Monday, August 29, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - the will of George Reed (1627-1706) of Woburn, Mass.

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a 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 George Reed (1627-1706) of Woburn in Middlesex County, Massachusetts.  He was the son of William Reed and Mabel Kendall.  George married (1) Elizabeth Jennison (1637-1665) in 1652, and they had eight children:  Elizabeth Reed (1653-1718); twins Reed (1654-1654); Samuel Reed (1656-1709); Abigail Reed (1658-????); George Reed (1660-1756); William Reed (1662-1718) and Sarah Reed (1665-1703).  George married (2) Hannah Rockwell (1642-1724) in 1665, and they had five children:  Hannah Reed (1670-1727); John Reed (1672-1733); Mary Reed (1674-1703); Timothy Reed (1678-1736); Thomas Reed (1682-1736).

George Reed of Woburn died testate in 1706. His will is in Middlesex County Probate Records, Packet #18,494 (original papers filed in packet, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,421,499). It was written on 21 January 1697/8, and proved on 8 April 1706.  The transcribed will reads:

"In the name of god, Amen. I George Read Senr of Woobourne in the County of Middl-x in his Maj-s province of the Massatusets Bay in New-England yeoman, am at this time by the providence of god Weak of body, but through gods Goodness I am of sound understanding and perfect memory, and knowing it to be a Christian duty for a man to sett his hous in order, I do therfore make and publish this instrument my last will and testament, and first I give my soule to god that gave it to me, and my body to the Earth to be decently buryed, in hopes of A Glorious Resurection to life again, thro ye Death and Merits of Christ Jesus my lord and only Saviour, and as to that question of temporall Estate, that god of his bounty hath bestowed upon me I do give and bequeath as followeth,

"Impr-s my Will is that first all my just debts be fully pay-d and my funeral charges defray-d out of my personall Estate, before any devision be made.

"2:ly my Will is and I do hereby give and bequeath unto my loveing and beloved wife Hannah ye one halfe of my dwelling hous namely ye East Enfdfrom botom to top, and the one halfe of my barne - namely ye East End thereof, and halfe my out housing, with ye one halfe of ye lands belonging to my homested, both orchards fields hopyards pasters and mowing land, as also halfe my Woodlands, and halfe my medows at great Rock medow, namely which End she pleaseth ye halfe of all my housing and lands are to be set out to her my sd wife quantity for quallety, and she shall enjoy it to Improve for her own use benefitt and behoofe, so long as she Remains my Widow, also my will is and I do hereby give unto my said wife he sole use and improvement of the one halfe of my personall Estate, both within doors and without, all for and dureing her Naturall life, only I do give unto my said wife the sume of fifteene pounds to her and her heirs for ever, and I do give my sd wife the use of the more of my estate because of her great Care she hath of me in my sickness and lamness yt god is pleased to exercze me with, and also I do Injoyne her to take care and bring up my Grandchild Hannah elson, until she be of years to take care of her selfe.

"3:ly my Will is and I do hereby give unto my loveing and dutifull son John Read the other halfe of my homested both dwellinghous barne and out housing, halfe ye medows, hopground plowland pasterland and orchard in present possession, halfe my medow at great Rock medow and halfe my Woodland all in present possession, acording as I have given it to him in a deed of gift, and all the other halfe of my housing and lands left in my wives possession as abovsd, I do hereby give the same unto my sd son John Read, after his mother leavs them, they to remaine to him his heirs and assignes for ever, he the said John Read paying out such legasies as I shall herein after appoint him to pay, also I do give him my lott at Hodges hole five acres and on quarter more or less to him his heires and assignes for ever.

"4:ly my Will is and I do hereby give unto my son Timothy Read my great lott in both parts thereof, it being layd out in two parts by ye Records and plott thereof my appear also I give him my lott near ye Wymans asjoyning to Shawshin path five acres and a quarter more or less, all this to be preserved for him without stripp or wast and delivered to him by my Exec-r when he coms of age to be to him his heirs and assignespayd him within four years after his his mothers decease.

"5:ly my will is and I do hereby give unto my son Thomas Read all my land in Hungrey-plaine field, be it Eighteene acres more or less, and one lott at Maple medow plaine five acres and a quarter more or less, to be kept for him while he is of age without stripp or wast, and then delivered to him by my Ecec-r herein after Named, also I do give him four pounds more to be payd him by my Exec-rs within five years after his Mothers decease.

"6:ly my will is and I do hereby give unto my daughter Mary Johnson, the sume of fifteene pounds, most part of which is payd her alredy upon Marriage, and fetherbed and furniture and a cow and som other things to ye values of twelve pounds the Rest of the fifteene pounds being three pounds I do hereby order my Exec-r to pay her within two years after her mothers decease.

"7:ly I do hereby give unto my daughter Hannah Elson four pounds to be payd her within one yeare after her Mothers decease, she haveing had about ten pounds alredy.

"8:ly my Will is and I do hereby give unto my daughter Elizabeth Fisk five pounds to be paid her within one yeare after my decease I haveing given her about ten pounds alredy.

"9:ly my will is and I do hereby give unto my daughter Sarah Robason five pounds to be payd her within two years after my decease, I haveing given her about ten pounds alredy, so that I do intend in this my will to make all my daughters Equall giveing them fifteene pounds appeice.

"10:ly with Reference to my three Eldest sons, they have been gon from me a long time, and I have done for them Considerabley alredy, and particularly Samuell Read my Eldest son he was put out to a trade when he was young and that I do account one suffissient portion, beside which I formerly gave him in shop, in tools cattel and work, above twenty pounds more and as a further testimoney that I take notice of him as my eldest son, I do give him ten pounds more, all to him and his heirs for ever.

"11:ly to George Read my second son I have given him in land cattel and other things, above thirty pounds alredy, which is more than I can give to the Rest proportionablye, and as a Remembrance of my love I do give him five shillings more.

"12:ly to William Read my third son I have given him about twenty pounds alredy of land cattel and other things, in which there is about nine acres of land that I gave him at boggimedow field that he is to Enjoye without molestation to him and his heirs for ever, also I do give him ten pounds more to be payd him by my Exec-r within three years after my wives decease, all the legasies afore mentioned in this my Will I do apoint my Exec-r faithfuly to pay both for time and to the same persons to whome I have bequeathed them Either in money or in other Specie aprized as money yt is in land or cattels at money price, and lastly I do nominate and appoint and hereby constitute my loveing wife Hannah Read to be Executrix, and my son John Read Executer of this my Will, both of them joynt in the power of Executership (while they both live) and after the decease of either of them, ye surviver of them shall have the whole power of Executership, and if there be any lands or other Estate of mine that I have not herein disposed of, my will is and I do hereby give it unto my aforenamed son John Read one of my Executers. Dated January ye twenty-one Anno Domini 1697/8, annoqe Br. Rr: Guillem 3d Anglice &:c nono. Signed sealed and published by George Read Sen-r to be his last will and testament In the presence of us: with one word Raced out in the Eighth article before the Signing and Sealing (ye word (him) and ye word (lott) enterlined before sealing). In the presence of us,
Samuel blogget
Timothy Walker
James Converse ........................................................ George Read Senr"

John Read and Thomas Read, husbandmen of Woburn, posted a bond of 200 pounds to the Court on 1 April 1706. Son and executor, John Read, and the widow, Hannah Read, agreed to take upon themselves the burden and charge of the last will and testament of George Read Senr late of Woburn. The will was accepted by the Court at Cambridge on 8 April 1706.

The probate packet does not include an inventory, account or distribution of the estate.

George Reed had children by two wives, and he mentioned all ten of his living children in this will.  Researchers will appreciate the married surnames of the daughters - often this is the only indication of the correct married surname for daughters with relatively common maiden names.  Have I mentioned that I love probate records?

My own ancestry is through his son, George Reed (1660-1756) from his first marriage.


Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Loved this! I hadn't read his will before. I descend from his sister, Abigail Reed (1634- 1699) who married Francis Wyman (1617- 1699) as his second wife. My daughter lives in this part of Burlington, MA (formerly part of Woburn) where these families lived so long ago.

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gophergenealogy said...

We are related. I descend from the brother of George, Capt. William Reed. Thank you so much for sharing the will. I have added it to my collection. This line connects to my Tidd family. You are not by chance a Tidd relative?