanuensis Monday is the 1744 will for Nathaniel Harwood (1669-1751) of Chelmsford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts:

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

[image 5 of 9]

                                                        In the Name of God Amen
This Seventh Day of June Anno Dom^i one thousand Seven
Hundred and forty four. I Nathanael Harwood of Chelmsford
in the County of Middles^x in New England Yeoman, being of
perfect mind and memory and Knowing that it is Appoint-
ed for all men once to Die Do therefore make and Ordain this
my last will and Testament. Especially and first of all I give
my Soul into the Hands of God that gave it. And my Body
ti the Earth to be decently Buried at the Discretion of my Ex-
ecutors hereafter named Nothing doubting but I shall receive
the Same at the General Resurrection by the Mighty Power
of God. And as to my Worldly Estate which God hath been plea-
sed to Bless me with I give and dispose of the Same in the Man-
ner and form following, That is to Say

First I will that all those Debts and duties I do owe in Right
or Conscience to any manner of Person or Persons whatsoever be
well and Truly Paid in convenient Time after my Decease by
my Executors hereafter Named.

Itm. I give to my Dearly beloved wife Mary Harwood as followeth,
viz. That whereas I have given a Deed to my Son Jonathan Harwood
of all my Lands Buildings &c to Him and his Heirs after my
and my wife's Decease, In consideration whereof my Will is
that my said Son Jonathan Harwood Deliver to his Mother
aforesaid yearly Seventy Bushells of Indian Corn four Bushells
of Rie and one Hundred and forty Weight of Pork and Eighty
Weight of Beef, One Bushell of Mall & four Barrels of Cyder
and that my Wife have the Improvement of half the Houshold
Goods during her Life, and also that my s^d Son Keep a good
Horse and furniture for s^d Horse for his s^d Mother use and Bene-
fit also that He take Care of his s^d Mother in Sickness providing
Physick &c and that he provide wood Convenient for her and
Keep and Maintain for her use two Cows during Her Lifetime
The which Cows at Her Decease to be Divided among my four Daugh-
ters whose Names are after mentioned, and my Will is that if my s^d
Son shall faill in any of the Particulars afore mentioned that
my Wife Shall have the Improvement or Income of one half
of my Real Estate and that it shall be at her Choice which
to take and accept of at my Decease.

[page 7 of 9]

Itm. I give to my Said son Jonathan Harwood all my waring
Apparrell with all my Husbandry Tools ^and Moveables^ (my two Cows except which
I reserve for my wife) Which with what I have given Him by
a Deed as aforesaid is in full his Portion out of my Estate.

Itm. I bequeath and give to my four Daughters viz. Mary
Proctor Hannah Proctor Rachel Peirce Susanna Robins
all my Money wether in Cash or in Bills or bonds; and also
to them all my Household Goods the one half of them to be
Equally Divided among ??? at my Decease the other half
after the Natural Death of my wife.

Itm. I give to my Grandaughter Elisabeth Prescot five Pounds
in Bills of the old tenor in Case she lives to the Age of Eight-
een years to be paid by my s^d Son Jonathan Harwood.

I also make and Ordain my Son Jonathan Harwood
and my Son-in-law Stephen Peirce my Sole Executors
of this my Last will and Testament. And I do hereby
utterly Disallow & revoke & Disanull all former or other
Wills before this time Named or made. Ratifying and
Confirming this and no other to be my Last will and
Testament. In Witness whereof I have Set hereto my Hand
and Seal the Day & Year above written.

Signed Sealed & declared by the
said Nathanael Harwood as His
Last will and Testament in
the Presence of us                             Nathaniel Harwood
Thomas Barry
Josiah Burg

[image 6 of 9]

Chelmsford September the Sixteenth 1751
We the heirs of this will have met togather and
are fully Satisffyd and contented with this with-
in written will as wittnes our hands
                                                   mary + prockter
                                                   Peter Proctor
                                                  Anna + procker
                                                 Stephen Peirce
                                               Rachel X peirce
                                               John Robbens
                                              Susana X Robbens

and Likwise of the widow
pf the Desesed nathaniel
harwood consent to
have the will probated                    her
                                                 Mary + harwood

The source citation for this record is:

"Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, Ameircan Ancestors ( : accessed, 26 November 2016), Probate packet No. 10629, Nathaniel Harwood estate, will written 1744, estate probated 1751, 9 pages.

Nathaniel Harwood and his wife, Mary (Barron) Harwood, had 7 children, and five of them are named in his will - Mary (Proctor), Hannah (Proctor), Rachel (Peirce), Susanna (Robbens), and Jonathan.  In addition, he named his granddaughter Elizabeth Prescott.  

Although he did not name Elizabeth's mother, Elizabeth (Harwood) Prescott (1701-1739), who married Jonas Prescott (1703-1784), this is Indirect Evidence that Elizabeth (Harwood) Prescott is the daughter of Nathaniel Harwood, and Direct Evidence in an Original Source with Primary Information that Elizabeth Prescott (1734-1812) was his granddaughter.  

These documents are images of the Original Source records in Probate Packet No. 10629 for Nathaniel Harwood.  There are documents for a bond, a Letter Testamentary, an Inventory and an Account in the 9 papers in the Probate Packet.   

Nathaniel and Mary (Barron) Harwood are my 7th great-grandparents, through their daughter Elizabeth Harwood (1701-1739) who married Jonas Prescott (1703-1784), and through their daughter Elizabeth Prescott (1734-1812), who married Zachariah Hildreth (1728-1784).

NOTE:  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."


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