Susannah (MNU), Wife of Thomas Burnham (1673-1749), Ipswich, MA

There is little factual information to be found about Susannah, the wife of Thomas Burnham who lived in Chebacco Parish, later to become Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts.

Actually, the paper trail for the whole family is a bit sparse, particularly as they lived in Massachusetts in the late 17th and early 17th centuries.

Yesterday, I wrote about Thomas’s life and death and shared a proven list of his children, as they signed off on their inheritances as a group.


Essex County, Massachusetts Probate File #4178
Source: American Ancestors

However, Susannah deserves a moment to shine, too, given that no one has uncovered her maiden name. At least a more solid date of death can be attributed to her than dying in 1748, which definitely did NOT happen.

Susannah wrote her (X) mark in July 1749, signifying that she was satisfied with her portion of her deceased husband’s estate.


File #4178, same as above

As I’ve often found, 99% of the Burnham researchers who have posted information online seem not to have done their own work and didn’t look far for further information about Susannah.

Susannah likely died in early 1752, as she left a will (as opposed to her husband, Thomas, who died intestate) that was filed on 31 March 1752 in Essex County Court.


Will Book Volume 330:364-366

In the name of God amen the fourth Day of August One Thousand seven hundred & forty nine I Susannah Burnum of
Chebacco in Ipswich, in the County of Essex and Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England widow, Being at this
time of a sound mind & memory, Thanks be give to God
And knowing it is appointed for me Once to die, wherefore
I Do make this to be my last Will & Testament & principally and first of all I give my Immoral Soul into the hands of God that gave it, And my body I commend to the Earth to be buried in a Decent & Christian way & manner at the Discretion of my Executor hereafter named. Nothing Doubting but that I shall Receive the Same again at The General Resurrection by the mighty power of God and
as to the worldly Estate that God has bestowed upon me, I Give Devise & Dispose of the Same in the following
Way and manner —–

Imprimis: I Give unto my four sons (viz) Thomas Burnum Jeremiah Burnum Caleb Burnum & Stephen Burnum or to their heirs to Each of them an equal Share of what Shall remain of my Estate after the particular Gifts that shall be hereafter mentioned in this
my Last Will shall be allowed for—–; and Also my funeral Charges & Other Necesary Charges or Debts, of my Estate to be likewise answered—- Then the Remainder of my Estate shall be equally Divided to & amongst my said four Sons as before Exprest—- (Item) There being Due to me from my Son Jeremiah Burnum, the sum of Nineteen pounds Old Tenor, the which, if I Do not see Cause to Call for it myselfe, the same shall be to him forever free & Clear without making any allowance therefor

Item There being in my Son Caleb Burnum’s hands a heifer of mine, the which if I Do not see Cause to Call for it myselfe the same shall be to him forever free & Clear without making any Allowance for it

Item There being Due to me from my son Stephen Burnum The sum of Ten pounds Old Tenor, the, Which if I Do not see Cause to Call for it myselfe the same shall Be to him forever free & Clear without making Any Allowance therefor—-(Item) I Give to my Son Nathan Burnum—–or to his heirs, Forty Shillings old Tenor to be paid by my executor Out of my Dividable Estate—

Item I give to my daughter Hannah Parsons or to her heirs my Chence gown, which Is not to be reckoned a part of my Dividable Estate, And I Do Nominate, authorize & appoint my loving Son Caleb Burnum, to be Sole Executor to this my Last Will and he to take Care of my funeral and to see that Other Charges of my Estate to be paid, And ye Legacies Answered, and he shall be paid for his Care & trouble Out of my dividable Estate, And also for all such Debts Charges & Necesary Expences that shall Arise upon the Estate And I Do hereby Disanull & Utterly Revoke Disallow and make void, all and every Will Legaciey & bequest by me in any ways before named and to be void and of none effect, hereby Rattifying This and no other to be my last Will & Testament In Confirmation whereof I have Sett to my hand and seal the Day and Year Before Written

Signed Sealed published pronounced & declared by the Said Susannah Burnum to be her last Will & testamt:

In presence of the Subscriber Susannah her (X) mark Burnum Seal
Thos Low
Solomon Andrews
Isaac Andrews

This Codicial Annext to my foregoing Will & Testament This Thirty first Day of May One thousand Seven hundred & fifty to Confirm my said will, and further To add something thereto which shall be Accounted as part of my will —–And Whereas there was then In my Son Caleb Burnum’s hands nineteen pound Old Tenor of mine, the which If I Do not see Cause to Call for ye same, It shall Remain to him forever without making any Allowance for it, Either in ye dividable part of my Estate or any Other ways whatsoever

Item Also Whereas in my foregoing Will mention is made of Ten pounds of mine being in ye hands of my Son Stephen Burnum the which he has not as Yet had, Wherefore I Do hereby Order that he or his heirs shall have Ten pounds paid him out of my Estate free & Clearn, agreeable to what ten pounds Old Tenor was at the Date of my foregoing will and he shall make no Allowance therefor either in the Dividable part of my Estate or any other ways Whatsoever—-I Susannah Burnum Do hereby Rattify & Confirm my foregoing Will and Also Declare this Codicil to be part of my Will and Te be In equal Force and Strength therewith In Testimony Where of I have sett to my hand and seal The thirty first day of May one thousand seven hundred and Fifty

Signed sealed published pronounced & Declared by the Said Susannah Burnum that his Codicil together with ye
foregoing is her last Will & testamt.

In presence of the Subscriber Susannah her (X) mark Burnum

Joseph Marshall
Danl Low
Jeremh Andrews

Ipswich March 30 1752 Before the Hone Thos Berry Esq: Judge of Probate of wills re: In and for sd County of Essex Thomas Low & Solomon Andrews personally appeared & made Oath that they were present and saw Susannah Burnum late of Ipswich Decd Sign Seal and heard her publish & Declare the within written Instrument to be her last Will & testament and when Shee so did Shee was of a sound disposing mind & memory to ye best of their discerning And they together with Isaac Andrews sett to their hands at the same time in his presence as Witnesses— and on the day above sd Daniel Low & Jeremiah Andrews personally appears & made Oath that they were present & saw the above named Susannah Burnum Decd sign seal & heard her publish & declare the Within written Codicial to be part & parcel of her last Will & testament and when She so did she was of a sound disposing mind & memory to ye best of their Discerning and they together with Joseph Marshall sett to the hands at ye same time In her presence as witnesses. Sworn Att. Danl Appleton Reg upon so : this will and codicil is prov. apprvd: & Allowd: ye said app: and Accepted ye turst to give in an Inv: in 60 Days
Danl Appleton Reg Thos: Berry Jd Prob

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