go to Miriam How's page
Two signatures taken from the probate file of his father-in-law Gershom How. Note the two different spellings.
Jotham married and set up his household on his father's property in a part of Westborough, MA, that is now Northborough. His father deeded him part of his own land with a dwelling house in 1748, surely the one in which Jotham was living with his wife Miriam and children Antipas and Lucy. There were three lots involved. The first was about 50 acres on the north and south sides of the "County Road," now known as East Main Street and US Rt. 20 adjoining his father's land (later given to his brother Jonas). The other lots were also in the eastern part of Westborough (now Northborough).
Likely Jotham's house at 181 East Main Street, Northborough. The style is typical of the mid 18th century. The roof angle has been changed slightly and the dormer windows added to create more room and light on the second floor.
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. He was invited to come and lead a prayer, but almost didnít. Having trouble with his own means of transport, he laments that no one offered to come get him. The work was started at 10:00 AM on April 30 and finished at 4:00 PM. After a prayer, Parkman led the assembly in singing parts of the 125th, 127th and 128th Psalms. Jotham, his father and brother Jonathan helped with the construction, although what they did specifically isn't said in the town meeting minutes. 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.(.1) 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." There is a town record indicating 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.(.2) 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 post.(1) The congregation were Trinitarians in their Christian beliefs, and the church continued as such through the lives of Doug Sinclair's ancestors in the town.(1.5)
After some wrangling about who would get which 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, weighing-in with a rate of 75 lbs., 18 shillings and 1 penny. (.3) As was also typical, once the "pew grounds" were chosen, the owner had the pew built at his or her own expense. The meeting house wasn't considered complete until 1756. In that year, the meetinghouse accounts say that Jotham was paid 3 shillings, 7 pence and 2 farthings for 1 1/2 days work. (.4)
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." (3) 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 fenceviewer(.5) and surveyor of highways(.6) and a selectman in 1758.(5) He periodically provided lumber for bridge and highway repairs(.7)
Jotham and Miriamís childrenís births are recorded in the Westborough vital records, probably since they occurred within ten years after Northborough was formed from Westborough in 1744.
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.(6) His and his son Antipasí stones are only inches away from each other, but neither of their spouses have visible stones in the cemetery. Jotham and Miriam were 1st cousins.
children of Jotham and Miriam (How) Bartlett:(7)
i. Antipas b. 2 March 1746
ii. Lucy b. 8 October 1747, m. Nathaniel Munroe
iii. Ezekial b. 18 February 1750, m. Mitte Cuttler
iv. Abraham b. 27 February 1754
vital records sources: Jonas' birth and marriage dates come from Marlborough vital records and his death is from Northborough vital records and his gravestone.
.1. Northborough town records, meeting minutes of 10 Nov 1746 (no page #).
.2. Ibid, 16 May 1749, p. 24.
.3. Ibid, 3 Jan. 1753, p. 44. King's history of the town, cited below, gives a different rate amount, but the town records are here deffered to.
.4. Ibid, 6 September 1756.
.5. Ibid, 7 Mar. 1768, p. 97.
.6. Ibid, 7 Mar. 1774, p. 126; 31 Mar. 1777, p. 149.
.7. Ibid, 21 Nov. 1768, p. 98 (string pieces for the river bridge), etc.
1. Harriette M. Forbes, The Hundredth Town; Glimpses of Life in Westborough 1717-1817 (Boston: 1889), pgs. 15-16.
1.5. William A. Houghton, Our Father's Altar: a centenniel sermon (Worcester, MA: 1846?), p. 6.
2. Josiah C. King, Northborough History (Newton:1921)
3. town records, 29 June 1778, p. 165.
5. "Northborough History."
7. Westborough, MA, vital records.
all text and photographs © 1998-2005 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted