Monday, August 28, 2017

Amanuensis Monday - 1736 Inventory and Debt List for Estate of Josiah Wood (1687-1753) of Woburn, Mass.

This week's documents for Amanuensis Monday are from the Middlesex County, Massachusetts Probate Court records for Josiah Wood (1687-1753), husbandman of Woburn, Massachusetts:

c)  Probate Packet 25,489 (image 6):

The transcription of this document is:

This is a true inventory of the Estate of Josiah Wood jun^r
of Woburn in the County of Midels^x Non compos taken
and a prized by us the Subscribers January 12^th 1736(7)

Primus To his now dwelling Hous and Barn and about 22 Acores of Land
To the House and Land and Medow he bought
of Mr. John Knight a bout 52 acors
To 56 acores of Land and medow and swamp
Lying at a place called Longmedow
To 14 acores of Land Ling in Longmedow Fiel
To 4 acors of Land ajoynning to Land that
was John Wymans
To 4 oxen
To 4 Cowes
To 14 Sheep £14 to a hors 2£
To Staples Coprins and 3 Chains and 2 forks
To a plowe and plowe grone 10s axes and hows 8s
To an gron bear 1£ 10s to Hors Chains 15s
To bevel Rings and wedges 10s To 5 5 Swine 11£
To a Lambe and Foaling 3£ a Cart and wheals 4£
To agers and other Tools 1£ 10s to a bras Ketles 2£
To 2 Sadles and bridles 3£ 10s To Spining whele 14s
To Chest of draws and Great table
To ? ? beds and beding
To 40 bushels of Indian corn at ?? pence per bushel
To 18 bushels of barly at of ??? per bl
To 14 bushels of rye – 8 s per bushel
To a bariel of pork
To Cask in the seler
To an iron pot


                                                                Jonathan Bacon }
                                                                Samuel Wood    } sworn before

                                                                Edward Walker } Jon^a S???? Just^a

d)  Probate Packet 25,489 (image 7):

The transcription of this document is:

Middlesex Ss January 17^th 1736
M^rs Ruth Wood & her son John Wood the Guardians
of the Non-compos Person within named exhibited
the within written Inventory on oath.

                                                     Jon^a Remington Jpr

d)  Probate Packet 25,489 (image 8):

The transcription of this document is:

Wobourn Jan^y y^e 8 1736

An account of the Debts due from the Estate of M^r
Josiah Wood Jnr which is Estemed by the Selectment and
others Noncompos, viz.

To ??? George Reed
To Rachel Putney
To Thomas Skilton Jnr
To Mi^s Sebbellah Reed
To Mr. John Poulter
To John Knight
To the franch Doctor
To Doctor Jonathan Haywood
To Doct or Roger Toothaker
To Ruth Wood Junr
To John Wood        for his services
To Mr. Ebnezer Reed     rates
To Mr. Edward Walker
To Mr. William Taye     rates
Sum Total


Midd^x Cambridge January 17^th 1736
I have examined the above written list of Debts
                                     Jon^a Remington Jpro

would sell the Land bought of John Knight – to the value of the Debts
his Personal Estate being necessary to keep house.

The source citation for this probate packet is:

"Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, American Ancestors  ( : accessed 13 August 2017), Probate Packet 25,489 (14 images), Josiah Wood of Woburn, 1736.

In 1736, when Josiah Wood of Woburn was age 49, his wife and eldest son petitioned (see 

Amanuensis Monday - 1736 Non Compos Mentis Petition for Josiah Wood (1687-1753) of Woburn, Mass.) the Middlesex County Probate Court to have Josiah Wood declared "non compos mentis," meaning not sane, or not in their right mind.  At the time, Josiah and Ruth had eight living children, all but one of them (John) were minors.  

Ruth Wood and John Wood, as Guardians, committed to well and truly do their duty as guardians, and, with two friends, post bond of 1,000 pounds each.  See Amanuensis Monday - 1736 Bonds for Estate of Josiah Wood (1687-1753) of Woburn, Mass.

In the documents in this post, the guardians of Josiah Wood Junior took an inventory of the estate and made a list of the debts owed by Josiah Wood.  The estate totaled over 1,430 pounds, of which five items were real estate valued at 1,250 pounds, and the personal estate was over 180 pounds.  The debts were about 220 pounds.  Rather than sell all of the personal property, the probate court suggested selling one of the real property parcels in order to pay the debts and leave the household of this relatively young family intact.

There will be several more posts about this set of probate papers - there are some interesting twists in the records.

Josiah and Ruth (Walker) Wood are my 7th great-grandparents, the parents of Susanna Wood (1724-1780), who married Nathan Reed (1719-1802) in 1743.


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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