Monday, January 17, 2022

Amanuensis Monday -- 1779 Deed of Phinehas Brigham of Westborough, Mass. Selling Land in Westborough to Jonathan Forbes

This week's document for transcription is the 1779 deed record for Phinehas Brigham, yeoman of Westborough, Massachusetts selling his share of his mother's widow's thirds in Westborough, Worcester County to Jonathan Forbes, husbandman of Westborough, for 500 pounds.

[Worcester County, Mass. Deeds - Volume 82, Page 185]:

The transcription of this deed is (on the right-hand page of the image):

[page 185]

Know all Men by these Presents that I Phinehas Brigham of Westboro in 
the County of Worcester and State of Massachusetts Bay in New England 
yeoman in Consideration of the sum of Five hundred pounds Lawfull 
Money to me in hand paid before the Ensealing hereof by Jonathan 
Forbes of Westboro in the County & state aforesaid Husbandman y'e Receipt 
whereof I do hereby acknowledge do herefor & by these presents Remise 
Release & forever Quitclaim unto him the said Jon'a Forbes his heirs & 
assigns all my rights Title Interests Inheritance property Claim and 
Demand of in & unto my Mother Mehetabel Brigham Dowry of Thirds to 
the Estate of her husband Moses Brigham Deceased.  To have and to hold 
the same (how & wherever scituate & lying) with all the priviledges and 
appurtenances thereto belonging to him the said Jon'a Forbes his heirs & 
assigns forever hereby Declaring myself my heirs Exors & admors 
& from all or any future Claim to be made to my mother Mehita-
bel Brighams Dower of Thirds to the Estate of him the s'd Moses Brig-
ham Deceased and that the said Jon'a Forbes his heirs & assigns may 
forever hereafter peaceably Enjoy all my Interests in s'd Thirds without 
Molestation from me or any person Claiming under me.  In Witness 
whereof I the said Phinehas Brigham have hereunto set my hand & seal 
this Third day of August Anno Domini One Thousand seven hundred 
and seventy Nine.                       Phinehas Brigham  {seal}

Sign'd Seal'd & Deliv'd in y'e presence of us  Joseph Baker  Elijah Brigham.

Worcester ss August y'e 7 1779  The above Named Phinehas Brigham personally
appeared & Acknowledged this Instrument to be his free act & Deed before me
                                       Joseph Baker Justice Peace
Rec'd August 11 1779 Entered & Exam'd pr Nath'n Baldwin Regr.

The source citation for this land record is:

"Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986," digital images, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 12 January 2022); Worcester County, "Deeds 1779-1781, Vol. 82-84," Volume 82, page 185 (image 151 of 696), Deed of Phinehas Brigham to Jonathan Forbes, executed 3 August 1779, recorded 11 August 1779;  citing original records in County Courthouses, and on FHL Microfilms.

Some background:  Moses Brigham, the father of Phinehas Brigham, died intestate on 3 December 1769. On 1 January 1770, his wife, Mehitable, was appointed administratrix of the estate in the Worcester County Probate Court.  She was also appointed the guardian of Phinehas and the other younger children.  In 1774, the estate was distributed to the heirs, and the oldest son, Moses Brigham, was to have the real estate, and pay each of his siblings £49-13-9.  Mehitable Brigham received her widow's thirds of the real estate.

In this deed, Phinehas Brigham, yeoman of Westborough, sold his share of his mother's Dower real property to Jonathan Forbes, gentleman of Westborough, on 3 August 1779.  Since his share of two-thirds of his father's land was worth £49 in 1774, it seems unreasonable that his share of one-third of his father's land would be worth £500, but perhaps the land values substantially were increased in five years.

Jonathan Forbes (1746-1805) was the husband of Sarah Brigham (1751-1827), daughter of Moses and Mehitable (Grout) Brigham of Westborough.  In another deed executed in April 1779, Jonathan Forbes bought the two-thirds of the real property of the elder Moses Brigham from the son, Moses Brigham, who was the recipient of the children's share of their father's property.  He may also have bought the shares of the other children of the elder Moses Brigham.  

Based on his mother's will and his own intestate probate record, Phinehas continued living on the Jonathan Forbes land, and where he was living was assessed at $20 in 1802.  It is possible that the other children, and their mother, Mehitable, also sold their shares in Mehitable's dower rights, to Jonathan Forbes or another person, but retained their living on the land. 

Phinehas Brigham (1755-1802) was the son of Moses and Mehitable (Grout) Brigham of Westborough, Massachusetts.  He married Lydia Batherick (1752-1795) on 29 April 1779 in Westborough.  They had seven children between 1780 and 1794.  Phinehas and Lydia (Batherick) Brigham are my 4th great-grandparents through their son, Lambert Brigham (1794-1834), who married Sophia Buck (1797-1882) in 1817.


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."

Read other transcriptions for records of my ancestors at Amanuensis Monday Posts.

Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

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