I’ve just updated my published research into the Richard and Simon Mellen families in Massachusetts during the 1600s. There is an interesting document in the published Middlesex County probate records. My added material to the introduction follows.
In the published Middlesex County probate records we find a James Milengs’ property in Malden, in 1674, mentioned. This record, combined with the Weymouth boundary description record provides scant evidence that there was a Maling, or some variation of the surname in the area at those times. The spelling in both records is atrocious and given the consistent spellings otherwise, I’m still less than inclined to believe a Maling, rather than a Mellen, was responsible for those records.
Given that I consider the Weymouth land record a more authoritative document than the Malden will; it is an actual proof of legal division. The will, on the other hand, was probably scribed by the decedent or someone connected to him, but not an officer of the court, or a judicially or legally designated person. Thus, the two documents are still less than the standard of proof that I’d require for a satisfactory saying of “yes, there was a Maling family in that area at that time.”
 Robert H. Rodgers, Middlesex County in the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay in New England: Records of Probate and Administration: February 1670/71–June 1676 (Rockport, Me.: Picton Press, 2005), 274.
The information gleaned from this snippet of data is interesting in that is shows the process of applying the Genealogical Proof Standard in a real-world manner. What I’ve done here is look at the given information in context with other information concerning the family and my overall interpretation of that information. That there is evidence a James Mellen lived in Malden is a given. That there is no evidence a James Maling (referenced in any other document that I’ve seen) lived in Malden, is also a given.
You can download the updated Richard Mellen of Massachusetts: A Brief Genealogy of the Mellen Family from this site. The current document supersedes previous versions found here.
- Announce: Descendants of Simon Mellen is Published (seagenes.wordpress.com)