Wednesday, April 27, 2016


My 9x great grandfather Michael Metcalf died in 1684. In his article in the NEHGS Register, Dr.Luther Metcalf Harris includes an abstract of our ancestor's will. One of the things I find interesting about it is how particular over which heir gets which of his books, and who he wants to have them after the deaths of those heirs.

Of course the best thing about wills and probate files is when they help establish relationships and the will does that in showing that Martha (Metcalf) Stow was Michael's daughter. Although I wonder why there is no mention of his grandson Nathaniel Stow who was born before Michael's death.

Lastly, I wish the estate inventory had been included in the article.

Here's the abstract of the will:

Michael Metcalf, died, Dec. 27, 1664. Will proved, and an Inventory of his Estate taken, Feb. 1, 1664-5. £364. 18. 05.
Inventory of the Estate of Michael Metcalfe, Jun. made, 31, 1. 1654. Power of Administration, granted, 26 April 1654, to Mary, his widow, "in behalf of her selfe and fiue children."

The following is an Abstract of the Will of Michael1 Metcalfe. 15.9. 1664.

Michael Metcalfe senior, of Dedham, being aged, Doe make this my Last will. Wheras, there is a Couenant Between my selfe and Mary my Wife, made before our marriage, bearing Date the 13th of August 1645, wherein it may appear that she reserued to her selfe, and to her dispose, her Lands, and Estate, so that I receiued no Estate with her; yet, neuerthelesse, I giue unto her ffor the terme of her widowhood, in household stuffe, and other goods, as shee thinkes meete to Chuse, for her use, not exceeding the ualue of sixteene pounds, and being not such as I shall particularly otherwise Dispose of, in this my Last will; which household stuffe, so Chosen by her, shall Bee to ffurnishe the Roome, which my Executor shall prepare for her, at his house, to Receiue her into, after my Decease. All which household stuffe and goods, I giue to my Executor, to haue, after the Decease of my wife. Unto my wife, six pounds, to be paid to her, within one moneth after my Decease, in Currant pay. Unto Sonne John Metcalfe, of Medfeild, one ffeather bed & Bolster, my second Book of Martyrs, Mr Perkins second Book, Luther on the gala; one siluer spoone, one pair of sheets, one Long Chest, in the upper Chamber, one Diaper Boardcloth. Unto my Executor & his Heires, all that my Land in Naponset plaine, and three Acres Laying in ye Low plaine, next Peter Woodwards. Also, halfe my Diuident in y« Cedar swampe, neer the Saw mill, & 3 Commons & ye odde. Unto my Grandchild, Michael Metcalfe, the Elder, all that my Land and Improuements within the Lott I Dwell in, my three acres in ye wigwaom plaine, my swompe next my house, prouided he giue my Executor that itle parcell of his swampe west end of his house, otherwise my gifte to be uoyd. Also I give him my Naticke Diuidend of twenty three acres, more or Lesse; four Cow Commons; halfe my Cedar swampe, at the Saw mill; my wood Land, at the West end of the Towne; all the particulars I haue belonging to husbandry, in one Kind or another; all the Remainer of my Household stuffe not Disposed of in this my Will. Also my first Book of Martyrs, Mr Perkins ffirst Booke, one siluer spoone. To my Daughter Wilson, ffortye shillings. To my Daughter Elizabeth Bancrafte, ffiue pounds. To my Daughter, Martha Stow, twenty shillings. To my Daughter, Joane Waker, forty shillings. To my Daughter Rebecca Mackentosh, ffiue pounds. To my wife's Daughter, Martha Bullerd, twenty shillings. To my Daughter, Sarah Onion, three pounds. All which six Legacyes, Last named, shall bee paid at, in, or Before, the second March next after my Decease, in Current payment.

To my Daughter Stowes Eldest sonne, which she had by her first husband, Wm Brignall, ffour pounds, to bee paid him, when he shall attayne to Lawful age. To my Grandchild, abovesaid, Jno. Mackintosh & Robert Onyon, all my wearing apparell, to bee equally diuided by my Execut', in order as their names bee heer set Downe; my Granchild to choose ffirst:—To my Granchild, abouesaid, all the Lumber in my House. Moreouer, if any of ye p sons that are Legatees in y' my present will, shall by themselues, or by any others, make, or Cause to bee made, any Disturbance, or Contortion, in word or Deed, in Reference to any thing given, in this my will; then, all that Legacye, to that p son, shall be utterly uoyde. Thomas Metcalfe, of Dedham, my sonne, to be my executor, to whom I giue all the Rest of my Lands and Goods, not formerly Disposed of. Michael Metcalfe.

Before the witnessing hereof, I giue to my Grandchild abouesaid, my single acre of Meddow, also my Largest gray Horsmans Coate, also two oxen, one Cow, to bee Deliuered to him at Lawfull age. All the Books, aforesaid, giuen to my sonne John, after his Death, I giue them to his sonne Michael, my Grand childe. Signed and sealed in the presence of us,
Peter X Woodioard,
(His Marke)                                              S Edward Rawson, Recorder.
Jonathan ffairbanke

-pp172-173 the new england historical & genealogical register for the year 1852 Volume 6  Thomas Prince, Printer And Publisher, Boston, 1852

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