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Simon and his brother Thomas' signatures from their father's probate file (top) and their brothers John and James' guardianship file, all in 1695, the guardianships signed on the same day, yet on one document they both left off the "s" at the end.


Simon was born in Boston, but the family moved about four times in Massachusetts Bay Colony before he came of age - to Malden, Quinsigamug (now Worcester), Watertown and in a part of Sherborn that became Framingham about 1687. His father had a lease of land there from Thomas Danforth where he established a farm, and this was taken over by Simon and his brother Thomas. It was called "Mellen's Neck," I assume because it was bordered by Farm Pond and Eames Brook to the east, the Sudbury River to the north and the Hopkinton River to the west.
     Simons Sr. and Jr. and Thomas signed a petition to create a new town at Sherborn's "Danforth Farms" on 2 March 1692/3,1 but the creation of Framingham wasn't approved until 1700.2 The brothers also signed on as members of the Framingham church when it was established in October 1700.3 At the first town meeting, Simon voted to be one of two constables.4 He went on to serve in other capacities on behalf of the Town. He was on a committee to hire a surveyor to run a town line in 1701,5 a selectman in 1704,6 a surveyor of fences or fenceviewer in 1705 and 1712,7 a field driver in 1706,8 and a tythingman in 1707.9
     At a town meeting in March 1711/12, Simon was on a committee "to see ye disorders regulated which are laid before them."10 Apparently there was a problem with people making alterations to the church without the Town's permission. The regulations were to prevent cutting holes for doors and windows and making or altering pews.
     As the center of Framingham developed to the north, the lack of town roads with access to it became a problem, particularly in that some people had a hard time getting to the meeting house. Framingham has a lot of rivers and brooks crossing through it. Mellen's Neck was surrounded by water on three sides, and the meeting house was across the widest (Sudbury River). In 1703, Simon brought up a need for a road on the neck leading to what is now Maple Street on the north side of the river, laid out in 1700.11 This must mean a road under the town's supervision. The road on the north side extended from the center of town to John Town's house and further to the west. In eight years Town would become the father-in-law of Simon, Jr. (III). The Mellen's Neck road is now Winter Street, although the actual route had changed since then. It ran by the west end of Simon's house, and across the Sudbury River at a point where there was a bar in the middle. It must have been crossed by horse, since in 1713 a cart bridge was ordered to be built there. This was known as Singleterry's Bridge. Simon's son Simon (III), when he was a surveyor of highways, was in charge of reconstructing this bridge in 1720.
     In 1713 John Whiting, who had been given the Mellen's Neck land by his grandfather Thomas Danforth, sold it to Simon and Thomas.12 I haven't found an agreement between Simon and Thomas about who had rights to which part, but Simon was on the north side, Thomas on the south. Two and a half years later, either Simon had a sudden onset illness or he put off dealing with his estate until the last minute.
     In Late August 1717 he wrote his will,13 describing himself as "under great sicknes & weaknes," and he died the same day. He gave his "hous, barn & all my land in my homestead unto my beloved wife Elizabeth...& I make her the sole executirx of this my wil." He also gave her "my chattles & movables." He gave his son Simon, "the hous & land on which he now dwels." Son James was to be given £5 "in money" by Elizabeth when he came of age. He was too weak to sign his name, but managed an "S" and maybe an "M."





The inventory of his estate:

Houses and lands [£350]
Lands in the actuall improvement of Simon Mellins Junr at the Decease of his father [£150]
one yoke of oxen [£15]
four cowes [£18]
one young bulock [£3]
one heifer [£2, 10 sh]
two calves [£2, 10 sh]
one mair [£6]
one young horse [£7]
one horse colt [£3, 10 sh]
five swine [£3]
four sheep [£1, 15 sh]
wearing apparel [£11]
one feather bed with what therunto belongs [£8]
one feather bed and furniture therunto belonging [£15]
one bed and covering therto belonging [£5]
four pair of sheets [£4]
Eleven yards of new woolling cloath [£2]
utensils for house keeping [£18]
Books [£4]

ffebruary ye 25th 1717/8

Thomas Mellen
Philip Prat
Joshua Hemmenway

Middx County May ye 21st 1718

Elisabeth Mellins personall apeared before me the subscriber and and made oath that the abovewriten Inventory is a true Inventory according to the best of her Memmory (excepting corn and Meat for subsistence) and that if anjy thing further comes to her memmory she will add it to this Inventory

Thomas How, Justice of the Peace


     This inventory doesn't include farming utensils, which is very odd. It may be that they were given to Simon, Jr. He already had his own household on the land and may have agreed to oversee the farming of it as a whole on behalf of his parents and his 19 year old brother in exchange for the farming tools. This suggests Simon, Sr., had health problems that predated his sudden need or desire to write his will.






children of Simon Mellen and Elizabeth Fisk:

i. Simon 16 May 1690
ii. Mary b. 4 June 1694, d. 4/30/1711
iii. James b. 8 March 1698




vital records sources: his birth is in Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, ancestry.com database, Boston, image 30 of original Registry of Births, Deaths, 1630-1699 mss p. 50. "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," dabase online, familysearch.org, images of mss "Births, Marriages & Deaths, Sherborn, vol. 2," image 83, "Millins." The published Sherborn vital records mistakenly spell the name "Millens." His death date in the Framingham vital records is taken from his gravestone.

1. Josiah Howard Temple, History of Framingham, Massachusetts (Framingham:1887), 126-128. The transcription as published spells all their last name "Millens," whereas the original in the Massachusetts Archives, vol. 113, spells it that way for the Simons, but Thomas as "Millen." This underscores the fluidity of spelling at the time.
2. Ibid, 135-136.
3. Ibid, 15, 08 Oct 1700, taken from a church record.
4. "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records," database online, familysearch.org, images of microfilm 873046, Framingham town records, vol. 1 (Salt Lake City: The Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971), mss page 6, 5 Aug 1700.
5. Ibid, 8, 3 Mar 1700/01.
6. Ibid, 19, 6 Mar 1703/04
7. Ibid, 20, 5 Mar 1704/05, and 50, 10 Mar 1711/12.
8. Ibid, 23, 9 Mar 1705/06.
9. Ibid, 26, Mar 1706/07.
10. History of Framingham, 157. I didn't find this in the town meeting minutes.
11. Middlesex Co., MA, deed 18:54, 1 June 1713.
12. Middlesex Co., MA, Surrogates Court, probate file 15001, will date 30 Aug 1717.

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