Monday, June 24, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records of Michael Bowden (1673-1741)

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 Michael Bowden (1673-1741) of  Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts.  He married in 1697 Sarah Davis (1676-1754), and they had 12 children:

*  Susanna Bowden (1699-????)
*  Francis Bowden (1701-????), married Elizabeth Webster
*  Sarah Bowden (1702-????), married John Riddan
*  Martha Bowden (1705-????)
*  Mary Bowden (1705-????), married 1726 Joseph Richards (1703-1748)
*  Hannah Bowden (1707-????)
*  John Bowden (1709-????)
*  Lydia Bowden (1712-????), married Samuel Kelly
*  Michael Bowden (1714-????)
*  Ebenezer Bowden (1716-????)
*  Susanna Bowden (1717-1799), married 1740 Moses Newhall (1718-1774)
*  Benjamin Bowden (1721-????)

Michael Bowden of Lynn died testate, having written a will.  It reads (transcribed by Randall J. Seaver from Essex County [Mass.] Probate Records, Volume 324, page 583, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,875,132):

"In the Name of God amen.  I Michael Bowden of Lynn in the County of Essex and Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England Inholder, Being weak in body but of Perfect Disposing mind and memory, Do make this my Last will and testament.  Imps. I will that my body be Decently Interred at the Discretion of my Executor.

"Item  I will that my Exec-t-r Duely pay all my Just Debts, and Funeral Charges out of my moveable estate.

"Item  I will to my Beloved wife Sarah the Improvm. of my whole remaining Estate During the time of her Natural Life In lieu of her thirds.

"Item  I will that after my wife's decease my whole Estate be devided in equal parts To and among all my Children that Shall be then Alive And the Lawfull Representatives of any that may be Dec-d.

"Item  I will that my wife Sarah be sole Execut-r of this my Last Testament In Witness Whereof I have hereunto Sett my hand and Seal this twenty Sixth of Sept-r 1741.

"Signed, Sealed published & Declared by ye sd Michael Bowden to be his Last will and Testam-t
In presence of 
John Lewis, 
Henry Burchfeld
John Newhall                                                       Michael Bowden & Seal"

The will was proved by the Court at Ipswich on 12 October 1741, with John Lewis and John Newhall appearing and making oath that they witnessed Michael Bowden sign, seal and declare this to be his last will and testament.  The Executor was directed to make an inventory and present it to the Court in 30 days.

John Lewis, John Newhall, and Daniel Mansfield took an inventory of the estate of Michael Bowden of Lynn, deceased, on 29 December 1741. The estate was apprised at 555 pounds, 16 shillings.  The real estate included the dwelling house and barn with 40 poles of land adjoining (160 pounds), 4 acres of upland and salt marsh adjoining (95 pounds) and 9 acres of woodland (65 pounds).  Sarah Bowden presented, and the Court approved, the inventory on 30 December 1741 (Essex County [Mass.] Probate Records, Volume 324, page 601, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,875,132).

Unfortunately, Michael Bowden did not name any of his children in this will - he only named his wife.  I found no other probate papers in the Essex County, Massachusetts probate records for him, so I don't know how the estate was divided.  Perhaps, they waited until Sarah (Davis) Bowden died in 1754, or perhaps she sold/gave land to her children via deeds (which I have not checked yet).

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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