Friday, January 29, 2021

52 Ancestors - Week 367: #578 Samuel Prescott (1674-1758) of Lancaster, Concord and Acton, Massachusetts

Samuel Prescott (1674-1758) is number 578 on my Ahnentafel List, my 7th great-grandfather, who married #579 Esther Wheeler (1678-1756)  in 1698  in Concord, Middlesex County,  Massachusetts.

I am descended through:

*  their daughter #289 Dorothy Prescott (1702-1774)who married #288 James Hildreth (1698-1761) in 1721.
*  their son #144 Zachariah Hildreth (1728-1784) who married #145 Elizabeth Prescott (1734-1812) in 1753.
*  their son #72 Zachariah Hildreth (1754-1829) who married #73 Elizabth Ketyes (1759-1793) in 1777.
*  their son #36 Zachariah Hildreth (1783-1857) who married  #37 Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857)  in 1810.
*  their son #18 Edward Hildreth (1831-1899) who married #19 Sophia Newton (1834-1923) in 1852.
*  their daughter #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) who married  #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) in 1874.
*  their son #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
*  their son #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)  in 1942.
*  their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Name:                      Samuel Prescott[1–9]    
*  Alternate Name:      Samuell Prescote[10]

*  Sex:                          Male    

*  Father:                     Jonathan Prescott (1646-1721)    
*  Mother:                   Dorothy Heald (1649-1674)  

2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                      1674, Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[1–2]    

*  Deed:                     5 May 1698 (about age 24), granted 90 acres in Lancaster by father, Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[4]    
*  Deed:                     24 October 1707 (about age 33), bought 150 acres in New Grant of Concord from James Russell for £60; Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[5]    

*  Distribution:          21 February 1721/2 (about age 48), father's will proved; Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[6]    

*  Will:                      19 August 1756 (about age 82), will written; Acton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[7]    

*  Death:                   25 July 1758 (about age 84), Acton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1-2,8–9]    

*  Probate:                1 January 1759 (about age 85), will proved; Acton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[7]  

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Spouse 1:              Esther Wheeler (1678-1756)    
*  Marriage 1:           5 May 1698 (about age 24), Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1-3,10]    
*  Child 1:                 Esther Prescott (1699-1756)    
*  Child 2:                 Dorothy Prescott (1702-1774)    
*  Child 3:                Amos Prescott (1705-1785)    
*  Child 4:                Mary Prescott (1707-????)    
*  Child 5:                Sarah Prescott (1709-????)    
*  Child 6:               Dorcas Prescott (1712-1803)    
*  Child 7:               Abigail Prescott (1716-1754)    
*  Child 8:               Rebecca Prescott (1719-1762)    
*  Child 9:               Dinah Prescott (1723-????)  
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):  

There are several books that document the life of Samuel Prescott.  The classical family genealogy, The Prescott Memorial, or a Genealogical Memoir of the Prescott Families in America, written by William Prescott MD, published in Boston in 1870 provides quite a bit of information on the descendants of John Prescott, but the information for Samuel Prescott is limited to a list of children[1].

The White Family Quarterly, edited by Almira Larkin White, provides a limited sketch of the Samuel Prescott family in Volume 3, number 4[2].  

Samuel Prescott was born before in about 1674 in Lancaster, Massachusetts to Jonathan and Dorothy (Heald) Prescott[1-2].  He was their third child but the first to survive infancy.  His mother died on 8 October 1674 in Lancaster, perhaps after childbirth.  Jonathan Prescott married three more times, moved to Concord, Massachusetts, and Samuel had six half siblings born in Concord.

Samuel Prescott married on 5 May 1698 in Concord, Massachusetts to Esther Wheeler[1-3,10].  She was the daughter of John and Sarah (Larkin) Wheeler of Concord.  Samuel and Esther (Wheeler) Prescott had nine children, the last seven born and recorded in the Concord town vital records.  They were:

*   Esther Prescott (1699-1756), married 1719 Robert Conant (1699-1773).
*  Dorothy Prescott (1702-1774), married 1721 James Hildreth (1698-1761).
*  Amos Prescott (1705-1785), married 1731 Ruth --?-- (1707-????).
*  Mary Prescott (1708-????), married 1729 Timothy Fletcher (1707-1780).
*  Sarah Prescott (1710-????), married about 1731 --?-- Randall (1706-????)
*  Dorcas Prescott (1712-1803), married 1738 Samuel Minot (1706-1766).
*  Abigail Prescott (1716-1754), married 1739 Isaac Fox (1713-1791).
*  Rebecca Prescott (1719-1762), married 1741 Gershom Davies (1714-1787).
*  Dinah Prescott (1723-????).

On 5 May 1698, the day of Samuel's marriage, Jonathan Prescott, yeoman of Lancaster,  gave land to his son Samuel Prescott, husbandman of Lancaster, "showing fatherly care."  The land included 20 acres of land in Lancaster, including a dwelling house and barn, 30 acres of upland and intervale land, and 40 acres of wood land.  The deed was registered in the Middlesex County, Massachusetts Deed Register on 19 September 1706[4].

On 24 October 1707, Samuel Prescott of Concord bought 150 acres of land in the New Grant of Concord for £60 from James Russell, merchant of Charlestown.  The deed was recorded in the Middlesex County, Massachusetts Deed Register on 24 October 1707[5].  This "New Grant" of Concord probably became the town of Acton at some point in time.  At some time, the Samuel Prescott family moved to what is now the town of Acton and lived out their lives there.

In the will of Jonathan Prescott of Concord (Samuel's father), written 23 November 1721 and proved 21 February 1721/2, Samuel received[6]:
"Item I give and bequeath to my son Samuel Prescott the sum of five pounds he having all Ready Received a childs full portion of my estate."
Esther (Wheeler) Prescott died in Acton, Massachusetts on 1 May 1756 at age 77.

Samuel Prescott died 25 July 1758 in Acton, Massachusetts at about age 84[1-2,8-9].  There is no known burial location.

He wrote his last will and testament on 19 August 1756. The probate papers are in Middlesex County Probate Records, Probate Packet #18,104[7].  The will reads:
"In the Name of God Amen I Samuel Prescott of Acton in the County of Middlesex in the province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England yeamon being of a Sound and Disposing mind though but weak and Infirme in Body Calling to mind my frailty Do make this my Last will and testament first I Committ my Soul to God who gave it and my body to the Earth to be Decently Buried at the Discretion of my Executor hereafter Named and as touching my worldly Estate I Dispose of the Same as follows.

"Imprimis  I Give unto my well Beloved and onely Son Amos Prescott all my Lands and Buildings in Acton with all my Husbandry tools and wearing Apparel my Iron morter and staff He paying out unto the Children of my Daughter Esther Conant deceased the Sum of six pounds and to my Daughter Dorothy Heldreth the Sum of three pounds Six shillings and Eight pence and to my Daughter Mary Fletcher the Sum of Six pounds and to my Daughter Sarah Randal the sum of Six pounds and to my daughter Dorcas Minott the Sum of Six pounds and to the Children of my daughter Abigail Fox deceased the Sum of Six pounds and to my daughter Rebeckah Daves the Sum of Six pounds and to pay them thirty Shillings apeace a year untill the whole be paid the first payment to be one year after my decease.

"Also I Give unto my daughter Davies my pew in Acton meeting House.

"Also I Give unto my Grand daughter Frances Prescott the Bed in which she hath Constantly Lodged  in Since my wives decease with the Bolster (and pillows sheets and Blankets and Coverlets Bed Stead and Cord there unto Belonging also my Great Brass Kittle.

"Also I Give unto my daughters above said (the Children of my daughter Conant and daughter Fox to have their equal shares) all the Remainder of my Estate to be Equilly devided Among them my Lawfull Debts Charge at Doctors and my funerall Charges to be first Reducted out.

"And I do hereby Appoint and make my Son Amos Prescott the Sole Executor of this my Last will and testament allowing no other to be my Last Will and testament.  In wittness whereof I have Here unto Set my hand and Seal this Nineteenth Day of August 1756 and in the thirtieth year of His majesties Reign.

"signed Sealed and Delivered by the said
Samuel Prescott as his last Will and testament
in presence of us

Jonathan Hosmer                          his
Daniel Fletcher               Samuel   P   Prescott   (seal)
William Barker Junr."                mark

On 9 October 1758, Deacon Jonathan Hosmer and Joseph Barker, both of Acton, and Captain Stephen Hosmer of Concord were appointed to a committee to apprise the Estate of Samuel Prescott, late of Acton.

An inventory of the real and personal estate of Samuel Prescott, late of Acton, was taken by the committee on 17 October 1758.  The estate totaled 328 pounds, 9 shillings, 3 pence, including 227 pounds, 9 shillings, 4 pence in real estate.  The real estate included a dwelling house (10 pounds), a barn (5 pounds), and one half of 163 acres and 104 rods of land (206 pounds, 9 shillings, 4 pence), and one pew in Acton meeting house (6 pounds).  The inventory was exhibited on 23 October 1758 and approved by the Court.

On 11 December 1758, Amos Prescott presented the last will and testament of Samuel Prescotyt, late of Acton, and the inventory to the Court.  The first two witnesses made oath to the Court that Samuel Prescott had been of sound mind when he made his last will and testament, but the third witness thought him uncapable.  The Court delayed the hearing for three weeks.  On 1 January 1759, the Court approved the will, the objections made being waived.  Amos Prescott was ordered to present an Account of his proceedings when required.

Amos Prescott charged himself with the money left and the debts of his father, paid the debts, funeral expenses and executorship charges, all of which amounted to 49 pounds, 3 shillings, 10 pence.  The Court accepted the Account on 5 May 1760.

1. William Prescott, MD, The Prescott Memorial, or a Genealogical Memoir of the Prescott Families in America (Boston, Mass. : Henry W. Dutton & Son, 1870), page 50, Samuel Prescott family sketch.

2. Almira Larkin White (editor), "Children of John Prescott," White Family Quarterly (Haverhill, Mass. : Nichols, 1903-1905), Volume 3, Number 5 (October 1905), page 121, Samuel Prescott family sketch.

3. Henry S. Nourse (editor), The Birth, Marriage and Death Register, Church Records and Epitaphs of Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1643-1850 (Clinton, Mass. : W.J. Coulter, Printer, 1890), Appendix, page 451, Samuel Prescott and Esther Wheeler marriage entry, 5 May 1698.

4. Record books of the registry of deeds, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, 1649-1900; indexes: grantee (1639-1905) and grantor (1639-1950); 1780 rolls of microfilm, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, "Deeds, 1706-1716, Vol 14-15," Volume 14, page 105, Jonathan Prescott to Samuel Prescott, executed 5 May 1698, recorded 19 September 1706.

5. Record books of the registry of deeds, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, 1649-1900; indexes: grantee (1639-1905) and grantor (1639-1950), "Deeds, 1706-1716, Vol 14-15," Volume 14, page 381, James Prescott to Samuel Prescott, executed 24 October 1707, recorded 24 October 1707.

6. "Probate Records 1648-1924 (Middlesex County, Massachusetts),"  Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah), on 886 FHL US/CAN Microfilms,  Probate Packet #18,082, Jonathan Prescott, 1721, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,421,496.

7. "Middlesex County, Mass.: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 8 April 2018), Packet 18,104, Samuel Prescott of Acton, 1758 (10 images); citing  original records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives, with digitized mages provided by

8. "Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988," indexed database and digital image, (, "Acton Births, Marriages and Deaths," Page 36 (Image 21), Samuel Prescott entry, 25 July 1758.

9. Town of Acton, Massachusetts, Vital Records of the Town of Acton, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Boston, Mass. : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1923), Deaths, page 290, Mr. Samuel Prescott entry, 25 July 1758.

10. George Tolman (compiler), Concord, Massachusetts Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1635-1850 (Concord, Mass. : Committee on Printing, 1894), page 46, Sam'll Prescote and Ester Wheeler marriage entry, 5 May 1698.


NOTE:  In 2014, Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I have extended this theme in 2021 for an eighth year to 416 Ancestors in 416 Weeks.  The list of 52 Ancestors biographies from my great-grandparents to the 7th great-grandparents (in work) is in

Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

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