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J Biscos

John Bisco 

1738 Watertown, MA - 1808 Spencer, MA as reported in GAWP5.

A housewright as recorded in a 1763 deed, living in Cambridge and the land in Spencer. (GAWP5 proposed that John was a cabinetmaker.)

He became a leader in town affairs and expanded into state-wide endeavors.

John Bisco

John Bisco was born 4-20-1738  in Watertown, MA to Thomas and Abigail. The family moved to Cambridge prior to Thomas' death at sea in 1743. John, a housewright, of Cambridge, was 25 when he bought land in Spencer. Deeds were checked through 1778 and he was referred to as a yeoman and Esq. He held many town and local offices, including justice of the peace and selectman, and in 1779 he was on a committee to form the State Constitution in Cambridge.

John Bisco married Deborah Prouty in May 1764 and they had six children; John Jr., 1765, Elizabeth 1767, Abijah 1770, Jacob 1772, Abigail 1777 and Anna 1780. He died in Spencer in 1808 and his estate included 1 chest of carpenter's tools valued at $5.00.

A search of US census records 1800-1820 yielded only three J Bisco's; John Sr. and his two sons John Jr. and Jacob. In Jacobs' 1837 estate he had 1 chest of old tools worth $1.50 which went to Foster Bisco and in John Jr's estate of 1812, he had a cooper's shop valued at $66.00.

John Bisco's biography included in the History of Spencer, MA.

July 1763 deed where John Bisco of Cambridge, housewright, buys land in Spencer.

1801-1803 record of the building of the tower and cupola for the meeting house in Spencer. John's involvement was mostly as treasurer and as a committee head. Note that fellow housewright Ezekiel Baxter was paid for work on the tower and cupola.

The Historical Sketches Relating to Spencer, vol 1, Tower, 1901, records that the town of Spencer voted to build a tower and cupola for their meeting house. "To pay for the Tower" ... "the town voted Aug. 24, 1801, 'to grant the sum of three hundred dollars for the purpose of building the tower and cupola to the meeting house in said town to be taxed on the polls and estates of those that are taxed to the minister of said town.' " "John Bisco, Town Treasurer in 1802, credits himself with the following payments, made on account of the bell and cupola by paying selectmen's orders ... ". One of these payments was " 'Order 1830, Paid Baxter & Lamb $600 for Building the Tower & Cupola to the meeting house.' " (Ezekiel Baxter, a housewright, is likely the maker of the planes marked Ez Baxter.) Periodically the town voted on measures to help pay for the project. One such effort dated March, 1801 was recorded in the town records; " ' the payment of the money by us respectively subscribed shall be secured to the town treasurer for the time being by our Respective Notes or Obligations, which shall become due and payable immediately after the Tower Cupola shall be raised before the first day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and three' ". The subscribers included "Ezekiel Baxter   10.00", "John Bisco Sr.    11.00, John Bisco Jr.    5.00, Jacob Bisco     4.00". In addition, this particular effort was spearheaded by John Sr. who wrote " 'The foregoing is a true copy of the articles of subscription and the names in alphabetical order with the sums annexed. JOHN BISCO, Collector of the Subscription. ' " In a final note; "About noon Jan. 1, 1862, the church caught fire from a superheated stove and was totally destroyed. The bell was melted and a piece of the same picked up the next day by Nathan Hersey who donated it to the museum in 1874."

Excerpt from John's estate dated 1808.

J Biscos molder 9 13/16"

courtesy of Mike Humphrey

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