Monday, October 12, 2020

Amanuensis Monday -- 1723 Petition and Orders in Estate Papers of Ephraim Wight (1646-1723) of Medfield, Massachusetts

  This week's document for transcription is the 1723 Petition and Orders in the Estate File of Ephraim Wight (1646-1723) of Medfield, Massachusetts, in Probate Packet 4,702 in the Suffolk County, Massachusetts probate court records.  The will and witness affidavits were posted last week in Amanuensis Monday -- 1717 Will of Ephraim Wight (1646-1723) of Medfield, Massachusetts.

Image 3 of 9:

Image 8 of 9:

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The transcription of these papers is:

[Image 3 of 9]

Medfield March y'e nineth 1722/3
To the honoured Judge of Probate of wills
my Sisters are unsatisfyed with me fereing i have not fully put a stop
to the proovanet my H'd father's will so called or rather the will of others
in his name knowing our father to be a very Religeous good man
esteemed but not capable to make a will legally more than seven
years last past brings forth y'e hardship of our humble Request
not to proove y'e will of our H'd father Ephraim Wight sen'r
late of Medfield Deceased untill we can know what it is
and when it is prooved to appear at the prooveing of sd
will at y'e Court we humbly subscribe our names
to this our humble Request  }
not to proove s'd will           }           Nathanill Partridge
untill we com to y'e court.   }           Lidya Partridge
                                                         Thomas Boyden

[image 8 of 9]

Suffolk Ss.   By the hono'ble Samuel Sewall Esq'r Judge
                                of Probate &c.

To Ephraim Wight and Daniel Wight both of
Medfield Exec'rs of the Last Will & Testament
of Ephraim Wight late of Medfield deced & to
David Ellice one of the Witnesses to ye s'd Will
I Do hereby Cite and Require you to appear at the Probate
Office in Boston on Monday the first day of April
next at Elevena Clock in the forenoon to prove ye Will of ye s'd
deced and to make answer to Such Questions as Shall be
asked of you in that Behalf & you are the s'd Executors are
directed to Notify in time all the partys Interested & concerned
Specially the Testators Children that they my be present
at the time afores'd to make their objections against the
proving of the s'd Will.  Hereof you are not to fail.
Dated the 25'th day of March Anno Dom 1723.
                                              In y'e Name & by Order of
                                              the s'd Judge of Probate
                                                 Ben'a Rolfe Cler.

[image 4 of 9]
Ephraim Wight's Will
proved April 1'st 1723

4702             p'd 17/6'd

N.B. After y'e Will was proved
a Caveat was lodged by some of the
Testators Children ag't y'e prov'g the  ???
Therefore ordered that no Letters
Testamentary be given out hereupon
until David Ellice one of y'e Witnesses
thereto Shall ^appear yo^ make Oath to ye same
& all y'e Testators Children be p'rsent
at the proving thereof.
Exec'rs to give notice to all y'e partys

The source citation for this probate case file is:

Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Packet #4,702 (9 images), Ephraim Wight of Medfield, 1723; "Suffolk County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1636-1893," indexed database and digital images, New England Historical and Genealogical Society, American Ancestors ( : accessed 24 September 2020); from records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives, digitized images provided by

Ephraim Wight (1646-1723) married Lydia Morse (1645-1722) in 1668 in Medfield, Massachusetts.  They had nine children:

*  Lydia Wight (1669-1741), married 1686 Nathaniel Partridge (1660-1741).
*  Esther Wight (1671-????)
*  Ephraim Wight (1673-1744), married 1702 Sarah Partridge (1674-1763).
*  Miriam Wight (1675-1746), married 1701 Joseph Allen (1676-1727).
*  Nathaniel Wight (1678-1748), married (1) 1704 Sarah Ellis (1687-1705), (2) 1706 Mehitable Hinsdale (1687-????).
*  Daniel Wight (1680-1744), married 1721 Lydia Estee (1695-1748).
*  Bethia Wight (1683-1756), married 1708 Malachi Bullard (1685-1726).
*  Deborah Wight (1685-1717?), married 1707 Thomas Boyden (1682-1770).
*  Ruth Wight (1688-1747), married 1715 Abraham Harding (1691-1768).

Ephraim Wight wrote his will on 27 September 1717 and bequeathed land and/or money to his wife and children in specific bequests.  He appointed two sons, Ephraim and Daniel, as executors, with three witnesses to the signing of the will.  

His wife, Lydia, died 14 July 1722, and Ephraim died 26 February 1722/3 in Medfield, Massachusetts.  The executors took the will to the Suffolk County Probate Court on 11 March 1722/3, and two of the witnesses swore under oath that Ephraim Wight was of sound disposing mind.  The third witness did the same on 1 April 1723.

Between those two dates, two of the heirs-at-law wrote a letter to Judge Samuel Sewall stating that Ephraim Wight was not of sound mind when he wrote the will, and noted that their sisters were not satisfied with the will.  The Judge ordered the heirs and the third witness to come to Court.  After the court session on 1 April 1723, having heard the three witnesses declare that the testator was of sound and disposing mind, the Court approved the will over the objections of Nathaniel and Lydia (Wight) Partridge (daughter of Ephraim Wight) and Thomas Boyden (widower of daughter Deborah Wight). 

Ephraim and Lydia (Morse) Wight are my 8th great-grandparents, through their daughter Deborah Wight (1680-ca 1717) who married Thomas Boyden (1682-1770) in 1707 in Medfield.

The will written in 1717 twice mentions the heirs of daughter Deborah to receive a portion of the moveable estate.  I interpret that to mean that Deborah (Wight) Boyden had died by 27 September 1717 leaving Thomas Boyden with four small children.  Another interpretation is that Ephraim did not want Deborah or her husband to have a part of the estate for some reason, but he bequeathed to his Boyden grandchildren.  I think the first interpretation probably is correct.

 It is apparent to me that Deborah (Wight) Boyden was not alive when Ephraim Wight wrote his will in 1717 or when Deborah's husband Thomas Wight challenged the will in 1723.


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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