Monday, November 16, 2015

AMANEUNSIS MONDAY ~ Samuel Morse (1585-1654) Last Will & Testament, Suffolk, Massachusetts

What does Amanuensis mean?

“To put it simply, it means a “person employed to write what another dictates or copy what has been written by another.”

Today I present the last will and testament of my husband’s 9th great grandfather, Samuel Morse.

I only began researching this particular ancestor in the last few weeks.  However, I’ve been happily surprised by my discoveries, considering Samuel was so far back in the lineage.

Samuel Morse was born about 1585 in England.  He married Elizabeth Jasper (1580-1655) on 29 Jun 1602 in Redgrave, Suffolk, England.  The couple had seven children, all born in England; John born 1611, Abigail, Samuel, Jeremiah, Daniel (1613-1688), Joseph (1613-1654) and Mary (1620-1692).
MORSE_Samuel_bio from Rep of Men of So Mass_Vol III_pg 1774
MORSE_Samuel_page 320_Pioneers of Mass_cropped

In 1635, Samuel & Elizabeth and the seven children all came to the colony of Massachusetts.  It’s pretty miraculous that all 9 of them made the trip safely.

I’ve learned that this family was one of the original Puritan families who emigrated from England to the “New World.”

Samuel died 1654, at the age of 69.  His probate record can be found in Vol 1-4, 1628-1667 Suffolk County (Massachusetts) Probate Records, 1636-1899; Author: Massachusetts Probate Court.  I located the record on  Here is the record, which I’ve cropped from the original page.

MORSE_Samuel_probate record_Oct 1654_Massachusetts_annotated

Here is my transcription of the record.

Page 87 Original Volume
Samuel Morse
     Will           In ye year of or Lord 1654 month the 10
Ye 2d I Samuell Morse being sick & weake in body but of good & prfect memory praised be God therefore doe make this my last will & testament in manner as followeth I bequeath my soule into the hand of a mercyfull God that gave it with assured hope of Evlasting life through the ___ merits of my deare Savor & blessed Redeemr Jes. Christ as for that little estate of outward things which the Lord hath beenepleased to bestow upon me, whether the be moveables or imoveables, as house lands chattle househould stuffe & I will & bequeath them all unto Elizabeth Morse my deare and Loveing wife, to enjoye possesse make use of for the Comfort of her life dureing the tearme thereof, & after her decease out of life my will is that all that estate wch she was in life possessor of shall be devided amongst my Children both sonnes & daughter that is to say John Morse, Daniell Morse, Mary Bullin & Ann Morse the wife of my deaely beloved Sonne Joseph deceased, who with my said Children shall have an equall portion upon a just devision with them for the Childrens sake of my said beloved Joseph____Therefore my will is, that the above named Ann the wife of my deare Joseph, shall make an equall distribution of all that hir portion upon devision, unto every Child of my Sonne Joseph when they & every one of them shall grow up to the age of one & twenty yeares, Lastly I constitute and appoint Elizabeth my beloved wife the sole executrix of this my Last will, in witness whereunto I have putt my hand the day and yeare above written.
                               Samuell S Morse his marke
In the presence of
           his mrke
Henry H. Smith
Ralph O. Wheelocke
Samuell S Bullin

 This is the oldest probate record I have located, thus far, for our family.  It never ceases to amaze me that we can look on these documents from centuries ago.
Here is the descendancy from Samuel Morse to my husband, Ron, beginning in 1585 over in England:
 9th great grandparents
Samuel Morse & Elizabeth Jasper
8th great grandparents
Joseph Morse & Hannah “Anne” Phillips
7th great grandparents
Dorcas Morse & Benjamin Clarke
6th great grandparents
Theophilus Clarke & Rachel Partridge
5th great grandparents
Ebenezer Clarke & Anna Fisher
4th great grandparents
Achsah Clark & Jesse Hall
3rd great grandparents
Cornelius Clark Hall & Elizabeth Conick
2nd great grandparents
Reverend George Hall & Almira Rosette
Great grandparents
Thomas Cornelius Clark & Cora E. Brown
Charles Schuyler Hall & Daisy Bright
Gordon Charles Hall & Dorothy Beatrice Fink
My husband, Ron

Some sources used in this post: The New England Historical Genealogical Register, 1847-2011; Pioneers of Massachusetts by Charles Pope, page 320; Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts, by J.H. Beers & Co, Volume 3, page 1774.

PLEASE contact me if you think you might be related, even remotely, to anyone mentioned in this blog.
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2015   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Hi Diane,

    Samuel and Elizabeth Morse are my 10th great-grandparents. I descend through son Daniel Morse and daughter Mary (Morse) Bullen.

    Guess I don't have to go very far to meet my 11th cousin...only to Ramona.

    Cheers -- Randy

    1. Randy,
      Well, isn't that a kick. So you and Ron are distant cousins. Love it!!

  2. Delighted to see this on Facebook's Massachusetts Genealogy Network group. I also have MORSE ancestors. Nathan MORSE is Nathan MORSE is my 5th great-grandfather, born 16 SEP 1728 • Newton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA & died there on 04 DEC 1783. Father was Joseph MORSE born 27 OCT 1691 Newton, Middlesex County, MA, died 22 JAN 1756. His father was also Joseph and was born in the US. ... tracing back to another Joseph MORSE born in 1610 Henham, Essex, England & died on 4 MARCH 1689 in Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Except for the latter the sources are U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 & MA Vital Records. Any chance of "my" MORSE's" being related to *your* MORSE's?


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.