Monday, April 28, 2014


I learned several new things from analyzing the will and probate record of my 7x
great grandfather Andrew Mitchell:

1. He mentions his wife Abiah in the will. Since I descend from his marriage to
Abigail Atwood I thought at first this was she, but then I realized she had died some
twenty years before Andrew's death. A search of the Early Vital Records of Massachusetts website turned up a marriage of an Andrew Mitchell to the widow Abiah(Norton) Haseltine on 12Apr 1714 in Bradford, Ma. Andrew had a second
wife I hadn't known about!

2. Andrew owned a saw mill, which he bequeathed to four of his sons in this part of his will:

Thirdly, I give and bequeath unto my four sons viz: Andrew & James, William and
John my Saw Mill together with the priviledge of the stream, & all other rights &
priviledges goes to the Same belonging to be equally divided between them. I
also give unto the said four sons the farm which I bought of Joatham Hendricks to
be owbed betwixt them in the following manner viz: Andrew to have Seventy
Acres, James fifty & William & John fortyacres each and if the said farm more then
two hundred acres then the remainder is to be divided in the same proportion &
if it is containing less it is also to be divided in the same proportion, the premises
above mentioned I give to my said four sons & to their heirs & assigns in fee
simple forever.

After Andrew's death the court appointed arbitrators who divided the land up. This
was the share allotted to my 6x great grandfather Andrew Mitchell Jr:

The Second Lot to Andrew Mitchell & His Heirs being about ninety eight acres
be the same more or less bounding as follows with/ viz: beginning at the black
oak tree aforesaid & thence easterly about ninety-six pols to a black oak tree
marked thence northerly across the farme to a Stake & Stone by land of Amos
Baily's thence westerly fower pols to a stump being a  bound of Baily's Land
thence northerly by Baily's Land to a Stump by Spiket Road thence Westerly
about forty eight pols to a Stake & Stone aforesd being a bound of Willm
Mitchels thence Southerly by William Mitchels Lot to the bound first mentioned

3. I discovered two of Andrew's children I hadn't known about before, William
and Susannah, because of the Will.

Once again, proof of the value of wills and probate files in filling in missing
information about an ancestor!

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