Monday, April 5, 2021

Amanuensis Monday -- 1697 Will of John Grout (1616-1697) of Sudbury, Massachusetts

This week's document for transcription is the 1697 will of John Grout (1616-1697) of Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, which is in Estate File 9951 in the Middlesex County Probate Court records. 

[image 2 of 7]

The will above is somewhat blurry, torn on several edges, and has water damage in places, plus the handwriting is difficult to read.  Rather than stumble through the original will above, I will transcribe the Probate Court clerk's transcription of the will in the contemporaneous Middlesex County Probate Court clerk record book, entered shortly after the will was proved by the Court)  shown below:

The court clerk's transcription shows minor differences in spelling of words and names, but is much easier to read and provides the missing or blurred parts of the image of the original will.

The transcription of this will is (from the clerk's copy):

In the Name of God amen  I John Grout Sen'r of y'e Town of Sudbury
being sick and weake in body but in sound disposing Memorie praise
be given to God for y'e same Do make this my Last Will and Testament in
manner and form as followeth That is to say, First and principally I resign
my Soul to y'e Almighty God my Creator assuredly hopeing to obtaine a blessed
ressurrection in Christ Jesus my Lord, and my body I Committ to y'e Earth to
be decently buried by the discretion of my Executors herein after named and
all my worldly goods which y'e Lord hath Lent me I do dispose thereof as followeth.

I do give and bequeath unto my Eldest Son John Grout all y'e Upland Swampland
and meadow ground lying in Sudbury w'ch I bought of John Brigham & Sarah his wife
Excepting Six acres of medow which is in y'e great River meadow towards Concord
with all the Town Rights priviledges and appurtenances thereunto belonging and
appertaining.  And also my will is that my Son the aforesaid Shall have all
that my Upland and meadow w'ch lyeth upon y'e Brook w'ch leads from James
Rosses to y'e Widow Knapp begining on y'e South Side of y'e Brook at Rosses
Bridge and so runing Eastward being bounded on the North by y'e Brooke afores'd
and on the South by y'e Country Road, and so of y'e Ditch in Febe How and all
my Land and Medow from the gutter w'ch comes out of Cramberry Lott to y'e going
over at Mary Knapps, Excepting the Ridge at Beaver Dam of upland and
my Son Shall have halfe y'e Commonage belonging to y'e s'd Meadow, & Ten
acres of Meadow at West Medow by Estimation adjoining to y'e Meadow at
y'e widow Loker with y'e Commonage thereunto belonging, and y'e halfe part of
my forty Acre Lott next to Ephraim Rices, as y'e full of all his part & portion
from my Estate To Have and To Hold to him and his heires forever.

Item My Will is that my Son Jonathan Grout Shall have all that part of my
Homstall which lyeth on y'e North and on y'e West of y'e Brooke which leads from
Rosses bridge to y'e widow Knapps, both Land and Medow together with y'e Land &
medow ground on y'e East Side of y'e Brooke against y'e Mill from Whales Bridge
to y'e North, and of a Ditch in Febe How with all the houses Ediffices, buildings
barns mill fences Town rights and priviledges & appurtenances thereunto belonging
and appertaining.  And also Ten acres of West medow next to y'e Spring from y'e
upland to y'e Brooke, and also y'e halfe part of my Forty acre Lott, at y'e North End
of the Lott as y'e full of his part of my Lands To Have and to Hold to him &
his heires for ever.

I give to my Son Joseph Grout of Watertowne all my houseing Lands &
meadows and rights w'ch to me did belong and appertaine in y'e Town of Wa-
tertowne, Excepting a Farm which I have near to Madup, only my Son Jo-
seph Grout Shall pay unto my Son in Law Joseph Curtise the Sum of twelve
pounds in Money within the Space of three years after my decease.
My Will is y't if my Son Joseph Grout die without heirs male then y'e
halfe of y'e s'd Land Shall return to y'e Grouts, the other halfe to his own
Daughters, w'ch shall be his full portion To have & to Hold to him & his heirs
forever.  It. My will is y't my Son in Law John Livermore Shall have
all that my Farm of Seventy acres w'ch lyeth by Madups in Watertowne, he
paying to my five grand children which my daughter Elisabeth bare to Samuel
Allen as y'e Children Shall Come of Age the Sum of forty Shillings apeice,
To John and his heires To Have and to hold for ever.

   I give to my Daughter Susannah y'e six acres of meadow w'ch I bought of John
Brigham lying at y'e River Medow towards Concord, and y'e halfe part of my
New grants Lott as her full part & portion to her and her heires for ever.

I give to my Daughter Abigail Curtis my Six acres of meadow lying at
Pantrey and twelve pound in Money to be paid as abovesaid as her full
portion.  It. I give to my Daughter Mary Knapp Forty Shillings
in money to be paid by the said Executors as her full portion.

It.  I give to my Son Jonathan Grout one pair of oxen & his Choice of my
Bookes and my Chest and Rapier and part of my wearing Clothes as his part &
portion.  Item  I give to my dear and Loveing wife Sarah Grout Ten acres
of medow and Six of upland at West medow to be at her own disposeing. And as
for all he rest of my Estate goods and Chattells which y'e Lord hath Lent me
after my debts paid and Funerall Charges defrayed, I do bequeath unto my dear and
Loveing wife Sarah Grout whom I do make joine Executrix with my Son Jonathan
whom I do appoint to be Joint Executo'r with her of this my Last will & Testament
Revoking all other wills by me heretofore made.  In Witness whereof I have
now unto Set my hand & y'e Seal of y'e s'd Office this 24'th day of July 1697.
John Grout Sen'r and Seal Signed Sealed and published in y'e prsence of us
Joseph Noyes  Peter King  Francis Fullam.
                                                                     Eseal p'r Sam'll Phipps Reg'r.
The source citations for this probate case file is:

Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Volume: Middlesex Cases 00001-01999, Estate File #9951 (7 images), John Grout of Sudbury estate, 1697; "Middlesex County (Massachusetts) Probate File Papers, 1648-1871," digital images, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014, American Ancestors  ( accessed 30 May 2020); Digitized mages provided by from original records at Probate Registry, Cambridge, Mass. 

"Massachusetts, U.S. Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991," indexed database with digital images, ( : accessed 3 April 2021), Middlesex County, "Probate Records, Vol. 7-10, 1689-1704," Volume 9, pages 99-102 (images 427-429 of 748), John Grout of Sudbury will and probate records, proved 16 August 1697.

John Grout (1616-1897) married (1) Mary Cakebread (1620-1641) in about 1640, probably in Watertown, Massachusetts, and they had one child, recorded in Watertown:

*  John Grout (1641-1708), married 1667 Rebecca Toll (1644-1721).

John Grout married (2) 1642 Sarah Busby (1619-1699), daughter of Nicholas and Bridget (Cocke) Busby.  The had nine children, the first recorded in Watertown, and the rest recorded in Sudbury:

*  Sarah Grout (1643-????).
*  Hannah Grout (1646-1727), married 1668 John Livermore (1638-1718).
*  Joseph Grout (1649-1720) married 1680 Susannah Hagar (1653-1731).
*  Abigail Grout (1655-1745), married 1677 Joseph Curtis (1647-1700).
*  Elias Grout (1657-????).
*  Jonathan Grout (1658-1730), married 1701 Abigail Dix (1677-1753).
*  Mary Grout (1661-????), married 1688 Thomas Knapp (1657-????).
*  Susanna Grout (1664-1727), married 1692) John Woodward (1661-1736).
*  Elizabeth Grout (1665-1694), married 1683 Samuel Allen (1664-1745).

John Grout died 25 July 1697, one day after his will was written.  In his will, he identified his wife as Sarah, and his living children as John, Jonathan, Joseph, Susannah Livermore, Abigail Curtis, Mary Knapp, and children of daughter Elizabeth Allen.  An inventory was taken on 10 August 1697 and totaled £690-12-00, including extensive land holdings.  The will was proved by the Probate Court on 16 August 1697.

John and Sarah (Busby) Grout are my 8th great-grandparents, through son Joseph Grout (1649-1720) who married Susannah Hagar (1653-1731) in 1680 in Watertown, Massachusetts.


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."

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post. Share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest using the icons below. Or contact me by email at

1 comment:

Linda Stufflebean said...

Randy, Thank you for this transcription. We share another ancestral line. I descend from John's and Sarah's daughter Susannah.