Monday, April 9, 2018

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records for Estate of Samuel Prescott (1674-1758) of Acton, Mass.

This week's documents for Amanuensis Monday are from the Middlesex County, Massachusetts Probate Court packets for Samuel Prescott (1674-1758) of Acton, Massachusetts:

a)  Middlesex County (Mass.) Probate Packet 18,104, image 2 of 10:

The transcription of the will of Samuel Prescott is:

"In the Name of God Amen I Samuel Prescott of Acton 
in the County of Middlesex in the province of the Mas-
achulsetts Bay in New England yeamon being of a Sound and 
Disposing mind though but weak and Infirme in Body Calling 
to mind my frailty Do make this my Last will and testament 
first I Committ my Soul to God who gave it and my body 
to the Earth to be Decently Buried at the Discretion of my 
Executor hereafter Named and as Touching my worldly 
Estate I Dispose of the Same as follows.

"Imprimis I Give unto my well Beloved and onely Son Amos 
Prescott all my Lands and Buildings in Acton with all 
my Husbandry tools and Wearing Apparel my Iron morter and 
staff He paying out unto the Children of my Daughter Esther Conant 
deceased the Sum of six pounds and to my Daughter Dorothy 
Heldreth the Sum of three pounds Six shillings and Eight pence 
and to my Daughter Mary Fletcher the Sum of Six pounds 
and to my Daughter Sarah Randal the sum of Six pounds 
and to my daughter Dorcas Minott the Sum of Six pounds 
and to the Children of my daughter Abigail Fox deceased the Sum 
of Six pounds and to my daughter Rebekah Davies the Sum 
of Six pounds and to pay them thirty Shillings apeace 
a year untill the whole be paid the first payment to be one 
year after my decease.

"Also I Give unto my ^daughter^ Davies my pew in Acton meeting House.

"Also I Give unto my Grand daughter Frances Prescott the Bed 
in which she hath Constantly Lodged in Since my wives 
decease with the Bolster (and pillows sheets and Blankets 
and Coverlets Bed Stead and Cord there unto Belonging also 
my Great Brass Kittle.

"Also I Give unto my daughters above said (the Children 
of my daughter Conant and daughter Fox to have their 
Equal Shares) all the Remainder of my Estate to be 
Equilly devided Among them my Lawfull Debts Charge at 
Doctors and my funerall Charges to be first Reducted out.

"And I do hereby Appoint and make my Son Amos Prescott 
the Sole Executor of this my Last will and testament allowing 
no other to be my Last Will and testament. In wittness whereof 
I have Here unto Set my hand and Seal this Nineteenth Day of 
August 1756 and in the thirtieth year of His majesties Reign.

"signed Sealed and Delivered by the said
Samuel Prescott as his last Will and testament
in presence of us
Jonathan Hosmer .................................... his
Daniel Fletcher ......................... Samuel P Prescott (seal)
William Barker Junr." ........................... mark

The source citation for this record is:

"Probate Records 1648-1924 (Middlesex County, Massachusetts)," Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah), 886 FHL US/CAN Microfilms, Probate Packet #18,104, Samuel Prescott of Acton, 1758, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,421,496.

The Probate Packet 18,104 for Samuel Prescott (1674-1758) has ten images in it - the will is the second image on the AmericanAncestors website.  Here is the citation for this source:

"Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, American Ancestors ( : accessed, 8 April 2018), Packet 18,104, Samuel Prescott of Acton, 1758 (10 images); citing original records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives, with digitized mages provided by

Note that these are images of the original probate papers filed in the Middlesex County Court in Cambridge.

Samuel and his wife Esther (Wheeler) Prescott (1678-1756) had nine children.  The will names the only son, Amos, living daughters Dorothy Heldreth, Mary Fletcher, Dorcas Randall, Mary Minott and Abigail Davies, and names deceased daughters Esther Conant and Rebekah Fox.  The last child, Dinah, probably died young.  The will also names granddaughter Frances Prescott, who must be a daughter of the son Amos Prescott.

Esther (Wheeler) Prescott died on 1 May 1756 in Acton, and Samuel wrote his will on 19 August 1756.  

Samuel Prescott died 25 September 1758 in Acton, Massachusetts, at age 84.  

On 9 October 1758, Deacon Jonathan Hosmer and Joseph Barker, both of Acton, and Captain Stephen Hosmer of Concord were appointed to a committee to apprise the Estate of Samuel Prescott, late of Acton.

An inventory of the real and personal estate of Samuel Prescott, late of Acton, was taken by the committee on 17 October 1758. The estate totaled 328 pounds, 9 shillings, 3 pence, including 227 pounds, 9 shillings, 4 pence in real estate. The real estate included a dwelling house (10 pounds), a barn (5 pounds), and one half of 163 acres and 104 rods of land (206 pounds, 9 shillings, 4 pence), and one pew in Acton meeting house (6 pounds). The inventory was exhibited on 23 October 1758 and approved by the Court.

On 11 December 1758, Amos Prescott presented the last will and testament of Samuel Prescott, late of Acton, and the inventory to the Court. The first two witnesses made oath to the Court that Samuel Prescott had been of sound mind when he made his last will and testament, but the third witness thought him uncapable. The Court delayed the hearing for three weeks. On 1 January 1759, the Court approved the will, the objections made being waived. Amos Prescott was ordered to present an Account of his proceedings when required.

Amos Prescott charged himself with the money left and the debts of his father, paid the debts, funeral expenses and executorship charges, all of which amounted to 49 pounds, 3 shillings, 10 pence. The Court accepted the Account on 5 May 1760.

I am descended from Samuel and Esther (Wheeler) Prescott through their daughter, Dorothy   Hildreth (1702-1774) who married James Hildreth (1698-1761). Note that Samuel Prescott names his daughter Dorothy Hildreth in the will.

Samuel and Esther (Wheeler) are my 7th great-grandparents.  


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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