Estate of John Choate of Ipswich
Essex Probate Docket # 5348
Know all ye Christian people that I, Sargeant John Choat, of Ipswich in ye County of Essex in New England, being sick in body but of sound mind, do now make my last Will and Testament.
IMPRIMIS. I bequeath my soul to God by the merits of Christ and my body unto decent burial, and then dispose of my worldly estate, which God of his bounty hath given unto me in manner following, viz:
First. I give unto John Choate my eldest son. Half of my pasture where his new dwelling-house stands being about fifteen acres, viz. The said half with all the houses upon it with all stock I formerly possessed him of. Also give him the ploughing field commonly called "White's Field" containing about ten acres. Also I give him one half of my salt marsh at a place called "Thompson's Island" in Ipswich to him and his heirs forever.
Item . I give unto my son Samuel Choate, all that housing and land I bought of Mr. Bishop, where he the said Samuel Choate now lives, reserving only three acres of land within the field of said land for my son Benjamin, and the said Benjamin dying before he comes of age, the said three acres shall revert to Samuel or his heirs.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Joseph all my own living lands and ploughing grounds, and half of the salt marsh I have at "Thompson's Island" only reserving four acres of said half for my son Benjamin and said Benjamin dying before he is of age, said four acres shall revert unto Joseph to him and his heirs. And if the said Benjamin and Joseph shall die before they are of age, then said land and meadow shall be equally divided between the male heirs of my family then surviving.
Item. I have given my daughter Margaret Fitts upwards of three score pounds in current pay of merchants, which I have given her and I do now give and ratify unto her and her heirs as her portion.
Item. I do give and bequeath unto my daughter, Sarah Choate three score pounds in current pay of the merchants and I constitute my dear and beloved wife, Ann Choate, and she shall be my sole executrix and I do give and bequeath unto her all the rest of my estate of money chattels, debts and demands.
In witness whereof I have set my hand set my hand and seal this seventh day of December 1691.
John Choate, Sen.
Signed and sealed before us,
The inventory made of John Choate's estate amounted to L405, 13s.
Objection to the Will
1696-7, March 15, John Chote enters cossion to ye Honoured Judg of probate of wills that whereas I having matter of waight to offer that my fathers Will may not be approbated while I have opportunity to alleadg against it as witness my hand.
The heirs of John Choate, Sr., in setting aside his last will, state themselves as follows:
Whereas by the Will of John Choate deceased there are several parcels of lands & estate settled upon John his eldest son & Samuel & Joseph & Benjamin, yet, Thomas notwithstanding what has been given him in a deed of gift is not mentioned, nor confirmed in said will. John accounting his part short of a double portion, the rest not being well satisfied especially Anne, the relict of John Choate. Therefore it is mutually agreed by all said parties, namely Anne the said mother of said children & John, Thomas & Samuel for themselves and said Anne in behalf of herself & Benjamin & Thomas in behalf of himself and as guardian to said Joseph with the said Anne & Joseph & Benjamin consenting for themselves, that the estate given to any of them per deed of said children shall be as follows viz:
Imprimis. That said Anne during her natural life shall have and enjoy all the moveables & estate given her by Will, also the half of all housing her late husband died seized and possessed of, and half the orchard & one third of all tillage land and pasture and meadow ground her said husband died seized and possessed of, and until her son Benjamin come to commence Bachelor of Arts said Anne shall receive of Joseph, after he comes of age, one half of the income or produce of the other two thirds for to help bring up said Benjamin to and at the said College to the time prefixed, but if he die before then the said widow to have only the use of her half of the house and half of the barn and half the orchard and one third part of said tillage land, pasture and meadow ground & the said widow shall have the use of the whole, that is to say, the other two thirds till Joseph comes of age, that said estate shall be paid to Benjamin's guardian, that he shall choose for bringing him up as aforesaid, and if Anne die before Benjamin comes of age, the said Joseph shall pay six pounds current money yearly, until said Benjamin commence Bachelor of Arts or might have done, if he had remained at the University as before to his guardian.
Item. It is agreed that what said Anne hath in her hands undisposed of: her son John shall have a double part and all the rest of her sons equal parts, and it is agreed if any land be sold for the bringing up of Benjamin, it shall be the ten acres, or part of it, that is the pasture land lying betwixt Capt. Goodhues land and John Choate's land said John Choate shall have it giving as much as another will give, and if the said land be sold as aforesaid then Joseph shall have Benjamin's land given him by will except the three acres reserved for Samuel as his deed mentions.
Further it is mutually agreed that the said John Choate, the eldest son of John Choate, deceased, shall have all the housing and lands and stock given by deed of gift and confirmed by will without any right of dowry.
Further, it is mutually agreed that Samuel Choate shall have all the housing and lands & stock given him by deed of gift & (note) without any right of dowry.
Further, it is mutually agreed that Thomas Choate shall have all the housing and lands given him by deed of gift and not confirmed by Will without any right of dowry.
Further is mutually agreed that Joseph during his brother's life, and his brother Benjamin's education, as before mentioned, when he comes of age and after he comes of age during his mother's life & during his brother's education, as before inserted, shall have and enjoy all the housing lands and meadows as by his father's Will and afterwards forever.
Further - it is mutually agreed that Benjamin shall receive the yearly income of his brother Joseph's land till he comes of age, and other payments as before inserted until he Commences Bachelor of Arts or might have done it, if he remained at his learning, and the land given him by his father's will may be sold for the bringing to and at the College if need be, and if Joseph or Benjamin or both decease before they come of age of twenty one years, and land that shall then remain unsold shall be divided to the brothers viz: To John a double, and to each other male heir of said Choate's children a single share and if sold to have it forever.
It is further agreed and each doth for themselves and in behalf forever a quit claim make each other, and their respective heirs and assigns of all the estate real and personal of said John Choate, deceased estate, giving and granting to each the respective share inserted to have and to hold to them as it is prefixed to them without let or hindrance, molestation or interruption, suit or demand of us ourselves, our heirs, executors, administrators or assigns.
In Testimony hereof we have affixed our hands and seals this 14th day of May Anno Domino 1697.
Anne Choate (seal)
John Choate (seal)
Samuel Choate (seal)
Thomas Choate (seal)
Anne Choate (seal)
as guardian for Joseph & Benjamin Choate
The following author's comments after this will may shed additional light on this family:
The estate was settled satisfactorily on the basis of this agreement. Since no mention is made in these documents of Mary Choate, a daughter, it is probable that she had died in early life prior to 1691.
Mrs. Margaret Fitts appears in the will, but not in the agreement, for she had died in 1692.
Thomas Choate is not mentioned in his father's will, doubtless because he had already received by deed all to which he was entitled, but his name appears in the agreement of 1697.
Mrs. Anne Choate survived her husband more than thirty years. She receives but little mention. Her maiden name, birthplace, and parentage are unknown. It is said, however, that in some ancient court papers her name appears illegibly written, and seems to be 'Arramas'. She was doubtless a very estimable woman a good wife and mother. She joined the church in full communion December, 1673. Mr. Choate in his will calls her, 'my dear and beloved wife, Ann Choate,' and names her as 'my sole executrix.' Mrs. Choate died 'Feb. ye 16 1727 upwards of 90.'
Source: "John Choate and His Descendants, 1643-1896", by E.O. Jameson, Boston, 1896.