Monday, April 4, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Thomas Read (1627-1701) of Sudbury 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 will of Thomas Read (1627-1701) of Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony.  He was from Colchester, Essex, England and married (1) Katherine --?-- (1628-1677) in about 1652.  They had one known child - Thomas Read (1653-1733).  Thomas married Mary --?-- in 1678 in Sudbury, and she died in 1689 there.  Thomas married (3) Arabella Thong (1654-1717) in 1689 in Sudbury.

Thomas Read, Senior left a will, which was written 9 September 1701 and proved 6 October 1701 (Middlesex County [Mass.] Probate Records, Packet 18,620, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,421,501, transcribed by Randy Seaver, paragraphs and punctuation added for readability).  It reads:

"These may certifie to all persons whomsoever: that I Thomas Reed senr of Sudbury, in the county of Middlesex in the Province of the Massachusets Bay in New England; Being at this present time well in my understanding, though weake in body upon the account of Illness I am Labouring under, and from whence being Sensible of my great & Last Change: Doe make Constitute and appoint this my Last Will & Testament, disanulling all other Will or Wills, Testament or Testaments by me ... made ...

"Witness In the first place I comit my Spirit unto my glorious Redeemer ... And further as touching my worldly Estate which God hath blest me with (my Debts & funeral charges being payed) My minde and Will is, In the first place that my beloved wife Arrabella Read be well and comfortably maintained out of it, During her life unless she marry again.  Alsoe I give and bequeath to my only son Thomas Read the moyety or one halfe of my meadow known and called by the name of Marshes Meadow to be his forever, and my Great Bible and Anotations. Also I give and bequeath to my Cousen John Bacon of Watertown four pounds, to be payed two years after my deceas.  Allsoe I give & bequeath to the youngest son of my above-named Thomas fourty shillings when he comes of age.

"Allsoe I give and bequeath to the rest of my Sayed Sons Children twenty Shillings each child to be payed three years after my deceas. As for the rest and whole of all my Estate, Housing Lands Orchards ffields, Meadows Woods Chattals movables &c. I give and bequeath them unto my beloved grand-Son Thomas Reed, to him & his Heirs forever: and this to my full Satisfaction, is my last Will and Testament:  So I declare constitute and appoint my abovesaid beloved grand-Son Thomas Reed Sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament.  Made this 9th day of Septembr 1701. 
....................................................................................  Thomas Reed"

"Wit:  James Sherman
Samuel How"

On 11 November 1701, an agreement was made between Thomas Reed, executor of his grandfather, Thomas Read, and his grandmother, Arabella Read, about the thirds of the estate.

This is one of the most interesting wills I've found of my ancestor.  The son, Thomas Read (1653-1733) is alive and thriving in Sudbury, and has a fairly large family.  But the father gave his son only one piece of land and his "Great Bible and Anotations."  Wouldn't we love to have that Bible, since the elder Thomas Read may have been literate and may have listed family members in the Bible?  Thomas Read signed his will, also indicating some literacy.

The elder Thomas Read bequeathed most of his estate to his grandson, Thomas Read, son of the son Thomas Read.   The father gave land in Sudbury to the son in 1689 as "part of his portion." 

There was no inventory or account available in the Middlesex County Probate Packet to determine the size of the estate. 

My ancestry to Thomas Read (1627-1701) is twofold -

1) through Mary Read (1679-????), who married Joseph Seaver (1672-1754); Mary was the daughter of the son Thomas Read (1653-1733), the son of Thomas Read (1627-1701). 

2)  through Sarah Read (1736-1809), who married Norman Seaver (1734-1787) in 1755.  She was the daughter of Isaac Read (1704-1780) and Experience Willis (1709-1787).  Isaac Read was the son of Thomas Read (1678-1755) and Mary Bigelow (1677-1708).  Thomas (1678-1755) is the son of Thomas Read (1653-1733), the son of Thomas Read (1627-1701). 

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