Monday, April 6, 2020

Amanuensis Monday -- 1774 Appraisal of Real Estate of Moses Brigham (1722-1769) of Westborough, Massachusetts

This week's document is the 1774 Appraisal of Real Estate for the intestate estate of Moses Brigham (1723-1769) of Westborough, Massachusetts, in Probate Packet 7,407 in the Worcester County, Massachusetts probate court records.  

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The transcription of this appraisal  is:

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To the Honourable John Chandler Esq'r

in Worcester
We the Subscribers being a Committee appointed by your Honor to
apprise the Real Estate in Lands whereof Moses Brigham Late of
Westborough deceased died Seized of Exclusive of the widow's Thirds
haveing Performed that service and in our opinion the Childrens
Shares is worth Four Hundred Pounds Lawfull money Exclusive of
the widow's Thirds and the whole Farm Contains by our Estimation
one Hundred and Thirty acres be the same more or less but the Deed
of said Lands does not mention so many acres said Lands are Situate
Lying and being in Westb'o aforesaid and are buted and bounded as
followeth )viz( begining at the Southwest Corner of said Land at a Stake &
Stones by the Land of Nath'a Whitney & it being a Corner of the widows thirds
then Runing Northerly a Strait Line by the widows thirds ill it comes to
the Country Road Crosing s'd Road Beginning at a Stake & Stones at said Road
and runs Northerly to a corner of a Stone wall thence by s'd wall northerly to
a stake & stones thence North to a stake & stones about nine rods then
Turning Northeasterly and runs to a stake & stones at the North-
side of the Barn then Turning Southerly through the Barn at the
East side of y'e Barn flower to a stake and heap of stones about
two rods south of the Barn and all west of the Barn flower is y'e
Childrens part and the Lenter and Scaffold over it; on the
south side of the Bay in the East End of the Barn and y'e widow
is to have Liberty to bring in her Hay & thrack her grain in s'd
flower from thence to the Country Road afore the Barn then
Crosing s'd Road to a stake & stones thence Easterly & runing By y'e
widows thirds to a small walnut Tree marked by the Land
of Capt. Benj'a Fay then Turning Southerly by s'd Benj'a Fay
Land a Strait Line till it comes to the Land of Nathaniel
Whitney Then Turning Westerly by s'd Whitney Land to the
Bounds first mentioned and also another piece of Land
Bounded as followeth )viz( Begining at a stake and stones at
the Southeast Corner & By the Land of En'? Jaduthan Fay & By the
County road thence runing westerly By s'd ^Road^ to a stake and stones
which is a Corner of the widows thirds & called her wood Lot then
Turning northerly & by s'd wood Lot to a maple tree marked
then Turning westerly & runing by s'd wood Lot to the Land
of Benj'a Fay then Turning and runing northerly by s'd Benj'a Fay
land to a stake & stones then Turning Easterly by s'd Benj'a Fay and Jaduthan
Fays Land thence Easterly By s'd Jaduthan Fays Land to a heap of
stones then Turning Southerly by s'd Jaduthan Fay Land to the
first mentioned Bounds of this peace of Land; another peace of
Land Containing about Eighteen acres and is upland Swamp   
and meadow & Touches the Last mentioned peace of Land

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Begining ^at the^ northeasterly ^Corner^ of the Last mentioned ^Peace of Land^ at a stake & stones 
thence runing Northerly By the Land of Jaduthan Fay to a river
Called Elsabeth River then Turning as he River runs till it
Comes to the Land of Francis Whipple Esq'r thence by said
Whipple Land till it comes to Land of Benj'a Fay
thence by said Benj'a Fay till it comes to a Corner ^which is a heap of stones^ then
Turning westerly & runing By s'd Benj'a Fays Land till it
Comes to Land now possessed by Jaduthan Fay till it
Comes to the Bounds first mentioned of this peace.
The Childrens shares in the House is the north front room &
all the Back rooms & sellers under them and all above the Lower
and the widow and the Children have Liberty ^to^ pass up
Chamber & Down Seller.
and the Common Land Left around the House is for
the Benefitt of the widows thirds & the Children Shares
from a stake & heap of stones at the Road thence By the
well & so round the House to the Road at the north
End of the House according to the Bound mentioned in the
Widows thirds.

And we are of the opinion that the Lands which we have
apprised is not Conveniant form ore than one Settlement.

Westborough July y'e 6, 1774
                                                                   Jon'a Bond
                                                                   Joseph Baker
                                                                   Stephen Maynard

The source citation for this probate record 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 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 (perhaps Mehitable's brother or uncle).  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.  By 8 June 1772, Mehitable filed an account showing that she had paid the debts of the estate.  The court waited until the eldest son, Moses Brigham, turned 21 years old, and then in 1774 ordered the real estate split between the widow and the children, and after the appraisal, the son Moses Brigham was to pay his siblings 49 pounds each as their share and he would own the children's portion of the real estate.

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