Friday, January 28, 2022

52 Ancestors - Week 416: #152 Moses Brigham (1723-1769) of Westborough, Massachusetts

Moses Brigham (1723-1769)  is #152 on my Ahnentafel  List, my 5th great-grandfather, who marrie#153 Mehitable Grout (1725-1795) in 1749 in Westborough, Worcester County,  Massachusetts.

I am descended through:

* their son, #76 Phinehas Brigham (1755-1802), who married #77 Lydia Batherick (1752-1795) in 1779.
* their son, #38 Lambert Brigham (1794-1834) who married #39 Sophia Buck (1797-1882) in 1817.
* their daughter #19 Sophia Newton (1834-1923) who married #18 Edward Hildreth (1831-1899) 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:                       Moses Brigham[1–7]

*  Sex:                          Male

*  Father:                     Nathan Brigham (1693-1784)
*  Mother:                   Dinah Rice (1693-1725)

2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Birth:                      2 January 1722/3, Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1–2,7]

*  Deed:                     7 February 1754 (age 32), Given two parcels in Westborough by father Nathan Brigham for love and affection; Westborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[4]

*  Deed:                     7 June 1756 (age 34), Bought 5 acres of land in Westborough from his father Nathan Brigham for 5 pounds; Westborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[5]

*  Death:                    3 December 1769 (age 47), Westborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[1,7]
*  Burial:                    after 3 December 1769 (after age 47), Memorial Cemetery, Westborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[7]

*  Probate:                  1 January 1770 (age 47), administration granted on intestate estate; Westborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[6]

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1:                Mehitable Grout (1725-1795)
*  Marriage 1:             2 May 1749 (age 26), Westborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[1,3]

*  Child 1:                  Sarah Brigham 1751-1827
*  Child 2:                  Moses Brigham 1753-1814
*  Child 3:                  Phinehas Brigham 1755-1802
*  Child 4:                  Mehitable Brigham 1758-1844
*  Child 5:                  Ebenezer Brigham 1761-1839
*  Child 6:                  Mary Brigham 1764-1846
*  Child 7:                  Joseph Brigham 1766-1837

4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):  

Moses Brigham was born 2 January 1722/3 in Marlborough, Massachusetts Bay, the first son and third child of Nathan and Dinah (Rice) Brigham[1-2,7].  The family lived in Marlborough and then Southborough, and Nathan had land in Westborough.  Moses was the only son from this marriage, and his mother died in 1725.  Nathan married two more times.

Moses married Mehitable Grout (1726-1795) on 2 May 1749 in Westborough[1,3]. She was the daughter of Joseph and Mary (Harrington) Grout of Westborough. They had seven children:

*  Sarah Brigham (1751-1827), married 1772 Jonathan Forbes (1746-1805).
*  Moses Brigham (1753-1814), married (1) 1781 Wealthy Johnson (1757-1790); (2) 1792 Lucinda Tiffany (1761-1819).
*  Phinehas Brigham (1755-1802), married (1) 1779 Lydia Batherick (1752-1795); (2) 1796 Hannah Jackson (1754-????).
*  Mehitable Brigham (1758-1844), married 1776 John Fay (1748-1837).
*  Ebenezer Brigham (1761-1839), married 1782 Judith Hazleton (1761-1852).
*  Mary Brigham (1764-1846), married1793 Amasa Braman (1760-1830).
*  Joseph Brigham (1766-1837), married 1795 Sarah Woods (1776-1806).

On 7 February 1754, Nathan Brigham, gentleman of Southborough, sold two parcels of  land in Westborough to his well and beloved son Moses Brigham, yeoman of Westborough, for parental love and affection[4].  The first parcel was 60 acres in Westborough, bounded westerly by land of Joseph Grout, northerly by Benjamin and Jeduthun Fay, and southerly by Eaton Farm.  The second parcel was 10 acres of swamp and meadow land in Westborough bounded westerly by Jeduthun Fay, then on Elizabeth River, and land of Francis Whipple.  The deed was witnessed by Edmund Brigham and Hezekiah Ward, and was recorded on 23 August 1754.

This land was given to Moses as his birthright, since the other sons of Nathan were by his second wife.  

On 7 June 1756, Nathan Brigham, gentleman of Southborough, sold a parcel of  land in Westborough to his son Moses Brigham, husbandman of Westborough, for 16 pounds lawful money[5].  The  parcel was 5 acres of meadow and upland in Westborough, bounded southerly by a highway,  heirs of Hezekiah Tomlin, and land of Jonas Brigham, and easterly by the River.  The deed was witnessed by Edward Baker and Joseph Baker, and was recorded on 22 September 1756.

The Brigham Family history book [1] has this information about Moses Brigham:
"The house which he occupied is the one now standing on East Main street, owned by George A. Ferguson [in 1907].  This, more than a hundred and twenty-five years ago, had received the usual addition for the married son's accommodation.  The immense chimney with three flues is of brick, which was manufactured very early in the young town's history, from the "clay lands" in Marlboro, Southboro, and Northboro.  This house was built by Moses Brigham, and here he brought his bride, Mehetabel.  She was a member of the Grout family, and her wooing by young Brigham caused many heart-burnings and wild frenzies of jealousy to the daughter of his stepmother.  One evening, when she knew that he planned to ride over to see Mehetabel, she slipped out to the stable and hamstrung Selim, his favorite horse.

"Moses Brigham lived here until his death; then his son-in-law, Jonathan Forbes, took possession of the north end, and the widowed Mehetabel lived in the south end.  It remained in the possession of the Forbes family until 1870.  It has the usual curiosities of the carpentry of those days, one of the doors -- that from the sitting-room to the kitchen -- having dim heart-shaped panes of glass set in the upper half." -- The Hundredth Town.
He was a surveyor in Westborough in 1757, and a tythingman in 1760, and a constable in 1762[1].

Moses died at age 46 on 3 December 1769 in Westborough, Massachusetts[7], leaving a wife and seven children ages 3 to 18.  He was buried in what is now Memorial Cemetery in Westborough, and his gravestone inscription says:

"Mr. Moses
Brigham died
Dec. 3'd 1769
in the 47'th
Year of his Age."

The intestate estate file for Moses Brigham is in Estate File 7,407 in the Worcester County Probate Court[6].  There was no will, only the administratrix account, an inventory, and the order to distribute the real property.

The widow Mehitable Brigham was granted administration on her husband's estate on 1 January 1770, and posted a bond of 500 pounds with Jonathan Grout (perhaps Mehitable's brother or uncle).  An inventory of the real and personal estate was taken by 15 January 1770, which totaled 783 pounds.  Mehitable's widow's thirds included the personal estate after debts were paid, and a portion of the real estate, including one third of the house.  

Each child had a guardian or legal representative named for them to protect their interest in their father's estate.  Son Moses Brigham's guardian was his uncle, Jonathan Grout.  Son Levi and daughter Sarah's guardian was their uncle Levi Brigham.  The mother, Mehitable Brigham, was the guardian for the younger children.  In the record above, daughter Sarah (born 18 April 1751) had attained adulthood by 23 June 1772, and married on 2 July 1772, which may have prompted the account. 

The court waited until the eldest son, Moses Brigham, turned 21 years old, and then in 1774 ordered the real estate split between the widow and the children, and after the appraisal, the son Moses Brigham was to pay his siblings 49 pounds each as their share and he would own the children's portion of the real estate.

Some of the transcribed useful records include:

a)  The account of administratrix Mehitable Brigham was allowed on 8 June 1772.  It says:

*  Worcester ss the further account of Mehitable Brigham adm'xon y'e estate of her Late Husband Moses Brigham Late of Westb'o in said County Dec'd

The said accountant Chargeth herself with y'e Personal Estate & Ballance of her account settled & allowed y'e 8'th June 1772.
y'e sum of                                                                     213 :  7 :   10
And prays allowance as follows: viz't 
Pd for Commission settling of my thirds                                 2 :   6
To y'e Committee for their time                                             14 :   0
Supporting them                                                                       8 :   0
Allowing Recording their Report                                             7 :   0

I pray allowances for y'e Provisions apprised used & For y'e support of y'e family 
Provision apprised used for y'e support of y'e family      29 :  19 :   6
4 fat hogs apprised used for y'e family                              7 :  15 :   6
Sole & upper Leather used for shoes for y'e family          2 :  15 :   6
To Drawing allowing & Register of this act & a copy                     6 
Sum:                                                                                 42 :   8 :   0
Remain:                                                                        £170 : 19 : 10
Error Excepted pr Mehetabel Brigham 

*  Worcester July 4: 1772 Mehetable Brigham abovesaid appeared & made oath to y'e truth of y'e above accountant Before me John Chandler Judge Probate

*  Worcester ss July 13: 1772 I having Examined y'e above account (and y'e Guardians of y'e Children having signified to me that they ^have no objection^ to y'e above allowance) I do allow thereof y'e Ballance in her hands being £170 : 19 : 10 one third thereof belongs to her as her thirds being £56 : 19 : 11 y'e Ballance Remaining being £113 : 19: 11 which I order that she pay to the dec'd Children their Guardians or Legal Representatives saving to y'e Eldest son a Double share a single share being nearest £14:5/ 
John Chandler Judge Probate
Worcester ss Recorded with y'e Records of Wills for County
pr Clerk Chandler Reg.

*  I Jonathan Grout Guardian of Moses Brigham Late of Westborough Dec'd and Levi Brigham Guardian of Phinehas Brigham a son of said Dec'd and Sarah Brigham a daughter of said dec'd hereby Consent that when s'd dec'ds Widdow shall settle her administration account we shant object to her having all y'e Provisions that was apprised allowed to her for y'e support of the family as also y'e Improvement of y'e Real Estate for y'e Years 1770 & 1771 June 23: 1772.

b)  The real estate of Moses Brigham was appraised on 6 July 1774:

To the Honourable John Chandler Esq'r in Worcester
We the Subscribers being a Committee appointed by your Honor to apprise the Real Estate in Lands whereof Moses Brigham Late of Westborough deceased died Seized of Exclusive of the widow's Thirds haveing Performed that service and in our opinion the Childrens Shares is worth Four Hundred Pounds Lawfull money Exclusive of the widow's Thirds and the whole Farm Contains by our Estimation one Hundred and Thirty acres be the same more or less but the Deed of said Lands does not mention so many acres said Lands are Situate Lying and being in Westb'o aforesaid and are buted and bounded as followeth (viz) begining at the Southwest Corner of said Land at a Stake & Stones by the Land of Nath'a Whitney & it being a Corner of the widows thirds then Runing Northerly a Strait Line by the widows thirds till it comes to the Country Road Crosing s'd Road Beginning at a Stake & Stones at said Road and runs Northerly to a corner of a Stone wall thence by s'd wall northerly to a stake & stones thence North to a stake & stones about nine rods then Turning Northeasterly and runs to a stake & stones at the North-side of the Barn then Turning Southerly through the Barn at the East side of y'e Barn flower to a stake and heap of stones about two rods south of the Barn and all west of the Barn flower is y'e Childrens part and the Lenter and Scaffold over it; on the south side of the Bay in the East End of the Barn and y'e widow is to have Liberty to bring in her Hay & thrack her grain in s'd flower from thence to the Country Road afore the Barn then Crosing s'd Road to a stake & stones thence Easterly & runing By y'e widows thirds to a small walnut Tree marked by the Land of Capt. Benj'a Fay then Turning Southerly by s'd Benj'a Fay Land a Strait Line till it comes to the Land of Nathaniel Whitney Then Turning Westerly by s'd Whitney Land to the Bounds first mentioned and also another piece of Land Bounded as followeth )viz( Begining at a stake and stones at the Southeast Corner & By the Land of En'? Jaduthan Fay & By the County road thence runing westerly By s'd ^Road^ to a stake and stones which is a Corner of the widows thirds & called her wood Lot then Turning northerly & by s'd wood Lot to a maple tree marked then Turning westerly & runing by s'd wood Lot to the Land of Benj'a Fay then Turning and runing northerly by s'd Benj'a Fay land to a stake & stones then Turning Easterly by s'd Benj'a Fay and Jaduthan Fays Land thence Easterly By s'd Jaduthan Fays Land to a heap of stones then Turning Southerly by s'd Jaduthan Fay Land to the first mentioned Bounds of this peace of Land; another peace of Land Containing about Eighteen acres and is upland Swamp and meadow & Touches the Last mentioned peace of Land Begining ^at the^ northeasterly ^Corner^ of the Last mentioned ^Peace of Land^ at a stake & stones thence runing Northerly By the Land of Jaduthan Fay to a river Called Elsabeth River then Turning as he River runs till it Comes to the Land of Francis Whipple Esq'r thence by said Whipple Land till it comes to Land of Benj'a Fay thence by said Benj'a Fay till it comes to a Corner ^which is a heap of stones^ then Turning westerly & runing By s'd Benj'a Fays Land till it Comes to Land now possessed by Jaduthan Fay till it Comes to the Bounds first mentioned of this peace. The Childrens shares in the House is the north front room & all the Back rooms & sellers under them and all above the Lower and the widow and the Children have Liberty ^to^ pa ss up Chamber & Down Seller and the Common Land Left around the House is for the Benefitt of the widows thirds & the Children Shares from a stake & heap of stones at the Road thence By the well & so round the House to the Road at the north End of the House according to the Bound mentioned in the Widows thirds.

And we are of the opinion that the Lands which we have apprised is not Conveniant for more than one Settlement.
Westborough July y'e 6, 1774                                Jon'a Bond                                                                                                                                                      Joseph Baker 
                                                                               Stephen Maynard

c)  On 10 October 1774, the Probate court ordered the administratrix to distribute the estate to the heirs.  The record says:

To all People unto whom these Presents shall come: 
John Chandler Esq. Judge of the Probate of Wills, &c. in the County of Worcester within the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay, in New England, sendeth Greeting.

Know ye, That pursuant to to Acts or Laws of the said Province, relating to the Settlement or Distribution of the Estates of Intestates, and the Direction, Power and Authority to me therein given, I do hereby Order and Assign unto  Moses Brigham  Eldest son of Moses Brigham Late of Westborough, In said County, Yeoman Dec'd.

All those Pieces and Parcels of Land, with the Buildings and Appurtenances thereon and thereunto belonging, being y'e Whole of y'e Real Estate of said dec'd Except the Widdows Dower & Scituate In said Westborough and the same is particularly set forth and described in the Return of the Commissioners by me appointed and sworn for the Apprisal thereof, and by them valued at  four hundred Pounds  (as by the Return of the said Commissioners into the Registry of Probate for the said County of Worcester  may appear) TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the hereby ordered and assigned Land and Premises, with the Members and Appurtenances thereof unto  him  the before-named  Moses Brigham and to  his  Heirs and Assigns forever.

PROVIDED he the said Moses Brigham his Heirs, Executors, or Administrators, shall and do well and truly pay, or cause to be paid unto the rest of the before-named deceased's Children, their legal Representatives, or Guardians, the several Sums of Money hereafter in this my Decree to them respectively ordered to be paid, together with the Interest for their respective Sums or Portions, after the Rate of ???  Pounds per Cent. per Annum, to commence on and from the  fifteenth  Day of  July   Anno Domini   1774  and both Principal and Interest to be paid (if demanded) on or before the tenth   Day of  October  which will be in the Year  of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and  Seventy five.

ACCORDINGLY I Order the before-named Assignee Moses Brigham his Heirs, &c. in the first place to pay and clear the Charges relating to this Settlement, amounting in the whole to  two pounds ten shillings.

Then to pay  unto his  sister ^Sarah^ Forbes Wife of Jonathan Forbes or her Legal Representative the sum of forty nine pounds thirteen Shillings & nine pence half penny Lawful money In one Year with Lawful Interest ^for the same^ from y'e fifteenth day of July Last.  To his Brothers ^& Sisters vizt^ Phinehas Brigham Ebenezer Brigham Joseph Brigham Mehetable Brigham and Mary Brigham their Guardians or Legal Representatives Each the Sum of forty nine pound thirteen shillings & nine pence half pence.
       2: 10: 0 [charges]
     49: 13: 9  [sister Sarah Forbes]  
     49: 13: 9 [brother Phinehas Brigham]
     49: 13: 9 [brother Ebenezer Brigham]
     49: 13: 9 [brother Joseph Brigham]
     49: 13: 9 [sister Mehetable Brigham]
     49: 13: 9 [sister Mary Brigham]
     99:  7: 6 [eldest son Moses Brigham]
 £400:  0: 0

In like Money, Manner, and with the Interest before-mentioned.  all which aforesaid Sums, with the Share of said Assignee, amount to the apprized Value of the  two thirds of said dec'd Estate and (xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) make each Child's Share therein to be agreeable to the Direction of the Law.

PROVIDED also, in case all or any Part of the hereby assigned Land and Premises shall be legally evicted from the above-named Assignee, Moses Brigham his  Heirs, Executors, Administrators or Assigns, that then the rest of the aforesaid deceased's Children, their Heirs, &c. (Sharers in this division) shall refund their rateable Parts, with Law Charges.  In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and the Seal of the Probate Office for the County aforesaid, the   tenth   Day of   October   Anno Domini One Thousand Seven Hundred and   Seventy four   and in the   fourteenth   Year of His Majesty's Reign.  John Chandler, Worcester. Recorded with y'e Records of Wills ???? County      


1. W. I. Tyler Brigham (Emma E. Brigham, editor), The History of the Brigham Family, A Record of Several Thousand Descendants of Thomas Brigham the Emigrant, 1603-1653 (New York City : The Grafton Press, 1907), page 183, #69 Moses Brigham family sketch.

2. Franklin P. Rice (editor), Vital Records of Marlborough, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849  (Boston, Mass. : Franklin P. Rice ,1908), Births, page 44, Moses Brigham entry, 2 January 1722/3.

3. Systematic History Fund, Vital Records of Westborough, Massachusetts to the end of year 1849 (Worcester, Mass. : Franklin P. Rice, 1903), Marriages, page 131, Moses Brigham and Mehitable Grout entry.

4. "Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986," digital images, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 27 January 2022), Worcester County > Deeds, 1754-1756, Vol. 35-36, Volume 35, page A245, Deed of Nathan Brigham to Moses Brigham, executed 7 February 1754, recorded 23 August 1754.

5. "Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986," digital images, FamilySearch, accessed 27 January 2022), Worcester County > Deeds, 1756-1758, Vol. 37-38, Volume 38, page 100, Deed of Nathan Brigham to Moses Brigham, executed 7 June 1756, recorded 22 September 1756.

6. Worcester County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Probate Packet 7 407 (32 pages) intestate estate of Moses Brigham of Westborough, 1770; "Worcester County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1731-1881," digital images, New England Historic Genealogical Society, American Ancestors ( accessed 15 March 2020).

7. Find A Grave, indexed database and digital image, (, Memorial Cemetery, Westborough, Mass., Moses Brigham memorial #63339042.

NOTE:  This genealogical sketch is out of Ahnentafel order because I found new information linking Sophia Newton to her birth father, Lambert Brigham.  


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 (incomplete) list of 52 Ancestors biographies from my great-grandparents to the 7th great-grandparents (in work) is in

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2022, 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: