Monday, April 13, 2020

Amanuensis Monday -- 1774 Order to Distribute Intestate Estate of Moses Brigham (1723-1769) of Westborough, Mass.

This week's document is the 1774 Order to Distribute 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 3 of 32]

[page 2, image 4 of 32]

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

[page 1, image 3 of 32]

To all People unto whom these Presents shall come:
John Chandler                                     Esq.
Judge of the Probate of Wills, &c. in the County
of   Worcester    within the Province of the
Massachusetts-Bay, in New England, sendeth Greeting.

Know ye, That pursuant to to Acts or Laws of the said
Province, relating to the Settlement or Distribution of the Estates
of Intestates, and the Direction, Power and Authority to me
therein given, I do hereby Order and Assign unto  Moses Brigham  
Eldest son of Moses Brigham Late of Westborough,
In said County, Yeoman Dec'd.

all those Pieces and Parcels of Land, with the Buildings and Appurtenances
thereon and thereunto belonging, being y'e Whole of y'e Real Estate
of said dec'd Except the Widdows Dower & Scituate
In said Westborough

and the same is particularly set forth and described in the Return of the
Commissioners by me appointed and sworn for the Apprisal thereof, and
by them valued at  four hundred Pounds
(as by the Return of the 
said Commissioners into the Registry of Probate for the said County
of Worcester  may appear) TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the
hereby ordered and assigned Land and Premises, with the Members and
Appurtenances thereof unto  him  the before-named  Moses Brigham
and to  his  Heirs and Assigns forever.

PROVIDED  he  the said  Moses Brigham his
Heirs, Executors, or Administrators, shall and do well and truly
pay, or cause to be paid unto the rest of the before-named deceased's
Children, their legal Representatives, or Guardians, the several Sums of
Money hereafter in this my Decree to them respectively ordered to be paid,
together with the Interest for their respective Sums or Portions, after the
Rate of ??? Pounds per Cent. per Annum, to commence on and from
the  fifteenth  Day of  July   Anno Domini   1774
and both Principal and Interest to be paid (if demanded) on or before the
tenth   Day of  October  which will be in the Year  of our
Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and  Seventy five.

[page 2, image 4 of 32]

ACCORDINGLY I Order the before-named Assignee   Moses Brigham   
his   Heirs, &c. in the first place to pay and clear the Charges
relating to this Settlement, amounting in the whole to  two pounds ten shillings.

Then to pay  unto his  sister ^Sarah^ Forbes Wife of Jonathan Forbes
or her Legal Representative the sum of forty nine pounds
thirteen Shillings & nine pence half penny Lawful money
In one Year with Lawful Interest ^for the same^ from y'e fifteenth day of
July Last.  Top his Brothers ^& Sisters vizt^ Phinehas Brigham Ebenezer
Brigham Joseph Brigham Mehetable Brigham and
Mary Brigham their Guardians or Legal Representa-
tives Each the Sum of forty nine pound thirteen shillings
& nine pence pence half pence.

    2:10:0 [charges]
  49:13:9  [sister Sarah Frobes]
  49:13:9 [brother Phinehas Brigham]
  49:13:9 [brother Ebenezer Brigham]
  49:13:9 [brother Joseph Brigham]
  49:13:9 [sister Mehetable Brigham]
  49:13:9 [sister Mary Brigham]
  99:  7:6 [eldest son Moses Brigham]

In like Money, Manner, and with the Interest before-mentioned.  all which
aforesaid Sums, with the Share of said Assignee, amount to the apprized
Value of the  two thirds of said dec'd Estate and (xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) make each Child's
Share therein to be agreeable to the Direction of the Law.

PROVIDED also, in case all or any Part of the hereby assigned Land
and Premises shall be legally evicted from the above-named Assignee,
Moses Brigham his     
Heirs, Executors, Administrators or Assigns, that then the rest of the
aforesaid deceased's Children, their Heirs, &c. (Sharers in this division)
shall refund their rateable Parts, with Law Charges.  In Testimony
whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and the Seal of the Probate Office
for the County aforesaid, the   tenth   Day of   October   
Anno Domini One Thousand Seven Hundred and   Seventy four   and in
the   fourteenth   Year of His Majesty's Reign.
                                                                  John Chandler

Worcester. Recorded with y'e Records of Wills ???? County
                                                                   pr C???? Chandl  Reg

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 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 appraised and then split between the widow (one third) and the children (two thirds).  The real estate was appraised at 600 pounds, so the children were to split 400 pounds.

This document also shows, on image 4, the list of money to be paid for each child.  Apparently, there was an abortive attempt in the left-hand margin to calculate the money splits - it is crossed out.  The eldest son, Moses Brigham, received a double share (although nothing in this record indicates that), so the 400 pounds was divided into 8 shares.  After the 2 pounds ten shillings for the charges, the son Moses Brigham was to pay his siblings 49 pounds, 13 shillings and 9 pence 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 son Phinehas Brigham, his son Lambert Brigham, and his 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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