Deed of feoffment for property in Cambridge, Massachusetts: from Thomas Sweetman to Michael Spencer, 1677 December 10

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Content Notes

In this deed of feoffment, written on Dec. 10, 1677, Thomas Sweetman agreed to sell his dwelling house, barn, and orchard to his son-in-law, Michael Spencer, for the cost of eighty pounds sterling. The property was located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on what was then the northwest corner of the grounds of Harvard College, and was sold "together with the wood lot upon the rocks and cow commons belonging to it." The deed specifies that both Sweetman and his wife Isabel were to be allowed to occupy the property until their deaths, and further explains that Spencer and his family were already living in the dwelling house, occupying three rooms. The document was signed, sealed, and delivered in the presence of Daniel Gookin, Jr. and John Bridgham. It was also signed by Thomas Sweetman.|Michael Spencer would later sell this property to Harvard College, on June 12, 1697, stipulating that Isabel Sweetman be allowed to remain on the property for the rest of her life. The deed of sale from this transaction is also held in the Harvard University Archives (call number UAI 15.731).

Biographical Notes

Michael Spencer (1648-1722), a ship carpenter, was married to Thomas Sweetman's daughter, Rebecca. They had five children: Rebecca, Susanna, Michael, Thomas, and Ammi.|Thomas Sweetman (d. Jan. 8, 1682/3), a weaver, was married to Isabel Sweetman. They had nine children: Elizabeth, Rebecca, Mehetabel, Sarah, Thomas, Ruhamah, Samuel, Bethia, and Hepzibah.