go to Elizabeth How's page
Jonas is on the 1770 poll tax for Northborough.
(1) He lived on the Bartlett property that apparently straddled the border between Northborough and Marlborough, but his home was in the town of Marlborough for most of his life.
A 1789 Marlborough tax lists Jonas as having 2 polls (probably Jonas and Jonas, Jr., who was about 18 at
the time), real estate valued at 41 lbs. and personal estate valued at 6 lbs., 9 shillings.(2) The 1798 "Direct Tax" indicates that his homestead farm at the time was largely if not all
within the bounds
of Marlborough, bounded to the south by the "county road," which presumably is now Rt. 20.(3) This surely explains why Jonas doesn't appear in the Northborough town meeting minutes. The Marlborough minutes have yet to be checked. In 1807 Jonas and Jonas, Jr. petitioned to have the border between Northborough and Marlborough changed to bring their farm into Northborough.(3.1) Committees from Northborough and Marlborough discussed the matter and the one from Northborough said, after some disgreement, "they were induced to agree with the committee from Marlborough because Jonas Bartlett Jun. said the for the highway taxes of his father and him he will support the road and keep it in good repair ten years from the present town line to the proposed town line when it shall be established."
The 1798 tax says that there was a 2 story wooden house with 15 windows on the farm. The main part of the house is laid-out in a classic early to mid 18th century plan. It was undoubtedly built for Daniel Bartlett between 1724 and his death in 1758. His will mentions a "back" portion of the house with bedrooms above, and access to it through "the east rooms." The current footprint of the house tells us that if there was a back portion, it was demolished, and points to a "saltbox" type of configuration. This would help explain why there were so few windows in 1798, the back portion having perhaps a door and a few windows. The arrangement of the windows on the gable ends were probably changed from one over one, which was usual for the early to mid 18th century, to two over two, perhaps when the back slope was removed.
The chimneys, cornice and windows themselves are also changed. The front door is higher than usual on the facade, suggesting the original entry had a transom. The doorway was raised to incorporate the transom space and a higher stoop added. An old photograph of the house, probably before 1900, roughly, shows a doorway that dates to the mid 1800s, and it appears to have already been raised by then. The portico on the front entry was built about the turn of the 19th century, replacing one of Victorian style. This was likely when the small, diamond-pane window was added above the entry. The leaded window now at the Northborough Historical Society Museum is thought to have once been in that spot on the house, given the diamond panes and that it was found in the house. It probably dates to the late 17th century and was likely from the Goodenow Garrison near the Bartlett farm. The Bartletts appear to have eventually owned the land the garrison was on.
A very small Greek Revival era house further west, supposedly at 412 Main Street, now torn down, is said to have been built with lumber from the garrison. An 1830 map(3.2) with the garrison labeled on it is about the same spot as what became 412 Main Street, supporting this statement. Deed records may reveal that after Jonas, Jr., died in 1838, a portion of the land was sold to Stephen Howe, who took the garrison down and built this house, or drastically altered the garrison. The exterior of the house shows no indication of age before about 1830-1850, if this was, in fact, the Stephen Howe house. At some point, probably in the 20th century, the idea surfaced that this was Jonas' brother Jotham's house. All evidence contradicts this.(3.3)
a portion of the 1830 Gill Valentine map of Northborough, reoriented so that top is west.
"Dea. J. Bartlett" (Jonas Bartlett, Jr.) marks the Bartlett house still standing on Main Street near the eastern town line. The Goodenow garrison is across the street and to the west (marked "formerly a garrison") on the other side of Stirrup Brook, which was likely owned at the time by Jonas.
Inside the house the 18th century origins are clear. The floor plan is typical of center chimney houses. Although that chimney is gone, the fireplaces remain and two smaller chimneys were built to service them. Also typical is the narrow stairway to the second floor placed between the front door and what was the chimney. The banister has been replaced. There are summer beams in the two main downstairs rooms, which were used to support center chimney frame-work in the 17th and 18th centuries.
left: a modern view of the Bartlett house; right: a conjectured view of the house as built for Daniel Bartlett based on a photograph of a local house that dates from the mid 18th century. The other house is very similar in proportion and in window size and placement, and it shows the original lean-to shape, multi-paned windows and center chimney.
summer beams still exist in the two main rooms downstairs
A view of the staircase from the second floor. The arrangement is typical of 17th and early 18th century houses with large central chimneys. The banister, however, is not that old.
The Direct Tax also says that the land on which his house sat was 90 acres and also had a 1 story wooden "outhouse." A separate listing for Jonas in Marlborough
accounts for another farm of 80 acres, with a 70' by 30' barn and a "cyder house" 40' by 24'.
This property was bounded on the west by the Northborough
town line with the county road "running through." Another smaller lot was on the south side of the road and adjacent to Northborough. That description
more specifically fits where the house above is, although there was not a house on either of those lots in 1798. Jonas also had a 10 acre lot in Northborough (which was likely contiguous with his homestead lot in Marlborough), a lot
called the "Rice paster" (pasture) and
jointly owned lots (no buildings) with Joel Parmenter in both towns. An 1803 map of Marlborough shows a house on this spot with the names "Jona." and Joel Bartlett beside it. (4)
There is no reason to think that "Jona." referred to Jonathan. Jonas' will
shows that Jonas, Jr., owned half the property at the time the will was written. The will describes Jonas, Sr.'s homestead farm as being in both towns and containing 108 acres. Deed
records will be consulted to add to our understanding of Jonas' real estate and perhaps clear-up some questions.
Jonas served in a local company of militia in the 4th Middlesex (County) regiment of Capt. Paul Brigham of Marlborough. Brigham compiled a list of service during the Revolution for his men. This may be the only documentary reference to Jonas serving in the Revolution. He was in the Continental Army for "1 turn" in 1776 and in the militia as part of the "Northern Army" for three and a half months in 1777, also referred to as "1 turn."(4.5) A "turn" in this context probably means full service for as long as it was needed. Based on other descriptions of 1776 service on the Brigham list, there were three separate events. Two can be identified primarily as work fortifying Fort Ticonderoga and participating in the Battle of White Plains, both in New York State. The third included Jonas, and the most likely event for him was fortifying the American position at Dorchester Heights, leading to the end of the "Siege of Boston" in early March. His service in 1777 was very likely in response to the "Alarm at Bennington." Many New England men were sent to the Saratoga area to help repel British General Burgoyne as part of the "Northern Army." There were so many regiments that they weren't all needed. Held in reserve during the battles at Saratoga, those who weren't engaged were present when Burgoyne surrendered on 17 October. Jonas, presumably, and his nephew Antipas Bartlett were both there in reserve as part of Col. Samuel Bullard's regiment. Another ancestor of Doug Sinclair named David Cunningham served under the same circumstances, marching from Cummington in Berkshire County. The approximate times of conception of his children Joel and Martha don't conflict with this proposed outline of his war service.
Jonas is buried beside his wife in the former Unitarian churchyard in
Northborough. Jonas married Elizabeth later in life, but there is no evidence found of an earlier marriage. Elizabeth’s paternal great-great grandfather
and Jonas’ maternal great grandfather was John Howe. No record has been found of their marriage, but the estate papers of Elizabeth's father Ezekiel contain the signatures of heirs, among them being Jonas and Elizabeth Bartlett.(4.75) Elizabeth's death record at Northborough gives her full age at
death, which places her birth exactly the same as that of the daughter of Ezekiel, and he names a daughter Elizabeth Bartlett in his will.
The will of Jonas Bartlet:
In the name of God, Amen
the seventeeth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and four.
I Jonas Bartlet of Marlborough, in the County of Middlesex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, yoeman, being advanced in age but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given to God for the same, calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die fo make and ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul unto the hands of God who gave it and my body I recommend unto the earth to be buried in a decent Christian burial at the descretion of my executory hereafer named, not doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive? the same again by the mighty power of God and as touching such worldly estate with which it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give, dimise? and dispose of the same in the following manner & form.
I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Elizabeth Bartlet all my indoor moveables of every sort and kind, one horse and two cows for her own to dispose of as she pleases - Also the improvement of one helf of my dwelling house meaning the west end, the improvement of one half of all my other buildings, the improvement of one half of my homestrad farm, lying partly in Marlborough and partly in Northborough in the County of Worcester containing by estimation one hundred and eight acres, be the same more or less, the improvement of one half of the River Pasture, so called, lying partly in Marlborough and partly in Northborough, containing by estimation thirty acres by the same more or less, the improvement of one half of a piece of land known by the name of Stirrup Meadow, lying partly in Marlboro and partly in Northborough, containing by estimation five acres and half be the same more or less, and also the improvement of one half of lot No 4 lying in cold barbour cedar swamp in the westerly part of the town of Northborough, except one acre at the east end of said lot which belongs to Antipas Bartlet, the aforesaid lands and buildings lie in common and undivided with my son Jonas Bartlet, Junr., and he holds his half by deed from me dated the second day of April instant and the boundaries of the several pieces of land are expressed in said deed, the improvement of the aforesaid buildings and lands I give to my beloved wife during her natural life and at her decease they shall descend to my beloved son Jonas Bartlet, Junr., or to his legal representative.
I give and bequeath to my beloved son Perley Bartlet of Wilmington in the State of
Vermont one hundred and seventy dollars to be paid by my executor hereafter named, one half in one year after my decease and the other half at the decease of my wife, this with what I have given him I take to be his full share in my estate.
I give and bequeath to my beloved son Joel Bartlet of Marlborough ninety dollars to be paid by my executor hereafter named one half at my decease and the other half at the decease of my wife, this with what I have given him I take to be his full share in my estate.
I give and bequeath to my daughter Patty Bartlett one hundred dollars to be paid by my executor hereafter named one half at my decease and the other half at the decease of my wife, also liberty to live in one of the lower rooms in my dwelling house while she lived unmarried - and when she shall marry, one cow to be delivered to her by my executor, this with what I have given her I take to be her full share in my estate.
I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Caty Clisby, the wife of Jonas Clisby of Acworth in the State of New Hampshire one hundred and thirty dollars to be paid by my executor hereafter named one half at my decease and the other half at the decease of my wife, this together with what I have given her I take to be her full share in my estate.
I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Betsy Clisby, the wife of Solon. Clisby of Alstead in the State of New Hampshire one hundred dollars to be paid by my executor hereafter named one half at my decease and the other half at the decease of my wife, this with what I have given him I take to be his full share in my estate.
I give and bequeath to my beloved son Jonas Bartlet, Junr., all my buildings and lands at my decease if I should outlive my wife, but if she should outlive me, then he shall have them at her decease - my buildings and lands are in common and undivided with my said son Jonas Bartlet, Junr., and consist of one undivided moiety of the buildings and homestead farm lying partly in Marlborough and partly in Northborough in the County of Worcester containing by estimation one hundred and eight acres, be the same more or less, one undivided moiety of the River Pasture, so called, lying partly in Marlborough and partly in Northborough, containing by estimation thirty acres by the same more or less, one undivided moiety of a piece of land known by the name of Stirrup Meadow, lying partly in Marlboro and partly in Northborough, containing by estimation five acres and half be the same more or less, and one undivided moiety of lot No 4 lying in cold harbour cedar swamp in the westerly part of the town of Northborough, except one acre at the east end of said lot which belongs to Antipas Bartlet, the aforesaid lands and buildings lie in common an undivided with my son Jonas Bartlet, Junr., he holds the other half reference thereto being had for the same. I also give him all my stock consisting of horses neat cattle sheep and swine at my decease except those I have otherwise disposed of in this will - also all my farming tools of every sort and kind with all my outdoor moveables - also all my books - also all my notes, book accounts, bonds, writings and papers of every sort and kind - also
all my money which shall be on hand at my decease and all the residue and remainder of my estate of every sort and kind which is not mentioned in this will.
I hereby order my son Jonas Bartlet, Junr., to pay all the legacies, all my past debts and funeral charges and at the decease of his hond. mother to give her a decent Christian burial.
finally I do hereby constitute, make and ordain my well beloved son Jonas Bartlet, Junr., above named my sole executor of this my last will and testament, satisfying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament.
In witness whereof, I Jonas Bartlet have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written
Signed, sealed and published and declared by the said Jonas Bartlet to be his last will and testament in presence of us
John Carruth?, Jr.
signed Jonas Bartlet
Proved by Nathl. Paine, Judge of Probate, Worcester Co., on 6 September 1808.
children of Jonas and Elizabeth (How) Bartlett:(5)
i. Elizabeth b. 6 January 1765, died young
ii. "Betty" (Elizabeth) b. 6 January 1768, died young
iii. Jonas b. 21 February 1771, m. Thankful Fay
iv. Perley b. 14 October 1772
v. Joel b. 15 August 1776, m. Sukey Howe
vi. "Patty" (Martha) b. 26 April 1778, m. Calvin Hastings
vii. "Caty" (Catherine) b. 22 April, bap. as "Kate," 26 August (Northb.) 1781, m. Jonas Clisbee
viii. "Betsey" (Elizabeth) b. 13 February, bap. 11 May (N) 1783, m. Solomon Barnard Clisbee, 1799
Jonas' birth date comes from Marlborough vital records and his death is from the Northborough vital records and his gravestone. The Massachusetts Spy, published in Worcester, reported his death on 13 September. They appear to have made the common mistake of interpreting "in his 80th year" as "aged 80." The former means he was 79, which is accurate, and the latter means that he had passed his 80th birthday. His gravestone says "AEt. 80," "aet." supposedly translates from Latin as "having attained the age of," but how accurate is that?
1. Charles Hudson, History of Marlborough, etc., (Boston:1862).
2. www.newenglandancestors.org, Massachusetts and Maine 1798 Direct Tax database.
3.1. Town meeting, 6 April 1807, p. 188-189, and 4 May 1807, p. 191-192. See also MA Special Laws, Vol. IV, p. 3 & 112.
3.2. The garrison is included on a map of that date surveyed by Gill Valentine.
3.3. A. B. Howe is shown occupying this property on the map of Northborough in the 1870 Beers Worcester County Atlas. He was Alonzo B. Howe in the 1860 and 1870 census, preceded at this location by Stephen Howe in the 1850 and 1840 censuses. Alonzo was the son of Stephen and his wife Patty (Martha) Stow. "Northborough History" by Josiah Kent, p. 170, says that Stephen and Alonzo were brickmakers at this location. Joseph Allen's "History of Northborough," etc., pg. 42, stated in 1880 that Stephen Howe lived in a house near the site of the garrison.
4.5 The New England Historic Genealogical Register, vol. 27, p. 286.
4.75. These signatures were found in the original probate packet, and aren't noted in the transcribed version of his estate found in bound volumes.
5. Northborough and Marlborough, MA, vital records.
all text and photographs © 1998-2009 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted