Saturday, April 29, 2017


While Richard Reith had bequeathed certain properties to specific children in his will, there were others that still had to divided among them. One of the documents in his probate
file shows how that was accomplished .Again, it's divided into two images at a point just after a few blurred lines, and as it happens, those lines turn out to be very important.

Essex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1638-1881.Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)23463:12

6 We agree that Joseph Tuck in the Right of his wife Sara have and enjoy halfe of the ho use in (? Cove and halfe of the Cow Commonage thereto belonging, valued att forty pounds, and have also his part of the (?) on all estate amounting by (?) to twelve pounds, seventeen shillings &8 d, the house to be by him & his heirs forever.

Now the reason those lines are important is that they corrected an error in my family tree. I
had Sarah (Reith) Tuck, wife of Joseph Tuck, in my database as the daughter of William Reith and Abigail Haskell. But here's Joseph acting on behalf of Sarah in Richard Reith's will. What was going on here?

It turns out I committed a cardinal sin. At the time I first entered this branch I couldn't find
any birth record for any Sarah Reith except for one whose father was William Reith. I didn't follow upon that information as I've since learned to do over the years since. If I had
I would have realized the birth dates of both Sarah and William made it impossible for him
to be her father. And when I started researching my family I began just with my direct ancestors, leaving the siblings to fill in later. Here's an instance where it came back to bite me.

Having access to the probate files  made me aware I'd screwed up.

I will correct my family tree and database to reflect the new information. This means I need to prune John Hardy and Dr. William Griggs. William Reith remains as my 6x great granduncle, not grandfather.    

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