Friday, January 26, 2018

52 Ancestors - Week 211: #290 Jonas Prescott (1703-1784) of Westford, Massachusetts

Jonas Prescott (1703-1784) is #290 on my Ahnentafel List, my 6th great-grandfather, who married (2) #291 Elizabeth Harwood (1701-1739)  in 1730 in Westford, Massachusetts.

I am descended through:

*  their daughter #145 Elizabeth Prescott (1734-1812) who married #144 Zachariah Hildreth (1728-1784) in 1753.
*  their son, #72 Zachariah Hildreth (1754-1829) who married #73 Elizabeth Keyes (1759-1793) in 1777.
*  their son, #36 Zachariah Hildreth (1783-1857) who married #37 Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857) in 1810.
*  their son, #18 Edward Hildreth (1831-1899) who married #19 Sophia Newton (1834-1923) in 1852.
*  their daughter #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920)  who married #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) in 1874.
*  their son #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
*  their son #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) in 1942.
*  their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
  Name:                          Jonas Prescott[1–7]    
*  Alternate Name:           Jonas Prescot[8–9]    
*  Alternate Name:           Jonas Prescutt[10]  

*  Sex:                              Male    

*  Father:                         Jonas Prescott (1678-1750)    
*  Mother:                       Thankful Wheeler (1682-1716)  

2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*   Birth:                          26 January 1702/3, Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[6,8–9]    
*  Death:                          9 September 1784 (age 81), Westford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[5–6]    

*  Burial:                        after 9 September 1784 (after age 81), Westlawn Cemetery, Westford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[6]    

*  Probate:                      13 October 1784 (age 81), will proved; Westford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[7]  

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1.                   Esther Spalding (1705-1730)    
*  Marriage 1:                 6 March 1725/6 (age 23), intentions; Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1]    

*  Child 1:                      Jonas Prescott (1727-1813)    
*  Child 2:                     Timothy Prescott (1728-1808)

*  Spouse 2:                   Elizabeth Harwood (1701-1739)    
*  Marriage 2:                7 March 1730/1 (age 28), intentions; Westford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[2–3]    

*  Child 3:                      Elijah Prescott (1732-1732)    
*  Child 4:                      Elizabeth Prescott (1734-1812)    
*  Child 5:                      Isaac Prescott (1738-1738)    
*  Child 6:                      Benjamin Prescott (1739-1741)
*  Spouse 3:                   Rebecca Jones (1710-1802)    
*  Marriage 3:                25 December 1740 (age 37), Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[4,10]    

*  Child 7:                     Esther Prescott (1742-1833)    
*  Child 8:                     Sarah Prescott (1744-1837)    
*  Child 9:                     John Prescott (1752-1842)  
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):    

Jonas Prescott was born 26 January 1702/3 in Groton, Massachusetts, the son of Jonas and Thankful (Wheeler) Prescott[6,8-9].  He was the second child of six, and the second son.

Jonas was married three times:

*  First to Esther Spaulding (1705-1730) on 6 March 1725/6 (intentions) in Chelmsford, Massachusetts[1].  She died in 1729 leaving him two children, Jonas (born in 1727) and Timothy (born in 1728), both born in Groton.

*  Second to Elizabeth Harwood (1701-1739) on 7 March 1730/1 (intentions) in Groton[2-3].  She died in 1739 leaving him four children born between 1732 and 1739; Elijah (born 1732), Elizabeth (born 1734), Isaac (born 1738, and Benjamin (born 1739), all recorded in Westford, Massachusetts.

*  Third to Rebecca (Jones) Barrett (1710-1802) on 25 December 1740 (intentions) in Concord, Massachusetts[4,10], and they had three children; Esther (born in 1742), Sarah (born in 1744) and John (born in 1742), all in Westford.

Jonas Prescott was a farmer in Westford, and served as a Justice of the Peace and Selectman in Westford for several years.

Jonas Prescott died 9 September 1784 in Westford, Massachusetts[5-6].  He is buried in Westlawn Cemetery in Westford[6].  The inscription on his gravestone reads:

"Here lies
Buried the Body of
Jonas Prescott Esq.
who departed this life
Sept ye 9th 1784.
In the 83 year
of his age."

Jonas Prescott died testate, having written a will on 13 March 1776 which was proved on 13 October 1784.  His probate papers are in Middlesex County Probate Records, Probate Packet #18,082[7].  His will reads:

"In the Name of God Amen the thirteenth day of March one thousand seven hundred & Seventy Six.

"I Jonas Prescott of Westford in the County of Middlesex & province of the Massachusetts Bay Gentleman being advanced in age but of perfect mind & memory, thanks be given to God therefor, and calling to mind the frailty & mortality of my Body, & Knowing it is appointed for all men once to Die, Do make & ordain this to be my last will & testament; first of all I recommend my Soul into the hands of God that gave it; and my Body I recommend to the Earth to be Buried in a decent Christian manner at ye Direction of my Executor hereafter named nothing Doubting but at the General Resurrection I shall Receive it again by the mighty power of God;  and as such worldly Estate as it has pleased God to Bless me with after provision is made for the paying all my Just Debts & funeral charges, I give & Dispose of the same in ye following manner & form.

"Imprimus I give & Bequeath to Rebecca my Dearly Beloved wife my Shou?e also one third part of my personal Estate to be disposed of in that way & manner she shall think proper, also the improvement of one third part of my Real Estate during her natural life.

"Item I will & Bequeath to my Eldest Son Jonas Prescott my peice of meadow land called Common Meadow, Bounded as follows, Westwardly on his own Land & meadow to a brook called Stony Brook or River, northwardly on said Brook untill it comes to Timothy Prescotts meadow, then Eastwardly on his own land to the Town Road, then Bounding on said Road to his own lands, also another peice of land lying in General Field so called Bounded as follows:  Eastwardly on Nathaniel Boyntons land untill it comes to a Town Road then on said Road or highway untill it comes to his own land thence on his own land to said Boyntons land there Being two small orchards on the same, one called Richardsons the other called Ephraim orchard, also I give to my son Jonas Prescott one half of the Rent of my lease of the forge lying in said Westford, also I bequeath to my son Jonas my Gun to him & his heirs forever.

"Item I Give & Bequeath to my Daughter Easter Goodhue the other half of the Rent of my lease of saif forge to her & her heirs forever.

"Item I Give & Bequeath to my son Timothy Prescott one half part of my corn mill, also one half part of all the Priviledges of the Stream & Dam on which the Mill stands, also the priviledge of using the water for his part of the saw mill he not thereby in any measure intercepting the aforesaid corn mill; also I give to my son Timothy one third part of my land & pasturing lying in the ?ronthing Swamp so called;  Also one half part of my right of the meadow land lying in Cowpound meadow so called being in Groton in the county & province aforesaid to him & his heirs forever.

"Item I Give to my Daughter Elizabeth Hildereth the sum of sixty six pounds, thirteen shillings & four pence to be paid by my Executor to her, one half of said sum to be paid in one year after my Discease, the other half in two years after my Discease.

"Item I Give to my Daughter Easter Goodhue the same sum of sixty six pounds, thirteen shillings & four pence to be paid in the same manner as to my Daughter Hildrick.

"Item I Give to my Daughter Sarah Taylor the same sum of sixty six pounds thirteen shillings & four pence to be paid in the same manner as to my Daughter Hildrick, and further my Will & Desire is that my Executor should have the Liberty of paying my three Daughters their several sums of lagacy in such of my bonds or notes or in bonds or notes as shall be Judged good & Reasonable.

"Item  I Give my wareing apparel to my three sons to be Divided equally among them at my Discease.

"Item I Give & Bequeath to my son John Prescott all the remaining part of my real & personal Estate with all the rights titles priviledges & inheritances belonging thereto to him & his heirs forever.  Further my Will is that at the Decease of my Beloved wife the third of my real Estate which I have given to her improvement of to her During her natural life should Decend to my son John Prescott & his heirs forever.  But my will  is that this should not be understood that my son John should have any part of what I have by this My last will & testament given to my other children.

"Finally I hereby constitute and appoint my said son John Prescott sole Executor of this my last Will & testament, avouching this to be my last Will & testament and no other to be so.

"In witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand & seal the Day & year above mentioned Signed Sealed published & pronounced By the said Jonas Prescott to be his last Will & testament in presence of us

Danl Rogers Junr                                                      Jonas Prescott
Peter Fox
Eliphalet Fox"

On 23 September 1784, the subscribers consented to the establishment of the will.  The subscribers included Rebecca Prescott, Jonas Prescott, Timothy Prescott, Zechariah Hildreth, David Goodhue, Elizabeth Hildreth (by mark), Esther Goodhue, Sarah Taylor and Abraham Taylor.

On 13 October 1784, John Prescott, Elisha Jones and Amos Barrett posted a bond of ten thousand pounds, and John Prescott took the Executorship of the estate of Jonas Prescott late of Westford.  Daniel Rogers, junior and Peter Fox took the oath that they, with Eliphalet Fox, subscribed their names as witness to the will of Jonas Prescott. The Court proved and allowed the Will and directed John Prescott, the Executor, to faithfully execute the will and administer the estate.

The probate packet includes receipts from each of the heirs for their portion, and the Court accepted the discharges on 9 March 1785.  No inventory or account was included in the probate packet.

1. Town of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Vital Records of Chelmsford, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Salem, Mass. : The Essex Institute, 1914), Marriages, page 298, Jonas Prescott and Esther Spaulding entry, 1726, intentions.

2. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, digital images, (, Westford > Births, Marriages and Death, image 17 of 1750, Jonas Prescott and Elisabeth Harwood marriage entry, 1731.

3. Vital Records of Westford, Massachusetts to the Year 1849 (Salem, Mass. : The Essex Institute, 1915), Marriages, page 218, Jonas Prescott and Elizabeth Harwood entry.

4. Vital Records of Westford, Massachusetts to the Year 1849, Marriages, page 218, entry for Jonas Prescott and Rebekah Barrett of Concord, 1740, at Concord.

5. Vital Records of Westford, Massachusetts to the Year 1849, Deaths, page 304, Jonas Prescott entry, "in his 83d year".

6. Jim Tipton, indexed database, Find A Grave (, Westlawn Cemetery (Westford, Mass.), Jonas Prescott memorial # 23798735.

7. "Probate Records 1648-1924 (Middlesex County, Massachusetts),"  886 FHL US/CAN Microfilms, Probate Packet #18,082, Jonas Prescott of Westford, accessed on FHL US/CAN Microfilm 0,421,496.

8. "Massachusetts, Town Records, 1620-1988," digital images,, "Groton Births, Marriages and Deaths," Page 25, image 338, Jonas Prescott birth entry, 1703, son of Jonas Prescot and wife Thankful.

9. Vital Records of Groton, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem, Mass. : The Essex Institute, 1926-1927), Two volumes, Births, page 188, Jonas Prescot entry, 1703, son of Jonas and Thankful.

10. George Tolman (compiler), Concord, Massachusetts Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1635-1850 (Concord, Mass. : Committee on Printing, 1894), page 136, entry for Jonas Prescott of Westford and Rebekah Barrett of Concord.


NOTE:  Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post 
 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I have extended this theme in 2018 to 260 Ancestors in 260 Weeks.

Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

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1 comment:

Linda Stufflebean said...

We are cousins once again! I am descended from the Prescott line, too, along with many other families that settled early in Groton. My line is John, Jonas and then Elizabeth who married Eleazer Green.