Monday, February 28, 2022

Amanuensis Monday -- 1756 Deed of Land in Southborough, Massachusetts by Ward and Rice Relatives to Ruth Ward

 This week's document for transcription is the 1756 deed record for Ruth Ward, widow of Elisha Ward, of Southborough, Massachusetts receiving several tracts of land from descendants of Edmund Rice and William Ward.

*  Worcester County, Massachusetts Deeds, Volume 38, pages 2-3 (starts on bottom of left-hand page):

*  Worcester County, Massachusetts Deeds, Volume 38, pages 4-5 (ends on bottom of left-hand page):

The transcription of this deed is (line-by-line, starting near the bottom of the left-hand page of the first image):

To all People to whom these Presents shall come Greeting Know ye that
We namely Hezekiah Ward Gentleman of Grafton, Nathan Brigham Gentleman
Ephraim Ward yeoman and Hannah his wife Lemuel Newton Cooper and Abigail his wife John Taplin Gen't and Hepzibeth his wife Nathan Brigham Jr.
and Edmund Brigham sons to the aforesaid Nathan Brigham Gen't all of Southboro

[Volume 38, page 3]

in the County of Worcester and Province of y'e Massachusetts Bay in new England
For and in Consideration of that good and Just Intention ofo ur Brother and Uncle
Elisha Ward Late of Wesborough Dec'd and ofo ur good Will we bear to Ruth the Relict
Widow of our said Brother and uncle Dec'd and to William Ward the son of our Brother
and Uncle Charles Ward Late of Sturbridge Dec'd and to the Intent that y'e Will of our
afores'd Brother and Uncle Elisha Ward Dec'd made y'e 24'th of January Last past, we all
of us Severally and Joyntly pray that the afores'd Will may be proved & approved
and for Further Removing of y'e Difficulty that is or may arise we the aforementioned Persons in
our Severall Stations Capacity or Interest do by these Presents Remise Release and forever quit Claim
unto the said Ruth Relict Widow as aforesaid all our Right Title or Demand to all the out-
door and in door moveables of what name or Nature forever to be at her Disposall & Improvement
according to the Intent and purpose of y'e aforesaid Will and also the Improvement
of all the Real Estate after the Just Debts and Funeral Charges are paid as is specified & mentioned
in said Will dureing her the said Ruths Widowhood or Natural Life and to y'e Intent that the
Will and Just Intentions of y'e said Elisha Ward Dec'd may be further supported We Each &
Every of us the aforenamed Persons in our Several Capacitys do Remise Release & forever
quit Claim all our Right Title & Interest to so much of the Lands & Real Estate as is or
may be Necessary For the payment of the Just Debts & Funeral Charges of the said Elisha
Ward Dec'd hereby authorizing & Impowering the said Ruth and the other Executor to give
grant and pass necessary Deeds for y'e convey in & Confirming the same to any Purchaser or
Purchasers to the utmost of our Power and for the Further Confirming & Establishing the
True Intent of the aforesaid Will.  We the aforementinoed Persons as Grantor do by these
Presents Remise Release & forever quit claim & Confirm all our right Title Challenge
or Demand Either to any part or the whole of the Remainder of said Real Estate after all
the aforementioned things are performed and after the Decease of y'e said Ruth to William Ward
the son of the aforesaid Charles Ward Dec'd and Nephew of the said Elisha Ward Deceased
the whole of all the Lands the said Elisha Ward Died Seized and Possessed of is as Follows, vizt.
One Peice Containing about 80 acres by Estimation being the Homestead Lying & being in
Westboro & Southborough with a Road or roads Runing through the same bounded Souther-
ly partly by Land Left far away Easterly by a way northerly by land of Nathan Brigham
Westerly by Land of Thomas Brigham in part & partly by Land Formerly if not now possessed
by Jacob Amsden and otherways by the aforementinoed Roads also all that Right of
share that by Deed the said Elisha Ward Possessed in a Lott of Cedar Swamp in Crane Swamp so
called bounded northeasterly by the Lott of Cedar Swamp Possessed by the Heirs of  Isaac
Amsden Late of Marlborough Dec'd & Southwesterly by the Swamp possessed by Tho's
Brigham aforesaid and the ways as by said deed may appear Referrence thereto being
had also another Tract of Land situate near bout one mile Southerly of y'e Homested
above described near the House Rock So called and we bound and Describe it to him the
said William Ward as bounded & discribed to the said William Ward in y'e Proprietors Book of
of Records for Marlborough Westborough & Southborough Together with all the Right in
Comonage that the said Elisha Ward died Seized & Possessed in the aforesaid Property 
making about 90 acres in the whole by Estimation with all y'e Buildings orcharding
and Fences & Improvements and natural Properties thereto belonging be the
same more or less that is ir may Remain after the Payment of the Just Debts &
Funeral Charges of the said Elisha Ward Dec'd & the necessary Expences to procure
and manage the same to be unto him the said William Ward the nephew of the afore-
mentioned Elisha Ward Dec'd to have and to hold the said Granted & Released Premises
with all the appurtenances Priviledges Comodities thereto belonging or an ways
appertaining to him the said William Ward his heirs & assigns forever
after the decease of Ruth the afores'd Widow to his and their only Proper use
Benefit and Behoof forever.  And we the afores'd Hezekiah Nathan Ephraim 
& Hannah his wife Lemuel & Abigail his wife John & Hepzibah his wife and
Nathan Jun'r and Edmund for our selves and for our Heirs Executors & admr's do
Covenant Promise & Grant to and with him the said William Ward Jun'r & his heirs
Executors adm's & assigns that they may Lawfully peaceably & quietly have
hold use occupy possess & enjoy the said demised & released Premises with y'e appurtenances
free and clear and freely and clearly acquitted Exonerated & Discharged of and from

[Volume 38, page 4]

all manner of former or other Gifts Grants Bargains Sales Leases Mortgages Wills
Entails Joyntures Doweries Releases Judgments Executions or Incumbrances
of what Name or Nature soever that might in any Measure or Degree
obstruct or make void this Present Deed by us made Provided nevertheless
and in Cas the said William Ward the aforesaid Nephew before he comes to the
full age of Twenty one years ^Shall Decease or in case he shall decease after he shall to the age of Twenty one years^ of age then after the abovesaid Ruth Relict Widow
of the abovesaid Elisha Ward Dec'd shall die in Either of y'e above mentioned
Cases the said William Ward the abovesaid Nephew dying without any natural
Issue of his own Body the before given granted remised and released
and described Premises shall Revert and Return to us the Grantors & Releasers
of the same and to our Heirs Except so much thereof as shall be or must necessarily
be sold to pay the Just Debts and Funeral Charges of the said Elisha Ward Dec'd as
aforesaid.  In Witness to all the above written we have hereunto set our hands & seals
this ninth Day of March in y'e 29th year of his majestys Reign George y'e Second
of great Brittain y'e King anno domini 1756 Hezekiah Ward & a seal Nathan
Brigham & a seal Ephraim Ward & a seal Hannah Ward & a seal Lemuel Newton
& a seal Abigail Newton & a seal John Taplin & a seal Hepzibeth Taplin & a seal
Nathan Brigham ^Jr^ & a seal Edmund Brigham seal.

Signed and Sealed and Delivered In presence of Hezekiah Ward Jun'r Ebenezer Fish witnesses to Hezekiah Wards signing & sealing.
We are Witnesses to Nathan Brigham Sen'r and Ephraim Ward and Hannah his wife
and the four Last Sarah Beals Joanna Leonard.  To Lemuel Newton &
Abigail Newton William Ward & James Bellows Jun'r as Witnesses.

Worcester ss March y'e 9'th Day Anno Dom 1756 the aforenamed Nathan
Brigham Ephraim Ward and Hannah his wife Lemuel Newton & Abigail 
his wife John Taplin & Hepzibah his wife Nathan Brigham J'r & Edmund
Brigham Each and Every of them severally owned their Signing Sealing & Deliveries
the aforewritten Deed & Instrument to be their free act before me
                                                                               William Ward Justice of Peace
Worcester ss March y'e 22'nd 1756 the above named Hezekiah Ward acknowledged
his Signing & Executing this Instrument to be his free act & Deed
                                                                      Before me William Ward Justice of Peace.

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 27 January 2022), Worcester County > Deeds, 1736-1738, Vol. 37-38, Volume 38, pages 2-4 (images 334-335 of 626), Deed of Hezekiah Ward, Nathan Brigham, Ephraim and Hannah Ward, Lemuel and Abigail Newton, John and Hepsibah Taplin,  Nathan Brigham Jr. and Edmund Brigham to Ruth Ward and William Ward, executed 9 March 1756, recorded 22 March 1756;  citing original records in County Courthouses, and on FHL Microfilms.

Some background:  Nathan Brigham (1693-1784), married (1) Dinah Rice (1693-1725) in 1717, and they had five children, all born in Marlborough; married (2) Hepsibah Ward (1708-1748) in 1729, and they had eight children, all born in Southborough, including Nathan Brigham Jr. (1730-1806); Hepzebah Brigham (1732-1815), married John Taplin; Edmund Brigham (1733-1806);  One of Dinah (Rice) Brigham's sisters was Ruth Rice (1712-1786), daughters of Edmund and Ruth (Parker) Rice,  who married Elisha Ward (1712-1756) in 1738.  Hepsibah (Ward) Brigham (1708-1748), Hezekiah Ward (1703-1777), Elisha Ward (1712-1756), Ephraim Ward (1716-????), Abigail (Ward) Newton (1720-1795) and Charles Ward (1722-1745) were all children of William and Jane (Cleveland) Ward.  The William Ward (1743-1819) in the deed is the son of Charles Ward, who died in 1745.  So all of the named grantors were relatives in one way or another to Ruth (Rice) Ward and descendants of Edmund and Ruth (Parker) Rice and William and Jane (Cleveland) Ward.

This deed is very complicated.  Elisha Ward died in 1756 to set the need for this deed in motion.  It effectively gives Ruth (Rice) Ward a share of her husband's inheritance, plus provides for William Ward, nephew of Elisha and Ruth Ward, once he reaches age 21.  It is likely that William Ward, son of Charles Ward, was living with Elisha and Ruth Ward, his aunt and uncle. 

Nathan Brigham (1693-1784) and his first wife, Dinah Rice (1693-1725) are my 6th great-grandparents through their son Moses Brigham (1722-1769), who married Mehitable Grout (1725-1795) in 1749.


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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