Monday, May 4, 2020

Amanuensis Monday - 1699 Will of Samuel Walker (1643-1704) of Woburn, Mass.

This week's document is the 1699 will of Samuel Walker (1643-1704) of Woburn, Massachusetts, in Probate Packet 23,614 in the Middlesex County, Massachusetts probate court records.  

[page 1, image 2 of 5]

[page 2, image 3 of 5]

The transcription of this will is:

[page 1, image 2 of 5]

"In the name of god amen =

I Samuell Walker Sen'r of Woobourne in the County of Midd'x in the 
province of the Massaatusets Bay in New England yeoman, being aged 
and attended with great Infirmity of body, but yett of gods goodness 
I am of sound understanding and perfect memory, also knowing it to 
be a Christian duty for a man to Sett his hous in order, I do therfore 
make and publish this wrighting to be my last Will and Testament 
and first I give my Soule to god that gave it me and my body to the 
Earth to be decently buryed at the discretion of my Executors (herein-
after named) in hopes of a glorious resurection to life again thro'u the 
death and merrits of Christ Jesus my Lord and only Saviour.

And as to that portion of temporal Estate y't god of his bounty hath 
bestowed on me, I do give and bequeath as followeth,

Imp's my Will is and I do hereby declare it, that all my Just debts be fully 
pay'd, and my funeral Chargess defrayed,

2ly my Will is that my loveing and well beloved Wife Abigaile Shall have 
y't Joynter or covenant I made with her before Marriage, Exactly fulfiled 
to her by my Exec'rs herein after named, as also as a further manifestation 
of my love unto her, I do hereby give her five pounds in silver to be pay'd 
her out of my Estate.

3ly my Will is that my son Timothy Walker shall have and Enjoye all the 
housing and lands that I have conveyed to him by deed of Gift und'r my hand 
and seale, also my will is that my son Timothy shall have liberty to purch-
ase my homested with y'e lands adjoyning and acomadable to it herein after 
mentioned, upon the terms I have herein Sett, namely my dwelling hous barn 
and out housing with y'e land adjoyning, abutting upon the land of my son 
Timothy southwest, Josyah Wood and Benjam. Simonds Norwest, and by
 the land of John Lock partly Norwest and Northeast, by the land of 
Israell Walker Northeast, by the land of Frances Kendal East and South-
east, and by the meadowland of George Read Sen'r Southwest, 
also one Woodlott lying in Raggrock Comman at the North End of Raggrock 
hill about Eight or nine acres, also one other parsel of land and timber 
lying near James Simondses, bounded by the s'd. Simonds land West, the 
highway Northeast, Josyah Woods land southeast, there being by Estimation 
Seven or Eight acres thereof, also one other Woodlot lying in Rock-meadow 
plaine twelve acres more or less, bounded Sam'll Blogget south, Josyah 
Wood North, and one other lott in Rock meadow plaine fifteene acres 
more or less, bounded by Jacob Kendal North, Josyah Wood South, as also 
one peice of Meadow in great Rock-meadow Eight acres more or less & 
it lyeth on y'e Northeast side of s'd Meadow, buting upon Timothy Walkers 
meadow Southwest, all these housing and lands my son Timothy shall have 
liberty to purchase, allowing to my s'd wife her due out of it according to 
her Joynter, he paying the sum of sixty six pounds as is herein after 
mentioned, namely to my Grand Children Ruth Walker and Edward 
Walker, ye children of my late deceaced  son John Walker, to Each of 
them five pounds, when they come to a leagal age to receive it, 
and to Sarah Walker, Judeth Abigail Samuell and Hannah Walkers, all 
these last five being the children of my son Sam'll Walker, to Each and every 
of them five pounds apeice, also I do give unto my daughter Sarah Johnsons 
five children, namely Edward Johnson, Sarah Esther Samuell and Abigail Johnson, 

[page 2, image 3 of 5]

to Each and every of them five pounds apeice, and the other six pounds 
Remaining of the sixty six afore named I do hereby give it unto my son 
Samuell Walker, all the leagasies herein given to my son Samuell Walkers 
children, and my daughter Sarah Johnsons Children, my Will is it shall 
be all pay'd to their fathers or guardians within two years after my 
decease, to be Improved for the s'd Grandchildren respectively, and if any of 
my afores'd grandchildren shall dye in their minority, then the portion or por-
tions of any such shall be equaly devided amongst y'e Surviveing of the same 
family to which such deceased children did belong.

4ly my will is that if my son Timothy afors'd shall purchase the lands 
above mentioned, and decease without any surviveing issue, then I do give 
those lands unto the Eldest Surviveing Child of my son Samuels and the 
Eldest surviveing child of my daughter Sarah Johnson to be Equaly 
devided betweene them.

5ly If my son Timothy Walker do not se cause to purchase the afors'd lands 
with the s'd housing, then my will is that they shall be devided into three 
equal parts, namely to s'd Samuell Timothy and Sarah, ^my three children,^ and they shall have 
hold and enjoy it to them theire heirs and assignes forever, they to pay 
proportionably, y't is each and every of them one third part of the ten pounds 
given to my son Johns two children.

6ly I give to my son Samll Walker a peice of swamp and woodland six acres 
more or less at a place called barehold, bounded by y't land of George Read 
jun'r southeast and northeast, and John Craggin west, also I do give 
him s'd Sam'll al my right in the Seder Swamps, to him & his heirs for ever 
besids what I have formerly given by deed of gift, under my hand and seale.

7ly my Will is and I do give to my daughter Sarah Johnson one lott of pine timber 
near Nathaniel Wymans hous on y'e other side y'e great meadow brook, also 
an other lott of pine timber lying on y'e southwest side of the great meadow 
brook betweene the path y't leads to Micheal Bacons Mill and ye great meadow 
& one lott of land and timber at a place caled Hodges hole four acres and 
a halfe more or less abutting upon y'e land of John Lock
also an other timber lott on the North side of Longmeadow adjoyning 
to the land of Benjamin Johnson and Longmeadow Swamp, 
an other lott of land and timber Eight acres more or less at a place caled 
breakneck hill near Billerica highway, also a parsel of woodland near
 that place belonging to me which is undevided, these six last mentioned 
lotts I do give to my daughter Sarah Johnson her heirs and assignes for ever.

8ly as to all my personal Estate, moneys, Cattels, chattels bils bond and what 
ever else is belonging to me the s'd Sam'll Walker Sen'r I do hereby give 
it unto my three children Samuell Walker Timothy Walker and Sarah 
Johnson to be Equaly devided betwixt them three.

Lastly I do hereby nominate and appoint my two sons Samuel Walker
Timothy Walker joynt Executors to this my Will, to se it faithfuly 
Executed and perform'd.  In Wittness whereof I the said Samuel 
Walker Sen'r have hereunto set my hand and seale, this fifth day of 
July Anno. Domini Sixteene hundred ninty & nine & in y'e Eleventh Yeare of 
his Maj'ts Reigne, W'm y'e third over England &c King &c.

Signed sealed & published by Sam'll Walker Sen'r to be his last will and testament, 
Before us:
Israel Walker
Josiah Wood
John Lock                                                    Samuel Walker Sen'r  {seal}
Jam's Converse

The source citation for this probate case file is:

Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Samuel Walker of Woburn 1703 (5 images); "Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871," indexed database and digital images, New England Historical and Genealogical Society, American Ancestors ( : accessed 3 May 2020); Original records in Middlesex County, Massachusetts Probate Court Records, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Samuel Walker (1643-1704) was the son of Samuel and Anna (Sheldon) Walker of Woburn.  He married (1) Sarah Reed (1638-1681), in 1662, the daughter of William and Mabel (Kendall) Reed of Woburn.   Samuel and Sarah (Reed) Walker had five children:

*  Edward Walker (1663-????).
*  John Walker (1665-1699), married 1691 Ruth Kendall (1675-1730).
*  Samuel Walker (1667-1744), married 1689 Judith Howard (1667-1724).
*  Sarah Walker (1670-1704), married 1687 Edward Johnson (1658-1725).
*  Timothy Walker (1672-1706), married 1699 Elizabeth Fowle (1681-1764).

Samuel Walker married (2) Abigail (Carter) Fowle (1648-1718), widow of James Fowle, in 1691 in Woburn, Massachusetts.  They had no children.  Evidently, Samuel had a marriage agreement (a "joynter") with his second wife - it probably allowed her, and her children from her first marriage, to keep the estate of her first husband and to provide her with support until she died or married again.

The will was exhibited by Samuel Walker Junior and Timothy Walker at the Court in Cambridge on 15 February 1703/4, with James Converse, Josiah Wood and John Lock attesting.

On 15 May 1704, Edward Johnson, Samuel Walker and Timothy Walker appeared before the Judge of Probate and stated that they had made an equal division of the goods and chattels of their honored father to each of their satisfaction.  The Judge accepted it on 19 June 1704.

Samuel Walker possessed significant real properties in and around Woburn.  His neighbors named in this will include several of my ancestral names (e.g., Reed, Wood, Kendall, Bacon, Blodgett, Simonds).  The first generation of settlers of Woburn all received land, and then their children intermarried over the last part of the 17th century.

No mention is made in the will of the first child, Edward Walker.  He probably died young.  

When Samuel Walker wrote his will in 1699, it was after his son John Walker died, leaving two young children.  In his will, Samuel bequeathed 5 pounds to each of his known grandchildren and named them, to be held by their parent until they reached their majority age.  

Samuel and Sarah (Reed) Walker are my 9th great-grandparents, through their son John Walker (1665-1699) and his daughter Ruth Walker (1691-1752), who married Josiah Wood (1787-1753) in 1710 in Woburn.


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

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

No comments: