By Robert Charles Anderson, F.A.S.G.

The basic published account of Simon Sackett, early immigrant to Cambridge MA, states that he died in October 1635 (Charles H. Weygant, The Sacketts of America: Their Ancestors and Descendants, 16301907 [Newburgh NY 1907] pp. 1214). This is based on the grant of administration to his wife at the 3 Nov. 1635 session of the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony (Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, Vol. 1, 16281641 [Boston 1853], hereafter Mass. Bay Recs., p. 155).

Examination of the published proprietors' records for the town of Cambridge allows us to provide a narrower range for this death date. These records were begun in May of 1635, in response to an order of the General Court, and during the summer and fall of 1635 the inventories of the landholders of Cambridge were entered. Of a total of 86 inventories, 14 were entered on 5 Oct. 1635 and 40 on 10 Oct. 1635, the remainder having been recorded earlier in the year (The Register Book of the Lands and Houses in the "New Towne"... [Cambridge 1896], hereafter Camb. Prop. Recs., pp. 235).

Each parcel of land is identified by the field or marsh of which it was part, the number of acres, and the abuttors. Close reading of these inventories shows that for all inventories recorded on 5 Oct. 1635 or earlier, lands abutting to lands granted to Simon Sackett show him as the abuttor (Camb. Prop. Recs. pp. 4 [bis], 19, 24 [bis]). But on those occasions in the 10 Oct. inventories, when the Sackett lands are shown as abutting, the name is either widow Sackett or [blank] Sackett (Camb. Prop. Recs. pp. 25, 31, 32). Furthermore, the Sackett inventory is recorded on 10 Oct., and the landholder is shown as [blank] Sackett (Camb. Prop. Recs. p. 33).

Thus Simon Sackett of Cambridge MA died between 5 Oct. and 10 Oct. 1635. A monthly session of the General Court was held on 6 Oct., but no mention of the Sackett estate was made (Mass. Bay Recs. p. 162). The 2 Nov. meeting was the next court session, and on that date administration was granted.

"The American Genealogist," 1988, 63:179.