Monday, January 16, 2017

Amanuensis Monday - 1738 Will of John Metcalf (1648-1738) of Medfield, Mass.

This week's documents for Amanuensis Monday are the 1738 Suffolk County, Massachusetts probate records for John Metcalf (1648-1738) of Medfield, Massachusetts:

The transcription of the three different probate records are:

[page 109, right-hand page of first image]

[in right-hand margin]
John Metcalf's

Josiah Willard Esq^r. Commissioned by His Excellency Jonathan Belcher
Esqr Capt^n General & Governour in Chief in & over His Majesty's Province
of the Massachusetts Bay in New England by and with the advice and
consent of the Council to be Judge of the Probate of Wills and for Granting
Letters of admin^acon on the Estates of Persons dece^d, having goods, Chattels
Rights or Credits in the County of Suffolk within the Province aforesaid. To
all unto whom these Presents shall come, Greeting. Know ye, That upon
the Day of the Date hereof before Me at Boston in the County aforesaid,
the Will of John Metcalf late of Medfield in the County aforesaid Hus-
bandman dece^d, to these Presents annexed, was Proved approved & allowed.
Who having while he Lived, and at the time of his Death, Goods, Chat-
tels, Rights or Credits in the County aforesaid, and the Probate of the s^d
Wilol, and Power of committing admin^acon of all & singular the Goods,
Chattels, Rights & Credits of the said dece^d by virtue thereof appertaining
unto Me, The admin^acon of all and Singular the Goods, Chattels Rights
and Credits of the Said Dece^d, and his Will in any manner concerning, is
hereby Committed unto Jonathan Metcalf Sole Executor in the same Will
Named, Well and faithfully to Execute the said Will and to administer
the Estate of the said Dece^d according thereunto, And to make a true and
perfect Inventory of all & singular the Goods, Chattels, Rights & Credits of the
s^d Dece^d, and to Exhibit the same into the Registry of the Court of Probate
in the County afores^d at or before the 24^th day of January next Ensuing, and also
to render a plain and true accompt of his said admin^acon upon Oath. In
Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and the Seal of the s^d Court
of Probate. Dated at Boston the Twenty fourth Day of October Anno Dom^i 1738.
John Boydell Reg^r                                                              J. Willqard
                                 Exam^d SS John Boydell Reg^r

[page 110, top of left-hand side of second image]

[in margin]
Metcalf's Will

In the Name of God, Amen, the Second Day of March
in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred & thirty eight. I
John Metcalfe of Medfield in the County of Suffolk within His Majesty's
Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England Husbandman being
arrived & come to a considerable & great age in years but of a disposing mind &
Memory thanks be given to God therefore: Calling to Mind the Mortality of my
Body and knowing that it is appointed unto Men once to dye: Do make and
Ordain this my Last Will & Testament that is to say. In the first place and
Principally, I give & recommend my precious Soul into the hands of God who gave
it and my Body I recommend to the Earth to be buryed in a decent Christian
manner at the discretion of my Executors nothing doubting but at the Resur-
rection I shall receive the same again by the Mighty Power of God and as
touching such Worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless Me in
this Life (which remains in my hands) I Do give will & dispose in the follow-
ing manner & form hereinafter expressed. I Will and bequeath that out of my
Moveable Estate the following Sums & Legacies be paid viz to my Brother Joseph
Metcalf or his heirs the Sum of Twenty Shillings and to the Heirs of my
Sisters to wit the Heirs of Elizabeth Ellis and to the Heirs of Experience Wheeler
and to the Heirs of Hannah Bullen and to the Heirs of Mary Ellis to the
Heirs of these my four Sisters abovenamed they being dece^d I will & bequeath
the Sum of Four pounds To Each Family of the Surviving Heirs the Sum of
Twenty Shillings to be paid by my Executor after my decease in Bills of Publick
Credit or Equivalent thereunto. Item I give & bequeath to my Cousins Michael
& Samuel Metcalfe of the Town of Medway and my Cousin Jonathan Metcalfe
my wearing apparel to be Equally divided among them unto whom I have by
Deeds under my Hand & Seal my Real estate in Lands as therein may more
largely appear and since the Decease of my well beloved Wife unto whom
I gave my House & Improvem^ts in Lands reserved out of the above mentioned Deeds
I Do will & bequeath unto my Cousin Jonathan Metcalf the youngest of
my well beloved Brother Michael Metcalfe formerly dece^d My Dwelling House,
and all such Conveniences adjoyning to my House & Barn as are excepted in the
above mentioned Deeds referrence being thereunto had and I Do will & bequeath
unto him the said Jonathan Mercalf all my Moveable Estate Debts and
Funeral Charges and the aboves^d Legacies being first paid unto him and
and to his Heirs forever. And I do constitute name ordain & appoint the aboves^d
Jonathan Metcalfe to be the Executor of this my Last Will & Testam^t
and I Do hereby utterly Disallow and revoke all & every other and former
Testam^ts Wills & bequests in any ways before named Willed & bequeathed
Ratifying & confirming this & no Other to be my Last Will & Testam^t. In
Witness hereof I Set my Hand & Seal the Day & Year above written.
The Mark of JM John Metcalf & a seal

[page 111, top of right-hand page of second image]

Signed Sealed published & declared by the said John Metcalf as his Last
will & Testament in the presence of us the subscribers Jo9nathan Plimpton
Elisha Bowers James Bowers Elisha Barbur.
                                                      Exam^d John Boydell Reg^r

[in right-hand margin]
John Metcalf

The within written Will being presented for Probate by the Execut^r therein
named, Jonathan Plimpton Elisha Bowers & James Bowers made Oath that
they saw John Metcalf the Subscriber to this Instrument Sign & Seal & heard
him publish & declare the same to be his Last Will & Testament and that
when he so did he was of sound disposing Mind & Memory according to these
Deponents best discerning and that they (together with Elisha Barbur now
absent by reason of Indisposition) Set to their hands as Witnesses thereof
in the said Testators presence.                                                   J Willard

Boston Octo. 24 1738              John Boydell Reg^r

The source citation for these documents is:

"Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991," indexed database with digital 
images, ( : accessed 4 July 2016), Suffolk County > Probate Records, Vol. 32-34, 1734-1739:  Volume 34, pages 109-111 (images 664-665 of 938), 1738 Letter testamentary, will and evidence for estate of John Metcalfe; Original data from Suffolk County [Mass.] Probate Court clerk books.

John Metcalf (1648-1738) had two wives.  He married his first wife, Mary Bowers (1648-1707), in 1676, and they had three children, one died in infancy and the other two died in 1707 in the same month that their mother died.  They did not marry or have children.  John Metcalf married his second wife, Sarah (Turner) Plimpton (1663-1738) in 1708.  They had no children together, but Sarah had two Plimpton children from her first marriage, but one of them died as a child.  The other child, Elizabeth Plimpton (1702-1725) married Jonathan Metcalf (1690-1758) in 1719, and they had three children.  Jonathan Metcalf married twice more.

In the will of John Metcalf (1648-1738), he names his heirs as the heirs of his brother, Joseph Metcalf ((1658-1741), the heirs of his deceased sister Elizabeth (Metcalf) Ellis (1654-1735), the heirs of his deceased sister Experience (Metcalf) Wheeler (1661-1730), the heirs of his deceased sister Hannah (Metcalf) Bullen (1664-1719), the heirs of his deceased sister Mary (Metcalf) Ellis (1668-1727), and the heirs of his deceased brother Michael Metcalf (1650-1691), naming them as "cousins" Michael, Samuel and Jonathan Metcalf.  He named his "cousin" (actually his nephew) Jonathan Metcalf as his executor, and left all of his real property and moveables to Jonathan Metcalf, who was to pay the legacies to the other heirs.

This Jonathan Metcalf (1690-1758) was the one who married his step-cousin, Elizabeth Plimpton, in 1719.  

John Metcalf (1648-1738), Michael Metcalf (1650-1691), Elizabeth (Metcalf) Ellis (1654-1735), Experience (Metcalf) Wheeler (1661-1730), Joseph Metcalf (1658-1741), Hannah (Metcalf) Bullen (1664-1719) and Mary (Metcalf) Ellis (1668-1727) were all children of John Metcalf (1622-1690) and Mary Chickering (168-1698), who married in 1647 in Dedham, and resided in Medfield, Massachusetts.  

This will names all of the known children of John and Mary (Chickering) Metcalf, and three sons of John Metcalf's brother, Michael Metcalf (1650-1691)..  

This is a probate record of a man who married twice, had three children who died before he died and had no children, and whose two wives died before he died.  Having no heirs, his will bequeathed money and property to the heirs of his six siblings.  One of them, Jonathan Metcalf (1690-1758) had married the daughter of John Metcalf's second wife.  So in this will, he is essentially providing for the only living heir of his two wives.

I still need to search the Suffolk County, Massachusetts probate court index books for the inventory and account, and any other papers, for the estate of John Metcalf (1648-1738).

John Metcalf (1648-1738)  is not my ancestor;  his parents are my 9th great-grandparents, his brother Michael Metcalf and his wife Elizabeth Bowers (1654-1724) are my 8th great-grandparents, and his nephew Michael Metcalf (1680-1761) and his wife Lydia White (1686-????) are my 7th great-grandparents through their son, Michael Metcalf (1706-1771), who married Melatiah Hamant (1704-1751).

It was fun untangling this puzzle.  


NOTE:  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."

My list of previous Amanuensis Monday posts is at  

Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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