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Antipas' signature on his will when he was 71

Antipas may have been born in the Goodenow garrison house in the Northborough Precinct of Westborough, Massachusetts. His grandfather Daniel Bartlet bought it in 1740, and it's likely Jotham lived there after he married Miriam in 1744 The prevailing spelling of this family's name in Daniel's and much of Antipas' lifetime was "Bartlet." He was already "of Westborough" when his father gave it to him in 1748, by then having two children. It's also possible that the back part of the house now at 181 East Main Street was built right away for Jotham, in which case Antipas was born there. In either case, it seems certain that he was raised in there.
     After marrying and having two children in Northborough, Antipas and his family moved to Townsend, Massachusetts. No obvious reason for this has been found, but they were "warned out" of Townsend. Colonial Massachusetts towns were careful about who lived in them to avoid the burden of supporting people who weren't already established there. New arrivals from out-out-of-town who didn't show obvious signs of being self-sufficient and intending to settle were considered transients and were unwelcome. This seems to have been the case with anyone living with established residents of the town - what was called "entertaining." Presumably this included people renting rooms beyond the usual use of inns for travellers. The Bartlets found themselves in this situation. The selectmen of Townsend cited Antipas, Lois and their children Lucy and "Gail" to be warned out on 31 October 1775. They "came last from Northberry...from November the 17th 1774."1 In their case, they managed to prove their capacity for self-sufficiency and stayed in Townsend.
     Antipas served as a private in Capt. Aaron Jewet's company of Col. Samuel Bullard's Revolutionary War regiment as one of the "three months men to the Westward" who enlisted on 8 August 1777. This appears on muster rolls collected by the Town of Townsend in May 1778.2 Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War limits the service to between 10 September and 7 November 1777.3 The town record appears more accurate given the three months between 8 August and 7 November. There is a muster roll in Jewett's hand and dated 23 November that lists Antipas (of "Townshend") as being due his "travailing expense" of 140 miles.4

It was a penny a mile, amounting to 11 shillings and 8 pence. Others on the list marched nearly twice that much, including some of the "three months men." Since Saratoga is roughly 140 miles round trip from Townsend, it's very likely Antipas was there. It is assumed that they were among troops who were held in reserve and not engaged in battle, but they were present at the ceremonial surrender of Gen. Burgoyne to George Washington. Capt. Jewet made this pay list in "Scarsdel" (Scarsdale, New York). Many in his regiment must have signed on for more service and went with him down the Hudson Valley. This explains the difference in marching distance. There is a duplicate Town of Townsend list that gives the amount of money the town would pay the soldiers. Antipas was paid much less than most of the other "three months men," but this discrepancy is a mystery since Daniel Spaulding, who also marched 140 miles, was to be given £ 6 compared to Antipas' £ 2. Antipas is also on a list of Townsend men who enlisted for a term of five months to march to Canada. No date or regiment is given, and the list also includes men who made donations or were renumerated for services toward the revolutionary cause.
     In 1781 Antipas bought land in Townsend from Benoni and Zebediah Wallis.5 Their father had died there in 1777 (and perhaps their stepmother Martha closer to 1781), and research may reveal that this was his homestead. Where the Bartlets were in Townsend before that isn't evident, but Antipas was established enough to be appointed as a juryman for the Inferior Court in March 1778.6 Elizabeth, Jotham and Sarah, children of Antipas and Lois who were undoubtedly born in Townsend, aren't recorded there. This is surely due to the fact that in most New England towns in the 18th century, births were recorded in groups rather than contemporaneously to the birth itself as they are today. Their next child is recorded in Northborough in 1784, which makes sense given that his father sold him his homestead farm in 1783.7 This seems the likely reason that Antipas returned to Northborough because Jotham sold him not only his homestead but everything physical associated with it such as farm implements and household items. Although not stated in the deed, this may have been a "life lease," in which parents make a deal with a child to look after them in old age.
     As discussed in Jotham's biography at this site, Jotham probably lived in the gambrel-roofed house that now forms the back part of 181 East Main Street in Northborough, and this is where Antipas was likely raised. The brick house that faces the street appears to be an early 19th century building, and with the older house, was where his son Gill lived.

(a portion of the 1830 Gill Valentine map of Northborough, reoriented so that top is west)

Two houses labeled "E. B. Bartlett" (Edward Broughton Bartlett) and "G. Bartlett" (Gill Bartlett) are likely the two contiguous houses now addressed as 181 East Main Street.

181 East Main Street. The wooden house on the right is where Antipas was likely born and raised, it surely being his father's homestead.
The brick house was likely built for his son Gill perhaps about 1807, when he bought the property from his father.

It isn't clear in which house Antipas, Lois and their children lived when they moved back to Northborough. There were at least three options. One was Jotham's house, another was the former garrison house and maybe a new house built across the street from the garrison. When Daniel Bartlett sold land to Jotham in 1748, there was already a house there, but only one is referred to. Since the garrison is labelled on an 1830 map of Northborough and was certainly on that lot of land, it's very likely the house mentioned was the garrison, and that Jotham lived there with his very new family before having what is now 181 East Main Street built. If the family stayed in the garrison, there is no obvious reason why the other house was built, and that house, based on appearance, predates Antipas buying the property in 1783. The garrison house was roughly 80-90 years old when Jotham bought it, but it was likely well-built, considering it being chosen as a garrison and that it lasted to at least 1830. Granted the simple sketchiness of the drawing on the 1830 map, it still suggests a substantial building. Nearby is where Mary Goodenow was murdered and the map labels the spot as "site of." If the garrison had been torn down previous to the map being made, it would likely have been referred to the same way.
     Evidence makes it almost certain that Antipas had a house built across from the garrison. Deeds refer to it on the north side of what is now East Main Street and other buildings on the garrison lot on the south side. The garrison lot became known as the "sheep barn lot," suggesting the old house was converted. It may also explain why the 1830 map refers to it as "formerly a garrison."
     The house Antipas and his family lived in may have been at what became 421 East Main Street. The 1830 map shows J. Carruth there, about where Antipas probably lived. Carruth bought the north and south lots from Gill Bartlett in 1827 and died soon after. His widow sold the property to her son Horatio in 1831, and although there was a house on the north lot when the Carruths bought it, Horatio may have built the house there that is known only in a photo. It was an oddly planned, 1 1/2 story, simply-styled, Greek Revival building that didn't look particularly like a house. Oral history in Northborough says this was Jotham's house, which is certainly incorrect, but there may have been an older house on the site that Antipas had built as early as the 1780s. The Carruth house, whether a drastic alteration of an older house or one built in the Greek Revival period, perhaps about 1831, to replace it is a mystery.
     As for 181 East Main, Antipas sold this part of his homestead to his son Gill in 1807. Gill was already living there, and very likely in the house built for his grandfather. The brick portion that now faces the street, judging by an architectural and decorative style that was typical of the very early 1800s, likely dates to this time. The older house was very plain and by then roughly 50 years old. The brick portion, which is only one room deep and features restrained but stylish woodwork, must have provided the family with more contemporary spaces to live in, while the old house was given over primarly to service areas. The buildings are attached, with access from one to the other.
     Antipas sold a half-interest in his homestead, household goods and farming utensils to his son Jotham in 1808, who then sold it back to Antipas in 1814 when he intended to move to neighboring Shrewsbury. In his will, Antipas left the homestead and his pew in the Congregational Church to Gill.
     Antipas served occasionally in town offices. He was, at various time, a surveyor of highways,8 fenceviewer,9 and field driver (for livestock).10
     After the second Northborough meeting house building was put up in 1808, Antipas bought a pew or bought pew "ground" there (and had a pew built for himself, as was often the case). He left the pew to his wife in his will. He also left her his "right" in the Northborough Library. This was started by 30 men as a "social" library and by 1793 it reportedly had 100 books.11 A record held by the Northborough Historical Society shows that Antipas and other members were delinquent on their dues years later.

The former Unitarian Church at Northborough, replicated in slightly smaller scale after a fire destroyed the original building in 1945.

The will of Antipas Bartlett:12

In the name of God, Amen

I Antipas Bartlett of Northborough, in the County of Worcester and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, yoeman, being advanced in years and weak in Body, but of sound mind, blessed be the Almighty God for the same, do make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following.


I give to my wife Lois Bartlett all the Household furniture except the clock, to dispose of as she shall think proper, all my books for her own & the use of my right in Northborough Library during her natural life - also I give her one cow and two sheep for her own such as she shall choose and a horse and chaise to be tackled by my executor for her use when she shall wish for one. - and I give her the improvement of my part of the dwelling house and cellar and to pass and repass down cellar and to the well of water and other places where it shall be necessary, during her widowhood. I also give her the improvement of two thirds of my homestead farm & the improvement of two thirds of my barns during her widowhood - also the use of my pew in Northborough meeting house and the use of two cider barrells and two meat tubs during her widowhood.


I give to my son Jotham Bartlett one dollar to be paid by my executor hereafer named at my decease.


I give to my son Josiah Bartlett four hundred dollars, to be paid by my executor hereafter named in one year after my decease, if the said Josiah Bartlett pay the money for which I am surety for him and save my executor harmless but if my executor must pay the money then I give to my said son Josiah Bartlett twenty dollars to be paid by my executor hereafer named in one year after my decease.


I give to my son Antipas Bartlett, Jr., ten dollars, to be paid by my executor hereafter named in five years after my decease and if he shall be sick and unable to support himself at any period of his life then my executor hereafer named shall support him.


I give to my daughter Lucy Bartlett, wife of Perley Bartlett, two hundred dollars to be paid by my executor hereafter named in one year after my decease.


I give to my daughter Miriam Rice, wife of Caleb Rice, and to her heirs, the farm on which they live in Lunenburg in the County of Essex and State of Vermont, and is the same farm which I hold by deed from Caleb Rice, dated the 13th day of December A. D. 1806. Also I give my said daughter Miriam Rice two hundred dollars to be paid by my executor hereafter named in one year after my decease.


I give to my daughter Sally Eames, wife of Stephen Eames, two hundred dollars to be paid by my executor hereafter named in one year after my decease.


I give to my daughter Lois Felton, wife of William Felton, two hundred dollars to be paid by my executor hereafter named in one year after my decease.


I give to my daughter Thirza Bigelow, wife of Edward Bigelow, and to her heirs, my pew in the Northborough meeting house when my wife Lois Bartlett shall cease to occupy it and two hundred dollars to be paid by my executor hereafter named in one year after my decease.


I give to my grandsons Albert Bartlett & Henry Bartlett, sons of Josiah Bartlett, fifty dollars each to be paid by my executor hereafter named when they shall arrive at the age of twenty one years.


I give to my son Gill Bartlett all my real estate wheresoever lying and wherever found of every kind, sort & description except my pew in Northborough meeting house, I also give him my clock together with all my personal estate of every sort, kind and description except what is otherwise given away in this will and except also the farm given to Miriam Rice in this will. All the aforesaid property both real & personal I give to my son Gill Bartlett on condition that he pay all my just debts, funeral charges, legacees and fulfill every part of this will according to the true intent and meaning thereof and if my wife shall die my widow, he shall give her a decent Christian burial.


I do hereby constitute, ordain and appoint my son Gill Bartlett of Northborough aforesaid to be the sole executor of this my last will and testament, which I hereby notify and confirm, revoking & nullifying everthing else of this kind whatever.

In witness whereof, I have herewith set my hand & seal the twenty seventh day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventeen.

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the above named Antipas Bartlett to be his last will and testament in presence of us, who have hereunto subscribed our named as witnesses in presence of the testator.

Jonas Bartlett
Elizer Holyoke
Nahum Fay

[signed] Antipas Bartlett

Proved by Nathl. Paine, Judge of Probate, Worcester Co., 4 November 1817.

     Antipas is buried in the cemetery behind the former Unitarian Church in Northborough next to his father. His wife Lois died in Marlborough several decades later and is probably next to him, but markers apparently were not made for her or her mother-in-law.

children of Antipas Bartlett and Lois White:13

i. Lucy b. 5 March 1772
ii. Gill b. 15 October 1773
iii. Miriam b. 1776/1777
iv. Sarah b. abt 1779
v. Jotham b. 1781/1782
vi. Josiah b. 17 January 1784
vii. Lois b. 8 April 1785
viii. Hannah b. 31 May 1787
ix. Antipas b. 2 February 1790
x. Thirza b. 6 June 1791

vital records sources: Antipas' birth date comes from Vital Records of Westborough, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849 (Worcester:1903), 13; his marriage is in the records of the First Church of Lancaster, by Rev. Timothy Harrington; his death is found in the Northborough vital records, taken from his gravestone (see above).

1. Citation needed, not in minutes of town meetings. There is a briefer reference to them being warned out in a volume that includes miscellaneous records, including warnings out. Is this a county or colony record? Is it from the MA warnings out in the Mayflower Descendant?
2. Townsend, MA, town records, muster rolls, p. 4-10; needs to be clarified. These are bound volumes, but where did I find them online?
3. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War, vol. 1 (Boston:1896), 712.
4. Revolutionary War pension file of John Sherwin. There are additional notes made by Abel Jewett for Sherman's application, who must have had Aaron Jewett's papers. He notes a receipt among the papers when Jewett gave his lieutenant Daniel Sherwin money to pay 10 men for their 1777 service. That was on 6 February 1779. Most of the men were on the "three months men" list, but they were also the men in the regiment who lived in Townsend, including Sherwin.
5. Middlesex County deed, 82:332.
6. Townsend town records, vol. 1736-1792, image 188.
7. Worcester County deed, 126:445.
8. Northborough town records, 6 Mar 1786, p. 297.
9. Ibid, 12 Mar 1787, 316; 8 Mar 1790, 361.
10. Ibid, 9 Mar. 1789, 350.
11. Josiah C. Kent, Northborough History (Newton:1921), 251.
12. Worcester County Probate, case #3920.
13. Northborough town records, volume "marriages, births, deaths," p. 67 ("Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988," images online, Northborough, "births, marriages, death," [sic] image 46). Miriam, Sarah and Jotham's births are not there, as they were undoubtedly born in Townsend. They weren't in Townsend long enough for the town clerk to record them (which often was done in groups rather than as the event occurred)
references to road and bridge work, Northborough town records, 71, 83, 101.

all text and photographs © 1998-2020 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted