Monday, June 3, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records of Adam Mott (1596-1661) of Portsmouth, R.I.

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 probate file of Adam Mott (1596-1661).  Adam married (1) Elizabeth Creed (????-1635) in 1616 in Saffron Walden, Essex, England, and they had five children:

*  male Mott (1617-1617)
*  John Mott (1618-????)
*  Adam Mott (1623-1712), married 1647 Mary Lott (1630-1712)
*  Jonathan Mott (1626-????)
*  Elizabeth Mott (1629-1694), married 1647 Edward Thurston (1618-1707)

Adam Mott married (2) Sarah (--?--) Lott in 1635 in England.  They had three children:

*  Jacob Mott (1636-1711), married 1660 Joanna Slocum (1642-1728)
*  Gershom Mott (1638-????)
*  Eleazer Mott (1640-????)

Adam Mott of Portsmouth died testate, having written his will dated 2 April 1661, which was proved on 31 August 1661.  The will reads (from The Early Records of the Town of Portsmouth, (Providence R.I.: Rhode Island Historical Society, 1901), accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,945,382, Item 3, pages 387-389 in printed version):

"The Last will & Testament of Adam mott Senyor of ye towne of portsmoth is as followeth

"In ye yere of ye lord 1661 on the 2 month on ye 2 day of the month I Adam Mott of portsmoth of road Iland beinge in pearfit & good memory have made & writen this as my last will with my owne hand  Imprimus  I have Chosen Constetuted & made my faithfull freinds Edward Thurston and Richard Tew both of Newport on Rhoad Iland to have full power togeather after my decease to see my will performed and fulfiled in Every part of it as I were my selfe alive in perfit beinge

"First I will & give to Sarah mott my wife beinge all my howsiage & land at matapurcetti lyinge in ye bounds of portsmoth, less or more with all the apirtenances there unto wch are knowne to be mine upon ye grownd or abroud upon ye Common, all goods or Chattells whot so Ever houssage and all moveables whot so Ever, to use possese & injoy for hir terme of life as shee shall Neede, say out of ye stock and at ye End of hir life after hir decease, I will that the afore said Executors Edward Thurston & Richard Tew shall see ye land Named and howse & houssage Equaly devided in to three shares, to Jacob mott my owne sonne if he be Contented to Cast in whot I gave him at the upar Cornar of my farme & share it into three parts, if not he may take that out as his part and no more, unto Adam mott my sonne I gave his share all redey & part longe since he hath lived on whos sum wos twelve Acres

Further I will yt if any of ye Brothers shall dye before my wife of ye three Jacob mott Gearsham mott & Eleazer mott as to saye that then the three parts by ye Executors be devided unto ye othere two as Equaly as they Can, allso I will that these three or two of them that injoye the land after there mothars decease shall pay unto John mott my Sonne twenty shillings if he demaund it in such pay as in ye place passeth for pay here amonge us

"Further I will them to pay to Adam mott there brother an Ewe lamb w'in twelve months after there mothers decease, allso I will to Elizabeth Thurston ye wife of Edward Thurston to be paid to hir or by whom shee shall assigne it unto one Ewe lamb a yere after there mothers departure

"Further whot she doth not use of howsehould goods or stock on ye grownd for hir owne suplyes in time of hir life, I doe desier my beloved frinds intrusted & Named Edward & Richard to perswade my wife at hir death in ye disposinge of movables with in howse or abraod to give it to them accordinge to discrecion whom beest deserves it in there Care & Respect to hir while she lives, upon which my dessier is you will have your Eyes as my Frinds, and harts Redey

"Lastly I leave my body to be Commited to ye Earth accordinge as thay and my wife sees good Levinge beuriasll it to be paid by whot she hath in hir hands, and after hir death I will ye the said Edward Thurston and Richard Tew Receve Each of them an Ewe sheep of ye stock delivred them w'in a month after there mothars departure in ye presents

"Writen & sealled and signed of Adam Mott before ye Executars delivred to Edward Thurston to be kepe in ye bahaulfe of both of them, Sealed the yere 1661) 1 of May

"Allso I give power to my Executors, full power to give to all and Every of my Children then livinge som gift of ye moveables Either or whot is in ye howse or abroud as they Can move or parswad hir According to there & hir discretion, if she be not willinge to give it w' discretion as they desarve, I then give full power to my afore said Executors Edward Thurston & Richard Tew to devide so much and as thay see meet amonge them all, Further if my Children should be Crosse to there mother so yt it should force hir to marey againe, I give full power to my Executors to take good & full securitie for the makinge good of ye Estate so longe as she lives that my will may be performed as is declared aforehand in my will that is to take bond of him, this on the backside wos writen before sealinge
A true copie of ye Origenall will of Adam mott
Copied by me richard Bulgar Town Clerke"

The Inventory of the estate of Adam Mott Senior deceased was taken on 12 August 1661 by William Baulston and John Portar (from The Early Records of the Town of Portsmouth, Providence R.I.: Rhode Island Historical Society, 1901), page 389-90, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,945,382, Item 3, printed version).  The inventory of his estate totaled 371 pounds, 6 shillings, and included house and land (150 pounds), four oxen, five cows, a bull, a horse, one mare, a colt, two calves, thirty ewe sheep, two rams, six swine, 3 pounds in wampum peage, clothes, books, two feather beds, two flock beds, six pewter platters, a wine pot, warming pan, seven pair of sheets, six napkins, two tables, a joint stool, and one and one-half acres of wheat, two acres of oats, two acres of peas, and three acres of Indian corn.

On 31 August 1661, widow Sarah Mott brought her husbands will to the town office to be proved and the town council.  The Council found that some things were dubious since Sarah was not named the executrix of the will.  However, the Council unanimously appointed Sarah Mott, widow to the late deceased Adam Mott, to be the sole executrix during the term of her life according to what the Council understood the meaning of the will to be  (from The Early Records of the Town of Portsmouth, Providence R.I.: Rhode Island Historical Society, 1901), page 386, on FHL Microfilm 0,945,382, Item 3, printed version).

I note that Adam Mott really needed a spell checker!  

I also note that Adam named his second wife, Sarah, and six of his eight children in his will - Jacob, Gershom, Eleazer, John, Adam and Elizabeth Thurston.  

I descend from both of Adam Mott's wives - from Adam Mott and Elizabeth (Mott) Thurston by first wife Elizabeth, and from Jacob Mott by second wife Sarah.

The Portsmouth book contains both the original page images of the records and the transcriptions of the records.  I chose to trust the transcriptions rather than fight through the handwritten record.  Here are the images of the handwritten record:

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Leslie Ann said...

Thanks for posting this Randy! I also descend from Adam Mott. Adam Mott, jr was my ninth great-grandfather.

Jean Boley Reed said...

Thanks for all your hard work, Randy. My 7th GGFather, Thomas Wood, married Content Thurston, daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Mott. Again, a big THANK YOU!

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