Monday, April 20, 2020

Amanuensis Monday -- 1772 Account of Administratrix of Estate of Moses Brigham (1723-1769) of Westborough, Mass.

This week's document is the 1772 Account of the administratrix of the intestate estate of Moses Brigham (1723-1769) of Westborough, Massachusetts, in Probate Packet 7,407 in the Worcester County, Massachusetts probate court records.  

[page 1, image 32 of 32]

[page 2, image 31 of 32]

The transcription of this appraisal  is (with handwritten words in italics):

[page 1, image 32 of 32]

Worcester ss the further account of Mehitable Brigham adm'x
on y'e estate of her Late Husband Moses Brigham Late of Westb'o
in said County Dec'd

The said accountant Chargeth herself with y'e Personal Estate
& Ballance of her account settled & allowed y'e 8'th June 1772

y'e sum of     213 : 7 :   10
And prays allowance as follows: viz't
Pd for Commission settling of my thirds                2 :   6
To y'e Committee for their time              14 :   0
Supporting them                          8 :   0
Allowing Recording their Report                7 :   0
I pray allowances for y'e Provisions apprised used &
For y'e support of y'e family
Provision apprised used for y'e support of y'e family       29 : 19 :   6
4 fat hogs apprised used for y'e family         7 : 15 :   6
Sole & upper Leather used for shoes for y'e family         2 : 15 :   6
To Drawing allowing & Register of this act & a copy                6 :    
Sum:       42 :   8 :   0
Remain:      £170 : 19 : 10
Error Excepted pr Mehetabel Brigham

Worcester July 4: 1772 Mehetable Brigham abovesaid
appeared & made oath to y'e truth of y'e above accountant
Before me John Chandler Judge Probate

Worcester ss July 13: 1772 I having Examined y'e above acount
(and y'e Guardians of y'e Children having signified to me
that they ^have no objection^ to y'e above allowance) I do allow thereof
y'e Ballance in her hands being £170 : 19 : 10 one third thereof
belongs to her as her thirds being £56 : 19 : 11 y'e Ballance
Remaining being £113 : 19: 11 which I order that she pay to
the dec'd Children their Guardians or Legal
Representatives saving to y'e Eldest son a Double share
a single share being nearest £14:5/
John Chandler Judge Probate

Worcester ss Recorded with y'e Records of Wills for County
pr Clerk Chandler Reg.

[page 2, image 31 of 32, only the attached writing]

I Jonathan Grout Guardian of Moses Brigham
Late of Westborough Dec'd and Levi Brigham Guardian
of Phinehas Brigham a son of said Dec'd and Sarah
Brigham a daughter of said dec'd hereby Consent that
when s'd dec'ds Widdow shall settle her administration
account we shant object to her having all y'e Provisions
that was apprised allowed to her for y'e support of the
family as also y'e Improvement of y'e Real Estate for
y'e Years 1770 & 1771 June 23: 1772.

To Judge Chandler
      Jonathan Grout
      Levi Brigham

      Sarah Brigham

The source citation for this probate case file is:

Worcester County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Probate Packet 7407 (32 pages) intestate estate of Moses Brigham of Westborough, 1770; "Worcester County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1731-1881;" digital images, New England Historic Genealogical Society, American Ancestors  ( accessed 15 March 2020); Original records in Worcester County, Massachusetts Probate Court Records, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Moses Brigham (1723-1769) died intestate in Westborough, Massachusetts on 3 December 1769, leaving a widow Mehitable (Grout) Brigham (1726-1795) and seven children between the ages of three and eighteen.

The widow Mehitable Brigham was granted administration on her husband's estate on 1 January 1770, and posted a bond of 500 pounds with Jonathan Grout (probably Mehitable's brother).  An inventory of the real and personal estate was taken by 15 January 1770, which totaled 783 pounds.  Mehitable's widow's thirds included the personal estate after debts were paid, and a portion of the real estate, including one third of the house.  

Each child had a guardian or legal representative named for them to protect their interest in their father's estate.  Son Moses Brigham's guardian was his uncle, Jonathan Grout.  Son Levi and daughter Sarah's guardian was their uncle Levi Brigham.  The mother, Mehitable Brigham, was the guardian for the younger children.  In the record above, daughter Sarah (born 18 April 1751) had attained adulthood by 23 June 1772, and married on 2 July 1772, which may have prompted this account. 

On 8 June 1772, Mehitable filed an account showing that she had paid the debts of the estate.  This document, filed on 4 July 1772,  listed how she had spent the money of the estate in support of her family since her husband's death.  It is evident that Mehitable (Grout) Brigham was literate - she made this account and signed it, but the writing of the account is in the hand of the Judge of Probate for Worcester County, John Chandler [who has very poor handwriting!].

The court waited until the eldest son, Moses Brigham, turned 21 years old, and then in 1774 ordered the real estate appraised and then split between the widow (one third) and the children (two thirds).  The real estate was appraised at 533 pounds, so the seven children were to split 400 pounds.

Moses and Mehitable (Grout) Brigham are my probable 5th great-grandparents through their son Phineas Brigham (1755-1802) who married Lydia Batherick (1752-1795) in 1779 in Westborough, Massachusetts.  I am descended through their son Lambert Brigham who married Sophia Buck in 1817, and their apparent daughter, Sophia Newton (1834-1923).


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."

Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

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