Monday, December 20, 2010

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Papers of Joseph Keyes (1667-1757) of Westford, Mass.

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started this blog theme  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 Joseph Keyes (1667-1757) of Westford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, one of my 7th great-grandfathers.  He married Joanna Cleaveland (1670-1758) in 1690 in Chelmsford, Mass.  They had five children:  Lydia (1693-????); Joanna (1695-1787); Joseph (1698-1744); Miriam (1700-????).

Joseph Keyes died testate, and his will is included in Middlesex County [Massachusetts] Probate Records, Packet #13,196 (accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,416,784). The will reads:

"In the Name of God Amen. I Joseph Keyes of Westford in the County of Middlesex Gen^n being in Bodyly health & of sound and Disposing mind and memory Thanks be given unto God, therefore Calling unto mind the Mortality of my body and Knowing that it is appointed for all Men to dye, Do for Avoiding Controversies after my Decease Make Publish & Declare this my Last Will and Testament in maner following And first of all I give and Recommend my Soul unto the Hands of God that gave it, and my body I Recommend to the Earth to be Buried In Decent Christian Burial at the Discretion of my Executor. Nothing Doubting but at ye General Resurrection I Shall Receive the same again by the Mighty power of god. And as Touching such Worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to Bless me in this Life I Give Demiss and Despose of the same in the following manner and form.

"Imprimus I Give and bequeath to Joannah my Dearly Beloved Wife all my Houshold goods During her Life, also I give to Mirriam Lofton my Eldest Daughter Twelve Pounds & Ten Shilling in Bills Emitted in the year One Thousand Seven Hundred and forty four or in other Bills Eaqul to the same mailing Bills of the Province of the Massachusestts Bay and one Cow. Also I give to my Daughter Lydia Mudge Twelve Pounds and Ten Shilling in the Like Bills Described aforesaid.

"Also I give to my Daughter Joannah Fitch Twelve Pounds and Ten Shillings in the Like Bills Described aforesaid, and Also I give to my Three Daughters Mirriam Lydia and Joannah after my wife Decease all my Houshold goods Eaquily to be Devided amongst them. And the Sums of money that I have given to my Three Daughters before Named, my will is that Jonathan Kyes my Grandson Should pay unto my Three Daughters or to Thare Heirs or Assigns The full sum before mentioned in Two Years after my Decease.

"Also my will is that the Children of my Son Joseph Keyes deceased shall have paid out of my Estate after my Death the Sum of Twenty shillings in Bills of the Last Emittion of the Province of Massachusetts Bay.

"Also I Do Nominate and appoint Josiah Sartell of Groton in the County of Middlesex to be Sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testament, And I do hereby utterly Disallow Revoke and Disannul all and every other former Testament & Wils Legacies and Bequests and Executors by me in any ways before Named Willed and Bequeathed, Ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be my Last Will and Testament In Witness Whereof I have hereunto Sett my Hand and Seal this Twenty Ninth Day of June One Thousand Seven Hundred And forty five And in the Eighteenth year of his Majesties Reign.

"Signed Sealed Published
Pronounced and Declared
By the said Joseph Kyes ................................................ Joseph Keyes
as his Last Will and
Testament In Presence
of us the Subscribers
Jacob Wright
Andrew Spaulding
Ephraim Wright"

The will of Joseph Keyes, late of Westford, gentleman, was presented for probate by Josiah Sawtell. Jacob Wright and Andrew Spaulding made oath that they saw the said testator sign, seal and declare the will to be his last will and testament. The will was proved by the Court on 11 July 1757.

Joseph Keyes wrote his will in June 1745, after his only son died.  Conceniently for researchers, he named his three daughters with their married names, and also named his grandson Jonathan, who must be a son of his only son, Joseph Keyes, deceased.  I descend from Joseph Keyes, this testator, through Joseph Keyes (1698-1744) and his son, Jonathan Keyes (1722-1787).


palib said...

I have wondered if we were "cousins" as my family also came from New England. It turns out Joanna Cleaveland is the connection. While she is #11 in The Cleveland genealogy compiled by Edward and Herbert Cleveland, my 3rd great grandfather William Armstead Cleveland is #3521 and his wife, also a Cleveland, Diademia is #3688.

So cousin have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Pam Hatton

palib said...

Actually the compilers are Edward and Horace Cleveland, not Herbert.

Pam Hatton

Sheila Connolly said...

Thank you for posting the full text of the will, which proves that Lydia's married surname was Mudge. I haven't (yet) found this in any vital records, although the marriage has been alluded to in various places. She is a lineal ancestor.