To all People to whom these Presents shall come I, Isaac Sawyer of Falmouth in the County of Cumberland and Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England, Yeoman, for and in Consideration as well of Love, Good Will and Natural affection which I have and do bear unto my Son Thomas Sawyer of Falmouth, aforesaid, Yeoman....... being the land, whereon I now dwell containing 119 acres, exclusive of 71/2 acres included in the bounds aforesaid, which I heretofore sold my Son-n-law, Benjamin Stevens, which land I purchased in 1726 and 1741.
Thomas Sawyer aquires his father's property and makes a legal bond to pay to his brothers and sisters: April 14, 1762
"What I proposed to have given my children in my will, if I had made any"
To my son, Edward Sawyer, conditioned for the payment of Twenty pounds, also a bond from him to my daughter Elizabeth Jenks (Jinks) conditioned for the payment of six Pounds, thirteen Shillings and four Pence & also a bond from him to my Daughter Judith Bracket conditioned for the Payment of Six Pounds, thirteen Shillings and Four Pence....The document also records a statement from Abraham Sawyer, dated later.
Rec'd of my Brother Thomas Sawyer, One Hundred six Pounds thirteen Shillings and four Pence in full of What was said to be paid by him in the afore mentioned Deed.Abraham Sawyer Cumberland County, Falmouth, May 4th, 1762
In testimony where of I have, here-unto, set my hand and seal, the fourteenth Day of April, Annoque Domini, One Thousand-Seven Hundred and Sixty-two.Isaac Sawyer (Seal) Signed, Sealed and Delivered in the Presence of
Step'n Longfellow Tabitha Longfellow (Witnesses)
Isaac Sawyer above named personally appeared and acknowledged the fore-gowing Instrument by him, Signed to be his free act and Deed, Stephen Longfellow, Just' of Peace
At the disposition of this document, (the whole will follow), Isaac Sawyer was seventy-eight years old and had resided in Falmouth for thirty-seven years. He was admitted as a Proprietor in 1728. He would live another ten years, dying on May 13, 1772, just one day before his eighty-eighth birthday.
He was pre-deceased by his wife Martha Bond Sawyer who died sometime after 1738, when her name appears on the deed granted to son-in law, Benjamin Stevens. At the time of his death, his sons, Isaac Jr, the beloved son, Thomas, Abraham, and Edward and daughters, Judith who died at the age of three, and Martha Stevens Sawyer, had also died.
Isaac Sawyer Sr. was a life-time communicant of the First Church of Falmouth, having been present,to sign the original covenant founding the church in 1727. His signature is the second to follow that of the Reverend Thomas Smith, the first settled minister. In his will he stipulates that "my daughter, Elizabeth Jenks may sit in my pew for the remainder of her life-time."
|Diagram of the Pews in 1753 at the First Church|
Here is the full document of the 'will' made by Isaac Sawyer in April of 1762. Before getting into the particulars of his settlement on Back Cove, and the location of his farm, I'd like to take a look back in time at an earlier family history when they lived in the town of Gloucester about 107 miles away.
Isaac Sawyer was born the seventh child of nine children to James(b. abt. 1640- d. May 30, 1703) and SarahBray (b. 1651 - d. April 4, 1727) in Gloucester on Cape Ann on
May 14, 1684.His parents moved to Gloucester from Ipswich, where three of his older siblings were born. One was his brother John Sawyer who was the first to move to Falmouth in 1719.
His father James, was a weaver by trade. According to Babson's History of the Town of Gloucester: Cape Ann, James first appears in records about the time of his son Nathaniel birth in 1677.
He was a grantee of a six acre lot on the west side of the Annisquam River in 1688; and in 1690, he bought land in that section of the town, and had his residence there. He died May 31, 1703. His wife survived him many years; and was living in 1726, with her son Abraham, on the family homestead, probably, on the way leading to Coffin's farm. p. 147
According to early Cape Ann records, Isaac was married to Martha Bond by the Rev, John White at the First Parish Church March 19, 1705/6.. That same year he was granted an acre of land "on the north side of high hill up in the woods."
About a year later, he aquired another " six acres lying on northern & eastern end of his land."
Isaac Sawyer and Martha Bond Sawyer produced nine children from 1707 to 1724. One daughter, Judith died at the age of three, the same year that her sister Elizabeth was born, 1722. In 1724, another daughter, Judith, named for her deceased sister was born into the family.
During his life at Cape Ann, Isaac Sawyer aquired more property and in 1725, when he decided along with his brothers John and Jacob,to move up the coast to Falmouth, sell his holdings, perhaps with the promise of cheaper land and better prospects. The following are records which may be of interest to others doing genealogical research into the Sawyer family.
Of particular interest to me, is that Isaac, while he is regularily referred to as a yeoman, or farmer, the records also indicate that he may have followed in his father James footsteps as a weaver.
There is much more to write here, but I will need to add another installment later. Undoubtably, when Isaac Sawyer decided to pursue his dream to move up the coast to Falmouth on Casco Bay, it was with the promise of better opportunity for his family. The area was rich in land, and it was cheap. In all probability he would have gone alone at first or with his eldest son, Isaac Jr. who was eighteen in 1725. Martha, his wife had just given birth a year previous to Judith. His daughters Elizabeth, age 3, Martha, age 11, and sons Abraham, age 9, and Thomas, 14 and Edward, 16, stayed behind with their mother until the journey could be made and the business of moving a whole household to a new home could be planned. No easy task for a large family, and the journey would be arduous; travel in the 1700's was challenging. More about this to follow.
One of the homes that survived this period of history is the James Sawyer home on Western Avenue in Gloucester. Because of the date, 1714, I believe it belonged to Isaac Sawyer's youngest brother, James.