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ventory of the estate, taken by James Ever ell and Joseph How.

It seems practically certain that the eldest son, Thomas, had
previously received his portion of his father's property in land
or money.

AN INVENTORY of the Goods & Estate of William Cheny, late
of Roxbury, deceased, Taken by us whose names are heere, underwritten
the 10"^ day of July: 1667.

I: in wearing Apparrell 010:13:4

„ one dwelling house with other housing adjoyning with or-
chards & yards in all about two Acres 230:00: =

„ 16: Acres more or less pasture & Arable lying within the

Great Lotts in Roxbury 060 : 00 : ^

„ 10: Acres pasture & wood land neere the Great Lotts . 020 : 00 : ==

„ 5 : Acres of meadow in the meadowes more or less . . . 025 : 00 : =

,, 8 Acres of Land in upper Calves pasture 032 : 00 : =

,,38 Acres of wood Land more or less in first division, being

the first Lott in that Division 056 : 00 : ^

„ 8 Acres of salt marsh meadow lying at gravily point more

or less 043 : 00 : ^


1 : 5 Cowes. 21I . one horse, 6^ . two oxen. 13I : 040 : 00: ^

„ 2 heifers one steere one yeare, advantage 006 : 00 : =

„ one mare with her fole, a horse coult two yeares .... 009 : 00 : =

„ 3, Swine 002:10:==

In the Parlor :

„ one Bedstead one feather bed one feather boulster, one
great flock boulster one feather pillow, one p* of sheets
one red rugg 3 Curtaines two Curtaine rodds, one chaffe

bed 011:00: =

„ a small trundle bedsted one old chaffe bed, 2 great flock

boulsters one pr of sheets one Coverlide 002 : 00 : ==

„ 3 : chayres one of them a great broad chayre 000 : 1 2 : =

„ one great Cubberd 30* : 3 fine sheets 2^' 003:10: =

„ in other linnen i^' : 13*. 2 yards of new woolen cloath lo^ 002 : 03 : =

„ one great Table : i^' : three white streked blanckets 2^': . . 003 : 00 : =

„ 3 remnants of Kersey 8 yards or thereabouts at 8^ p. yd. 003 : 00 : ^

„ one remnant of Cotton 7^. one small Carpet 000 : 12 : =

„ one little Cubberd : 7^ two chests, 16^ 001:03: =

„ 5 Quishions 25^ one feather pillow, one great flock pillow,

& one pillowber 8^ 001:13: =

/« the Hall :

„ two Tables 000:10:0

„ in pewter 4^ : i^ : in brass 4!' : 10* 008 : 1 1 : =

„ one p"" of Cob iron & tongs one old gridiron 000 : 08 : ^

„ 2 Trammells one iron drypin pann one spitt, a p'' bellows

& a chafin dish 000:18: =

„ one musquett 10^ in iron tools i^' 6* 001:16:==

„ in pailes or wooden ware or lumber 000 : 10 : =

In Hall Chamber :

„ : one bedsted one old bed & boulster 001 :o5 : =

„ : one p^ sheets 1 5^. 3 old blankets Coverlid 000 : 07 , =

„ : The sheets before Expressed 000 : 1 5 : =

„ : 2 blankets : 11:48. 15 yards of new cloath 11:18^. . . 003 : 02 : =

„ : A house at Boston 080 : 00 : =

In Parlor Chamber :

„ : one bed sted a bed one p"^ of sheets 2 blankets & curtaines

& vallance 003 : 10 : ^

„ : one linen wheele 5^ : & lo^ of Cotton yarne : 15^ . . . . 001 : 00 : =

„ : 4I of Cotton 2^ : 12^ of Course linen yarne 8^ .... 000 : 10 :==


In Garret :

Indian Come onthrashed by Estimation 24 bushells .... 003 : 1 2 : =

Indian Corne more 12 bushells 001 : 18 : =

„ : 12 bushells of Rye i^ : 8^ : a pannell & pillion 15^ . . . 003 : 03 : =
„ : in a Cart rope 8* : in blasted wheate i o^ : 4 bushell of

mault 18* 001:16: =

„ : one bushell & halfe of mault 000 : 06 : 9

In Cellar :

„ : old barrells & other old Lumber as hogsheads .... 000 : 10 : =
„ : an old Cart wheels & part of a bed & other things as yoake

device & other irons about the Cart 003 : 00 : =

„ : one p'' of iron traces & whipiles a device a plow share

Cutter & Coller with 5 fforkes 001:02: =

„: 2 bills due from John Parepoint 018:15:^

„: in debts due from several men 012:14:9

„ : in Cart nailes 001 : ii : 6

„ : in boards provided for shingling the barn lento .... 002 : 02 : =

„: in shingles 1 1 000™ at 1 6^ 008:16: =

„ : in nailes & clapboard 003 : 00 : =

„ : in money to be received for to releive his widow in case
of necessity now in the hands of Thomas Cheny by ad-
vice to bee ready upon all demands 020 : 1 2 : ^

„ : 37 Acres of woodland given to Joseph Cheny by Will . 040 : 00: =

„ : in Corne upon the Ground Indian & English .... 008 : 00 : =

„ : in grass upon the Ground fresh & salt 003 : 00 : =

„ : 8 Acres of wood Land Given to John Cheny 008 : 00 : =

„ : 20 Acres in John Cheneys possession as by will .... 060 : 00 : =

„ : in two parcells of meddow given by will unto John Cheney 016 : 00 : =

886: II :4
William Parke : Thomas Weld :
Edw : Dennison.

Pioneer life was replete with rough, hard toil for all ;
even the officials and brain-workers were not exempt from
servile labors. Yet in many cases robust health compensated
in part for the hardships, and the men were usually vigorous
and thrifty. But the lot of the women was severe, and many
of them bent under the cares of motherhood and home-
making. Medical practice was very stupid in that period ;
and it is not astonishing that public opinion on the subject of
sickness was very erroneous, often absurd, sometimes cruel.


Even the pastors, animated by the most benevolent motives,
frequently applied their religious opinions to the sick in ways
which appear at once grotesque and sad to us in this age of
widespread knowledge of hygiene. The following item
from the Roxbury church record shows how an overworn
and nervously prostrated mother in the community was
looked upon by those who truly loved her, but who com-
pletel}^ misunderstood her case.

" 1673, 24. 3'". Margaret Cheany widow having been long bound by
Satan under a melancholick distemper, (above 10 or 11 yeares) w^^^^ made
her wholy neglect her Calling & live mopishly, this day gave thanks to God
for loosing her chain, & confessing & bewailing her sinful yielding to

She thus appears to have recovered from that " nervous
prostration " (as we should call it to-day) six years after her
husband's death. During that time her eldest son, Thomas,
had left his Cambridge farm to the care of others, and lived
with her on the Roxbury homestead. A few years later the
good widow married a second husband, a Mr. " Burge " or
" Burges," whose Christian name has not been found in any
record, associated with her, so that we have no means of
identifying him. Their wedded bliss could not have endured
long, for in a deed of some property in the latter part of the
year 1679, she was described as a " widow." Here we have
the deed of the Boston property referred to in Mr. Cheney's

" MARGARET BURDGE of Roxbury in New England, widow,
Relict of William Cheeny sometime of s*^. Roxbury Dece s'. Thomas
Hastings of Watertown & Margaret his wife, Thomas Wight and Me-
hitable his wife, and Joseph Cheeny of Medfield the son and daughters of
the aforenamed William Cheeny, for and in consideration of the Sume of
thirty pounds current money of New England unto the s'l Margaret Burdge
for her necessary use well and truely paid " &c. convey to Samuel Shrimpton
of Boston, merchant, " a Parcell of Land in Boston fronting upon a Laine
leading from the Broad street (neer the Town house) unto the Town dock,
and is bounded upon the s'^ Laine Easterly measuring in breadth ffourteen
foote more or less, and upon the land of the widow Armitage Northerly,
the Land of John Usher westerly, and Land of John Parker or his suc-
cessors Southerly, or howsoever otherwise bounded, measuring in length or


depth four and twenty foote more or less, bearing the aforesaid breadth
throughout its whole depth ; with all the Stones & bricks now upon the s^^
Land (theremainesof the Tenement or building late standing thereupon)."
. . . March 15, 1679/80.

" Thomas Cheeny one of the Executors of the last will of William
Cheeny " consented to the deed.

It would be interesting to know how this Boston property
was obtained. No deed of purchase is on record. July 2,
1668, Rev. John Wilson sold a part of his lot (which was on
the North side of State street, between Washington and
Devonshire) to Hezekiah Usher; and mentioned this lot of
William Cheney's as forming part of the Eastern boundary.
We thus locate the tract as a portion of a piece of land which
Anthony Stoddard sold in 1644 to James Mattock and he to
James Synderland [Sunderland] ; and three days later John
Parker bought the Southern portion of the tract, and Edward
Goodwin was named as bounding Parker's piece on the North.
How this last strip passed into the possession of William
Cheney is a point on which there is at present no light.

Not far from that time she removed to Boston : was dis-
missed from the Roxbury church to the " South Church,
Boston," April 9, 1682, and received May 19, following, each
clerk setting her down as the " widow Cheney " !

And here occurred a transaction which was a mere " red-
tape " formality of that period, in connection with that re-
moval, but which seems needless and ridiculous to us to-day.
Thomas Cheney "became surety to the town of Boston
that his mother Margaret Burge and her family would not
become chargeable to the town," April 24, 1682. Such bonds
had to be given in the case of well-known, even wealthy people.

Only a few more years pass, and the widow's hand makes
the letter " M" as her " mark " — because she could not see
clearly or handle the pen steadily, we will suppose — in sign-
ing her will. Why she had her home in Boston in her last
days, and with whom she resided, no one explains. Per-
haps some child of her second husband made a home for
her ; or she may have had a brother or sister residing there.


The witnesses to her will are persons entirely unconnected
with her, so far as we know. Robert Sanderson was a
wealthy goldsmith, and Elizabeth was his second wife. His
son Benjamin refers in his will, in 1679, to " sister Mary
Sinderlin," i.e. Synderland or Sunderland; which suggests
the former owner of the house in Boston. But this is all we
can say now. The " old South Church " had been her
church home, but she was laid by her former husband at
Roxbury July 3, 1686, with a suitable prayer offered, we
may suppose, by the venerable " Apostle Eliot, for the church
record has this entry: 1686 M. 5. d. 3. Aged Sist. Cheny


I Margrat Burges widdow now living in Boston being at present
of sound mind memory and reasonable understanding, praised bey^
Lord do make this my last will and testam* in manner and forme

That is to say., First I give my precious soul into the hands of my
heavenly father and dear Redeemer and my body to be decently buried
according to y" good discretion of my hereafter named Exec'', in
hope of a blessed Resurrection at the last day

Item I give &■ bequeath to my son Joseph Cheney thirty pounds in

Item I give and bequeath to my daughter Mehitabel Wight all my

It. I give and bequeath to my grandson W"" Cheney five pounds
And to his two brothers Jn° and Benjamin I give to each of them
fifty shillings and I do make my son Joseph sole Exec'' of this my last
will and test am'' all former wills being void as Witness my hand and
Seal this fifteenth day of may in the year of our Lord 1686.

Robert Sanderson, sen"", '
Mary Emblin,
Eli:^^ Sanderson,

witnesses. J (and a seal.)

Presented Sept. 2^, 1686.

The will seems to be in the handwriting of Elizabeth
Sanderson, and the seal bears the stamp " E S."


M .

Margaret M Burge


An Inventory of the estate of Margaret Burges, Late of Boston who

departed this life about July last.

£. s. d.

In money 3° o o

In wearing cloaths o 15 o

A bed & blanket & 2 sheets 2 5 o

A Silver cup and Spoon 3 o o

In Pewter o 8 o

More in money 2 o o

one chest o 4 o

the total 52 7 o

Layd out in funeral charges 7 14 7

Before the President
Joseph Cheany Exect' personally appearing made oath y' ye acct above
contains a just and true Inventory of the estate of Margaret Burges late
deceased of what hath come to his knowledge and that w"^ more appears
he will cause it to be added Jurat coram Preside

Aur Tho. Dudley Cler.


I. ELLEN,2 ]3_ in England about 1626, m. at Roxbury, Mass. March
20, 1642-3, Humphrey Johnson, a son of John and grandson of
Isaac Johnson who was one of the chief men in the founding of
Roxbury. Humphrey Johnson resided in Roxbury many years,
then removed to Hingham ; was a man of affairs, a soldier in
Capt. Isaac Johnson's co. in the war against King Philip in 1675.
Children: (i) Mehitabel Johnson, bapt. at Roxbury March 29,
1646, (2) Martha Johnson, bapt. Sept. 12, 1647, (3) Deborah
Johnson, bapt. Jan. 20, 1649.

. - II. MARGARET,^ b. , m. in Roxbury, in April, 1650, Dea.

Thomas Hastings, one of the leading men of Watertown, both
in civil and religious affairs.

Thomas Hastings aged 29 years, with his wife Susanna, aged
25, embarked at Ipswich, Eng. April 10, 1634, in the Elizabeth,
William Andrews, master. The i*' wife Susanna d. Feb. 2,
1650, and he m. 2*, Margaret Cheney. There is no record of
children by the first wife, but the second wife bore the following :
Children of Dea. Thomas and Margaret (Cheney) Hastings: (i)
Thomas Hastings, b. July i, 1652 ; (2) John Hastings, b. March
I, 1653-4; (3) William Hastings, b. Aug. 8, 1655; (4) Joseph
Hastings, b. Sept. 12, 1657; (5) Benjamin Hastings, b. Aug. 9,
1659; (6) Nathaniel Hastings, b. Sept 25, 1661 ; (7) Hephzibah


Hastings, b. Jan. 31, 1663-4, m. Dea. W^ Bond; (8) Samuel
Hastings, b. March 12, i66s-6.

2. m. THOMAS,-^ b.

3. IV. WILLIAM,-^ b.

V. JOHN,- b. in Roxburj- Sept. 29, 1639. He fitted for and entered
Harvard College. So much is proved by the line at the top of
a page in the ledger of the College steward, —

" John Cheeney is debitor,'' —

in the fashion in which students' names were regularly
written after they had passed their examinations. There was no
other person of the name to have thus entered, except John son
of John and Martha Cheney of Newbury, unless William Cheeney
of Middletown, Conn., may have had a son bearing this name, of
whom no memorial has come down; all probabilities point to
the Roxbury youth as the Harvard student whose beginning of
a course is thus chronicled about the year 1655, when Thomas^
Cheney was just making a home in Cambridge.

However not a line further has been found in College annals
to tell us the length of " John Cheeney" 's stay at Har\'ard, or the
reason for his failing to be enrolled as a graduate. When his
administrators refer to him they call him a " batcheler ", which
might only mean that he was unmarried, or might refer to his
having taken the degree of bachelor of arts.

We know nothing of his career; but his death was recorded
as both sudden and sad. " Found dead in our river " ; " it was
apprehended by y^ Jury that he slip*^ in accidentally as he was
catching of Eales ".

As he had inherited property from his father there was some-
thing of an estate ; and the family arranged and agreed in its

"Administration to the Estate of John Cheney the Sonne of
William Cheny a Batcheler Late of Roxbery" was granted to
Humphrey Johnson of Hingham, 29'!' 1 1 '!" 1671. He presented
an Inventory which showed " 20 acres of land at the Great Lottes
vi^^ house & orchard " ; " One acre of Salt meadow and two of
fresh'", and " Eight acres of woodland '"; together with a sword,
some tools, a feather bed and bolster, wearing apparel, etc.;
£11^. 18. 61. Joseph, as his youngest brother, laid claim at first
to the estate ; but 3-ielded and took his share with the rest, on
their giving him the feather bed and clothes. Hastings, Johnson
and Wight, and Thomas, William and Joseph Cheney placed
themselves on record in an agreement for division of the property.


VI. MEHITABEL,^ b. in Roxbury June i, baptized June 4, 1643, m-

Thomas ^2^^/, /r. of Medfield. Children: (i)Mehitabel

Wight, b. June 12, 1663, (2) Thomas Wight, b. Oct. 27, 1665,

(3) Marie Wight, b. Feb. 20, 1667, (4) Eleazer Wight, b. June

I, 1669, (5) Joshua Wight, b. July 25, 1681.

4. VII. J0SEPH,2 5_ in Roxbury June 6, 1647.


Second Generation.

2. THOMAS,2 (Williami) m. in Roxbury Jan. 11, 1655,
Jane Atkinson, of w^hose birth and parentage no record has
been found ; she lived to a good old age, and died not far
from the 2(f of July, 1724.

Thomas Cheney lived in Roxbury only a few years after
his marriage ; he was a member of a committee appointed
by the town to inspect the bounds between Roxbury and
Dorchester, Jan. 29, 1654/5 ; then he selected a spot on the
south side of Charles River, within the limits of Cambridge
at that time, but later included in Brighton, now in Boston,
and made his home there. The deed of this earliest pur-
chase is on record.

Richard Dana of Cambridge with Ann, his wife, for ^^146, sold
to " Thomas cheny of the same place, husbandman," " One mes-
suage or tenem*, being the now Mansion place of mee the said
Richard Dana, & being sittuate on the south side of Charles
River within the bounds & limits of Cambridge abovesaid ; con-
teyning one dwelling house with the lands adjoyneing, being by
estimation about seventy accres, & is bounded with Roxbury High
way on the South, & a High way anent Nathaniel Sparhawks land
on the east, also on the North a Highway and y? land of m'
Edward Jackson & Thomas Browne on the West. Also a parcell
of land neare the landing place at the River," . . also a parcel of
marsh land about thirteen acres and liberty of a highway to it.
April 26, 1659.

His second purchase of which we find record was made
Dec. 20, 1665 ; it was a tract of 2>^ acres, bought of


Richard Francis, " land in Cambridge," bounded North
West by land of Walter Hastings, South East by Dixon,

South by Thomas Hammond, North ; a third was

made two months later, Feb. 16, 1665 — [the year then
closed March 24*^^, we must remember,] 23 acres " on the
south side of Charles river," enclosed on three sides by lands
of Richard Dana of whom he purchased, and, on the South
East, bounded by lands of Thomas Brown. He made defi-
nite arrangements with Brown about boundary fence, and
with Dana about right of way " to the Roxbury highway."
He had specified permission to "flow the land to such a
height as he should see fit."

When the town of Cambridge divided the pasture lands,
Feb. 27, 1664, we find set down to the name of " Thomas
Cheny " " ten accres and two cow commons " ; and when the
" lotts beyond the eight mile Line betwixt that and Concord
line" were divided in 1683, " Tho Chenny " had five acce'^^"

In 1662 he was one of the surveyors of highways in Cam-
bridge ; in 1664 one of the signers of a petition to the General
Court for the conservation of Cambridge rights and privileges.
We have seen that he left his Cambridge home after his
father's death, and went back to Roxbury to make his sick
mother happy. He had the pleasure of seeing her recover
her health ; and, with whatever feelings we cannot tell, he
saw her become Mrs. " Burdge."

In 1675 he served in Capt. Johnson's celebrated Roxbury
compan}^ of soldiers, who marched from Boston July 6, 1675,
for Mt. Hope, the stronghold of the Indian enemy, and ren-
dered very efficient service, in December, 1675, when Capt.
Johnson was killed. His continued residence in Roxbury is
attested by the fact that April 13, 1684, three of his children,
namely Thomas, William and John, " owned the covenant"
in the Roxbury church.

He himself had joined the Cambridge church years before ;
and became a ' ' freeman " of the colony, with all the rights
and privileges that involved, at the same time as his father,
— May 23, 1666.


On p. 15 of the First Book of Records we find

" A Record of an Agreement between Thomas Cheney and Giles Payson,
Tobias Davis.

This wrighting testifieth a mutual agreement betwen Thomas Cheney
and Deacon Giles Payson with the helpe and concurence of the select men
and feoffese of the schoole of Roxbury concerning a highway leading throw
the land of Giles Payson and so leading into the Land of the said Thomas
Cheney at the Great lot. The agreement and conclusion of the foresaid
diferdence with a great dale of love and condescendancy (is as foUoweth)
the said Deacon Payson doth freely give throw his land, where the dirty
barrs are where formerly proprietys use to goe in at one Rood broad next
to Ralph Himenways fence beginning there one Rood wide one the Right
hand of a Rock sone after you a come into the barrs and there being a
small parcell of land one the right hand sone after you are in at the barrs
this land the sd Cheney is to bye of the said Payson and to allow him after
three pounds one acer and to pay it in mony. Furdermore the said Payson
is to fence out one halfe of this hyeway beginning his part at the first
entring in at the barrs and . . . even to make and soficiently maintaine
the same and the said Thomas Cheney is to make and maintaine the other
halfe fence betwen the Highway and the land of the said Paysons and to
. . . the fence soficient and forever to maintaine it so and for the . . .
settlement of this way Ensigne Davis doth also agree to . . . throw his
land for the runing up this way to the land of the sd Cheneys the one mak-
ing one halfe of the fence and the other the Other halfe of the fence and
for ever to make soficient and for ever to maintaine the same to the faithful
performance of the foresaid premises we have hereunto set our hands this
10 : II 72.

Witnes hereunto

William Park Giles Payson

Isaac Johnson Thomas Cheney

Griffin Crafts Tobias Davis

Ensigne Davis Giles Payson and Thomas Cheney hath acknowledged
this agreement to be thare Act and Deed 21:6. 1677 before me

J. Dudley Assist "

It was not many years before the return of the good man
to his Cambridge estates. There he passed his declining
days in comfort and peace, with much to make him happy,
both in his own home and in those of his sons and daugliters.
At length he felt that he had not much time left, and he
called in his neighbor, Thomas Oliver, who wrote moderately


and spelled extravagantly, and dictated the following will.
His hand trembled and his eyes blurred as he signed it.

The recorder of wills for Middlesex county marked on the
back of the document "Thomas China (Cheney)."


I Thomas Chany of Cambridge, in the County of Middlesex in neweng-
land, being throuth the favour and patience of god towards me at this time
sound in judgment and memory : I do By these preasents constitute ordaine
and declare, my last will and testement as foloweth (viz.) my presious and
immortal soul I do desire to comitt humbly and beleivingly into the hand
of god father, son and holy ghost, desiring to rest aloan on jesus Christ for
life and salvation, my body I do comitt to the dust from which it was taken
their to rest in hope of a happy resserection at the last day and to be
desently buried at the discretion of my children and christian freinds, and
that estate which god hath given me I do dispose of as foUoweth (viz) my
just debts and pheunerall expenses being first discharged : my will is that
my beloved wife jane Chany, shall have my dwelling house and barne and
sider mill, orchard and all the land adjoyning to it : and ten acres of my
marsh and all my swamp meddow and the upland adjoining to it accept
such a parte as is hearafter mentioned, and also my household stuff and
tools for husbandry, and all my stock, accept such a parte as is hear after
other wise disposed of) in her hand and to be used by and under her man-
dgement for her maintenance and the bringing up my Children untill my
son Benjamin Chany be full too and twenty years of adge, and when my
son Benjamin shall be too and twenty years ould my will is that my too
sons Joseph and Benjmin shall pay unto their sd mother, for her mainta-
nance fourteen pounds a yeare yearly the one half in mony the other half
as mony, this during her lif oin an estate of widdohood, my will is that my
son Joseph shall pay to her six pounds a yeare, and my son Benjamin shall

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