Monday, January 20, 2020

Amanuensis Monday -- 1788 Mortgage Deed of Simon Gates from Jonathan Bruce in Middlesex County, Massachusetts

This week's document for Amanuensis Monday is a 1788 deed of  Simon Gates, yeoman of Gardner, buying land in Marlborough, Massachusetts from Jonathan Bruce, yeoman of Marlborough, in the Middlesex County, Massachusetts Land Records: 

[Volume 96, page 524-525]

[Volume 96, pages 526-7]

The transcription of this deed is:

[page 525 at bottom of right-hand page of image]
[in right margin]

Jonathan Bruce 

Simon Gates

[body of text, all handwritten texts]

Know all men by these Presents

that I Jonathan Bruce of Marlborough in the County of Middlesex and
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Yeoman in Consideration of the Sum of

[page 526]

Ninety Pounds lawful Silver money to me in Hand paid before
the Delivery hereof by Simon Gates of Gardner in the County of
Worcester Yeoman the Receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge, have
given, granted, bargained and sold, and do by these Presents give grant
bargain sell and convey unto him the said Simon Gates and to his Heirs
and Assigns forever, the One Moiety or half part of a certain Tract or
parcel of land lying and being in the Northerly part of said Marl-
borough containing by Estimation about Ninety Acres be the same
more or less and is bounded beginning at the Southeasterly Corner
at a Stake and Stones being a bound betwixt said Jonathan Bruce
and Jonathan Hapgood and runs Northwesterly by said Jonathan
Hapgood and John Hapgood's land to a Stake and Stones; thence
Westerly over the Brook to a Stake and Stones; thence Southwest-
erly by land of Solomon Brigham to a Stump at the end of the
wall; thence Southwardly to a heap of Stones near the field; thence
Westerly to a grey Oak tree marked, thence Northwesterly to the
lower end of the Meadow and so on to the way that leads from
Barnard's Mill so called to Marlborough Meeting House all as
the Fence now stands thence Southwesterly by said Way to
another Town way that goes to said Jonathan Bruce's dwelling
House; thence Easterly by said way to the end of the wall, and
so on to land of the said Hapgood's land thence Southeasterly
by said Hapgood's land to the first mentioned bounds it being
the whole of said Jonathan Bruce's Homestead with a Dwelling
House and Barn and other Buildings thereon the one moiety or
half part of the above described premises.  To Have and To
Hold the said granted and bargained premises together with all
their Appurtenances, to him the said Simon Gates.  And I the
said Jonathan Bruce, for myself, my Heirs, Executors and Admin-
istrators, do hereby Covenant to and with the said Simon Gates
that the sealing hereof I am the lawful Owner of said grant-
ed premises, with their Appurtenances, and stand seized thereof in
my own proper Right as a good Estate in Fee simple, that I
have lawful Right to sell the same as aforesaid, that they
are free of all Incumbrances whatever.  And further, that I
my Heirs, Executors and Administrators, shall and will War-
rant and defend said granted premises unto the said Simon
Gates his Heirs and Assigns forever, against the Claims
of all People.  Provided nevertheless if said Jonathan Bruce,
his Heirs, Executors or Administrators pay said Simon
Gates, his Heirs, Executors, Administrators or Assigns said Sum
of Ninety Pounds, one third in one Year, one third in two Years

[page 527]

and one third three Years with Interest from the sixteenth
of April last past until paid, with lawful Interest, on before
the sixteenth Day of April which will be in the the Year of our
LORD one thousand seven hundred and Ninety, then this Deed,
as also a certain Bond, bearing even date with these Presents,
given by said Jonathan Bruce to said Simon Gates of the Pen-
alty of one hundred and eighty Pounds, Conditioned to pay the
first mentioned Sum and Interest at the Time aforesaid shall
both be void; otherwise shall remain Absolute.  In Witness
whereof I the said Jonathan Bruce have hereunto set my Hand
and Seal this twenty fourth day of January in the Year of our
LORD one thousand seven hundred and eight eight.  Jonathan
Bruce and Seal.  Signed Sealed and Delivered in Presence of is
Isaiah Bruce, Alpheus Woods.  Middlesex ss. Marlborough January
24th 1788.  Then personally appeared the above named Jonathan Bruce
and acknowledged the above Instrument to be his free Act and Deed
before me  Peter Wood Jus. Peace.
Middlesex ss. Cambridge January 28th 1788 at nine ^o Clock A.M. Received and Entered by
                                                                                   W^m Winthrop Reg^r.
The source citation for this recorded deed is:

"Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986," digital images, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 January 2015), Middlesec County, "Deeds, 1786-1788, Vol. 96," Volume 96, Pages 525-527, images 267-8 of 292, Deed of Simon Gates from Jonathan Bruce, executed 24 January 1788, recorded 28 January 1788; citing records in land offices and county courthouses, statewide in Massachusetts.

This is a mortgage-type deed where Simon Gates of Gardner pays 90 pounds to Jonathan Bruce of Marlborough, contingent on Jonathan Bruce paying it back with interest by 16 April 1790.  The land, serving as collateral,  is a 90 acre parcel in Marlborough, Massachusetts that is Jonathan Bruce's homestead.  Simon Gates probably knew Jonathan Bruce as a former neighbor or perhaps as a Gates or Reed cousin.  Simon was born in Stow (which is a town just north of Marlborough) and lived there until moving to Gardner after his marriage in 1766 in Marlborough.

Simon Gates (1739-1803), son of Amos and Mary (Hubbard) Gates, who married Susanna Reed (1745-1833) in 1766, is my 5th great-grandfather.  I am descended from their son, Nathan Gates (1767-1830) who married Abigail Knowlton (1774-1855) in 1790.


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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