been able to find in the probate office at Cambridge
are a receipt, dated October 30, 1773, signed by three of the children, Abraham, Jonathan, and Abigail, and by the husbands of four other children (women didn't have many rights in those days), saying that they had received from Thomas
and John ‘our full portion and share of the estate, real and personal, of our Honored Father Abraham Ireland
and do consent and agree with them, said John and Thomas
, that the real estate
of our said father Abraham
shall be settled on them as they shall agree.’
If they had called in a lawyer to settle that estate there would have been a big package of petitions, bonds, inventories, and accounts in the probate court, and pages of deeds in the registry.
But this simple paper was all there was to it. Even John and Thomas
did nothing further.
In these old settlements one sometimes does not find so much as this.
A man will die, leaving a large family and widow.
The widow, or sometimes one child, will proceed to dispose of the whole estate.
No doubt they had an understanding, and those with whom they dealt knew of it, and felt secure in it. Such seems to have been the fact.
Such seems to have been the fact in our case, too, for on September 4, 1765, eight years before that receipt had been given, John Ireland
for £ 100 mortgaged twelve acres to David Phipps
, which he says is ‘my half of twenty-four acres set out to me of my father's estate, the other half being improved by Thomas Ireland
Note that the twenty-two acres of the Frizzell land has now increased to twenty-four.
He bounds this land southerly on a rangeway (Barberry Lane); westerly on the Church
lot and land of Samuel and Joshua Rand
; northerly on Thomas Ireland
; and easterly on Thomas Ireland
This easterly land of Thomas
's we shall deal with later herein.
We shall find it was a five-acre parcel and was the extreme corner of Barberry Lane and Walnut Street. We shall find, also, that the mortgaged premises bounded on Walnut Street, although one would not learn it from this description.
died in 1788 insolvent.
He owed £ 29, and had only £ 22 of apparent assets, and they hunted for assets, too, for