Monday, April 24, 2017

Amanuensis Monday -- Probate Records of John Freeman (1626-1719) of Eastham, Mass. - Part 1

This week's document for Amanuensis Monday is from the Barnstable County, Massachusetts probate documents for John Freeman (1626-1719) of Eastham, Massachusetts.  

a)  Barnstable County [Mass.] Probate Records, Volume 3, page 527 (right-hand side of image):

b)  Barnstable County [Mass.] Probate Records, Volume 3, page 528 (left-hand side of image):

The transcription of the will and letter testamentary is:

[page 527]

In the Name of God amen The first Day of June in y^e Year of
our Lord one Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixteen. I Maj^r John Freeman
of Eastham in the County of Barnstable in His Maj^ties Province of y^e Massa-
chusetts Bay in New England, Do make and ordain this my Last Will and
Testament. That is to say: Principally and first of all I Give & Recomend my soul
unto the hands of God That gave it and my Body I Recomend to y^e Earth
to be Buried in Decent and Christian manner at the Discretion of my Executor
hereafter Named. Nothing Doubting but at the Generall Resurrection I shall Receive
the same again by the Almighty Power of God. And as Touching such worldly
estate Wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this Life I Give Demise and
Dispose of the same in the following manner and form. First of all I make and
ordain my eldest son John Freeman my sole Executor of this my Last Will.
I give unto my son Edmond Freeman to him and her heirs for ever, All my
Land and housng Whereon he now Lives at a place Called Fenoset In y^e Town
of sd Eastham With all the Rights thereunto belonging and all my Right of
meadow ground in a palce Called The Coal meadow with all my Right in or unto y^e
flatts or sedge ground Called the Town flats with all the Rights belonging to sd farm
with one Addition Thereunto belonging being Lately laid out also a piece of Land
on Little Billingsgate also a piece of Land at a place Called y^e Herring brook
Also my Share of Land at ap lace Called Pockey Island.

2le. I Give unto my youngest Son Nathaniel Freeman to him and his heirs for-
ever All that my Land and housing marsh and meadow ground Whereupon I now
Live being in the Town of Eastham, at a place Currently Called Namskeakett with
all the out Lands appertaining to the same.

3le. I Give to my Grandson William Freeman The house and Land march or Sedge ground
being in y^e Township of Harwich with all the Rights thereunto belonging to sd house
and Land wherein he now Liveth To him and his heirs forever. Allowing to my son
John Mayo Liberty to make hay upon some part of sd farm where it will be ????
trustfull to sd Freeman and most Convenient for sd Mayo to Cut it off.

4le. As to my psonall Estate to say Goods Chattels and money Sheeps and Swine
The one half of my Cattle Sheep and Swine I Give to my son Nathaniel Freeman
and the other half to be Divided as followeth with my money To say I give unto my
son John Freeman one Share and half of y^e Remaining half.

5le I Give to my son Edmond one Shear, And I give to my son Nathaniel Freeman one
Shear, And I give to my Daughter Mercy Knowles one Shear, And I give to my
Daughter Hannah Mayo one shear, And I give half a shear to my Daughter
Patience Paine, And half a shear of the above I give to my son John Paine
to be Divided To the children he now hath, And half a shear to my Daughter Re-
bekah Freeman Widow of Thomas Freeman.

6le. I give to my Grandson William Freeman Ten Pounds in money.

7le. I Give to my Grandaughter Lydia Godfree Ten pounds in money.
This Twenty Pound in money to be paid by my Executor to y^e sd Freeman & Godfree
before Division.

[page 528]

8le. I Give before Division of my Estate to my Negro man Tobye one Cow
and a small Iron pot and y^e meanest of my Wearing Clothes and I Give
to James Maker one suitable Grimont.

9le. After my Death I Give to my Negroes Toby and Bess Their Freedom
and I Desire you my Children to put Them into such a way as thqat they
may not Want.

And I Do hereby utterly Disallow Revoke and make void all other Will or
Wills made by me Rattifying and Confirming This and no other to be my
Last Will and Testament. In Witness whereof I have hereunto sett my
Hand and seal the day and year above Written.

Isaac Pepper                           Signed sealed published                  John Freeman {seal}
               his                              pronounced & Declared by
Jeremiah + Smith                  the sd John Freeman as his
               mark                         Last Will & Testament In
                her                           the presence of us the Sub-
Patience A Burge                   scribers
Joseph Higgins Witness

An Appendix In as much force and Vertue as the Rest of my Will is
First as I have been wanting to my Daughter Patience Paine for
allowing her one half a shear In my Dividable Estate I further Do
allow a full shear to be Eaquile with her Sisters. Further I Give to Toby
my Negro the use of Four acres of Land Where is ????full to plant
during his Life and I Give him a hoe and an ax and some small things
in the kitchen and hay ground to keep a Cow and Room to Live in
part of my old house and wood for firing and housing and Convenient beding
To which I sett my hand this Day June 16^th 1718.

Witness Joseph Higgins                                        John Freeman
Patience B Burge

Eastham. November the Tenth 1719 Before John Otis Esq^r Judge of y^e Probate of
Wills and for Granting Letters of Admnistrations on y^e Estates of Persons Deceased having
made Chattels Rights or Credits in the County of Barnstable, Isaac Pepper & Patience
Burge and Jeremiah Smith Whose hands are sett to this within written Will as
Witnesses made oath that they did see Maj^r John Freeman Late of Eastham
now Deceased Sign and Seal the sd Writtem Instrument and heard himk Declare or
own it to be his Last Will and Testament and That they Did suppose him
to be of sound and Disposing minde and memory When he so did in y^e best
apprehentions and that they sett y^r hands thereto as Witnesses in his presence.
The said Isaac Pepper further adds that he dis Read over the sd Will to y^e said
John Freeman before he signed and sealed it and upon his hearing of it he did
approve it. And sd Patience Burge also Adds that she heard sd Pepper Read the
Will to sd Freeman (as she took it to be) before she sett her hand to it as Witness.
                                                                    Attest W^m. Bassett Reg^ir

The source citation for this probate record is:

"Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991," indexed database with digital images, ( : accessed 12 December 2016), Barnstable County, "Probate and Guardianship Records, Vol 1-2, 1674-1742; Vol 3, 1743-1747," Volume 3, pages 527-530 (images 766-768 of 828), John Freeman probate papers, 1719.

Major John Freeman lived a long life and with his wife, Mercy (Prence) Freeman (1631-1711) had 11 children.  The will mentioned these beneficiaries:

*  Son John Freeman (1651-1721), named executor.
*  Son Edmond Freeman (1657-1717)
*  Son Nathaniel Freeman (1669-1760)
*  Grandson William Freeman 
*  "Son" John Mayo (husband of daughter Hannah Freeman (1664-1744).
*  Daughter Mercy (Freeman) Knowles (1659-1745)
*  Daughter Hannah (Freeman) Mayo (1664-17644)
*  Daughter Patience (Freeman) Paine (1665-1746), wife of Samuel Paine
*  "Son" John Paine, husband of Daughter Bennett (Freeman) Paine (1671-1716).
*  "Daughter" Rebekah (Sparrow) Freeman, widow of son Thomas Freeman (1653-1716)
*  Granddaughter Lydia Godfree
*  Toby and Bess, Negroes that John Freeman manumitted in his will

I don't know the parents of William Freeman and Lydia Godfree - they may be children of one of the deceased or living sons.

John Freeman wrote his will on 5 June 1716.  His son, Thomas Freeman, died in February 1716, and his youngest child, Bennett (Freeman) Paine died on 30 May 1716.  His son Edmond Freeman died in 1717, after John Freeman wrote this will but before John Freeman died.  

John and Mercy (Prence) Freeman are my 8th great-grandparents, through their youngest child, Bennett Freeman who married John Paine in 1689.  

There is more to this set of probate records, which I will transcribe next wee in Part 2.


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."

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