Monday, October 3, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records of Samuel Rice (1634-1684) of Sudbury MA

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 Samuel Rice (1634-1685) of Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, son of Edmund and Thomasine (Frost) Rice.  He married (1) Elizabeth King (1635-1667), who bore him six children:  Elizabeth Rice (1656-1727); Hannah Rice (1658-1747); Joshua Rice (1661-1734); Edmund Rice (1663-1726); Esther Rice (1665-1738); Samuel King alias Rice (1667-1713).  Samuel Rice married (2) Mary (Dix) Browne (1639-1675), who bore him three children:  Mary Rice (1669-????); Edward Rice (1672-1741); and Abigail Rice (1674-????).  Samuel Rice married (3) Sarah (White) Hosmer (1643-1711), who bore him one child, Joseph Rice (1678-1772).

Samuel Rice died testate, having written a will on 10 February 1684 at Marlborough, which was proved 7 April 1685. The probate papers are in Middlesex County Probate Records, Probate Packet #18,798 [accessed on Family History Library Microfilm 0,421,502).  The will reads (transcribed by the author, with paragraph breaks for readability):

"I Samuell Rice of Marlborough in the countie of Midlesex in New England being seised by the afflting hand of God and not knowing what the event of the exegent Dispensation may bee, have thought it best while in the enjoyment of the full use of my Reason and understanding to Dispose of that estate god hath given me - and therefore have willed as followeth viz: that after my disseace my Body be decently buried,

"2ly that all my just debts bee honestly paid --

"3ly that Sarah Rice my wife shall have the benefit of the thirds of my houseing and lands for her maintenance as the law allows dureing her natural life, as she hath the thirds of her first husband's houseing and lands, Also while she is my Widow and remains so I allow her a fetherbed and beding to it and one bow, and the easterly end of the House for her own use and the benifit of sum of the utansels of the house for her nesesary use while she remains in the house, But if she think ... to remove herself to annother house or familie, then the beding and other utensils shall be left ... in the house for her use and benifit if she shall so caus to return thither again, But if she so cause to chang her condition by Mariag, then all those things both beding and cow and other utansels shall return into the hands of the Executors and onlie her thirds shall remain to her dureing her naturall life,

"Further I will and give to my two Eldest sonns Joshua and Edmond and theire heires forever my Homestal or Houslot with all the Houseing upon it and my first Devision of Meadows together with my town Right and my beaver (?) swamp - to be devided betwene them as followeth - the houslot shal be measured and shal be began in measuring at the easterly end and go to the west and Edmond shall have half the lands only he shall have the west end half, and for the Devision of Meadows Joshua shall have that pease of Meadow that is on the east end of Stirup Meadow Brook, and that which lyeth on the westerly side of the River at Asabeth, and that peice of Meadow that lyeth on the north sid of Stirup Meadow brook where it comes into the River or along by the brook, and Edmond part of meadow shal bee that part of Stirup Meadow that lyeth on the west sid of the brook, and Nonsuch Meadow that lyeth along by Stirup Meadow Brook on the southerly side of the brook, and that hundredth rod of meadow on the Asabet River they shall devided equalie betwixt them, And becaus Joshua hath a part of his Granfather King's out lands, therefor I give to Edmond that twelve acres of land that I bought of James Sawyer that lyeth on the west sid of Abraham Williams his strawbery meadow, My will also is that Joshua shall have all my houseing and my orchard, and berrys I have willed and given them to him, therefor when Edmond ... Joshua shall help him to the value of five pounds and Edmond shal have a considerable part of the fruit of the orchard six yeares. And for the movables, al horses, cattel, sheepe, swine, al husbandry tools, carpendear tooles - and the fourth bed which is the least worth with the beding belonging to it I give it all to them and theire heires forever to bee devided equly betwene them, that so they may be the beter able to pay the legacies that I will shall be paied by them -- I will that they shall pay to their mother her Rent for the thirds of the land and Houseing, I will that they shall pay to their sister Elizabeth Haynes eight pounds in cattel, I will that they pay to theire sister Hanah Hubard eight pounds in cattel or to either of them sum corn in part of the eight pounds a piece if they desire it - I will that my daughter Esther Hubard shall have four pounds in cattel al which cattel before specified shall be paid at a common valuation -

"I will and give to my son Samuel Rice whom I have given to my Brother and sister King as their own to him I say I will and give thirtie shillings in movable goods. And to my other two sonns Edward and Josiah, I will and give thirty two acres of land that lyeth by Midle Meadow and to them I give my Cold ... Meadow, chantie meadow and Midle Meadow, this land and these meadows to be equlie devided betwen them - I will that Edward shall have my Houslott I bought of Deacon Ward asone as the will taks place and my pistols and sword, and when he is twenty years old he shall have of his elder brothers Joshua and Edmond two wel grown steres of four years old and two heifers of two years and a half old and when Joseph my son is twentie years old his elder Brothers Joshua and Edmond shall pay to him also two steres and two heifers of the same age that his brother Edward s are to bee.

"I will also that Joseph my sonn shall have the bed and beding after his Mother that she hath the use of.

"And for my two Daughters Marie Rice and Abigal Rice my will is that when they are eighteen years of age their Brothers Joshua and Edmond shall pay to them three cows a piece or ... to it - and Marie Rice shal have a fetherbed and beding to it, and Abigal Rice shal have a flock bed and beding to it, and becaus I am ingaged by our agreement at Concord to pay to Marie Osmor thre pounds in household things - but she rather chuseing money therefor I will that Joshua and Edmond pay Marie Osmor thre pounds in money, also I will and give to Thomas Osmor my carbine - and for all the rest of my goods as ... Pewter, Iron vessels wooden vessels, linen woolen, chests boxes with all other lumber I give it all to Joshua and Edmond, willing also that they pay to their two sisters Marie rice and Abigal Rice thre pounds a peice out of the rest of these last mentioned things or els thre pounds a peice in money - and further my will is that if god tak away any of my children before they have there portions then that which I have willed shoud be that childs part shal be devided amongest all the rest living equalie, finalie my will is that my two eldest sons Joshua Rice and Edmond Rice shall be my Executors - and my two Beloved Brothers Edmond Rice and Joseph Rice shall be thiere overseers to direct and help them in this theire con... And as a full testimony that this is my last will and testament I have set my hand and seal this tenth of Februwarie in the year of our Lord on thousand six hundred eighty and four.

"In presence of .............................................. Samuel Rice (seal)
Abraham Williams
Joseph Rice"

The will was proved on 2 September 1685 by Jonathan Remington, Clerk of the Court in Cambridge.

An inventory of the estate of Samuel Rice of Marlborough was taken 6 March 1684/5 by Abraham Williams and John Brigham, and totalled 349 pounds, 2 shillings and 6 pence. The real estate (lands at home and abroad together with his meadows and all his town rights and all the housing upon them) was valued at 195 pounds.

The family structure is fairly complicated because he had children by three wives, and one of the children, Samuel, was given to his "brother and sister King" (but I don't know who that was...I probably have it in my notes somewhere). 

Samuel Rice names his third wife, Sarah, in the will.  He also names all ten of his children - his sons Joshua Rice, Edmund Rice, Samuel Rice, Edward Rice, Josiah/Joseph Rice, and daughters Elizabeth Haynes, Hanah Hubard, Esther Hubard, Marie Rice and Abigail Rice.  He named his brothers, Edmund Rice and Joseph Rice as overseers. 

My own line is through Hannah Rice (1658-1747), who married Jonathan Hubbard (1659-1728) in 1681.

No comments: