Monday, June 13, 2022

Amanuensis Monday -- 1759 Guardianship Record for Minor Children of Nathaniel Sever in Middlesex County, Massachusetts

 This week's document for transcription is from the 1759 Middlesex County, Massachusetts Probate Court estate papers for the guardianship of the minor children of Nathaniel Sever of Sudbury, Massachusetts. 

a)  Middlesex County, Massachusetts Probate Court Records - Case File 20069, image 2 of 4:

The transcription of this page is:

"NO. Copy  Elijah, Josiah, Rebecca, Joseph, Mary & Nathaniel Sever of Sudbury
1759 Jan. 8  Record of Attt. (Cornelius Wood of Sudbury, Gdn  Vol. 39 Page 248"

The source citation for this probate record is:

Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Case file 20069 (4 images), Elijah Sever et al of Sudbury, 1759; "Middlesex County (Massachusetts) Probate File Papers, 1648-1871," digital images, New England Historical and Genealogical Society, American Ancestors  ( accessed 12 June 2022).

All three pages of the above record are identical.

Since the above record refers the researcher to Volume 39, page 248 of Middlesex County Probate Records, I searched on FamilySearch and found:

b)  Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Probate Records, Volume 39, Page 248:

The record for the Sever children is the second item from the bottom on the left-hand page of the image:

The transcription of this record is:

[In left margin]

Elijah, Josiah, Rebecca, Joseph, Mary & Nathaniel Sever's Guard'ns

[Body of record]

Guardianship of Elijah, Josiah, Rebecca ^(at their own election)^ Joseph Mary & Nathaniel all minors
Children of Nathaniel Sever late of Sudbury in the County of Middlesex Deceased
is on the Eighth Day of January A.D. 1759 Granted (by the Judge of Probate for s'd County)
to Cornelius Wood of said Sudbury, ^Gent'm^ who gives bond in the Sum of five hundred Pounds
with Daniel Goodenow of Sudbury afores'd Gent'm Suretie for the faithful Discharge
of said Trust.    
                                                                 attest and W/Bordman Spel Reg.

The source citation for this probate record is:

"Probate Records 1648-1924 (Middlesex County, Massachusetts)," Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah), on 886 FHL US/CAN Microfilms, "Probate records v. 39-41 1746-1769," Volume 39, page 248 (image 137 of 716), Guardianship record for children of Nathaniel Sever, 8 January 1759 (accessed on

Nathaniel Sever was born 1 April 1709 in Framingham, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph and Mary (Read) Sever of Framingham.  He married, first, on 23 February 1737 to Rebecca Willis (c1718-1753) in Sudbury, Massachusetts.  Rebecca was the daughter of Josiah and Sarah (Wood) Willis of Sudbury.  They had eight children, all born in Framingham or Sudbury and recorded in the town records:

*  Elijah Sever (1739-1812), married 1767 Bethiah Hosley (1745-1825).
*  Anne Willis Sever (1740-1789), married 1759 Ebenezer Boutwell (1735-1825)  
*  Josiah Willis Sever (1742-1841), married 1769 Sarah Whitcomb (1748-1838).
*  Rebecca Seaver (1744-????) married 1764 Andrew McIlwain (1742-1837).
*  Joseph Seaver (1746-1816), married 1772 Abigail Sawyer (1751-1844).
*  Mary Sever (1746-????)
*  Catherine Seaver (1748-1755).
*  Nathaniel Sever (1751-1798), married 1776 Mary Bush (1758-1849).

Rebecca (Willis) Sever probably died before 17 July 1754 when Nathaniel Sever married, secondly, to Judith Treadway (1728-1818) in Framingham., Massachusetts.  Judith was the daughter of Benjamin and Mary (Maynard) Treadway of Framingham. They had eight children, all recorded in Templeton, Massachusetts town records (except for the last child):

*  Catheron Seaver (1755-????), married (1) 1778 Thomas Dyer (1752-1783), and (2) 1783 Thomas Mellins (1750-????).
*  Luther Seaver (1757-????), married (1) 1783 Lucy Marble (1759-????), and (2) 1793 Priscilla Phillips (1771-????).
*  Calvin Seaver (1758-1840< married 1786 Mary Huntington Hovey (1764-1857).
*  Frances Seaver (1761-????), married 1780 Benjamin Pierce (1761-1847).
*  Robert Whitmore Seaver (1763-1836), married 1786 Anna Edson (1767-1852).
*  Elizabeth "Betty" Seaver (1766-????), married 1794 Nathaniel Hovey (1761-????).
*  Richard Crafts Seaver (1768-1821), married 1793 Christiana Slafter (1768-1815).
*  John Read Seaver (1770-1822), married 1792 Achsa Harrington (1775-????).

It appears that Nathaniel Sever, having lost his first wife Rebecca in about 1753, married his second wife Judith Treadway in 1754 and moved with her to Westminster, and then Templeton, Massachusetts and raised a second family.  It is not known if the Framingham families kept in contact with Nathaniel Sever after his second marriage and settlement in Templeton.  Nathaniel died of smallpox in Petersham, Massachusetts on 2 February 1777, and is buried in Meeting House Hill Cemetery in Norwich, Vermont with his second wife.  

In addition, Nathaniel's father, Joseph Seaver (1672-1754) died before 26 August 1754 in Framingham, and left a sizeable estate.  Also, Rebecca (Willis) Seaver's father, Josiah Willis (1686-1758) died before 17 November 1758 and left an estate.  

All of the children of Nathaniel and Rebecca (Willis) Sever had a legal interest in the estates of their two grandfathers plus the estate of their father.  Therefore, on 8 January 1759, the guardianship of the six minor children (daughter Anne was over age 18 in early 1759, and the first Catherine Sever died in 1755).  was granted to Cornelius Wood to posted a £500 bond with Daniel Goodwin as a surety.  

Who was Cornelius Wood?  He was a brother of the mother of Rebecca (Willis) Sever, Sarah (Wood) Willis (1692-1783).  By appointing Cornelius Wood as legal guardian of these six Sever children, the probate court protected their legal interest in the property and estate of their parents and grandparents.

Nathaniel Sever was my 1st cousin 8 times removed, with our common Seaver ancestor being Joseph Seaver (1672-1754) of Framingham, 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."

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

Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

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