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Wood - Matteson Mystery

It has been previously rumored, with some indication, however slight, that Henry Matteson had two brothers, namely John Wood Matteson and Asa Wood Matteson. We believe, however, this to be a misconception due in part to an incorrect entry made in an index book entitled "East Greenwich Rhode Island Vital Records, Births and Deaths". In the said index book listed under the section on 'Deaths', the following is noted:

Vol 1 page 19 Matteson, Henry age 38 - October 27, 1684
Vol 1 page 19 Matteson, John Wood age 44 - October 27, 1684
Vol 1 page 19 Matteson, Asa Wood age 47 - October 27, 1684

It is not impossible for all three to have the same death date but highly improbably since we have the death year for Henry as 1690.

This index book is found at West Greenwich Town Hall but the volume in question is actually at East Greenwich Town Hall. These entries will not be found in Vol 1 page 19 of EGRI Vital Records Births and Deaths, however; but can be found as entries in the "Land Evidence" book - Volume 1 page 19. What these three entries for Henry Matteson, Asa Wood and John Wood seem to be is statements given under oath that they knew John Spencer and attest to the fact that Spencer intended to give his house and land to his son, Michael Spencer. I have only interpreted the first statement for Henry Matteson as the hand written entry is very difficult to read.

East Greenwich, Rhode Island Land Evidence Book Vol #1 page 19
Henry Matteson aged 38 years or there abouts being engaged
according to law testifieth of faith that in the House of John
Spencer, late deceased some time this last summer that this day named
did know the said John Spencer, says that he inteneded to give unto
his sonn Michael Spencer His House & land, that the said Spencer
himself lived upon. Then at same time & further faith not
taken upon engagement according to law.
before me October 27, 1684
in East Greenwich
John Hoath onservator

Click image to view full

These three separate entries prove that John Wood and Asa Wood were not Mattesons, but were rather, John and Asa Wood in their own right. It has also been said that the father of these three 'brothers' was Francis Matteson, but we did not find anything to support this. Thanks to the investigative qualities of my husband, Chuck Rhodes this matter should now be cleared up once and for all.

By Chuck and Betty Rhodes

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Last modified on: Sunday, February 10, 2019

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