Friday, February 5, 2016

52 Ancestors - Week 110: #133 Susanna (Reed) Gates (1745-1833)

Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post Challenge:  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I am extending this theme in 2016 to 156 Ancestors in 156 Weeks. Here is my ancestor biography for week #110:

Susanna Reed (1745-1833) is #133 on my Ahnentafel list, my 5th great-grandmother who married #132 Simon Gates (1739-1803) in 1766.

I am descended through:

*  their son, #66 Nathan Gates (1767-1830), who married #67 Abigail Knowlton (1774-1855) in 1790. 
*  their daughter, #33 Abigail Gates (1797-1867) who married #32 Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825), in 1817.
*  their son, #16 Isaac Seaver (1823-1901), who married #17 Lucretia Townsend Smith (1828-1884) in 1852.
*  their son, #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922), who married #9 Hattie Louise Hildreth (1847-1920) in 1874. 
*  their son, #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942), who married Alma Bessie richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
* their son, #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983), who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) in 1942.
*  their son, #1 Randall J. Seaver (1943-....)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                       Susanna Reed[1–2]   
*  Alternate Name:       Susannah Gates[3–5]    
*  Sex:                          Female   

*  Father:                      Nathan Reed (1718-1802)   
*  Mother:                    Susannah Wood (1724-1780)   
2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

*  Birth:                       4 December 1745, Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1]   
*  Distribution:            6 April 1803 (age 57), received portion of husband's estate; Gardner, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[3]   
*  Death:                     18 December 1833 (age 88), Gardner, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[4]   
*  Burial:                     after 18 December 1833 (after age 88), Old Burying Ground, Gardner, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[5]   
3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

*  Spouse 1:                Simon Gates (1739-1803)   
*  Marriage 1:             27 May 1766 (age 20), Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[2]   
*  Child 1:                  Nathan Gates (1767-1830)    
*  Child 2:                  Elizabeth Gates (1769-1778)   
*  Child 3:                  Susannah Gates (1772-1778)   
*  Child 4:                  Simon Gates (1774-1778)   
*  Child 5:                  Anna Gates (1777-1778)   
*  Child 6:                  Simon Gates (1779-1852)   
*  Child 7:                  Daniel Gates (1782-1847)   
*  Child 8:                  Gerry Gates (1784-1784)   
*  Child 9:                  Reuben Gates (1786-1873)   
*  Child 10:                Ezekiel Gates (1789-1809)   
*  Child 11:                Elizabeth Gates (1794-1819)   
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

Susannah Reed was born 4 December 1745 in Woburn, Massachusetts, the daughter of Nathan and Susannah (Wood) Reed[1].  The birth record in the Woburn vital record book says:

"Reed, Susanna, d. of Nathan & Susanna, Dec. 4, 1745"

Susanna Reed married Simon Gates in Marlborough, Massachusetts on 27 May 1766[2].  The marriage record in the Marlborough vital record book says:

"Gates, Simon and Susanna Reed, May 27, 1766"

Simon and Susanna (Reed) Gates had 11 children between 1767 and 1794.  Their births were recorded in 1767 in Stow, the next six from 1769 to 1782 were recorded in Westminster, and the last three were recorded in Gardner.  Four children died in September 1778, probably of a common disease.  Only four of her children lived to adulthood and had families of their own.  

Simon Gates of Gardner died intestate, and left a sizable estate[3].  The widow, Susanna Gates, was named as administratrix on 6 April 1803.  A warrant of partition was issued to Aaron Wood, Matthias Mosman and Stephen Hoar on 7 September 1803.  Their report was filed and allowed on 17 May 1804.

The partition of the estate was very detailed and very complex, due to the large land holdings of Simon Gates.  The appraisal of the real estate totalled $3,796, of which the widow's one-third dower rights amounted to $1265.33-1/3.

The appraisers set off to the widow, Susanna Gates, one half of the dwelling house, 32 acres of the home farm, the 30 acre Conant lot, one half of pew 15 in the Gardner meeting house, and one half of the stable near the meeting house.  This added up to $1,265.33-1/3.

The personal estate was listed in a detailed inventory, and totaled $1,887.25.  Susanna Gates charged herself with this amount, and filed the account  listing the charges and debts paid to many people, totalling $1,287.62.  This left a balance of $599.63 to be distributed to the heirs.  She was granted her one third share ($199.88), and was directed to pay the other five children $79.95 each.

The administratrix filed her account and it was allowed on 17 May 1804, with the balance of $599.65 to be distributed to the heirs as ordered. 

Susanna (Reed) Gates died in Gardner, Massachusetts on 18 December 1833[4].  The record in the Gardner vital records book says:

"[GATES] Susanna, wid. Simon, Dec. 18, 1833, a. 88."

The gravestone for Susanna Gates is in the Old Burying Ground in Gardner, Massachusetts[5].  The inscription says:

relict of
Dec. 18, 1833
AE. 88

There are no probate records for Susanna (Reed) Gates in the Worcester County, Massachusetts probate estate files.

1. Edward F. Johnson,  Woburn Records of Births, Marriages and Deaths [5 Volumes] (Woburn, Mass.: The News Print, 1893), Volume 1, Births, page 206, Susanna Reed entry.

2. Franklin P. Rice (editor), Vital Records of Marlborough, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Boston, Mass. : Franklin P. Rice ,1908), Marriages, page 254, Simon Gates and Susannah Reed marriage entry.

3. Massachusetts, Worcester County, Probate Files, 1731-1925, Case 23,252 Simon Gates Estate, 1803, Letter of Administration; digital images, FamilySearch  ( accessed 12 August 2014); in "Case no 23243-23330, Gates, Sarah-Gay, William, 1731-1881, (images 91-92 of 1069); original records in Worcester County, Mass. Courthouse.

4. Systematic History Fund, Vital Records of Gardner, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849 (Worcester, Mass. :  Franklin P. Rice,1907), Deaths, page 118, Susannah Gates entry.

5. Jim Tipton, indexed database, Find A Grave (, Old Burying Ground, Gardner, Mass., Susannah Reed Gates memorial.


Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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