Monday, April 2, 2018

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records for Estate of John Plimpton (1680-1730) of Medfield, Mass. - Part 3

This week's documents for Amanuensis Monday are from the Suffolk County, Massachusetts Probate Court records for John Plimpton (1680-1730) of Medfield, Massachusetts:

a)  Volume 31, pages 190-191:

b)  Volume 31, page 192: 

The transcription of the records for the estate of John Plimpton is:

[Volume 31, page 190, starts about 6)5 down the left-hand page]

Suffolk Ss. These may Certify any whom it may concern that
the Lands of John Plimpton late of Medfield Deced will make
but two Settlements which may accommodate his two Eldest
Sons, and in our humble opinion they will accommodate no more
as Witness our Hands hereunto set October 18^th 1731.
                                                            Joseph Plimpton
                                                           Stephen Sabin
                                                            Joseph Metcalfe

Suffolk Ss. By the Hon^ble Josiah Willard Esq^r Judge of Pr. &c
To Mess^rs John Dwight James Elles & John Pratt all of Medfield
& Sufficient Freeholders of the said Town Greeting.

Whereas it has been Represented unto me that the Real Estate of
John Plimpton late of Medfield in the County aforesaid Husband-
man Deced Intestate cannot admit of a Division among all
his Children without great prejudice to or Spoiling of the who

[Volume 31, page 191]

I Do therefore authorize & Impower you to make a Due
apprizement of the Housing & Lands of the said Deceased
according to your best Skill & Judgment (to which you are to
be Sworn before Jonathan Ware Esq^e) and you are to make
Return hereof with your Doings therein into the Registers
office so soon as may be.
Given under my hand & Seal of
office this 11^th of September 1732
J Willard

Suffolk Ss. Wrentham September the 25^th 1732. It is hereby Certifyed
that Mess^rs John Dwight James Elles & John Pratt all of Medfield in
the County aforesaid & Sufficient Freeholders of the s^d Town, were this
Day Sworn to make a Due apprziement of the Real Estate in
Housing & Lands of John Plimpton of Medfield afores^d Husbandman
Deceased Intestate according to their best Skill & Judgment.
Before me, Jonathan Ware Justice of Peace

We whose Names are hereunto Subscribed Do Certify the Hon^ble
Josiah Willard Esq^r Judge of Probate for the County of Suffolk
that we have made a Due apprizement of the Housing & Lands
of John Plimpton larte of Medfield Deced according to our best
Skill & Judgment which is as follows:

To the Housing & House Lott £196. – . –
To Twelve acres of Meadow Upland     90. – . –
To five acres of Meadow             81. – . –
To Sixteen Acres & ¾ of Woodland     41. – . –
To ab^t 12 acres of Upland & Swamp     21.10. –
To nine acres of Land     46.15. –
To the Right of the Land called New Medfield     60. – . –
To several small pieces of Land     24.15. –
Medfield Oct^o 13^th 1732 John Dwight
                                             James Ellice
                                             John Pratt
£561. – . --

Suffolk Ss. By the Hon^ble Josiah Willard Esq^r Jusdge of Pro. &c

Whereas it hath been Represented unto me that the Real Estate
of John Plimpton late of Medfield in the County of Suffolk aforesaid
Husbandman Deced cannot admit of a Division among all his Children
without great prejudice to or Spoiling of the whole and the s^d Estate
having been apprized at the Sum of Five hundred & Sixty one
Pounds by Mess^rs John Dwight James Ellice and John Pratt all

[Volume 31, page 192]

of Medfield & Sufficent Freeholders of the said Town upon
Oath being Duely appointed and Sworn and John Plimpton &
James Plimpton two of the Sons of the s^d Deced accepting the
same accordingly and to Pay unto their Brothers & Sisters or
their Legal Representatives their Ratable Parts of the apprized
Value thereof Pursuant therefore to an act or Law of this
Province Entituled an act for the Settlement or distribution
of the Estates of Intestates and the Direction Power & authority
to me therein Granted.

                               I Do therefore order & assign the Housing
and Lands of the said John Plimpton Deced unto his said two
Sons John Plimpton & James Plimpton To have and to hold
Posess & Enjoy the same with all the Members & appurtenances
thereof to them and their Heirs forever (Saving to their Mother
Susanna Sabin formerly Relict Widow of the s^d Deced her Right of
Dower therein for Term of Life) they the s^d John & James Plimpton
Paying thereout unto their Brother & Sister Namely, Daniel Plimpton
and Elizabeth Plimpton or their Legal Representatives the Sum of
Seventy four Pounds and Sixteen Shillings a piece on or before the
twenty eighth day of May which which will be in the year of
our Lord one thousand seven hundred and thirty three with
Interest for the s^d Sums in the Interim after the Rate of Six
Pounds pr Cent pr annum being their Single shares of two Third
Parts of their said Father's Real Estate at present and at and
upon the Death of their said Mother or other the Determination
of her Term in the Premises the further Sum of Thirty five Pounds
and Eight Shillings                                      A piece to Compleat
their Respective Shares of and in their said Father's Real Estate
Each Party to whom a Share is allotted to Give Bond w^th Sureties
as the Law Directs in Case Debts be afterwards made to appear
to Refund and Pay back to the s^d John Plimpton and James
Plimpton their Ratable Parts thereof and of their Charges.

In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and the
Seal of the s^d Court of Probate. Dated at Boston the 28^th Day of
November annoq Domini 1732

Mem^o. Each Party to whome a Share is Allotted upon Payment is
to allow a proportionable Part of Twelve Pounds to the Eldest Son &
Admin^r John Plimpton for his Charges and Expences viz^t four
Pounds each there being no Personal Estate to Satisfy the same.
John Boydell Reg^r                                                   J. Willard
                         Exam^d John Boydell Reg^r

The source citation for this record is:

"Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991," indexed database with digital images, (, : accessed 5 November 2017); Suffolk County, "Probate Records, V. 29-31, 1731-1734," Volume 31, pages 190-192 (images 671-672 of 858), John Plimpton, 1730, warrant, appraisal and distribution; Original images in Suffolk County [Mass.] Probate Court.

John Plimpton (1680-1730) died intestate on 19 January 1730 with a significant estate in Medfield, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.  He left a widow, Susannah (Draper) Plimpton, and four children, two of them over age 21 and two under age 10.  

Part 1 of this series included the Letter of Administration appointed the widow, Susannah Plimpton and the oldest son, John Plimpton as Administrators of the estate.  An inventory of the estate was taken on 10 March 1730, and totals £879-3-9, of which £567-10 is real estate.  The Letter of Administration is dated 7 April 1730.

In Part 2, the Administrators presented their account, requested payment for their expenses, which was granted by the Judge of the Suffolk County probate court on 7 June 1731.

In this post, a warrant for the appraisal of the real estate was made, the appraisal was made, and the Judge of Probate approved the distribution of the real estate to the two older sons, John Plimpton and James Plimpton with a provision, reserving one-third of the real estate for the widow of John Plimpton.  The provision was that John and James Plimpton were to provide 74 pound 16 shillings to their siblings Daniel Plimpton and Elizabeth Plimpton immediately, and 35 pounds to each of them when the widow, now remarried, died.  James, Daniel and Elizabeth were to pay 4 pounds each to John Plimpton for his expenses administering the estate.  

How did the Judge come up with the amount to be paid Daniel and Elizabeth?  There were four children of the deceased, who would eventually receive the entire estate.  The eldest son was to receive a second share by law at the time.  So five shares needed to be defined in order to split up the £561 in real estate.  One share was thus 112 pounds, five shillings.  Two-thirds of one share was 74 pounds, 16 shillings, and the remaining one-third is 37 pounds, 8 shillings.  I don't know why the award for the widow's third was only 35 pounds, 8 shillings.  An error by the judge?

The distribution did not split the real estate holdings between the two eldest sons.  Logic says that son John Plimpton held two thirds of it in value and son James Plimpton held one third of it in value.  Did the two sons sell some or all of the land during their lifetimes?  The eldest son, John died in 1756, and daughter Elizabeth died unmarried in 1757.  The widow Susanna (Draper) (Plimpton) Sabin died in 1769.  Presumably, John's children received his share of the land and James's children received his share.  It gets complicated!

Since I found the image of this record first on, I have cited it.  However, it was not found by a search by the person's name - it was found by searching the Probate Docket Index on Ancestry to find all of the papers for John Plimpton in the probate court clerk volumes.  There were no index entries for this particular John Plimpton.  

The same process can be used on FamilySearch in the digital microfilms - use the Probate Docket Index for the county, note the volumes and page numbers for each record type, and then find the individual pages in the noted volumes.

Since I found these pages, the American Ancestors website has the original probate file papers available in digital format on their website, which can be searched by name.  There are 32 papers in the John Plimpton estate file number 5941.

John Plimpton (1680-1730) is my 7th great-grandfather, through his son John Plimpton (1708-1756).  


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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