Monday, July 24, 2017

Amanuensis Monday - Distribution to Widow in Amos Gates (1706-1783) Probate Records

This week's document for Amanuensis Monday is from the Middlesex County, Massachusetts probate records for the estate of Amos Gates (1706-1783) of Stow, Massachusetts.

The distribution of one third of the real estate to his widow Deborah (Thayer) (Rockwood) Gates (1732-1822) is:

[image 9 of 10]

[image 10 of 10]

The transcription of this distribution to the widow of Amos Gates is:

[image 9 ]

Pursuant to a Commission Constituted
By the Honr^bl Oliver Prescott Esq^r Judge of
Probate for the County of Middlesix to apprize all
the Real Estate of Amos Gates Late of Stow in said
County yeoman & Deceased Intestate. The Homestead
Bounded as follows viz. Beginning at a heap of Stones &
Corner of Lieut. Ephraim Wetherbees Land and runs
Northerly fourteen rods on said Wetherbees Land to a Stump
a corner of this farm their still, Northerly on Land of
Silas Hall Ninety three rods to a Stake and Stones then
Easterly on Land of Oliver Gates fifty Eight rods to a
Stake then More Northerly Seventy Rods to the Brook
then Northerly on said Brook Twenty Nine rods
To Joshua Browns Land then westerly on said Browns
Land Thirty two rods to a heap of Stones then Northerly
on said Browns Land fifty two rods to a Stake and Stones then
Westerly Thirty Two rods to a Stake and Stones then Southerly
Twenty Seven rods to a mark in a pond then westerly on
Land of Oliver Gates to the first Mentioned Bound Containing
Thirty Seven acres apprized at                      £195

Also a piece of wood Land Bounded as follows viz.
Begining at a white oak Tree and runs Southerly Thirty
four Rods to a heap of Stones then westerly fifty three rods
on Land of Berzaleel Hale to a heap of Stones on Bolton
Line then Northerly on Bolton Line to a heap of Stones
then Easterly fifty four rods to a white oak tree then
Southeasterly to the first Mentioned Bound Containing Twelve
acres apprized at                                          £28

Then we sett of to Deborah the said Deceased Widow for her
Dower or Thirds During her Life a Certain part of the
Homestead bounded as follows viz. Beginning at a stake
and Stones at Joshua Browns Land and runs for Northerly Twenty
rods to a stake and Stones then Northerly twenty seven rods to a
Stake in the pond hole all on Joshua Browns Land then
westerly on Oliver Gates Land to a heap of Stones a Corner
at Lieut Wetherbees Land then Southerly fourteen rods to a
corner of Silas Hales Land then Still Southerly on said Hales
Land Twenty five rods To a Stake and Stones then Esterly
on the Land of s^d Deceased to the first mentioned Bound
with the the Dwelling House on the Same with the
Easterly End of the Barn to the flour meay and the easterly
part of the ^????^ with the Liberty to pass and repass to the same.

[image 10]

and Liberty is allowed for to pass and repass
across said Thirds ?? ????? where the road is Said Pond
and Liberty to use the well said Land Contains about
Eleven acres apprized at               £65

Also we have Sett of to the Said Widow four
acres of wood Land Bound as follows Beginning at
a Stake and Stones at the road and runs Southerly twelve
rods Bounded on said road to Berzaleel Hales Land then
westerly on said Hales Land fifty three rods to a heap of
of Stones at Bolton Line then Northerly on said
Bolton Line Twelve rods to another heap of Stones and
Stake then Easterly to the first Mentioned bound
apprized at                             £9=12-0

Stow May y^e 30^th 1783
Jabez Brown   }
Joshua Brown } Apprizers
Jonas Hale      }

This May Certify that we are Content with the
above proceedings as Witness our Hands
                                      Deborah ~ Gates

Middlesex Ss Nov. 5^th 1783.
I accept of this Return of Commissioners & order the Same
to be Recorded.                               Oliver Prescott Jprob.

The source citation for this record is:

"Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, American Ancestors ( : accessed, Probate Packet 8,936,Amos Gates, 1783, images 9 and 10, Distribution of Real Estate to widow; citing original records in Middlesex County, Mass. Probate Court, Cambridge, Mass.

Amos Gates died intestate before 12 March 1783 in Stow, Massachusetts, where he left an estate.  His widow, Deborah (Thayer) (Rockwood) Gates, and Jabez Brown were named administrators of the estate which was probated in Middlesex County, Massachusetts.  A commission was appointed to set off the widow's dower, and this document describes that process.  First, they determined the extent and value of the real estate of Amos Gates, and then they provided about one third of the value of that land to the widow, including a portion of the homestead, the barn, a woodland, etc.  While there is a letter testamentary, an inventory,  a list of creditors, and other papers in the probate packet, there is no list of the heirs of Amos Gates or information about the distribution to any other heirs besides his wife, Deborah.

I tried to map out the homestead land description, but I think I transcribed some of the directions wrong - the plat does not close.  The handwriting is difficult to read in places and the ink is light throughout the record.  The neighbors named are Ephraim Wetherbee, Silas Hall, Oliver Gates, Joshua Brown, and Berzaleel Hale.  The second piece of land is bounded by the line between Stow and Bolton.  

Amos Gates (1706-1783) had two wives - first was Mary Hubbard (1712-1754 ) who bore him five sons between 1733 and 1746), and the second wife was Deborah (Thayer) Rockwood, widow of John Rockwood, who he married in 1754 and she bore him six children between 1761 and 1773.  Several of the second set of children were minors when Amos died, and three of them had guardians appointed for them after his death.

Amos and Mary (Hubbard) Gates are my 6th great-grandparents, through their son Simon Gates (1739-1803) who settled in Gardner, Massachusetts.


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."

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

No comments: