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The prevailing spelling of this family's name in Jotham's lifetime was "Bartlet."

Jotham signed various documents in his father's and father-in-law's probate papers. Examples are above. Only once did he sign his last name with a double "t." See this explanation about the use of the spellings "Bartlet" or "Bartlett" in the articles about Doug Sinclair's line of ancestors.Daniel Bartlett
     Daniel Bartlet deeded him part of his own land with a house in 1748 without charge, "in consideration of love, good will & affection."1 This had been the property of the Goodenow family, including a garrison house. Daniel bought it in 1740, maybe with the intent of giving it to Jotham, his oldest son. Jotham married and started a family in 1744 and may have lived in the garrison, since he was already living in Westborough in 1748. It's likely Jotham eventually had the house now addressed as 181 Main Street built not long after, judging by the design.

Likely Jotham's house at 181 East Main Street, Northborough. The style is typical of the mid 18th century. The dormer windows were likely added some time later to allow for more light.

A new meeting house was begun in Northborough in 1745, and the raising of the frame of the structure was recorded in the diary of Rev. Parkman of Westborough.2

No body from the North Side to bring me an Horse or accompany me over to the raising the meeting House there. Nor any one person of the Multitude who pass'd by my House from the South, so much as call'd to See whether I were to go or could go or no. ...I rode over to the North side on my own Mare, notwithstanding the inconvenience of it, and the misting, uncomfortable Weather. For though I mislik'd many Things in their Conduct there, yet I found not enough to warrant my proclaiming War against them as my refusing to go to Day would do. I found Mr. Cushing and Mr. Morse there. Afterwards came Mr. Martin and Mr. Goss. The raising began about 10 a.m. and was finish'd about 4 p.m. without Hurt, through the Great Mercy and Goodness of God. To him be the Glory! At their Request I pray'd after the work was finish'd, and we Sung Ps. 127, first Stanza, Ps. 125, first half Stanza and Ps. 128 beginning. Their Entertainment was in the Frame. The people brought their provisions in great Plenty. Mr. Cushing crav'd and Mr. Martyn return'd. A number of us were at Captain Eagers after supper. In returning home Captain Baker in Company and we had some earnest arguings all the way, but kept and parted in peace.

     The tone of the entry is very bitter. The "North Side" had recently been allowed to incorporate themselves as a separate precinct and parish within the town of Westborough. For many years they objected to the long distance to get to church, the building used for it also being the town hall.3 They asserted pressure in various ways for the separation. They started holding their own services and requested Parkman to come up and baptize seven people. He had always considered himself minister of the entire town, and the idea that half of it was slipping away made him angry. He agreed to it anyway. It wasn't long before the "North Side" stopped paying his salary and petitioned the General Court for a formal separation. That happened in February 1744, but not without resistance. Representatives of the north and south met and two men got into a fight, one having his leg broken. Permission to separate was given the following October.
     Jotham, his father and brother Jonathan helped with the construction of the church. An account of labor in the town meeting minutes says that Jotham was paid 2 lbs, 2 shillings as one of the men who helped cut timber, cart it to the site, put up the frame and did finishing work. It may not mean that all the men on the list did all those jobs, though.4 To celebrate, it had been voted that "every man should provide according as he was spirited" toward a party. "Entertainment was in the Frame, and the people brought their provisions in great plenty," says Parkman in his diary. There is another town record showing that Jotham was spirited to bring "two barrels of cyder at raising of meeting house," for which he was allowed 2 lbs., 10 shillings four years later.5 The church was small by modern standards, but typical for the time in a small town. The frame was 46 feet long, 36 feet wide and 20 feet high at the center.6
      After some wrangling about who would get which space to build pews, selections were made based on a a tax list taken for the purpose in 1753. The highest taxpayer on the list got first choice and so on. Jotham was #12, with a rate of 75 lbs., 18 shillings and 1 penny.7 As was also typical, once the "pew grounds" were chosen, the owner had the pew built at his or her own expense. The church wasn't considered complete until 1756. In that year, accounts say that Jotham was paid 3 shillings, 7 pence and 2 farthings for 1 1/2 days work.8
     On 29 June 1778, a committee reported at a town meeting that certain people were owed money for "services done personally in the [Revolutionary] army and of cash advanced for carrying on the war since the nineteenth day of April 1775."9 Jotham appears on the list, owed 30 lbs., 5 shillings, 7 pence. His brother Jonathan also appears. In other town business, Jotham served as a fenceviewer10 and surveyor of highways11 and a selectman in 1758.12 He periodically provided lumber for bridge and highway repairs13
     Jotham sold his estate, with permission from Miriam, before he died. Probably as he was the oldest son, they sold their homestead and farming equipment to Antipas in 1781. Although not said specifically, this may have been in exchange for looking after them in their old age. Jotham is buried in the cemetery behind the former Unitarian Church. This cemetery was created in 1750 to accommodate 60 children who died during a "throat distemper" epidemic.14 His and his son Antipas' stones are only inches away from each other, but neither of their spouses have visible stones in the cemetery. They are undoubtedly close by. Jotham and Miriam were 1st cousins, sharing as grandparents Eleazar and Hannah (How) How.

children of Jotham Bartlet and Miriam How:15

i. Antipas b. 2 March 1745/46
ii. Lucy b. 8 October 1747
iii. Ezekial b. 18 February 1749/50
iv. Abraham b. 27 February 1754 (Julian or Gregorian date not apparent)

vital records sources: Jonas' birth and marriage dates come from Vital Records of Marlborough, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849 (Worcester:1908), 24, 219; his death is from Vital Records of Northborough, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849 (Worcester:1901), 127, and his gravestone.

1. Middlesex County deeds, 41:470.
2. The Diary of Ebenezer Parkman 1703–1782 (Worcester:1974), 23, entry for 30 April 1745.
3. Heman Packard De Forest, The history of Westborough, Massachusetts, part 1 (Westborough:1891), 103-112.
4. Northborough town meeting minutes, 10 Nov 1746, p. 16.
5. Ibid, 16 May 1749, 24.
7. Northborough town meeting minutes, 13 Aug 1753?, 43, report of an assessment taken (poor microfilm image, this may be 1752, since it should predate when pews "grounds" were chosen; Jotham chose to build his pew on the west side of the south door 1 Mar 1753, 45.
8. Ibid, 6 September 1756, 57.
9. Ibid, 29 June 1778, 165.
10. Ibid, 7 Mar 1768, 97.
11. Ibid, 7 Mar 1774, 126; 31 Mar. 1777, 149.
12. Ibid, 13 Mar 1758, 62
13.Ibid, 21 Nov 1768, 98 (string pieces for the river bridge), etc.
14. Josiah C. Kent, Northborough History (Newton:1921), 239.
15. Jotham and Miriam's children's births are recorded in the Westborough vital records, while Northborough was still a precinct within that town. Vital Records of Westborough, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849 (Worcester:1903), 13-14, confirmed in the original manuscript records.

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