Mom Didn’t Die But We’re Settling Up in 1742-Updated

sargent-tuttle-deedInter-family deeds after a surviving parent dies can be one of the best sources of information. That certainly is the case with this 1742 deed from Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The deed clearly establishes the relationship between three of the children of Samuel and Elizabeth Sargent of Malden, Massachusetts.

The names Samuel and Thomas were common in the Sargent family. Samuel just appears to have been a common name in general. Fortunately the Sargent sons are identified by their residence and occupation:

  • Thomas Sargent (son) of Chelsea, cordwainer
  • Samuel Sargent (son) of Malden, tanner

There is also Samuel Sargent the father and Samuel Tuttle (husband of Anna, who was a sister to Thomas and Samuel Sargent and a daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Sargent).

The deed styles both Samuel and Elizabeth Sargent as being deceased at the time the deed was signed. The image that accompanies this post refers to Elizabeth as being “late the widow of said Samuel Sargent.” That alone does not mean she was deceased at the time the document was executed. There is a subsequent reference to her in the deed where she is styled as being deceased. [Note (1 December 2015): a more careful reading indicates that Elizabeth is not styled as “deceased” anywhere in the document].

In families where first and last name combinations are common being certain records refer to the same person can be problematic. In families where real estate was owned, metes and bounds descriptions can be used to compare properties referenced in different deeds to see if the same property is being referenced. This can be difficult if the deeds are decades apart and adjacent landowners have died or sold their property. Fortunately in this deed, the deed of purchase is not only referenced, but cited book and volume.

There’s a bit of evidence for the researcher and a solid connection between the earlier deed and the one from 1742.


This is one of the deeds we searched for in an earlier session of my “US Land Records” class. Consider joining us if you’ve not done so before.




4 thoughts on “Mom Didn’t Die But We’re Settling Up in 1742-Updated

  1. Might your Sargents be related to Abigail Sargent who married Alpheus Farren 19 April 1750 in Amesbury, Essex County, Massachusetts? I have no other info on her before her marriage. Source for this info is ‘Captain Jonathan Farren and Some of His Descendants ‘ by Frank Meyer Ferrin.

    • It’s possible. My branch were in the Malden and Charleston, MA. I descend from the William Sargent who was an immigrant and died in 1682 in Barnstable.

  2. This deed is unusual as reporting the deceased Elizabeth as “our mother” as well as the widow of the deceased Samuel. If this Samuel had other children by a prior wife/wives, this instrument is extremely helpful.

    • Thanks for your comment. I’ve corrected the original post as the deed actually does not style Elizabeth as “deceased,” just “late.” She was married again after Sargent died. We’ll have an update in a future post.

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