Monday, June 29, 2020

Amanuensis Monday -- 1717 Bond and Order of Settlement of Estate of Zechariah Barber (1656-1705)

This week's document for transcription is the 1717 bond and order of settlement of the Zechariah Barber (1656-1705) estate of Medfield, Massachusetts, in Probate Packet 3,180 in the Suffolk County, Massachusetts probate court records:

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The transcription of these papers is:

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Know all men by these presents, That we
Zechariah Barber, Nathaniel Partridge and
Samuell Ellice all of Medfield in the County
of Suffolk Husbandmen, within his Majestys
Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New
England are held and Stand firmly bound &
obliged unto the Hon'ble Samuel Sewall Esq'r
Judge of the Probate of Wills &c in the County
aforesaid in the Sum of Three hundred
pounds to be paid unto the said Samuel
Sewall his Successors in the said office or
assigns. To the true payment whereof we
Joyntly and Severally bind our Selves our
Several and Respective Heirs Executors and
Administrators for the whole and in the
whole firmly by these presents Sealed with
our Seals Dated the Sixteenth day of
December Anno Domini 1717 Annoque R???
Georgii Magnae Britannia &c Quarto.

The Condition of this present Obligation is such That
Whereas the Real Estate of Zechariah Barber late of
Medfield in the County of Suffolk Husbandman deced
Intestate (not Admitting of a Division) being apprized
at the Sum of One hundred fifty two pounds and
Ten Shillings by Mess'rs Samuel Barber John Fisher
and Ebenezer Mason upon Oath is assigned unto
the above bounden Zechariah Barber eldest Son of
the said Zechariah Barber deced he the said Zechariah
Barber paying thereout to his Brothers & Sisters
the respective Sum following Viz't to Joseph Barber,
Abial, John, Ruth, Elizabeth and Mary Barber
Nineteen pounds one Shillings and three pence a
piece on or before the 16 day of December which
will be in the year of our Lord one thousand
Seven hundred & Eighteen with Intrest for the same
in the Interim at the rate of five pr Cent pr Anni (being
their Single Shares or Parts of and in the Real Estate
of their said Father's Zechariah Barber deceased

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Now if therefore the said Zechariah Barber his Heirs
Executors or Administrators shall and do well and
truly pay or cause to be paid unto the aforesaid
Persons or those that legally represent them the
respective Sum afore mentioned a peice with Intrest
that shall Grow due for the same by virtue of the said
order or assignment in manner as before expressed
without fraud Coven or further delay then this present
obligation to be void, and of none Effect or else to abide &
remain in full force and virtue.

Signed Sealed & Delivered       Zechariah barbur
In presence of us
Reliance Mayhew                Nathaniell Partridge
John Boydell Esq'r               Samuell Ellice.

The source citation for this probate case file is:

Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Packet #3,180 (20 images), Zechariah Barber of Medfield, administration filed 1709; "Suffolk County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1636-1893," indexed database and digital images, New England Historical and Genealogical Society, American Ancestors ( : accessed 26 June 2020); from records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives, digitized images provided by

This probate packet contains 20 separate papers: the papers with actions on them include a 1709 bond and letters of administration; a 1709 Inventory of personal and real property; a 1709 administrator's Account; a 1717 Order to apprize the Real Estate; a 1717 Real Estate Inventory; a list of the Heirs and a calculation of their shares; a 1717 Administrator's Account; the 1717 Bond and order of the Court as transcribed above.

Zechariah Barber died 11 August 1705 in Medfield, leaving a wife Abiel (Ellis) Barber (1662-1716) and seven living children aged 2 to 19. Administration was filed on the estate of Zechariah Barber on 28 May 1709 in Suffolk County Probate Court by his eldest son, Zechary Barbur, now age 23. A bond of £300 was posted by Zechary Barbur, Theophilus Clark and Samuel Smith, the son Zechary Barber was appointed Administrator of the estate of his father. An inventory of the real and personal estate was taken on 8 July 1709 by John Harding, Samuell Barbur and Jonathan Boyden. The inventory totaled £190 6s 6d. The real estate included:

* home lot with a meadow and buildings (£42)
* 4 acres of meadow in broad meadow (£20)
* 2 acres of meadow by noon hill (£10)
* 10 acres of meadow and swamp by Boggastow brook (£18)
* 10 acres of upland by pine swamp near pine valley (£16)
* 2 acres of upland in bridge street plain (£6)
* 6 acres of upland old mill land (£6)
* 11 acres of land in black swamp (£2-15s)
* 5 acres of land in Ren???sion (£2-15s)
* small parcel of land between the bridge and John Bowers meadow (£0-10s)

The inventory was accepted on 23 August 1709 by the Court. Zechariah Barbur filed an account on 19 May 1710, requesting approval of charges and fees of £6-5s-6d, leaving £184-1s-0d. Nothing more was done until after Abiel (Ellis) Barber, the widow of Zechariah Barber, died on 14 August 1716. By Massachusetts law, her one third portion of the estate was put back into the estate of her husband.

An Inventory of the real estate was taken on 5 November 1717 by Samuell Barber, John Fisher, and Ebenezer Mason. The real estate was apprised for £152-10s-0d. A bond of £300 pounds was filed by Zechariah Barber, Nathaniel Partridge and Samuel Ellice, on condition that the real estate be distributed by Administrator Zechariah Barber to his siblings (Joseph, Abiel, John, Ruth, Elizabeth and Mary). A committee stated that the land holdings were not capable of a division among the children.

On 17 December 1717, the Probate Court ordered Zechariah Barber, the administrator and eldest son, to have the whole estate and pay his siblings, or their guardians, £19-1s each plus 5% interest per annum, within one year. There were 8 shares, since the son Zechariah was the eldest child, he received two shares. Zechariah received the whole estate of their parents and had to pay each sibling their share.

Zechariah and Abiel (Ellis) Barber are my 7th great-grandparents, through their daughter Ruth Barber (1696-1761) who married Henry Smith (1680-1743) as his third wife in 1730.


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."

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