Friday, September 19, 2014


 I have done a number of transcriptions now and usually am able to read most
of the documents I've worked on in the past. Having been taught three different
styles of penmanship in different school systems growing up helps. But occasionally
I do run into something where I can tell right off the bat I'm going to have trouble.
It's usually something to do with what I think of as the writer's "hand", the little
out of the ordinary manner of their writing. In this case there are two different
documents in the will of Miles Nutt: the first is dated 4 Jan 1658:

It has some parts I am still puzzling over. There is mention of his wife Sibsa and
her daughter Anna, but no mention of a daughter Sarah, at least that I could make
out from it. I noticed Anna is referred to as "her daughter", not "our daughter" so
I think Sibsa was a widow when she married Miles.

The second version of the will is dated 1Feb 1660 and the handwriting is different
and easier to read.

Sibsa is mentioned again but Anna is not. But about halfway down the page there it
is, mention of "my daughter Sarah {?} now wife of John Wayman"!

So now I knew that Miles had made two wills, written two years apart, but they
they weren't filed until 1674. Using his name and the probable death year of 1674
I Googled him, and found this:

NUTT. Myles was made freeman, 1637; was a proprietor of Watertown 1636-7, and in
1642. In Woburn, he was taxed in the first town rate on record, levied 22 Dec. 1646;
and order also was given about the same time for enlarging his house lot. He was Selectman in Woburn, in 1647, and during seven of the nine years immediately succeeding. In 1644, November 5th, his daughter Sarah, whom he had brought with 

him from England, was married to Lieut. John Wyman; and after Mr. Wyman's death, May 1684, she was md. to Thomas Fuller 25 Aug. of the same year. Mr. Nutt died 
at Malden, 2 July, 1671, aged about 73 years. [Bond's Watertown: Woburn Town Records, Vol. I., p. 97. Records of Marriages, etc., etc., in Woburn.

-History of Woburn by Samuel Sewall  Wiggen &  Lunt Publishing Co. Boston 1868 pp627-628

So from the wills I was able to learn (so far) that besides his daughter Sara, Miles Nutt had a wife named Sibsa and a stepdaughter named Anna. He made out two wills over a decade before his death, which makes me think he'd been seriously ill on both occasions. Sometime between the first and second wills something happened to cause him to remove Anna's name from the second will. And why was Sarah mentioned only in the second will?  I still have to work on transcribing both documents completely.

I learned from the History of Woburn that Miles and Sarah had come from England together apparently after his first wife had died, and that Sarah remarried after her husband John Wyman's death. I'd pushed that branch of the tree back a generation. dding a father, a stepmother and stepsister, and a second husband to what I already knew about Sarah Nutt.

I LOVE Probate files!

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