Monday, May 11, 2020

Amanuensis Monday - 1743 Will of John Peirce (1673-1744) of Waltham, Mass.

This week's document is the 1743 will of John Peirce (1673-1744) of Waltham, Massachusetts, in Probate Packet 17,496 in the Middlesex County, Massachusetts probate court records.  

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The transcription of this will is:

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In the Name of God Amen,  The twenty ninth Day of November 
In the Seventeenth year of His Majesties Reign Anno Domini one 
Thousand Seven Hundered and Forty three.  I John Peirce of Waltham 
In the County of Middlesex In his Majesties province of the 
Massachusets Bay in New England Husbandman.  Being very sick and 
weak in Body but In Perfect minde and memory Thanks be Given 
unto God, Therefore taking unto mind the mortality of my body 
and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die Do make 
and Ordain This my Last Will and Testament That is to say 
Principally and first of all I Give and Recommend my soul into
 the hands of God that Gave it and my body I Recommend to the 
Earth to be buried in Deceant Christian burial at the Discretion 
of my Executrix hereunto Named Nothing Doubting but at the 
General Resurrection I Shall receive the same again by the Mighty 
Power of God, And Touching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath 
pleased God to Bless me in this life I Give Demise and Dispose of 
the same in the following manner and forme. 

Imprimis  I give and Bequeath to Elizabeth my Dearly beloved wife 
whom I also Constitute make and Ordain my Sole Executrix of 
this my last will and Testament All my Personal Estate, and 
the Sole Improvement of all my Real Estate During her 
natural life.

Item  I give to my well beloved Son John Peirce and to his Heirs 
for Ever one Hundered Pounds in Bills of Credit of the old tenor 
or Equavalent In the New to be paid by my son Samuel Peirce 
withing one year after my wives Decease.

Item  I give to my well beloved Son Jonas Peirce and to his Heirs 
for Ever one Hundered Pounds in Bills of Credit of the old tenor 
or Equavalent in the new to be paid by my son Daniel Peirce 
within two years after my wives decease.

Item  I give to my well beloved Son Ezekiel Peirce one Hundered 
Pounds in Bills of Credit of the old tenor or Equavalent In the New 
to be paid by my son Samuel Peirce to the said Ezekiel or his 
Heirs within three years after my wives Decease. 

Item  I give to my well beloved Son Jonathan Peirce and to his 
Heirs for ever one Hundered Pounds in Bills of Credit of the old 
tenor or Equavalent in the New to be paid by my son Daniel 
Peirce within foure years after my wives Deceas.

Item  I Give and Bequeath unto my said sons Samuel and Daniel 
and to their Heirs and assigns for ever they paying out as
 is before Specified, and after my wives Deceas, all my Real Estate 
to be Equaly Devided Between them, provided allways that what 
I have given my son Samuel be accounted as part of his 
halfe though given him by a Deed before. 

And I Do hereby utterly Disalow revoke and Disannull all and 
every other former testaments wills Legacies and Bequeaths and 
Executors by me in any ways named willed and bequeathed. 

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Ratifying and Confirming This and no Other to be my 
Last Will and Testament In Witness Whereof I have hereunto 
Set my hand and Seal the Day and year 
above written.                                                 his
                                                               John   X   Peirce   (seal)
"Signed Sealed Published                                     
pronounced and Declared                               
By the Said John Peirce                                     
as his Last Will and
Testament In the Presence
of us the Subscribers
Sam'll Hasting
Joseph Hastings
Samuel Livermore"

The source citation for this probate case file is:

Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, John Peirce of Waltham 1744 (8 images); "Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871," indexed database and digital images, New England Historical and Genealogical Society, American Ancestors  ( : accessed 8 May 2020); Original records in Middlesex County, Massachusetts Probate Court Records, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

John Peirce (1673-1744) married Elizabeth Smith (1674-1747) in 1702 in Watertown, Massachusetts.  They settled in what became Waltham on John Peirce's land.   They had seven children:

*  John Peirce (1703-1774), married 1728 Rebecca Fenno (1697-1783).
*  Jonas Peirce (1705-1776), married 1727 Abigail comee (1707-1749).
*  Ezekiel Peirce (1709-????), married 1731 Mercy Wellington (1711-????).
*  Samuel Peirce (1712-1772), married 1739 Abigail Stearns (1715-1796).
*  Elizabeth Peirce (1716-before 1743)
*  Daniel Peirce (1719-????), married 1752 Martha Godding (1732-????).
*  Jonathan Peirce (1724-????), married 1745 Abigail Blanchard (1726-1764).

In his will, John Peirce bequeathed his entire personal estate to his wife, Elizabeth, for her lifetime.  After she died, John bequeathed his personal and real estate to his two sons, Samuel and Daniel Peirce, while accounting for the real estate he had given to son Samuel in the division.  Samuel Peirce were to pay 100 pounds to his siblings John and Ezekiel, and Daniel Peirce was to pay 100 pounds to his siblings Jonas and Jonathan.

John Peirce wrote the will on 29 November 1743, and he died on 25 April 1744. On 21 May 1744, the
will was presented to the Judge of Probate of the Court at Cambridge by Elizabeth Peirce, widow of
John Peirce late of Waltham, husbandman[6].  The will was proved on that date.  A bond of 200
pounds was posted by widow Elizabeth Peirce and Samuel Peirce, Gentleman, both of Waltham. 
There is no inventory, distribution or account records in this estate probate packet.  The real estate was
probably divided between Samuel and daniel, and the bequests were probably paid by Samuel and
Daniel to their brothers.

John and Elizabeth (Smith) Peirce are my 7th great-grandparents, through their son Samuel Peirce (1712-1772) and his daughter Abigail Peirce (1750-1776), who married Jeremiah Knowlton (1745-1785) in 1771.


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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