Monday, December 19, 2016

Amanuensis Monday - 1773 Division of Land in Court Records for Estate of Samuel Brown (1686-1749) of Eastham, Mass.

This week's document for Amanuensis Monday is the 1773 land division in the probate court records for the estate of Samuel Brown (1686-1749) of Eastham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts:

The transcription of this division of land is on the left-hand page of the image and starts about two-thirds down the page (transcribed line by line):

We the subscribers being appointed by the Honorable James Otis Esq
Judge of Probate for the County of Barnstable to divide a parcel of Land that
Samuel Brown of Wellfleet deceased gave to his five daughters have proceeded as follows,
Viz. We have divided said Land into five equal shares and made a Subdivision of
one amongst Thomas Dills heirs and have set them as followeth that is the first
and Nothermost lot to Benjamin Dill a Minor being bounded beginning by the pond
by David Browns in said Browns range runing easterly in said Browns range by the
way twenty three poles and seven feet to a Crocked white oak tree marked thence Southerly
nine pole and half pole to a stake and stone in the ground thence westerly to
a Maple tree marked by the pond then by the pond Notherly to the first
bound mentioned.

The Second Lot set to Thomas Dill a minor being bounded
beginning att the southwest corner of the first Lot ^by the road Running easterly in the Range of the first Lot to the south East corner bounds of Lot^ thence southwesterly
twenty one poles to a stake and stones in the ground thence West noth-
erly to a Pine tree marked by the pond thence Notherly by said Pond
to the southwest corner of the first Lott. Dated October 25 AD 1773
Rec^d Dece^r 18^th 1773 & accepted                       Edward Knowls
& Ordered to be Recorded                                         Isaiah Higgins
Done James Otis Ju^d Prob.                                     William Memch
                                 C????? Da^d Gorham Rg

The source citation for this land division is:

"Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991," indexed database with digital images, ( : accessed 6 December 2016), Barnstable County > Probate Records, Vol. 17, 1768-1775, page 156 (image 87 of 392), division of land of Samuel Brown, 1773.

Samuel Brown (1686-1749) of Eastham (apparently in the part that became Wellfleet) bequeathed real and personal property to his five daughters - see Amanuensis Monday - 1748 Will and Court Records for Estate of Samuel Brown (1686-1749) of Eastham, Mass.  

Samuel Brown's wife, Ruth (Young) Brown (1688-1768) died in 1768, and the land that she was given for her life estate in the will of Samuel Brown needed to be distributed.  This document provides a description of one fifth of the distribution - to the children of daughter Mehitable (Brown) Dill (1714-1758), wife of Thomas Dill (1708-1761) of Eastham.

Benjamin Dill (1763-????) is the son of Samuel Dill (1736-1766), son of Thomas and Mehitable (Brown) Dill, and great-grandson of Samuel and Ruth (Young) Brown.  He was a minor at the time of this distribution.  David Brown is mentioned in his portion of the distribution - David Brown (1726-????) is a son of Samuel and Ruth (Young) Brown.

Thomas Dill (1755-1839) is the minor son of Thomas and Mehitable (Brown) Dill at the time of this distribution.  He was probably their youngest child, and a grandson of Samuel and Ruth (Young) Brown.

There is no mention of the division of the land to the other four daughters of Samuel and Ruth (Young) Brown - Abigail, Ruth, Marcy and Mary.  Perhaps there is another record - the land records for Barnstable County, Massachusetts were lost to a fire in 1827.

Benjamin Dill's land was described as a rectangle, 23 poles, 7 feet east-west, and 9.5 poles north-south (about 387 feet east-west, 157 feet north-south, assuming one pole = 16.5 feet).  Thomas Dill's land was described as a rough trapezoid, 23 poles 7 feet east west, with a 21 pole leg to the southwest from the northeast corner of the land, then to the pond, and up to the starting point.  The acreage was about the same for the two parcels.  

I tried to find the location of this land in Wellfleet (the northern part of Eastham before 1766 or so).  There are a number of ponds near the boundary line between Eastham and Wellfleet, but none are very large.  I recall that I had identified Thomas Dill's land as being in the Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (on the west side of Wellfleet near Massachusetts Bay) from records I found in the Eastham library back in 1994.  The map on the sanctuary site shows Silver Spring Pond and Goose Pond near the sanctuary center, but a Google Maps satellite view doesn't match the sanctuary map site for some reason.  It may be that Goose Pond is the pond to the south of the sanctuary, and would have been west of the land divided to the two young Dill men.  

Thomas Dill (1755-1839) is my 4th great-grandfather, Thomas and Mehitable (Brown) Dill are my 5th great-grandparents, and Samuel and Ruth (Young) Brown are my 6th great-grandparents.


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."

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2016, 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.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

No comments: