Monday, July 6, 2015

Amanuensis Monday - Post 275: Will of Samuel Bigelow (1653-1732) of Watertown, 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 1720 will of Samuel Bigelow (1653-1732) of Watertown, Massachusetts:

The transcription of this will is:

In the Name of God Amen --
I Samuel Biglo of Watertown in the County of Mid'x 
in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New 
England Yeoman being Sick & Weak of Body but 
of Sound & Disposing Memory prais be given to 
God for the same Do Make & Ordain this my last 
Will & Testament in Manner & Forme following.
That is to say first & Principaly I Resign my 
Soul into the Mercyfull Hands of Almighty God 
my Creator Assuredly hoping through the meritts 
of my Blessed Saviour Jesus Christ to Obtain the 
Remission of all my Sins.  And my Body I 
Comitt to the Earth to be Decently Buried by the 
Discretion of my Executor Herein after Named & 
as for the Worldly Goods & Estate the Lord Hath Lent 
me I Dispose thereof as followeth.

Imps:  First my Will is that all my Debts & Funeral Expences be 
well & truly paid out of my Estate as Soon as May be After 
my Deceas & before any Legacies be paid.

Item:  I give & bequeath Unto my Two Sons John Biglo & Sam'll 
Biglo the sum of Five Shillings Each Over & above the 
Portions Which I have alredy Given them to be paid 
within Twelve Moneths After my Deceas by my Executor 
Herein after named.

Item:  I give & bequeath Unto my son Thomas Biglo Whom I do 
Herby Nominate Appoint & Ordain Sole Executor of this my 
last will & Testament the sum of five pounds in Silver mony 
Over & Above What I have Heretofore Given Him.

Item:  I give & bequeath unto my son Isaac Biglo besides what I have 
formerly Given him the sum of thirty pounds to be paid 
Within One year After my Deceas.

Item:  I Give & Bequeath Unto my three Daughters Mercy Gearfield, 
Abigail Cuttler & Deliverance Stearns the sum of Seventeen 
pounds Each to be paid Within One year after my 

Item:  I give & bequeath Unto my three sons-in-law Tho Read, 
Josiah How & Dan'll Warrin besides what they have formily 
five shillings each.

Item:  I Give & bequeath Unto my Grandson David Bruce a 
Certain piece of land in Marlborough in the County of 
Middsx which I bought of my son Sam'll Biglo Jnr con-
taining six acres, three quarters & fifteen rodds, 
Bounded Northerly by a Road Leading to Framingham 
Westerly by land of Moses Newton Easterly by land 
of David Bruce & Southerly by Comon Land;  
also all that parcell of land of Twenty Acres in sd Marl-
borough wch John Sherman Had Granted him by the 
Proprietors of sd Marlborough When I Impowered him
 to sue for a Certain piece of Land given by Tho Bruce
 to his Grandson David Bruce.  To have & to hold to 
Him the sd David Bruce & to the Heires of his Body 
Lawfully Begotten, but in failior of such Heires
the Land to Return to the Biglos again, I also give to 
the said David Bruce one pair of Steers Coming four 
years old.

Item:  I Give & bequeath Unto my three Grandchildren Natha 
Read, Isaac Read & Thomas Read Twenty shillings Each 
When they Arive to the age of One & Twenty years.

Item:  I give & bequeath unto my Grandaughter Cathron 
Read the Sum of seventeen pounds in or of Money 
to be paid Her when she Marries or Comes of Age be-
sides all those things Which wear her Mothers that are
 Now in my Keeping for Her.

Item:  I give & bequeath Unto my Grandchildren Phinehas 
& Abraham How five pounds each & to my Grandaugh-
ter Rachol How four pounds to be payed when they 
comto the age of twenty one years.

Item:  I give & bequeath to my Grandchildren Sam'll & Dan'll 
Warrin five pounds Each & to my Grandaughter 
Hannah Warrin Ten pounds to be paid all When 
twenty one years of age.

Item:  my Will is that if there be any Silver Money or Other 
mony left after my Debts & Thomas his five pounds is paid

[sheet 3]

 it Shall be Divided into Eight Equal parts Seven 
of which parts shall go to my four sons &
 three daughters, the other Eighth part to my 
two Grand Children David Bruce & Catheron 
Read Equaly between them.

Item:  My will is that all my moveables Without 
Doors left at my Decease Shall be Equaly 
Divided amongst my Own four sons & 
that all my moveables within Doors Shall 
be Equaly divided into four parts to my own 
three Daughters & to my Grandaughter Catheron 

And I do Hereby Disanul Revoke & Make 
Voyd all Other Wills by me Heretofore Made 
Declaring this & No Other to be my last will 
& Testament.  In Wittness Whereof I have 
Hereunto Sett my Hand & Seal this thirtieth 
Day of Sept in the 7th year of His Majesties 
Reign Anno Domini 1720."

"Signed Sealed Published & Declared
by the sd Sam'll Biglo as his
Last Will & Testament                                        
In Presents of                                                                                                            
John Cutting                                                     his
Thomas Harrington                                Sam'll  B  Biglo
John Ball                                                         mark
... Fullam

The probate court accepted the will on 7 February 1731/2 and proved it on 21 February 1731/2.  The executor, Thomas Biglo, was ordered to exhibit an inventory.  On 7 February 1731/2, he was ordered to serve the citation on the heirs to appear before the court on 21 February 1731/2. He returned on 17 February 1731/2 that he had written to John Biglo, Josiah How and Rachel How of Marlborough, Deliverance Stearns of Worcester, Catherine Read of Westborough, David Bruce of Southborough, Tho Read and Isaac Reed of Sudbury and Mercy Garfield of Weston, and to the other heirs that lived at a great distance.

No inventory is included in the probate packet.  Receipts were received from Hannah Warrin and Samuel Warrin in 1733/1734 stating they had received their legacies from their grandfather's estate.

The source citation for this probate packet record is:

"Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, Ameircan Ancestors ( : accessed, 28 June 2015), Estate Packet #1728, Samuel Biglo estate, 8 sheets; citing original probate estate packet in Middlesex County Probate Court records.

In this probate record, Samuel Biglo/Bigelow identified four sons (John, Samuel, Thomas and Isaac Biglo), three daughters (Mercy Gearfield, Abigail Cuttler and Deliverance Stearns), three sons-in-law (Thomas Read, Josiah How and Daniel Warrin) and ten grandchildren (David Bruce, Nathaniel Read, Isaac Read, Thomas Read, Catherine Read, Phineas How, Abraham How, Rachel How, Samuel Warrin and Daniel Warrin).

Samuel Bigelow provided an inheritance for the children of his three deceased daughters.  Daughter Sarah Bigelow (1681-1713) married Josiah How (1678-1766) in 1706, and had children Phineas How and Abraham How and Rachel How before she died.  Daughter Hannah Bigelow (1689-1717) married Daniel Warren in 1711 and had children Samuel Warren and Daniel Warren before she died.  The other sons and daughters of Samuel Bigelow survived him.  

My line from Samuel Bigelow is through his daughter, Mary Bigelow (1677-1708), who married (1) in 1699 to David Bruce (1675-1701) and had son David Bruce (1700-????), and married (2) in 1702 to Thomas Read (1678-1755) and had three children, Nathaniel Read, Isaac Read, and Katherine Read.  I am descended from Isaac Read (1704-1780) son of Thomas and Mary (Bigelow) (Bruce) Read.

I first obtained a photocopy of this probate packet from FHL microfilm US/CAN 0,386,028 many years ago and transcribed it then.  The document images above are from the American Ancestors website for the Middlesex County Probate Records, 1638-1871 database.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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