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Updated through 11/09/06


Wyman, Thomas Bellows, Abstracts of Court Files of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, 16491675. Mss no.XXX, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections, NEHGS, Boston, Mass., n.d. (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2003.)

What You Will Find Here

Mr. Wyman, a diligent contributor to the NEHGS Register's early issues with his abstracts of Suffolk County probate records, turned his attention in the mid-1850s to the even more voluminous civil and criminal records of the first Middlesex County. Intending to abstract the files papers, which he recognized to be rich in untapped genealoigcal material, up to the new courts created by the 1692 Charter, Mr. Wyman got as far as 1675 before his death. The two notebooks have been at the NEHGS since. Given that a large number of the material Wyman saw has subsequently "walked out the door", and that later in the century court clerk John Noble re-arranged all the files according to "modern" court filing systems, thereby destroying their original context, Wyman's notes ae of unique importance.

In preparing the notebooks for up-loading in 2003 as a proprietary database on the NEHGS web-site, a transcription was made by a foreign-language imaging company. Their quite idiosyncratic results were overlaid on Wyman's own peculiarities of note-taking. "Saneaster" appears in several locations for "Lancaster". And that was for a word that Wyman spelled out in full! What happens to some of his abbreviations, as well as his work-progress marginal notes, renders the on-line transcription opaque in places to any casual user. Every line is chock full of errors. Anyone using the on-line version is strongly advised to consult the original at the Society to be sure about what they may think they've found.

What I have done here is edit Wyman's notes as if for publication in the Register but selecting out only those Concord related items. The context of those items is also presented as an abstract or explained in an editorial note.

Here's an example of that larger context. In [file packet] #14, on what Wyman called [mss] p 112, he found the following:

1658/9 March 14.
Cambridge 2 Jurors. Ri: Jackson Jno Ferrington.
-- Gilbert Crackbone Willm Towne. Mr. Stedman Bro Robbins Bro Frances More Jun to Answer for Highway
-- Joseph Bradish warned to Answer for taking tobacco. Ed Oakes Tho Oaks Witnesses.
Redding 2 Jurors. Nicholas Brown & Edward Taylor.
-- Town to answer for want of a Pound.
Chelmsford. 2 Jurors James Parker Samel Bloghead.
-- Town to answer for want of a Pair of Stocks.
-- Jno & Nath Shipley [sons?] of Jno Shipley for lying & Jno Jr for breaking Tho Hinksman's House.
Woburn, 2 jurors. Henry Brooks. Henry Baldwin.
-- Increase Wm [William(s)?] warned for speaking contemptuously of Magistrates. Witnesses Francis Wyman & Jno Ted
-- also John Knight for annoying [original not yet checked] the highway with a ban to
-- also Ralph Read & George Read's wife warned to appear
-- Francis Wiman & Robt Peiree for forfeiture of Bond Witeness Wm Locke Jno Johnson
-- & Timothy Heale Michal Bacon Thos Feirer forfeiture of Bonds
Charlestown. 4 Jurors Robert Cutter Thomas Brigden senr Robt Chalkley Thomas Rand.
-- Richard Londen to Answer for town's Defect in Highway
Sudbury. 2 Jurors. Deacon Farmenter [Parmenter?], Peter Noyes.
-- Towne to answer Defect in Road
Maulden. 2 Jurors.
-- Ens John Sprague Tho Green senr who with Jo: Noyse are to Answr Defect in Highway
Watertown. 4 Jurors. Samuel Thatcher Thomas Underwood Joseph Morse Roger Willington.
-- Town to answer for separating the Rams from the Ewes. Witness Henry Bright.
-- Jno Warren Sen to be warned for not attending Publique meetings witness Hen Bright Tho Hastings.
-- Town to answer for suficiency of Stocks: Return made - "Ould Warren is not in town"
Concord. 2 Jurors: Willi Huntt [William Hunt] Henry Woodes [Henry Woodis]
- Town to answer for Defect in Highways
- to warn Nath Billings for selling Drink. Wit Roger Draper William Cooksy
- Also Timothy Chandler & Jno Hide for taking tobacco Witness John Sules.
Lanca[s]t[er]. 2 Jurors. Goodm Serves Nathaniel Joslin[.]
-- Jno Tinken requests in behalf of town to be spared from services of Pettie Jurors - town 34 [thirty four] miles off

In both Wyman's original notes and in the on-line reproduction, much of the above appears as one long paragraph with some breaks. The relation of the parts to other parts is clearer in the original, but even there one has to pay attention to the slipshod presecne of absence of periods, commas and long dashs. The latter sometimes appear just so Wyman can fill in the empty space on a line between the last word and the right margin! And in other cases, the long dash can indicate separate pieces of paper within a sub-folder within the the larger packet. I have made changes such as "sufficiency" for "suficiency" but have not expanded abbreviations, especially Wyman's name abbreviations. For egregious errors made by the over-seas company, such as Saneaster for Lancaster, I have made silent corrections.


1655 1st mo. 2nd [1656, March 2]
Testimony of Elizabeth Hunt of Concord aged about 55 {fifty five} years. About five or six [5 or 6] years ago went to Roger Draper's to see his daughter about three weeks after an Indian had abused her - the girls mother mentioned. No appearance of "penetrations". To this Mary Wheller [Wheeler] witnesses also. Aged about 30 {thirty years}. Elline Blood, aged aboutt 57 {fifty seven} years testified. The relation of Debora Draper aged about eleven {11} years to abuse of her by Pembassawa, Indian.

1656 12mo. 26nd [1657, February 26]
Roger Draper - Beating his wife. Joseph Dane confirmed.

1656 1mo. 21nd [1657, March 1]
Testimony, Roger Draper, about 68 {sixty-eight} years of age. Son Adam named.

1657 3mo. 22 [1657, May 22]
Concord--1 Jury man, Tho Brooks. Presentment of Roger Draper [for] beating his wife. Witness, James Blood. Signed James Hosmer, Thomas Wheeler, Constables.

1657 4 23 [1657, June 23] Testimony of Thomas Holland Aged [twenty two] find for Debt [and to pay] Bill of Costs.
--John King of Way month [Weymouth] foure [4] days.
--Thomas Holland of Dorchester 3 Days [3].
[packet] #13 [mss]pg 111
Presentments: Thomas Gould, Baptism case
also Seaborne Buchelder (maiden name) now wife of John Cromwell with child 4 months before Marriage. Witness Tho Pearse
Samuel Davis & wife late of Charlestown Suspiscion of fornication witness John Prescott.
Cambridge: Mr Dunster prosecuted for not bringing in his child to baptism.
-- The town to answer for defective Road near John Jaylor's house.
Watertown Christopher Grant presented for frequenting the house of Goody Smith Witnesses Tho Smith & wife & James Knop
Sudbury Presented James Roase & Mary dau of Thomas Goodenough for fornication Witness William Ward,
Lancaster presented for Defective returns of Votes Witness James Blood.
Concord - Roger Draper, beating his wife Witness James Blood.
Chelmsford for no returns of votes - Signed Edward Goffe.
Summons to Samuel Davis & wife
1658. 10m. 28. [December 28]
Presentments. Charlestown for a Defective Highway near Carrington's & Palsgrave.
Cambridge Defective Highway near Jonathan & Samuel Hides near James Prentiss & Mr. Pelham Witnesses Henry Bright & Edward Oakes.
Abra Howill indicted for Sodom with a servant boy living with Edward Hall Witness Hall & his Wife.
Joseph Bradish indicted for taking tobacco. Witnesses, Edward & Thomas Oakes.
William Roe for being Drunk Witnesses John Stedman & Thomas Classon the younger
Watertown, the Selectmen indicted for not putting the Rams from the flock of Sheep in due season. Witness Henry Bright.
George Woodward indicted Witness Robert Homes of Cambridge.
John Warren the Elder for neglect of Worship Witness Henry Bright & John Hastings.
Sudbury for Defective ways.
Concord for Defective ways &c.
-- Nathaniel Billings the younger for selling Drink. Witness. Roger Draper William Cooks.
-- Fourth Chandler for taking Tobacco Witness John Miles.
Chelmsford Want of Stocks Defective Highway John & Nath Shipley
Billerica for Defective ways &c.
Woburn John Knight & Increase Winn presented.
Redding for want of Pound
Maulden for Defective Ways
Medford for same Sergt Thomas Live presented.
--Henry Livenaway servt with John Bunker for abusing his late master Peter Tufts Wit. Thomas Mudge & his wife.