Monday, June 27, 2016

Amanuensis Monday - Post 326: Will of Joshua Fisher (1588-1674) of Medfield, 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 will of Joshua Fisher (1588-1674) of Medfield, Suffolk County,  Massachusetts:

The transcription of this will is (transcribed line by line):

[page 121]

[In right margin] Joshua Fisher Will

In the yeare of our Lord one thousand six hundred
Seventy four the Second daye of may I, Joshua
Fisher of Medfield Senior in the County of Suffolk in
New England being by the Good hand of God preserved
& brought to old age & being thereby with the infirmi-
ties there upon attending put in mind of Mortality &
Summoned to appear are longe Before that great God
to whome I must give an account of all my wayes who
is pleased out of infinit marcy at this pursent to give
me the full use of my memory & understanding Doe
therefore make & ordaine this my last will & testa-
ment for the quiet of my mind in the disposing &
selling of that portion of the things of this life where-
with it hath pleased the lord to betrust me & having
Committed my soull nto the armes of Jesus christ
my deare redemer & my Body to the earth from
whence it was at first taken to be christianly buried
at the Discretion of my Executors hereinafter named.
Imprimis I give & bequeath unto Anne my deere & well
beloved wife & to her heires forever that my bed as it
now standeth in the Little chamber next the Staires
with all the furniture belonging there untoo & allsoe two
grene blankets more & two payres of sheets & two

[page 122]

pillowes & that trunke now standing in the bed
chamber below marked A.F. With what soever is
now in it & all her wearing apparell as well linen as
wooling & one payer of andiarns one fire pann one payer
of tonges one Trammell one drying iron & two heaters one
payer of pothookes two beere vesselles three milk boulles
one stanning Jugge tipt with Sillver two chaines two
foure footed stolles two cushings Such as she shall chuse
& three puter Dishes two of the begest & one leser one
& my two ketteles one Skillit & one Iron pott & fouer
bushells of wheat & Fortye pound wayt of butter & forty
pound of chese & fifty pound wayght of porke & one Cow
such as shee shall chuse & all my fire wood that is cut
out when god shall take me away whether in the
woodes or in my yard & soe much more of my moveable
goodes as shall be vallued at ten pound in such
as she shall chuse or else soe much in good & mar-
chatable wheat as com to tenn pound & fiften pound
in good & currant New England money & further my
will & Desire is that my abovesd wife may live in that
end of the house which I lived in attending to the
will of my son John Fisher Deceased until such
time as the heires shall come of age & then to enjoy free
Ingress & regress with the benefit of any one now of
the apple trees in the orchard & then to live in the
other end & there to injoye During the tearme of
her naturall life all such liberties & priveledges as
are expressed in my Deed of gift formerly made to
my son John Fisher & further my will is that all
the abovesd perticulers given to my wife shall be
delivered unto her within ten weekes after my Decease
all which piticulars abovesd being truly prformed unto
my Deere & well Beloved wife according to my true intent
& meneing herein it Shall Stand for ever as a suffient
pleae & bare against my sd wife for claiming any right
title or Intrest by way of Dowry or any other way unto
any houses or lands that ayther at present Doe or
ever did possess ayther in old England or in New England.
Itm. I will & bequeath unto my Daughter Mary Battle
the wife of Thomas Battle & his heires for ever thirty
pound instead of Bed (which I formerly promised him)
to be paid within the space of twelve months after

[page 123]

my Decease twenty pounds in Cattle & moveables the
other tenn pounds in good & currant Country pay.
Itm. I will & bequeath unto each of my Daughters Mary
Battles Children twenty shillings in good & currant Country
pa as they shall come to one and twenty years of age.
Itm. I will & bequeath unto Joshua Fisher my grand-
Child fifty pound it being already in his hands
payd to him out of that estate which I had in his
fathers lands. Itm. I will & bequeath unto Mary
Clap my grandchild & wife to Thomas Clap five
pound to be payd in good & Currant Country pay
to be pay within the space of one yeare & ahalfe after
my Decease. Itm. I will & bequeath unto Abigail Hough-
to wife of John Houghton my grand child five pounds
to be payd in good & currant country pay within the
space of two full yeares after my decease. Itm. I will &
Bequeath unto John Fisher my grand Child sonn of
Joshua Fisher five pound to be payd in good &
currant Country pay within the space of three yeares
next after my decease. Itm. I will & bequeath unto Hanah
Bawranues my grand child & her heires for ever five pound
to be payd in good currant paye within the space
of five yeares next after my Decease. Itm. I will &
bequeath unto John Fisher the sonn of my sonn John
Fisher all my lands now lying in Medfield with all the
buildings thereon with all the rights & priviledges thereunto
belonging or in any wis appurtaineing. Itm I will & bequea
to my grand child Elizabeth Fisher the daughter of
my sonn John Fisher five pounds to be payd by her
brother John Fisher within one yeare after he
com to one and twenty yeares of age.

Signed sealed & published Joshua Fisher & a seale
in the presence of us
John Wilson
Ralph Wheelocke

[In Right margin] Joshua Fisher Codicil

Further my will is that John Fisher the sonn of my Sonn
John Fisher shall paye forty shillings to his brother
Jonathan Fisher within the space of two yeares next
after he shall come to one & twenty yeares of age. Itm. I will
& Bequeath unto Vigilance Fisher my grand child
son of my Son Joshua Fisher forty shillings to be paid
by my Exec^rs when he shall come to three & twenty yeares
of age & as for the recedue of my estate bills bonds

[page 124]

debts moveables hous hould Stufe or whatsoever not for-
merly willd & bequeathed or contained in this my last
will & testam^t (my just Debts legacies & funerall ex-
pences being payd) and hereby given & bequeathed unto
my grand child Joshua Fisher above named. Itm. I
constitute appoint & ordaine my trusty & well Beloved
cozen Daniell Fisher of Dedham & Joshua Fisher my
Grant child executors of this my last will & testam^t to
whome I give & commit all trust & power nessecary for them
as the Executors of this my last will for the Due and
full Execution & accomplishm^t of the same both all
& every p. thereof as is above written & my mind & will
is that my grant child Joshua Fisher shall as my
Exec^r paye unto my loveing Cozen Daniell Fisher as
a recompence for his paines fouer pounds & I nominate
& intreat my very loveing Son Thomas Battle of Dedham
& George Barbur of Medfield to be overseers of this my last
will & testam^t Desireing them to be assistant to my
exec^rs in the worke I have committed unto them unto
whome I in requitall of there love and paines give
twenty Shillings apece to be payd by my Exec^rs & I
Doe hereby utterly revocke all other wills by me at any
time made & in witness that this is my last will &
testamwent containeing in these two sheetes of paper I
the abovesd Joshua Fisher have hereunto Subscribed
my hand & affixed my seale this second of may
in the above written yeare as is specified in the first
line of this will.                           Joshua Fisher & a seale
Signed Sealed & published in the purcs of us
John Wilson
Ralph Wheelocke Mr. Jno Wilson appeared
Before Jno Leverett Esq^r Gov^r & Edw Tyng esqr Assistant
the 19^th of 9^br 1674 & made oath that being pursent subscrib-
ed his name as a witness to this Instrument which
Joshua Fisher signed sealed & published to be his
last will & testam^t & that he was then of a sound
disposingm ind to the best of his knowledge & also that he saw
Mr. Ralph Wheelocke signe & subscribe his name as another
witnes this thus done as Attests Free Grace Bendall Record^r.
Recorded & compared p. Free Grace Bendall Rec.

The source citation for this will is:

Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991, indexed database with digital images, (, Suffolk County, "Probate Records, Vol. 5-7, 1666-1674," Volume 6, pages 121-124 (stamped), images 260-262 of 922, will of Joshua Fisher of Medfield, 1674.

This will reads like a stream of consciousness, doesn't it?  He signs it and then immediately adds a codicil to finish it.

The record shown above is a probate court clerk's copy, and the spelling and some of the names are inconsistent, but probably the best that a skilled amanuensis could do with the original two pages.

I checked the Suffolk County Probate Dockets, and these are the only two papers in Docket 711.

The heirs named in the will are:

*  Anne, his "deere and well beloved wife"
*  Mary Battle, wife of Thomas Battle of Dedham, his daughter
*  Mary Battles children
*  Joshua Fisher, his grandchild [son of son Joshua Fisher]
*  Mary Clap, wife of Thomas Clap, his grandchild [daughter of son Joshua Fisher]
*  Abigail Houghton, wife of John Houghton [a daughter of son Joshua Fisher]
*  John Fisher, son of son Joshua Fisher, a grandchild
*  Hannah Bawranues, a grandchild [daughter of son Joshu Fisher; married name Burroughs]
*  John Fisher, son of John Fisher, a grandchild
*  Elizabeth Fisher, daughter of son John Fisher, a grandchild
*  Jonathan Fisher, son of son John Fisher, a grandchild
*  Vigilance Fisher, son of son Joshua Fisher, a grandchild

Of the 8 children of Joshua Fisher (1588-1674) and his first wife, Elizabeth, only daughter Mary (Fisher) Battle was still living when Joshua wrote his will.  Sons Joshua and John are, apparently, the only other children that married and had children of their own, and they are deceased in 1674.

Son Joshua Fisher (1621-1672) married Mary Aldus (1623-1653), and they had seven children, including Mary (Fisher) Clapp, Abigail (Fisher) Holton, Joshua Fisher, John Fisher (1652-1727), and Hannah (Fisher) Burroughs.  Son Joshua Fisher married (2) Lydia Aldus (1621-1683) and they had two children, Vigilance and James, who died in infancy. 

Son John Fisher (1634-1668) married Elizabeth Boylston (1640-1665), and they had four children, but only Elizabeth (Fisher) Plimpton (1659-1674) and John Fisher (1661-1755) lived to marry and have children.

Joshua Fisher (1588-1674) bequeathed real or personal property to each of his known living heirs at the time he wrote his will on 2 May 1674.

Joshua Fisher is my 9th great-grandfather.  I am descended from son Joshua Fisher (1621-1672) through his son John Fisher (1652-1727), and also from son John Fisher (1634-1688) through his daughter Elizabeth (Fisher) Plimpton (1659-1694).


Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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