Joseph Fuller of Newton, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, USA
Petition before the Probate Court, 2 March 1813

Middlesex County Probate Court
Reference: Case Number 8762
Final Probate Record, 3 June 1814, Cambridge, Middlesex,
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, USA

(Born 29 July 1751   -    Died 23 Feb. 1813)
(Joseph4, Josiah3, Jeremiah2, John1of Newton)

Transcribed by Wayne L. Fuller, June 2016

An initial petition was directed to the Hon. James Prescott. Esquire Judge of Probate for the County of Middlesex on 2 March 1813 from Elizabeth [Bacon] Fuller, the widow of the late Joseph Fuller who died intestate, giving up her rights to administrator of the estate to her son, Joel Fuller; the court proceedings are summarized below.

1813

Mar 2, “I, Elizabeth Fuller of Newton in said County, widow, hereby notify to your Honor, that Joseph Fuller late of said Newton, gentleman, within ten days past, died, at said Newton, intestate, and had and possessed of real and personal estate in said County; that I am the widow of said intestate; that I hereby distinguish my right to the administration of said deceased’s estate; that said deceased left only nine children; that Joel Fuller of said Newton, yeoman, the eldest son of said deceased, and Nabby [Abigail] Jennings, the wife of Ethel Jennings of Needham in the County of Norfolk, are the only children of said deceased, who are of age; that said Joel Fuller is suitable person to administer the estate of said deceased and I, therefore pray your Honor to appoint his administrator thereof. Newton, March the 2 A.D. 1813.” [signed] Elizabeth Fuller

Mar 16,  Joel Fuller made representation to the court in Cambridge “……Wherefore your memorialist prays, that your honor will be pleased to appoint him administrator as abovesaid.” [signed] Joel Fuller

The Judge agrees “…It is therefore decreed by me, said Judge, that he be appointed Administrator as prayed for, he giving bond with sufficient sureties, as the law requires for the due performance thereof.” [signed] James Prescott,  J. Prob.

Mar 31, Ezra Fuller, Henry Craft and George Stearns were appointed by the court to take an inventory of the estate.

Apr 13, “An Inventory of the Estate of Joseph Fuller Late of Newton in the County of Middlesex, dec[ease]d appraised upon oath by us the subscribers duly appointed to that service by order of the Hon James Prescott Esq. Judge of Probate of wills, etc. for said county, viz.

Real Estate

The homestead of said deceased, situated in said Newton containing about Seventy Acres with the buildings thereon appraised at   $2500.00
A Pew in the West Meeting-house in said Newton         70.00
  $2570.00
Personal Estate
Blue Great Coat $2..50 Dark Coat 2.00, Black Coat 1.50          6..00
4 Waistcoats 3..00. 1 pr Small Clothes 1..00. 1 pr Pantaloons ..50          4..50
3 Shirts 3..50. 1 Frock ..60. Mothers Gloves ..75 Stockings ..75          5..60
1 pr Boots 2..00. 2 pr Shoes 1..00. 2 Hats 2..25          5..25
1 Bed. Bedstead. Coverlet, Blanket, pr of Sheets Pillows & Legs        20..00
1 Bed. Bedstead. Coverlet, Pillows & 1 Bedstead ..50        10..50
1 Bed. Bedstead & Coverlet 9..00.  1 Bed. Bedstead & Coverlet 20.00        29..00
4 pr Sheets 9.50. 5 Towels ..50. 4 Strainers ..67.        10..67
4 pr Pillow cases ..40. 3 Table cloths 1..50. horn 14..00        15..90
1 Foot Wheel ..25. Old Iron in the Garret 1..00          1..25
Old Lumber in the Garret 1..00. 1 Chest & Contents 1.00          2..00
Old Draws ..50. Table ..50 Old Chairs 1.00. Cloths Basket .67          2..67
Lumber box 2..00. Rye 5..50 Barley 3..00 Malt 1..00        11..50
Lumber in the Chamber 1.25 Meat bags 1.33 Watch 4..50          7..08
Andirons, Shovel & Tongs 1..75  3 Maple Tables 1..50          3..25
Maple Desk 3..00 Foot Wheel 1..50. Candle stand ..25          4..75
9 Chairs 3..00 Desk 5..00 Table 2..50 Large Glass 3..75        14..25
Small Glass 1..25 Mahogany Table 3..00  Bible 1.00          5..25
Books 1..25  3 Leather bottom Chairs 1..50. 7 Common D[itt]o 2..75          5..50
 Amount carried Over    $164..92
[page2]
 Amount Brought over    $164..92
Crockery ware 2..00  Glass ware ..50  11 Earthan milk pans 1.10          3..50
Glass bottles .92 Earthan pots ..50 Iron Logs ..75 Wooden boxes ..50          2..67
Flax Comb 1..00 Scales & Weights ..50. 2 pr Cards 1..00 Lard 4..25          6..75
3 Pails .50. 2 pr of Steel yards 1..50. 1 Gun 5..00 Hunting D[itt]o 3..50        10..50
Pewter ware 6..32. Tin ware 1..00 Knives & Forks 1..50          8..82
Flatirons .50. Candlesticks .50. Brass kettle 5..00. Iron ware 1.80.          7..80
Bell meath Skillet 1..00. Gridiron, Toasiron & Frying pan 2..00.          3..00
Sickles 1..00. Axes, Billhooks & Hammers 2..75 Sled 2..50.          6..25
Old Lumber 5..00 Ox Cart 10..00 Grindstone 1..50        16..50
2 Iron bars 4..00. 2 Steel traps 1..50  Wheelbarrow 2..50          8..00
Cask of Vinegar 4..50 Old tools 2..00 Mortise bx .75          7..25
Hemp Comb .40.  9 Baskets 2..50 Ox Yoke 1..00          3..90
Collar, Hairns & Traces 4..00. Cheese Press 1..50.  Float Plank 3..00          8..50
Old Lumber in the shop 1..00. Plank & Joist 4..00. Old Iron 1..50.          6..50
1 Timber Chain & other Chains 9..00. 2 Riddling Sieves 1..25.        10..25
Beetle & Wedges 1..50. 5 Cider Barrels 2..50  Churn .50.          4..50
Silver spoons 1..50. Hand vice, Spoon & Bullet Moulds 1..00          2..50
2 Ploughs 9..00. 2 Harrows 6..00  Wheelbarrow 1.00. Chaise  18.00.        34..00
Forks & Racks 1.00 Shovels, Dung fork & Hoe 2..25 Horse Cart 8..00        11..25
English Hay 60..00. Swail Hay 9..90. Corn stacks 3.00.        72..90
1 Cow 19..00. 2 Ditto 25..00, 25..00, 1 Ditto 21..00 1 Ditto 15..00      105..00
3 Heiffers 30..00. 1 Yoke of Oxen 75..00. 2 Hogs 20..00 Cider 16..00      143..00
5 Casks 2..00. 1 Lumber Sleigh 1..50. 3 Legs Bacon 4..80          8..30
1 Barrel Pork 20..00. Cheese Tub 1..25. 2 Pork Tubs 1..50        22..75
Casks in the West Cellar 7..00 Cheese 4..80  Potatoes 9..50        21..30
Casks in the East Cellar .50  Bottles .25            ..75
  [Total] …………………………………………………    $701..46

Newton April 13. 1813”

[Signatures]
Ezra Fuller         )
Henry Craft       )    Appraisers
George Stearns)

 

Apr 13, “The foregoing having been duly returned, and this day exhibited, on oath, by Joel Fuller – administrator of the estate of the said deceased, as a true and perfect inventory of all the estate of said deceased, that has hitherto cone to his hands, possession, or knowledge; and the said administrator having made oath, that if any further estate of said deceased shall hereafter come to his possession or knowledge, he will render a just and true account thereof into the Probate office, to be of record herewith: It is therefore decreed by the Judge of said Court now here, that the same be, and it is hereby accordingly accepted, and ordered to be recorded.” [signed] James Prescott, J. Prob.

Apr 13, Elizabeth files a petition before Judge Prescott for her part of the personal estate “……that she was the lawful married wife of the said Joseph Fuller, at the time of his death; that the personal estate of said deceased will not be sufficient to pay his just debts and funeral charges, or that there will be little or no surplus left; and that she is nevertheless entitled to here apparel and such other of the personal estate of said deceased, as your Honour shall determine necessary, according to her quality and degree. Whereof the said widow prays your Honour to allow her such part of the personal estate of said deceased, as you shall judge fit and reasonable, pursuant to the law in such cases made and provided.……”  [signed] Elizabeth Fuller by Abraham Hilliard, her att[orne]y.

Apr 13, Judge Prescott then adds his decision. “Having made all needful inquiries, touching the forgoing petition, ………. That the said widow is entitled to here reasonable allowances, as therein prayed for. It is therefore decreed by the said Judge now here that the said widow have and receive, to her own use, such articles, beside her apparel, out of said deceased’s personal estate, as she may have occasion for, to the amount of  four hundred dollars [$400], according to the appraisal thereof in the inventory of said estate, which shall not be assets in the hands of the administrator.”  [signed] James Prescott J. Prob.

Apr 13, Joel Fuller, administrator, petitions the court that the whole of personal estate of the deceased, Joseph Fuller be sold at public sale. Judge Prescott agrees and “decreed” that the personal estate be sold at public sale.

June 15, Elizabeth, wife of the deceased petitioned the court to appoint commissioners to set off one third of the real estate as her dower right. The Judge appoints Nathan Hastings, Ezra Fuller and George Stearns for this purpose. [signed] James Prescott J. Prob.

Aug 18, The three appraisers appointed by the judge returned a very detailed, 5 page description of real estate to be set off as dower rights totalling $858.33, which included splitting the farm into parcels of land and “two seats in the Eastwardly part of the Pew in the West Meeting house in Newton …$25.00”  Dated and signed by the appraisers.

Aug 18, “We the subscribers Heirs at law the Estate of Joseph Fuller late of Newton dec[ease]d do hereby verify that we are satisfied with the above proceedings.”

[signed]
Joel Fuller [son]
Elizabeth Fuller [Widow of said deceased]
Ethel Jennings [husband of daughter]
Nabby Jennings [daughter]
Henry Craft ([Court appointed] Guardian to Edmund, Mindwell, Jeremiah, Sumner, Marie, Jane & Seth Fuller [under aged children of the deceased])

Sept 2, The Judge then accepted the detailed 5 pages of land distribution. “It is therefore decreed by be the said Judge that it be accepted, allowed & recorded and that the Widow’s dower in said estate, be thereby is assigne4d according thereto.” [signed] James Prescott, J Prob.

Aug 31, Henry Craft petitions the Court to not split the farm into pieces for the dower rights:  “We the subscribers Heirs at Law to the Estate …….. are of the opinion that the partial sale of said deceased Real Estate [for Widow’s dower] would be very injurious and greatly lessen the value of the remainder, we therefore request that it may be granted to the Administrator to sell the whole of said Real Estate together.”

[signed] Henry Craft (Guardian to [the under aged children])

Dec 13, Joel Fuller as administrator of the estate of his father, Joseph petitions the court to obtain a license to sell the whole of the real estate [farm] “…so that the interest of all the creditors and heirs shall be secure ….”. As support for this petition it was signed by:

[signed]
Joel Fuller [son]
Josiah Fuller [brother of the deceased]
Josiah Jr. [Nephew]
David Fuller [likely a cousin]
George Stearns [likely friend]

1814

Feb 7, Joel took an oath that he would dispose of the farm and the rest of assets at the best value for all creditors and Heirs of the Estate of Joseph Fuller. [signed] Joel Fuller, administrator and James Winthrop, Justice of the peace.

June 3, Joel accounted to the court for all payments to creditors and cash received from the sale of assets of the estate, including the sale of the farm of $1720 (net after deducting 1/3 of the proceeds for dowers rights), leaving $1407.97 cash in hand. Judge James Prescott accepted this statement as saying the account “is just and reasonable, and ought to be allowed and is therefore decreed by said Judge ….”

June 3, Judge Prescott accepts the following distribution of the cash in hand and payments to the
following:

Dolls Cts.
Joel (his own share)…………………………………………………………..     140..00
Edmund Fuller a son…..……………………………………………………..     140..00
Minda Fuller a daughter………………………………………………………….     140..00
Jeremiah Fuller a son…………………………………………………………..     140..00
Sumner Fuller a son…………………………………………………………     140..00
Maria Fuller a daughter…………………………………………………..     140..00
Jane Fuller a daughter……………………………………………………………     140..00
Seth Fuller a son…………………………………………………………………….     140..00
Ethel Jennings in right of his wife, Nabby a daughter of the dece[ase]d     140..00
The children of the deceased’s son Joseph, who is also deceased viz.
                         Joanna Fuller ……………..…………………………………..       70..00
                        Adelphia Fuller……………………………………………………       70..00
That he (Joel) retained for future charges …………………………………         7..97
                        [Total] ……………………………………………………… $1407..97

 

Source:

Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.   New England Historic Genealogical Society, online database, 2014.  From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives, Boston, MA, USA.