Monday, May 17, 2021

Amanuensis Monday -- Nomination of Guardian and Bond to Sell Real Estate for Minor Children of Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816)

This week's documents for transcription are the 1816-1817 guardianship records for the five minor children of Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) of Westminster, Worcester County, Massachusetts:

[Probate Estate File 52,907, image 14 of 15] - Nomination:

[Probate Estate File 52,907, image 12 of 15 - Bond of Guardianship]:

The transcription of the records is (handwritten words in italics):

[Probate Estate File 52,907, image 14 of 15 - Nomination]:

Know all men by these presents that we
Silas and Martha Seaver minors above
fourteen years of age.  Children of Benjamin
Seaver late of Westminster in the County
of Worcester Deceased have named ordained and made
and by these presents do put and constitute
Heman Ray of said Westminster to be our
Guardian with full power and authority for
to Demand in our names and to use to ask, Demand
Sue for recover, receive, and take into his
possession and Custody, all and Singular such
may be coming to us as heirs to the Estate
of our late Said father or which by any other
way or means Whatsoever doth of right
appertain to or belong to us and to manage
Employ and improve the same for us to the
Best advantage and profit During our minority
and to Do all and whatever may be necessary in and
about the premises as fully and Effectually to all
intents and purposes as we might or could do perform
being of full age; praying that he may be accordingly
accepted into the same power and trust; in testimony
Whereof we have hereunto Set our hands and
Seals this Thirtyeth day of September AD 1816.
Sealed and and Delivered                 Silas Seaver
in presence of                                     Martha Seaver
Witness Benjamin Seaver

[Probate Estate File 52,907, image 12 of 15, Bond of Guardianship]:

Know all men by these
presents, That we Heman Ray yeoman
Alexander Duntin Esq'r and William Edgell
Gentleman all of Westminster 
in the County of Worcester and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, are holden and stand
firmly bound and obliged unto  Nathaniel Paine  Esquire, Judge 
of the Probate of Wills, &c. within the County of Worcester, in the sum of  ten
thousand Dollars, to be paid unto the said  Nathaniel Paine  his suc-
cessors in said Office, or assigns.  To the true payment whereof, we do bind ourselves,
and each of us, our, and each of our heirs, executors and administrators, jointly and sev-
erally, for the whole, and in the whole, firmly, by these Presents.  Sealed with our Seals.
Dated the  26'th   Day of   September    Anno Domini
One thousand eight hundred and Seventeen.

The Condition of this Obligation is such, that whereas the
above bounden   Heman Ray   in capacity of  Guardian
of Martha, Silas, Isaac, Rozilla, & Mary Jane
Sever minors --

at the Supreme Judicial Court   holden at Worcester,
within and for said county, on the   fourth Tuesday
   in September 1817   obtained license to make sale   
of the real estate of said Minors, the proceeds to be put
out and secured on Interest for their Benefit accord-
ing to Law.

Now, therefore, if the said   Heman Ray   
shall, in all things relating to such sale, govern   himself   by the
Laws of said Commonwealth, so that the interest of   said minors   
shall be  best secured; and, moreover, shall well and truly apply
the proceeds of such sale (or so much thereof as shall be necessary) for the purpose afore-
said, and for the overplus shall be responsible to   said Minors or their legal repre-
sentatives  and thereof, and of   his  whole proceedings on the Premises, shall ren-
der, upon oath, a just and true account to the Judge of Probate, for the time being, of
the same County, when and so often as   he   shall be thereunto lawfully required;
then the above written obligation to be void, otherwise to abide in full force and virtue.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered                           Heman Ray
in Presence of                                                     Theo's Duntin
Theoph's Wheeler                                              William Edgell

I,   Heman Ray   do swear that in disposing of the Estate lately
belonging to   Martha, Silas, Isaac, Rozilla & Mary Jane Sever  
now deceased,     will use   my   best skill and judgment in fixing on the time and
place of sale, and that   I  will exert   my   utmost endeavours to dispose of the same
in such manner as will produce the greatest advantage to all persons interested therein,
and that without any sinister views whatever.
                                                                                     Heman Ray
Worcester, ss.   Sept 26, 1817
                          Sworn before     Theoph's Wheeler   Jus Pacis.
                                     Tested  Sept 26, 1817

The source citations for this probate file is:

Worcester County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Probate Packet #52 907, Martha Sever et al of Westminster guardianship, 1817; "Worcester County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1731-1881," digital images, New England Historic Genealogical Society, American Ancestors ( accessed 2 January 2016).

This probate packet is specifically for the guardianship of the five minor children, listed as "Martha Seaver et al" because the oldest minor is Martha Seaver.  There are separate probate packets in Worcester Probate court for Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) and Martha (Whitney) Seaver (1764-1832).

The blog post, Amanuensis Monday - the Probate of Benjamin Seaver's (1757-1816) Estate (31 May 2010) summarizes the probate file of the deceased Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) who died intestate on 20 June 1816.  He and his wife, Martha (Whitney) Seaver (1764-1832) had ten children, but the youngest five were minors when Benjamin Seaver died in 1816.  In the probate file, the five minor children were given equal shares of the home lot (in Gardner and Westminster) amounting to 104 acres of land.  

In the Nomination paper, Martha Seaver and Silas Seaver, being minors over 14 years of age, nominated Heman Ray to be their guardian on 30 September 1816, and he posted a $10,000 bond and accepted the responsibility on 15 October 1816 to be the guardian of the five minor children.  Massachusetts law at the time permitted minor children over age 14 to nominate a guardian to handle their legal affairs.   In the Bond to Sell Real Estate, Heman Ray posted a $10,000 bond with two other sureties to sell the property of the five minor children.  The deed of sale was posted in Amanuensis Monday -- 1818 Deed of Heman Ray to Benjamin Sever (1791-1825) in Gardner, Massachusetts (posted 10 May 2021).

Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) and Martha Whitney (1764-1832) are my 4th great-grandparents, and Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) and Abigail Gates (1797-1867) are my 3rd great-grandparents through their son Isaac Seaver (1823-1901).  


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

No comments: