Monday, January 2, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records of Thomas Graves (1620-1697) of Lynn, Massachusetts

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme several years 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 Graves (ca 1620-1697) of Lynn, Massachusetts.  He married Hannah --?-- (ca 1621-after 1697) in about 1642, and they had children:  Amy Graves (1643-????); Hannah Graves (1645-????); Mark Graves (1650-1730); Thomas Graves (1653-????); Samuel Graves (1655-1723); Ann Graves (1658-1736); Sarah Graves (1660-????); Elizabeth Graves (1662-????).

Thomas Graves died testate in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts on 24 January 1696/7.  His will was written 22 January 1696/7.  It reads (transcribed from Essex County Probate Records, Probate Packet #11,572, and transcribed from copy book Volume 305, pages 236-7, on FHL Microfilm 0,860,486):

"In the Name of God Everlasting Amen.  I Thomas Graves Sen-r of Lyn in the County of Essex New England finding the infirmities of old age to Increase upon me & at this time Labouring under pains of body and daily Expecting my great change but being of Sound memory & Judgment and desiring that love & peace may be continued in my family among my Children when God shall call me hence.  I have therefore taken this opportunity to make this my last will and testament.

"Impr-s I Resigne up my Spirit into the hands of him that gave it and Into the Armes of my dear redeemer the Lord Jesus Christ excercizing faith in him for ??? ??? and eternal life.  My body I commend to the dust out of which it was taken willing a decent Interment theirof Suitable to my rank & quality.

"As for my outward Estate which God of his goodness hath been pleased to bestow upon me.  I dispose of it as followeth.

"To my Dear and Loving wife who hath been tender of me and Industrious in her place I give & bequeth three cows & one ox to be at her dispose & my will is that out of the produce of my Estate She be Comfortably provided for during her life and my charge is that my children be tender & carefull of & discharge Their duty Toward their aged mother. Also I give my wife eight Sheep.  With reference to the disposing of my lands my will is that all my Lands in Lyn with Housen be Equally divided between my Son Samuell & my son Mark which I give and Bequeth to them excepting three acres of land which I give and bequeth to my son Thomas to be laid out adjoyning to the land which he bought of Joseph Farr.  To my five Daughters I give & bequeth five pounds viz. Twenty shillings to my Daughter Ame, Twenty shillings to my Daughter Hannah, Twenty shillings to my Daughter Sarah, Twenty shillings to my Daughter Elisabeth and Twenty shillings to Ann.

"And I Constitute & appoint my Son Samuel to be Executor to this my last will and Testament & to this my last will and Testament I have Set my hands & affixed my Seal this Twentyh Second day of January one Thousand Six hundred ninety six & ninety Seven and in the Eigth year of his maj-ties Reign.

"Signed Sealed & Delivered ............................................. his
in the presence of us  .......................................... Thomas   G   Graves      (seal)
Joseph Collins Senr ......................................................... mark
Henry Collins Tertius
Sarah Bread (by mark)"

On 15 February 1696/7, the will was presented to the Court by the executor, Samuel Graves, and the three witnesses to the will of Thomas Graves, late of Lynn deceased, took an oath that they were present when the will was signed, sealed, published and declared, and that he was of a disposing mind.
The will was approved by the Judge of Probate.

An inventory of the estate of Thomas Graves, Senior, was taken by John Witt and William Bassett Senior.  The inventory of the estate was 125 pounds, 15 shillings, of which 89 pounds was 16 acres of land and orchard, house and barn.  The inventory was approved by the Court on 15 February 1696/7 (Essex County Probate Records, Vol. 305, page 237, FHL Microfilm 0,860,486).

Unfortunately, Samuel Graves did not mention the name of his beloved wife or the married names of his daughters or any grandchildren in this will.  My own ancestry is through the son Samuel Graves (1656-1723).

1 comment:

Barb said...

Mr. Seaver,

I'm thrilled to see your blog and the posting about Thomas Graves, Sr. I'm related to him, and you, through Thomas' son Mark Graves (1650-1730).

Do you have any other information about the Graves family of MA?

Mark Graves is my 9th great-grandfather on my mother's side. His decedents eventually ended up in Arkansas, where I'm originally from. I now live in Columbus, Ga.

Thanks again for any other information you have on our family.

Barbara (Baker) Lewallen