Monday, July 20, 2020

Amanuensis Monday -- 1707 Bond and Order to Distribute the Estate of Ephraim Clark (1646-1694) of Medfield, Mass.

This week's document for transcription is the 1707 bond and order to distribute the estate of Ephraim Clark (1646-1694) of Medfield, Massachusetts, in Probate Packet 2,796 in the Suffolk County, Massachusetts probate court records:

Image 14 of 14:

Image 13 of 14:

The transcription of these papers is:

Image 14 of 14:

Know all men by these presents that We
Samuel Clark, John Turner husbandmen & Jeremiah
Morse wheelwright all of Medfield in the
County of Suffolk within the province of the
Massachusetts Bay in New England are holden
and stand firmly bound & obliged unto Isaac
Addington Esq'r Judge of probate of wills &
Granting admin'con within the County afores'd
in the Sum of ninety pounds Currant money
of New England. To be paid unto the s'd Isaac
Addington his Successors in the s'd Office or
assignes to the true payment whereof we
do bind our selves our heirs & Executors &
Adminst's jointly & severally for the whole
& in the whole firmly to these presents
Sealed with our seals, Dated at Boston y'e
Twenty third day of January Anno D'ni 1707.

The Condition of the present Obligation is
such that Whereas the houseing & Lands of Epraim
Clark late of Medfield husbandman Deced not admitt-
ing of a Division haveing been Duely apprized
at the sum of forty two pounds & six shillings money
and Sam'll Clark above bounden Eldest son of y'e
s'd Deced accepting the same accordingly and to pay
unto the widow & Children their Ratable parts &
Shares of the apprized value thereof.  If therefore
the s'd Samuel Clark shall & Do well and truely
pay unto his brethren and Sisters their single
parts & portions Viz't Elizabeth wife of John
Macon, Mary wife of Sam'll Whiting deced, 
Meletiah wife of Timothy hammond Mehitabell
wife of Benj'a Allen and the Heirs of Noah Clark
deced, Ezra & Jeremiah Clark, Seven in number 
amounting unto the sum of three pounds two sh'gs
& Eight pence to each at or before the 24'th day
of January which will be in the year of our Lord
one thousand Seven hundred and Eight with
Interest for the same in the Interim after
the Rate of Six p'r cent p'r Annum.  

[image 13 of 14]

And upon the Decease of the Widow Mary Clarke
the further sum of one pounds Eleven & four pence
being their single shares of the other third part of y'e 
s'd houseing & Land without Coven fraud or further Delay
then the Before written Obligation to be void and
of none Effect or Else to abide & Remain in full
force & vertue.
Signed Sealed & Delivered                        Samuel Clark
in prsence of us
Sam'll Clarke                                             John  N Turner
???? Maccarty                                            Jer  X  Morse

The source citation for this probate case file is:

Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Packet #2,796 (14 images), Ephraim Clark of Medfield, administration granted 1703; "Suffolk County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1636-1893," indexed database and digital images, New England Historical and Genealogical Society, American Ancestors ( : accessed 9 July 2020); from records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives, digitized images provided by

This probate packet contains 14 pages, including:

*  a 1702/3 widow's request to have her son named administrator; 
*  a 1702/3 bond and order appointing Samuel Clark as the administrator; 
*  a 1694 inventory (which states Ephraim Clark died in May 1694) which totals 81 pounds; 
*  a 1704 order for three men to appraise the real property; 
*  a 1704/5 real property inventory totaling 42 pounds 6 shillings; 
*  the 1707 bond and order to distribute the estate to the heirs (shown above).

Because the real property could not be easily distributed to the heirs, the administrator, eldest son Samuel Clark, was awarded two thirds of the real property, and was to pay each of his siblings 3 pounds, 2 shillings and 8 pence as their shares.  The widow, Mary Clark, was awarded one third of the real property, and after her death that property would go to Samuel Clark, and he was to pay each of his siblings 1 pound, 11 shillings and 4 pence. 

Ephraim Clark died in May 1694 according to the first inventory taken in 1694.   He married Mary Bullen in 1669, and they had nine children between 1670 and 1687.  Why was administration delayed until 1702/3? Probably because Samuel Clark, the eldest son, was born in 1679 and became age 21 in late 1700.  The widow, Mary, raised her family on the homestead after Ephraim died.  Awarding the whole estate to the eldest son was a common occurrence, provided that the estate could not be easily divided and was not indebted.  After four years of waiting for the estate to be settled, the probate court stepped in, ordered a new bond and made an order to distribute the estate to the heirs.  There is no account in the probate packet file.

Ephraim and Mary (Bullen) Clark are my 8th great-grandparents, through their daughter Melatiah Clark (1674-1747) who married Timothy Hamant (1667-1718) in 1696.


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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