Monday, April 13, 2015

Amanuensis Monday - Post 263: Will of Christopher Bartlett (1623-1670) of Newbury, Mass.

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent  TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme years ago called "Amanuensis Monday."  John offers this definition for "amanuensis:" 

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is the 1669/70 will of Christopher Bartlett (1623-1670) of Newbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony:

The transcription of the will is:

March the 14^th day in ^yr^ of our Lord god 1669

In the name of god amen I Cristopher Bartlet of newborow in the
County of Essex new England beinge Sick & weake of body but of per-
fect memory doe make this my Last will and testament in
maner & forme as followeth

Imp[rimus] I bequeath my soule to the Almighty god who gave it in
hope of my resurection in my Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ at
the Last day and I bequeath my body to the ground from whence
it was taken to be buried at the burying place at newborow
with Cristian buriall.

Item I give my son Cristopher Bartlet twenty Ackers of Land in the plaine
from henery Tewxberys houselot alonge to the river & that meadow
that is mine in the bogy meadow reservinge my wife mary to have
the thirds during her life & I soe give my son likewise half the dweling
house & halfe the orchet when he Comes to age.

Item I give to my wife mary half the dwelinge house & halfe the
orchet as Longe as she have in my name and afterwards to remain
to my son Cristopher.

Item I give my wife mary one Cow which she please to chuse.

Item I make my brother Richard & my brother Titcomb my Executors
to see this my will do be performed & to satisfie & pay my debts &
to devide the over????? to my thre daughters mary ann & marthah
& my son Francis by equall portions but then if nether of them shall
require it till you are ???able to pay it.

Item it is my will that my wife shall have a third part more than
the other three when it is devided for the ???dings of the ????.

in witness heirof I have                             the C mark of
hereunto set my hand                        Cristopher   Bartlet

witnessed by us                              Wm Tittcombe renouncd his executorship
Thomas Tewxbery                         and joyned as a witness with Tho: ???????

the marke of                                 This will was proved in court held at
henery H Tewxbery                      Ipswich the 29 of March 1699 1670
                                                      by the oaths of Thomas Tewksbery
                                                      & William Titcombe to the last
                                                    will and testament of Christopher
                                                    Bartlett to the best of there knowledge
                                                    As attest Robert Lord clerk

The source citation for this document is:

Essex County, Massachusetts, Essex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1638-1881, Probate Packet 1848 will of Christopher Bartlett, proved 1670; digital images, New England Historic Genealogical Society, American Ancestors ( accessed 2 September 2014); original estate papers in Essex County Probate Court.

Christopher Bartlett and his first wife Mary (--?--) Bartlett (1625-1660) had five children, but only four (Mary born 1647, Anne born 1650, Martha born 1653, and Christopher born 1655) were alive when Christopher Bartlett wrote his will.  All were named in the will of their father. 

Christopher Bartlett married (2) Mary (Hoyt) Martin in 1663, and they had two children (John born 1665, died young) and Francis born 1667, named in the will).  It is the second wife Mary who is named in the will.  

The executor of the will was Richard Bartlett, the brother of Christiopher Bartlett.  The other named executor was William Titcomb (1613-1676), who is the husband of Christopher's deceased sister, Joane (Bartlett) Titcomb (1610-1653).  

I struggled to decipher some of the words in this handwritten will, since it is in one of the early colonial hands.  I think that someone other than Christopher Bartlett wrote it since he signed it with a mark.  

Christopher Bartlett (1523-1670)  is my 9th great-grandfather.  I descend through his son Christopher (1655-1711) who married Deborah Weed (1659-1726) in 1677.  Their daughter, Anne Bartlett (1684-1721), married Joseph Colby (1684-1754).

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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