Monday, November 20, 2017

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records for Estate of John Plimpton (1708-1756) of Medfield, Mass. - Part 4

This week's documents for Amanuensis Monday are from the Suffolk County, Massachusetts Probate Court records for John Plimpton (1708-1756) of Medfield, Massachusetts:

a)  Volume 84, page 339 (right-hand page, starting at bottom):

b)  Volume 84, pages 340-341 (left-hand page, continuing at top):

The transcription of this account and distribution of Abigail Clark's estate is:

Volume 84, page 339 (image 186 of 400]

[In right hand margin]

Clark Abigail
Admons Acc^t

[in main body]

To the Hon^ble Oliver Wendell Esq^r Judge of Probate for the County
of Suffolk. The Accounts of Amos Plympton Administrator
on the Estate of the Widow Abigail Clark deceased, Debts and

[Volume 84, page 340 (image 187 of 400]

Charges paid by him and Prays for Allowance as follows.

Paid for Myself & Familys Nursing from Novem^r 5
1784 to February 19^th 1785
£ 12 :  5 :   8
For Necessaries
4 :  5 : 10
For spining & Shoes & other small debts
9 :   1
For Doctoring
6 :   8
To Asa Boyden for Coffin
10 :   4
To Digging the Grave & tolling the Bell
4 :   2
To Probate Office
10 :     
To a Journey to Boston
4 :     
To the Appraisers
1 :   4 :     
To my Attendance & Paper
8 :     
Allowed the Administrator
15 :     
Examining allowing & Recording this Acco^t & Copy
Order of distribution &c
12 :     
Division & Settlement of Real Estate and Copy
16 :     
Inventory and Copy
4 :     
£ 19 : 14 :   9
The Accompant charges himself with the
Amount of the Personal Estate the Amount
then being in Specie
£ 35 :   7 :   4

Medfield June 7^th 1785 Amos Plympton

Suffolk Ss: Amos Plympton Adm^or presented the aforegoing
produced Vouchers and was sworn, Examined and allowed
by me this 7^th day of June 1785.
                                                            O. Wendell Jud. Prob.
                              Exam^d: W^m Cooper Reg.

[in left-hand margin]

Clark Abigail's
Am^ors Order of

[in main body]

Probate Office }
Suffolk County } By the Hon^ble Oliver Wendell Esq^r Judge of Probate &c.

[Volume 84, page 341 (image 187 of 400]

It appears to me by the Account of Amos Plympton Administrator on
the Estate of Abigail Clark late of Medfield Widow deceased Intestate
that after subduction of necessary Charges & disbursements there will
remain in the Hands of the Administrator a balance of Fifteen
Pounds twelve Shillings & seven pence 1/2 Person Estate which by
Law belongs and is to be distributed as follows viz^t: To Amos Plympton
his Two Shares and to Abner Unity and Olive other Children of the said
deceased the Sum of three Pounds two Shillings & six Pence 1/4 each as their
single Shares in said Estate. I do hereby Order the said Administrat-
or to make distribution accordingly they giving security that in case
debts hereafter appear due from said Estate to refund and pay back to
the Administrator their proportionable part thereof and of his Charges
Given under my Hand and Seal of Office this 7^th Day of June
A.D. 1785.                                                     O. Wendell Jud. Prob.
                                  Exam^d W^m Cooper Reg

The source citation for this document is:

"Suffolk County (Massachusetts) Probate Records, 1636-1899," on 439 FHL US/CAN microfilm reels, FamilySearch (, : accessed 19 October 2017),"Probate records v. 84 1785," FHL US/CAN film 493,890, Volume 84, pages 339-341 (image 186-187 of 400), Abigail Clark estate, account and distribution, 1785; citing original records in the Suffolk County, Mass. courthouse.

John Plimpton (1708-1756) died 8 May 1756, and his widow, Abigail (Fisher) Plimpton, and eldest son, Amos Plimpton, were appointed administrators of his intestate estate on 2 July 1756.

In Part 1, three appraisers were appointed to make a true and just inventory of the estate, which they did on 20 October 1656.  The estate was valued by the appraisers at £375 : 4s : 3d.  It included real estate valued at £ 264 : 16s.   The personal estate was £ 110 : 8s : 3d.

In Part 2, the administrators, widow Abigail Plimpton and son Amos Plimpton, declared their account, which totaled £70 : 4s, on 22 October 1758.  This included fees and charges for the probate court documents, notes and money owed to creditors.  

In Part 3, the appraisers divided the real property and set off one third of it to the widow, Abigail (Fisher) Plimpton.  They appraised the remaining two thirds of the real property at £189 2s 8d.  However, they did not divide the property between the children of John and Abigail Plimpton because it would "prejudice" the division.  

There must be a division and distribution in another record (not available) of the two thirds of the real estate between the four children, with eldest son Amos Plimpton receiving a double share, and being awarded all of the land, on the condition that he pay the other three children (Abner, Unity and Olive) their share of the value of the two thirds of the real estate.  

In these documents, the widow Abigail (Fisher) (Plimpton) Clark (who married David Clark in 1770, but became a widow again in 1771) has died in 1785, and this is the account and distribution of her personal property to her four children (Abigail Clark has her own probate packet in the Suffolk County Probate Records, number 18294).  The administrator is the son Amos Plimpton, and he again provides an account, charges himself with the personal property at hand, and the court distributes the remainder of the funds to the four children.  Note that this occurs 29 years after John Plimpton has died.  

There will be one more post for this set of estate records, with the division and distribution of the real estate granted to Abigail (Fisher) (Plimpton) Clark for her use in the Part 3.

John and Abigail (Fisher) Plimpton are my 6th great-grandparents, through their son, Amos Plimpton (1735-1808), who married Mary Guild (1735-1800) in 1756.

Note that these records are on FHL Microfilm, and are on FHL digital microfilm on, but they are not indexed.  The Suffolk County Probate Packets have not been filmed to my knowledge,so I used the Suffolk County Probate Court Clerk volumes because I found them first.  A researcher has to search the Probate Index for the person's probate packet number, then find the Probate Docket files with the list of papers that are in the probate packet, along with the volume and page numbers, and then find the individual volumes and pages with the documents listed in the Probate Docket.

This set of court clerk volume records are not indexed on in the "Massachusetts, Will and Probate Records, 1635-1991" collection They are available in the Ancestry collection, but you have to use the Probate Index and Probate Docket files to find the volumes and page numbers (similar to the process on FamilySearch).  They just are not indexed with the correct decedent's name.


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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