Monday, August 7, 2017

Amanuensis Monday - 1743 Will of Simon Gates (1667-1752) of Stow, Mass.

This week's document for Amanuensis Monday is from the Middlesex County, Massachusetts Probate Court records for Simon Gates (1667-1752) of Stow, Massachusetts:

a)  Probate Packet 8,994, image 2 (will started):

b)  Probate Packet 8994, image 3 (will continued):

c)  Probate Packet 8994, image 4 (will concluded):

d)  Probate Packet 8994, image 5 (codicil to will):

The transcription of the will is:

[image 2]:

In the Name of God Amen this twenty second day 
of July Anno domini one thousand seven hundred and 
fourty three. I Simon Gates of Stow in the County of 
Middx in the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New 
England yeoman being far advanced in years but injoying my reason 
and understanding and in a good measure my memory thro' the good-
ness of God to me and the state of my worldly affairs requiring it 
do make and ordain this to be my Last Will and Testament, that 
is to say Principally and first of all I surrender my soul to God 
that gave it, hoping in his mercy thro' ye merits of the Redeemer and 
my body I recommend to ye Earth to be buried in decent Christi-
an burial at ye expence and care of my execr hereafter named, 
believing ye Resurrection and the Power of God. And as touching 
such worldly estate as it hath pleased God to bless me give, 
devise and dispose of the same in ye following manner.
Imprimus, I give to Hannah my beloved wife (before ye provision I have 

made for her by covenant with two of my sons) my whole estate for 
life by her to be used and injoyed dureing ye term of Life and after 
her death my will is that it be disposed of in ye following manner.

2. I give to my two eldest sons viz. Joseph Gates and Benjamin Gates

 all my wearing cloaths besides their deeds of gift.

3. I give to my son Elisha Gates one set of cast irons besides his deed of gift.

4. I give to my son Amos Gates (....) one set of cast irons allso I give to my 

said son Amos that parcel of land yt is called ye pasture joyning to the 
farm on wch I now live containing by estimation twelve acres be 
the same more or less both within ye fence and without it obliging him 
on confirmation thereof to give to me & my wife a decent Christian 
burial when we shall dye and as to my own burial I so far 

[image 3]

direct as to say yt my sd son shall give to my three surviving daugh-
ters viz. Hannah Heald, Mary Hains & Susanna Fitch mourning apa-
rel that is robe gowns of Norwich ... of black and white ... crape 
as it is commonly called suitable in price and goodness for people of 
their fashion together with decent black gloves and vales and to 
each of my three sons decent black gloves & ... My will further 
is that my sd son amos Gates shall pay to ye children of my daughter 
Elizabeth Wheler deceased in money as much as it shall cost him to put
either of daughters abovesd in mourning as above; that is to say to 
all of my grand children as much as one of my said daughters.

5. I give to my three daughters above named and the children of said 

deceased daughter all my household goods to be divided in equal shares 
allso one cow each my sd grandchildren to make one share as
their mother is Living.

6. I give to my daughter Susanna Fitch eight pounds fifteen shillings 

lawfull money to be payd her out of my personal estate allso that 
parcel of division land in Stow abovesd that lyeth on Thettly Plain 
so called on both sides of Lancaster ... adjoyning southwardly 
on Thomas Wetherbee ye bounds of which are to be seen in the 
... plans containing as I remember the number about ten or 
twelve acres.
Lastly, my Will is yt all my bonds and bills and cash with all 

that money a bill that is otherways lawfully due to me be 
divided equally among the persons hereafter named, viz. my 
sons Joseph Gates & Benjamin Gates & my daughters Hannah 
Heald Mary Haynes & Susanna Fitch and the children of 
my daughter Elizabeth Wheler deceased, they to make one 
share, and I give further to my son Amos Gates all my rights 
in the common land in said Stow and my whole property 

[image 4]

in sd Stow commons and I do hereby appoint my said 
son Amos Gates the sole executor of this my Last Will & 
Testament and revoking all other wills by me at any time 
made & constitute ordain & appoint this and no other to 
be my Last Will and Testament.Signed sealed published 
pronounced & declared 
by him ye said Simon Gates 
to be his last will & testament 
in presence of us the subscribers, 
John Gardner, 
Mary Gardner, 
Mary Gardner, Junr. 

Memorandum before signing & 

sealing my will & it is hereby 
declared that ye riding horse &
 plows that I shall be possessed 
of at my death be given to 
my two eldest sons viz. 
Joseph Gates & Benjamin 
Gates. And that my son
Elisha Gates shall be forth 
coming of ye cows 
above bequeathed in order 
to for being given to persons 
to whom it is above given 
and my son Amos Gates 
shall pasture ye ...
... each of them 
... .... .... .... 
\to my children ... ... 
I hereby give and declare 
that no inventory may be 
taken of it."
......................... his 
.............. Simon X Gates 

[image 5]

"Be it known unto all men by these presents that 
whereas I simon Gates of Stow in the county of Middx 
in the Province of Massachusets Bay yeoman have 
made and declared my last will and testament bearing 
date of second day of July Anno Domini one thousand 
seven hundred and fourty and three on ye other side of this 
paper I the sd Simon Gates by this present codicil do ratifye 
and confirm ye same as to sd substance of it but as to two 
charges in same I make some small alteration, first as to 
the fourth claus wheras I have given to my son Amos 
Gates a pasture so called as may be seen his charge I do 
ratifye sd gifts but as to my own and wifes funeral I direct 
as follows that my said son shall pay twenty pounds at 
my death all to be laid out and upon my funeral at ye 
discretion of my sd son I allso give to my sd son the 
bond wch was given me by James Curlye and all that 
is due by virtue of sd bond and to my son Elisha Gates I give 
all that is due to me from Fothergill of Boston & my 
will and meaning is that this codicil be adjudged a part of 
my Last Will and Testament and that every thing in it be 
attended accordingly, Witness my hand and seal this twenty 
fifth day of May Anno domini 1747.In presence of                                               his
John Gardner,                                     Simon G Gates
Mary Gardner,                                            mark
Mary Gardner Junr.

The source citation for this will and codicil is:

"Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, American Ancestors ( : accessed 26 November 2015), Probate Packet 8,994 (10 images), Simon Gates of Stow, 1752.

On 22 June 1752, the will was proved, and Amos Gates was directed to exhibit an inventory of the estate of the deceased according to law. On the same day, Deliverance Brown, Samuel Gates and Joseph Brown, all of Stow, were appointed and empowered to take the inventory of the estate of Mr. Simon Gates, late of Stow. 

The inventory of the estate of Simon Gates was presented by Amos Gates to the three appraisers on 10 January 1753. The land that was given to Susannah Fitch was appraised at 72 pounds, the pasture and land adjoining to the farm that was given to Amos Gates was appraised at 100 pounds, money and bonds and notes were appraised at 215 pounds, 6 shillings, 1 pence, a cow was appraised at 20 pounds, and various and sundry items of furniture, kitchen ware, household goods, wearing apparel, etc. was listed. A total was not written down. Amos Gates exhibited the inventory on oath to the court on 5 May 1755, and it was accepted by the court.

There was no distribution document included in the probate record.

There are several words that are difficult to read in the will and codicil due to the handwriting and my inability to decipher what they are.

A search for Middlesex County probate records for Hannah (Benjamin) Gates did not find a definite probate packet.  There is Packet 8,957 for Hannah Gates of Framingham in 1763, with an administrator named Amos Gates, but the married daughters last names did not match the known last names of Hannah (Benjamin) Gates' daughters.  There was an Amos Gates residing in Framingham in the 1760 to 1780 time period, and there are land records for him, but he is not Amos Gates (1706-1783), son of Simon and Hannah (Benjamin) Gates.

Simon Gates (1667-1752) and his wife, Hannah Benjamin (1669-after 1752), are my 7th great-grandparents, through their son Amos Gates.  


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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