Archiver > MAWORCES > 2012-12 > 1355672589

From: "Dora Smith" <>
Subject: [MAWORCES] How to get probate records from 19th century
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2012 09:43:09 -0600

Daniel raymond died 30 Sep 1835 in Ashby, Middlesex, Massachsuetts.

His son Daniel died 4 Jan 1846 in Ashburnham, Worcester County, Massachusetts, and his widow died 19 Apr 1865 in Woburn.

Daniel was allegedly a carpenter and carriage maker. He trained atleast one son to be a wagon maker. That son and another went to college and were ordained ministers. One of these sons, William Raymond, was in charge of returning the Amistad slaves to Africa and then, all by himself, founded and ran a mission and school there under extremely difficult conditions. A different son went to another town to apprentice as an apprentice; in a factory, to be sure. Maybe no factories in his town? He invented a better sewing machine, tried repeatedly to start a factory to make them, repeatedly losing much of his startup money, then went to Guelph, Canada, where he founded and ran a great big sewing machine factory.

One of Daniel’s brothers, Amos, a farmer, managed to own $10,000 worth of farmland in 1860, and was reputed to be a wealthy man. Another brother, Asa, who was considerably poorer, with only $1,000 worth of farmland in 1870, had a grandchild stay with him who reported that he was extraordinarily patient, a wonderful teacher, able to motivate a boy to do what he ought to do, and taught him how to teach. Rev. William Raymond and Rev. Ari Raymond were both extremely good teachers.

Then there was my grandmother, who was the great granddaughter of both Amos and Asa. She went to Smith College on nothing, maybe scholarship, I don’t know. She undertook a year of graduate study. All by 1910. She became a deacon and missionary, worked in urban settlement homes and a youth detention facility, then went to Appalachia as a missionary/ teacher, ran a school, ran Sunday services, and helped the people with whatever, and was as well respected by the people she served as William Raymond in Africa was.


I want to find out what was the extent of Papa’ Daniel’s worldly goods. His youngest son was two days short of his 20th birthday when he died, so there ought to have been probate, at the very least. The wife lived elsewhere 10 years later, so whatever he had must have been sold.

How do I get the probate records?

Land records would be a good thing too. If property was bought and sold there were deeds. Online I can only find the land records in the “Worcester district” going back to 1868 – and there are evidently two Worcester districts.

Dora Smith

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