Monday, October 25, 2010

Amanuensis Monday - the Will of Samuel Graves (1655-1723) of Lynn MA

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday blog theme many months ago 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 file of Samuel Graves (1655-1723) of Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, one of my 8th great-grandfathers.

The will of Samuel Graves of Lynn was dated 7 Dec 1723 and was proved, allowed and approved by the Court at Salem on 2 Jan 1723/4. The will reads (Essex County [Massachusetts] Probate Court Records, Packet #11,563, transcribed from copy book Volume 315, page 024, on FHL Microfilm 0,875,129):

"In the Name of God Amen. I Samll Graves senr of Lynn In the County of Essex in ye Province of ye Massachusetts Bay In New England Yeoman being sick and weak of Body but Sound in Mind and memory thanks be to God do make and ordaine this my present Last Will and Testament In Manner and forme following that is to say first and Principally I commend my Soule Into the hands of God almighty hopeing through the Merrits of Jesus Christ to have the Pardon of all my Sins and to Inherrit Everlasting Life and my body I committ to the Earth to be buried In a Deacent Manner att the Discretion of my Executor hereafter Named and as touching what worldly Estate itt hath Pleased God to bstow upon me I give and Dispose of the Same as followeth.

"Impr. That all my Just and honest Debts and funerall charges be paid by my Executr hereafter named out of my Reall Estate.

"It. I give and bequeath to my beloved Wife, Sarah all my moveable Estate within doors of what Kind soever to be att her own Disposall and the Improvement of all my outdoor Moveables dureing her Naturall Life and then to be Divided amongst my Children or such of them as my wife shall see cause. also my will is that my Sister Elisabeth Brewer shall Dwell with my Wife dureing her Naturall Life is shee see cause, to be helpful to her In her Sickness and after my wives Decease If itt so happen yt my said Sister shall have one convenient Room in my Dwelling House to Live in and the Improvement of six frute treeswhich shee sees cause Requesting my Wife to Lett her have one Cow to be att her own Disposall all which Dureing her naturall Life.

"It. I give to my Son Crispus Graves Eight pounds to be paid by my two sons Namely Samll Graves and Thomas Graves within one year after mine & Wives decease and that wth what he hath before recd to be his Portion.

"It. I give to my Son William Graves Fourteen Pounds to be paid by my said sons Samll & Thomas Graves within one year after mine and my Wives Decease and that together with what I have before given him to be his Portion.

"It. I give to my Son John Graves Sixteen Pounds to be paid by my sons Samll & Thomas Graves within one year after mine and my Wives Decease and that together with what I have other ways done for him to be his Portion.

"It. I give to my Daughter Rebeccah Collins five pounds to be paid by my said Sons Samll and Thomas Graves within one year after mine and my wives Decease and that together with what shee hath already had done for her to be her Portion.

"And my Will herein and I would be so Understood that after mine and my Wives Decease as aforsd my said two sons Samll Graves and Thomas Graves shall pay the Severall Debts and Legaceys before mentioned out of my Reall Estate or be allowd an Equivalency out of the same and that then the whole of all the Remainder of my Reall Estate both in houseing and Lands Excepting one Room in my Dwelling house as before excepted shall be Equally Divided and are as may be to and among my sons namely Samll Graves Thomas Graves Mark Graves Daniel Graves and Nathll Graves and to be to them and to there heires forever.

"It. My Will herein is and I would be understood that Referring to the Gifts and considerations before made to my aforenamed beloved Wife is in lue or consideration of her thirds or Right of Dower in my Estate Shee accepting thereof.

"It. My Will is and I do hereby appoint and ordaine my two sons Namely Samll Graves & Thomas Graves to be my Lawfull and Sole Executors to this my Last Will and Testament, and they in a more speshall manner to take Care of and show a Tender Regard towards there Hon^d Mother under her weak and low Surcumstances. In Witness whereof I the Above Named Samuell Graves have affixed my hand & seal to all the foregoing Perticulers containing two pages on this seventh day of Decbr Anno Domoni one Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty three.

"Signed Sealed published & Declared .................................. his
In Presence of us ......................................................Samuel S Graves
Theophilus Burrill .............................................................. mark
Samuel Graves Jnr
Thomas Graves Jnr"

Samuel Graves (1655-1723) was the son of Thomas Graves (ca 1620-1697) and Hannah --?-- (??? - after 1697).  He married Sarah Brewer (1659- ca 1724) in 1678 in Lynn.  They had ten children, nine of whom are named in their father's will (Crispus, John, William, Rebecca, Samuel, Thomas, Mark, Nathaniel, Daniel).  The tenth child was Hannah Graves, born in 1681, and she may have died young.
There was no inventory, account or distribution in the Probate Packet on the microfilm.  It would be interesting to see how much real estate and personal property that Samuel Graves had and how they divided it between the five brothers.
My ancestral line is through son Thomas Graves (1686-1756), who married Ruth Collins (1685- bef 1715)  in 1710.

1 comment:

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Ah, such a close match! I'm descended of Samuel Graves's sister, Elizabeth (married to Thomas Brewer, borther to Ruth Brewer!). However, Ruth Collins was the daughter of Joseph Collins (my 8x great grandfather). I descend from one of his other wives, Sarah Hires, and thus one of Ruth's half sisters (Anne who married Nathaniel Ingalls). It's a bit convoluted, but true.