Showing posts with label Foster. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Foster. Show all posts

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Jacobs Family & Salem Witch Trials 1692

From The Archives Salem Witch Trials

Warrant v. George Jacobs Sr.
To: The Constables in Salem.
You are in theire Majests names hereby required to apprehend and forthwith bring before vs. George Jacobs Sr of Salem, And Margaret Jacobs the daughter of George Jacobs Junr of Salem Singlewoman Who stand accused of high suspicion of sundry acts of witchcraft by them both Committed on sundry persons in Salem to theire great wrong and Jnjury and hereof faile not. Dated Salem May 10th. 1692.

From Salem Town Records, Volume II, page 269
Pasture of the Northfield Men. This tract of common land was leased for one thousand years to John Green, John Leach (son of Richard Leach) and John Bachilder, all of Salem, Feb. 1, 1677.1 John Tompkins, John
Waters, sr., John Foster and George Jacobs, all of Salem, husbandmen, appear to have been the owners in 1677.1 Though it is probable that some division of this tract of land was made in fact, a legal partition was not made until March 2, 1707, when John Leach, Samuel Leach, John Batchelder, Jonathan Batchelder, Josiah Batchelder, John Foster, John Waters, Richard Waters, Nathaniel Tompkins, Joseph Jacobs (in behalf of his father George Jacobs) and Samuel Foster agreed to divide it.2 This was done March 27, 1708.

With an Account of Salem Village and A History of Opinions on Witchcraft and Kindred Subjects

No account has come to us of the deportment of George Jacobs, Sr., (c.1620–1692) at his execution. As he was remarkable in life for the firmness of his mind, so he probably was in death. He had made his will before the delusion arose. It is dated Jan. 29, 1692; and shows that he, like Procter, had a considerable estate. Bartholomew Gedney is one of the attesting witnesses, and probably wrote the document. After his conviction, on the 12th of August, he caused another to be written, which, in its provisions, reflects light upon the state of mind produced by the condition in which he found himself. In his infirm old age, he had been condemned to die for a crime of which he knew himself innocent, and which there is some reason to believe he did not think any one capable of committing. He regarded the whole thing as a wicked conspiracy and absurd fabrication. He had to end his long life upon a scaffold in a week from that day. His house was desolated, and his property sequestered. His only son, charged with the same crime, had eluded the sheriff,—leaving his family, in the hurry of his flight, unprovided for—and was an exile in foreign lands. The crazy wife of that son was in prison and in chains, waiting trial on the same charge; her little children, including an unweaned infant, left in a deserted and destitute condition in the woods. The older children were scattered, he knew not where, while one of them had completed the bitterness of his lot by becoming a confessor, upon being arrested with her mother as a witch. This grand-daughter, Margaret, overwhelmed with fright and horror, bewildered by the statements of the accusers, and controlled probably by the arguments and arbitrary methods of address employed by her minister, Mr. Noyes,—whose peculiar function in these proceedings seems to have been to drive persons accused to make confession—had been betrayed into that position, and became a confessor, and accuser of others. Under these circumstances, the old man made a will, giving to his son George his estates, and securing the succession of them to his male descendants. But, in the mean while, without his then knowing it, Margaret had recalled her confession, as appears from the following documents, which tell their own story:—

"The Humble Declaration of Margaret Jacobs unto the Honored Court now sitting at Salem showeth, that, whereas your poor and humble declarant, being closely confined here in Salem jail for the crime of witchcraft,—which crime, thanks be to the Lord! I am altogether ignorant of, as will appear at the great day of judgment,—may it please the honored Court, I was cried out upon by some of the possessed persons as afflicting them; whereupon I was brought to my examination; which persons at the sight of me fell down, which did very much startle and affright me. The Lord above knows I knew nothing in the least measure how or who afflicted them. They told me, without doubt I did, or else they would not fall down at me; they told me, if I would not confess, I should be put down into the dungeon, and would be hanged, but, if I would confess, I should have my life: the which did so affright me, with my own vile, wicked heart, to save my life, made me make the like confession I did, which confession, may it please the honored Court, is altogether false and untrue. The very first night after I had made confession, I was in such horror of conscience that I could not sleep, for fear the Devil should carry me away for telling such horrid lies. I was, may it please the honored Court, sworn to my confession, as I understand since; but then, at that time, was ignorant of it, not knowing what an oath did mean. The Lord, I hope, in whom I trust, out of the abundance of his mercy, will forgive me my false forswearing myself. What I said was altogether false against my grandfather and Mr. Burroughs, which I did to save my life, and to have my liberty: but the Lord, charging it to my conscience, made me in so much horror, that I could not contain myself before I had denied my confession, which I did, though I saw nothing but death before me; choosing rather death with a quiet conscience, than to live in such horror, which I could not suffer. Where, upon my denying my confession, I was committed to close prison, where I have enjoyed more felicity in spirit, a thousand times, than I did before in my enlargement. And now, may it please Your Honors, your declarant having in part given Your Honors a description of my condition, do leave it to Your Honors' pious and judicious discretions to take pity and compassion on my young and tender years, to act and do with me as the Lord above and Your Honors shall see good, having no friend but the Lord to plead my cause for me; not being guilty, in the least measure, of the crime of witchcraft, nor any other sin that deserves death from man. And your poor and humble declarant shall for ever pray, as she is bound in duty, for Your Honors' happiness in this life, and eternal felicity in the world to come. So prays Your Honors' declarant,

Margaret Jacobs."

The following letter was written by this same young person to her father. Let it be observed that her grandfather had been executed the day before, partly upon her false testimony.

"From the Dungeon in Salem Prison.

"August 20, 1692.

"Honored Father,—After my humble duty remembered to you, hoping in the Lord of your good health, as, blessed be God! I enjoy, though in abundance of affliction, being close confined here in a loathsome dungeon: the Lord look down in mercy upon me, not knowing how soon I shall be put to death, by means of the afflicted persons; my grandfather having suffered already, and all his estate seized for the king. The reason of my confinement is this: I having, through the magistrates' threatenings, and my own vile and wretched heart, confessed several things contrary to my conscience and knowledge, though to the wounding of my own soul; (the Lord pardon me for it!) but, oh! the terrors of a wounded conscience who can bear? But, blessed be the Lord! he would not let me go on in my sins, but in mercy, I hope, to my soul, would not suffer me to keep it any longer: but I was forced to confess the truth of all before the magistrates, who would not believe me; but it is their pleasure to put me in here, and God knows how soon I shall be put to death. Dear father, let me beg your prayers to the Lord on my behalf, and send us a joyful and happy meeting in heaven. My mother, poor woman, is very crazy, and remembers her kind love to you, and to uncle; viz., D.A. So, leaving you to the protection of the Lord, I rest, your dutiful daughter, Margaret Jacobs."

A temporary illness led to the postponement of her trial; and, before the next sitting of the Court, the delusion had passed away.
The "uncle D.A.," referred to, was Daniel Andrew, their nearest neighbor, who had escaped at the same time with her father. She calls him "uncle." He was, it is probable, a brother of John Andrew who had married Ann Jacobs, sister of her father. Words of relationship were then used with a wide sense.
Margaret read the recantation of her confession before the Court, and was, as she says, forthwith ordered by them into a dungeon. She obtained permission to visit Mr. Burroughs the day before his execution, acknowledged that she had belied him, and implored his forgiveness. He freely forgave, and prayed with her and for her. It is probable, that, at the same time, she obtained an interview with her grandfather for the same purpose. At any rate, the old man heard of her heroic conduct, and forthwith crowded into the space between two paragraphs in his will, in small letters closely written (the jailer probably being the amanuensis), a clause giving a legacy of "ten pounds to be paid in silver" to his grand-daughter, Margaret Jacobs. There is the usual declaration, that it "was inserted before sealing and signing." This will having been made after conviction and sentence to death, and having but two witnesses, one besides the jailer, was not allowed in Probate, but remains among the files of that Court. As a link in the foregoing story, it is an interesting relic. The legacy clause, although not operative, was no doubt of inexpressible value to the feelings of Margaret: and the circumstance seems to have touched the heart even of the General Court, nearly twenty years afterwards; for they took pains specifically to provide to have the same sum paid to Margaret, out of the Province treasury.

She was not tried at the time appointed, in consequence, it is stated, of "an imposthume in the head," and finally escaped the fate to which she chose to consign herself, rather than remain under a violated conscience. In judging of her, we cannot fail to make allowance for her "young and tender years," and to sympathize in the sufferings through which she passed. In making confession, and in accusing others, she had done that which filled her heart with horror, in the retrospect, so long as she lived. In recanting it, and giving her body to the dungeon, and offering her life at the scaffold, she had secured the forgiveness of Mr. Burroughs and her aged grandfather, and deserves our forgiveness and admiration. Every human heart must rejoice that this young girl was saved. She lived to be a worthy matron and the founder of a numerous and respectable family.

George Jacobs, Sr., is the only one, among the victims of the witchcraft prosecutions, the precise spot of whose burial is absolutely ascertained.

The tradition has descended through the family, that the body, after having been obtained at the place of execution, was strapped by a young grandson on the back of a horse, brought home to the farm, and buried beneath the shade of his own trees. Two sunken and weather-worn stones marked the spot. There the remains rested until 1864, when they were exhumed. They were enclosed again, and reverently redeposited in the same place. The skull was in a state of considerable preservation. An examination of the jawbones showed that he was a very old man at the time of his death, and had previously lost all his teeth. The length of some parts of the skeleton showed that he was a very tall man. These circumstances corresponded with the evidence, which was that he was tall of stature; so infirm as to walk with two staffs; with long, flowing white hair. The only article found, except the bones, was a metallic pin, which might have been used as a breastpin, or to hold together his aged locks. It is an observable fact, that he rests in his own ground still. He had lived for a great length of time on that spot; and it remains in his family and in his name to this day, having come down by direct descent. It is a beautiful locality: the land descends with a gradual and smooth declivity to the bank of the river. It is not much more than a mile from the city of Salem, and in full view from the main road.

From New England Magazine Volume 6

                                   Site of Beadle Tavern

The Jacobs Family. The history of the Jacobs family in connection with the witchcraft persecutions is peculiarly interesting. George Jacobs, Sr., George Jacobs, Jr., and his wife Rebecca and daughter Margaret, were all accused. The old man must have been about seventy years of age or more, for he had long, flowing white hair. He lived on a farm in what was then known as Xorthfields, and in Salem rather than Salem Village, but on territory now included in the town of Danvers.
The exact site was near the mouth of Endicott or Cow House River, the first of the three rivers one crosses in driving from Salem to Danvers. Jacobs was evidently a man of some property, and probably a good average citizen; but, like most of the others who fell under suspicion of witchcraft, and for that matter, many of their neighbors, he had had a little trouble which brought him into court. The records show that in 1677 he was fined for striking a man. His son, George, Jr., three years earlier, was sued by Nathaniel Putnam to recover the value of some horses that he had chased into the river, where they were drowned. The court found against Jacobs. On the tenth day of May, 1692, Hathorne and Corwin issued a warrant "to the constable of Salem," directing him to apprehend George Jacobs, Sr., of Salem, and Margaret Jacobs, daughter of George Jacobs, Jr., of Salem, single woman. On the same day, Joseph Neal, " constable for Salem," returned that he had apprehended the bodies of George Jacobs, Sr., and Margaret Jacobs. They were taken to Salem that day, and the examination of the old man was begun at once.

After some preliminary questions and the usual " sufferings" of the afflicted, the report continues, Jacobs saying:

"1 am as innocent as the child born tonight. I have lived 33 years here in Salem. "What then? —If you can prove that I am guilty I will lye under it. Sarah Churchill said, last night I was afflicted at Deacon Ingersoll's, and Mary Walcott said, it was a man with 2 staves. It was my master.

"Pray do not accuse me. I am as clear as your worships. You must do right judgements. "What book did he bring you, Sarah? —The same book that the other woman brought. "The devil can go in any shape. "Did he not appear on the other side of the river and hurt you? Did not you see him? — Yes, he did.

"Look there, she accuseth you to your face, she chargeth you that you hurt her twice. Is it not true? — What would you have me say? I never wronged no man in word nor deed.

"Here are 3 evidences. — You tax me for a wizzard. You may as well tax me for a buzzard. I have done no harm.

"Is it not harm to afflict these?—I never did it. "But how comes it to be in your appearance? — The devil can take any license.

"Not without their consent.— Please your worships, it is untrue, I never showed the book I am silly about these things as the child born last night.

"That is your saying. You argue you have lived so long, but what then, Cain might (have) lived so long before he killed Abel and you might live long before the devil had so prevailed on you. — Christ hath suffered 3 times for me.

"What three times? — He suffered the cross and gal —

"You had as good confess (said Sarah Churchill) if you are guilty.

"Have you heard that I have any witchcraft?

"I know that you lead a wicked life.

"Let her make it out."Doth he ever pray in his family?

"Not unless by himself.

"Why do you not pray in your family?—I cannot read.

"Well you may pray for all that. Can you say the Lord's prayer? Let us hear you.

"He might [missed?] in several parts of it & could not repeat it right after many trials.

"Sarah Churchill, when you wrote in the book you was showed your master's name you said. — Yes sirr.

Trask House

"Well, burn me or hang me I will stand in the truth of Christ. I know nothing of it."

This examination, begun on the 10th, was suspended for some reason before completion, and finished on the nth. On that day the accusing girls were present in full force. Among them was Sarah Churchill, who gave positive evidence against the prisoner. Subsequently, Sarah Ingersoll deposed.

"That seeing Sarah Churchill after her examination, she came to me crying, and wringing her hands, seemingly much troubled in spirit. I asked her what ailed her. She answered she had undone herself. I asked in what. She said in belying herself and others in saying she had set her hand to the devil's book whereas she said she never did. I told her I believed she had set her hand to the book. She answered and said, no, no, no. I never, I never did. I asked her then what made her say she did. She answered because they threatened her, and told her they would put her into the dungeon and put her along with Mr. Burroughs, and thus several times she followed me up and down telling me she had undone herself, in belying herself and others. I asked her why she did not deny she wrote it. She told me because she had stood out so long in it, that now she durst not. She said, also, that if she told Mr. Noyes but once she had set her hand to the book, he would believe her, but if she told

the truth, and said she had not set her hand to the book a hundred times he would not believe her."

George Herrick testified that in May he went to the jail and searched the body of Jacobs. He found a tett under the right shoulder a quarter of an inch long. He ran a pin through it, but "there was neither water, blood, nor corruption, nor any other matter, and so we make return." The following document is also among the papers:

"wee whose names are under written having received an order from ye sreife to search ye bodyes of George Burroughs and George Jacobs wee find nothing upon ye body of ye above sayd Burroughs but wt is naturall but upon ye body of George Jacobs wee find 3 tetts wch according to ye best of our judgements wee think is not naturall for wee run a pinn through 2 of ym and he was not sincible of it one of them being within his mouth upon ye inside of his right cheak and 2d upon his right shoulder blade and a 3d upon his right hipp. Ed Welch sworne John Flint jurat Will Gill sworne Tom West sworne Zeb Gill jurat Sam Morgan sworne John Bare jurat. demnation the sheriff's officers went to his house and seized all his goods, and even took his wife's wedding ring. The jury found Jacobs guilty, and he was sentenced to the gallows, and executed on August 19.' After his con1 Jacobs was buried on his farm in Danversport, where his grave may be seen at this day. The remains were exhumed about 1864. examined, and redeposited in the earth, where they had lain for nearly two centuries.

In the mean time, warrants were issued, on May 14, for George Jacobs, Jr.

Site of John Procter's House, Peabody. and his wife Rebecca Jacobs escaped. When the constables took Rebecca she had four young children in her home. Some of them followed her on the road, but being too young to continue far, they were left behind, and cared for by the neighbors. Rebecca Jacobs was kept in irons eight months, then indicted and brought to trial on January 3, 1693. She was promptly acquitted. In the mean time touching petitions had been presented to the chief justice by the mother, and to Governor Phips, praying for her release. They were of no avail. The woman was kept in a dungeon, half fed and uncared for beyond what was necessary to sustain life, through the long winter months. Her treatment was in keeping with that of other victims. In cruelty and barbarity it must be frankly said that it finds parallel only in the acts of the savages of the forests.
Margaret Jacobs, to save herself from punishment, acknowledged that she was a witch and testified against her grandfather, and also against Mr. Burroughs. Find a Grave by Nareen

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dorchester North Burying Ground

From Dorchester Illustration of the Day by Earl Taylor and adds from Melissa Berry
The North Burying Ground Dorchester, MA 

A receipt for $3 from Daniel Davenport to David Clap for digging a grave for David’s wife Azubah Clap in August 1835. Davenport tolled the bell and furnished the horse for the hearse.

The following is from The Clapp Memorial. Record of the Clapp Family in America Ebenezer Clapp, compiler. Boston: David Clapp & Son, 1876.

David Clapp, oldest son of David and Ruth (Humphreys) Clapp, was born in Dorchester, Nov. 30, 1759, and died there May 15, 1846, in his 87th year. He married, Dec. 9, 1794, Susannah Humphreys, daughter of Henry Humphreys, of Dorchester (who in 1752 married Abigail Clapp, daughter of Ebenezer and Hannah Clapp). Mrs. Susannah Clapp died Jan 27, 1800, and David married second, July 28, 1801, Azubah, daughter of Deacon Jonathan Capen, of Stoughton, born there March 20, 1766. She was a woman of much energy of character, and was ever ready to give assistance when needed among friends and neighbors. She brought with her from her first home the then common household utensils of the hand-loom and spinning-wheel, and for many years after marriage made use of them in supplying cloth for family use. She died in Dorchester, of a cancer, Aug. 10, 1835, aged 69 years.

From article Relics of Ye Olden Times. The Historical Magazine: And Notes and Queries Concerning the Antiquities, History, and Biography of America pics added
The old Dorchester burial ground on the corner of Boston and Stoughton Streets can stately be called the oldest, most historic and most interesting of any burial place in this State, if not in the whole country. It is the oldest, because it contains, or did contain, the oldest tombstone known to exist in America.


Photo by Don Blauvelt This stone stood over the graves of Bernard Capen, who died November 8, 1638, and Mrs. Capen, his wife, who departed this life March 26, 1653.

Bernard Capen House Photo from Dorchester Atheneum
It was found many years since by Mr. George Fowler, who had charge of the grounds, slightly imbedded in some loose earth near the grave, while another stone of slate, with a fac simile of the original inscription, stood and still stands over the oldest known grave in America, and this duplicate is thought to have been erected some time about the beginning of the present century. The original slab, which is of real sandstone, was taken in charge by the Antiquary Society, and is at present on exhibition at the rooms of that society on Somerset Street, Boston. Some would naturally think that the oldest gravestone would be found at Plymouth, but, although the Pilgrims lost many of their number, long before the colonization of Massachusetts Bay by the Puritans, they strove to keep secret from the hostile Indians the true facts of their loss and weakness, and to do this they secretly and quietly buried their dead comrades without leaving behind them either mound or stone. Photo by bill Llott

Mr. Fowler is a jolly old gentleman, who bears his eighty-four years with resignation. He was superintendent of this graveyard for twenty-eight years, being first employed by the town of Dorchester, previous to its annexation to Boston in 1869, and since then by the city of Boston.

Mr. Fowler has had a great many visitors, and particularly on Sundays. Men come with their wives and children to see the old graves and quaint inscriptions, and from showing them around and pointing out those of particular interest, he has come to know the location of each grave so that he can point out any particular one and give the history of the person buried, from one side of the burial ground to the other.

The power of the old gentleman's retentive memory is plainly seen in his reading of epitaphs and inscriptions, written in ye olden time style, while standing at the head of these old tombs. The old Capen grave is situated in the extreme corner of Boston and Stoughton Streets. In this corner arc all the older graves, it being the original burying ground, a great many of the graves being covered with huge slabs of rough stone imbedded in the earth.

"Well," said Mr. Fowler, •' I suppose you'll only laugh at what I am going to tell you now, but it's truth, sir, living truth. When our forefathers first commenced to bury here the wolves used to come at night and dig into the graves for the dead bodies. So whenever anyone was buried a great slab of stone was placed over the grave to prevent the wild animals from getting at the bodies." To the left of the Capen grave, and in a line with it, stand seven slabs of slate, each bearing the name of Capen, the latest date being 1746. The second oldest gravestone in the ground gives no surname to tell who is buried beneath, but simply bears this rather odd inscription:

Abel, his offering accepted is His body to the grave his soule to bliss On October's twentye and no more In the yeare sixteen hundred 44." On the other end of the stone is the following epitaph, which tells that a child is also buried beneath.

                                 "Submite submitted to her heavenly King  Being a flower
                                  of that Eternal Spring Neare three years old she dyed,
                                  in heaven to wate. The year was sixteen hundred 48."

John Foster headstone Photo from Dorchester Historical Society
Next we come to the Foster plot of ground where is buried •• "The Ingenious Mathematician and Printer, Mr. John Foster." John Foster was the first printer of Boston, and died in 1681, at the age of 33. Beside his grave is also buried his father, Hopestill Foster, who died in 1676, and his brother Elisha Foster, who died a year after him.

To the right of Hopestill Foster's grave is the tomb of General Humphrey Atherton, who died in 1661.

On the cover of the tomb, which is of sandstone, is carved the representation of a sword, and the following epitaph:

                               "Heare lyes our Captain and Major of Suffolk was withall
                                 A Godly Magistrate was he and Major General!
                                Two trups of hors with him here came such worth his love did crave
                                Ten companyes of fort also mourning march to his grave
                                Let all that read be sure to keep the faith as he hath done
                                With Christ he lives now crowned, his name was Humphrey Atherton."

A few feet to the left of this is the tomb of Richard Mather, the grandfather to Cotton Mather, who died in 1669.

James Humphry, one of the ruling Elders of the Town of Dorchester " was buried beside him in 1686, it being his wish to be buried in the same grave if there was room.

Gov. William Stoughtn Portrait from Harvard University Collection
Governor Stoughton is another of the old tombs, as he was buried here in 1671, but the tomb was partly rebuilt in 1828 by Harvard College, to which institution he had given considerable money. Photo by Kim G

Other old gravestone names and dates are Miriam Wood, a school teacher, 1653; William Poole, a schoolmaster, in 1682; Clement Topliff, 1672; Parson Flint, "late pastor of ye Church in Dorchester," 1680; and Thomas Joanes, after whom Jones Hill (Pic below) is called, 1678.

This is certainly the only cemetery in America in which there has been a constant and regular interment for 250 years, from 1638 to 1888, for there are still people being buried in this old ground. An interesting grave and monument is that of old " Uncle Daniel Davenport," who was sexton of the burial ground for many years, and dug and completed his own tomb, and had his epitaph written years before his death. He attended 1.135 funerals in his time and dug 735 graves. His son William was sexton from 1848 to 1865, and had buried in that time 1,267 people. Mr. Fowler has broken the record of his predecessors, having buried up to January I, 1890, 1,532.

Mr. Fowler tells many a quaint, odd story, one being of a woman who didn't like the idea of her surviving female relatives wearing her fine dresses when she was gone, and in consequence had the choicest ones in her wardrobe put in the coffin with her.

Another is that of a man whose wife had died and was buried in a temporary grave until such time as he could have another lot set off. After years had elapsed, he married again, and together with his second wife came to see the removal of the coffin of wife number one to the new grave about seven years after her death. When the coffin was taken up, wife number two expressed a great desire to have it opened that she might see the body. Mr. Fowler did not like the idea and told her it would be an offensive sight, but when she had gotten her husband's consent, her wish was complied with. The coffin was opened, and though nothing remained but the skeleton, there shone on one of the fingers a beautiful diamond ring that looked as bright as if it had just come from the jewelers. She looked at it a moment, and then, stating that it was too great a temptation, deliberately took it from what had been the dead woman's finger, and wiping it with her handkerchief placed it on her own finger, where Mr. Fowler saw it displayed on the train a short time ago after the manner of ye traveling man.

While my neighbor Fowler was superintendent of the Dorchester burying ground. Governor Gardner's son called at the grave yard and desired to go into an opened vault. He was given permission and ordered not to touch anything. Soon afterward he was seen leaving the yard with something hidden under his arm. On being questioned, he replied: "It's only a skull; I'm taking it home to study and I'll bring it back again."

Daniel Davenport 1773-1860(pic from Dorchester Historical Society) Sexton in Dorchester 1806-1852 Headstone reads

As Sexton with my spade I learned
To delve beneath the sod,
Where body to the earth returned,
But spirit to its God,
Years rwenty seven this toil I bore,
And midst death's oft was spared;
Seven hundred graves and thirty four
I dug, then mine prepared.
And when at last I too must die,
Some else the Bell will toll;
As here my mortal relics lie,
May Heaven receive my soul.

Book on Old Burial Ground Dorchester
Miller Anderson Histories

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

William Chandler and Eleanor Phelps Andover, MA

Here is the old burial ground in Andover a wonderful shot taken by Barbara Poole Life from the Roots

"The solemnization of marriages from the arrival of the first settlers to 1686, the expiration of the first charter, was performed by a magistrate, or by persons specially appointed for that purpose. If a clergyman happened to be present, he was asked to pray.—1687, April, the first marriage by Rev. Mr. Francis Dane, William Chandler and Eleanor Phelps. —1687, May, Stephen Barker and Mary Abbot, the first marriage by Rev. Thomas Barnard." Taken from History of Andover, from its settlement to 1829 by Abel Abbott
From Abbott Family "The house, otherwise known as the Margaret Ward House, was built by Captain Thomas Chandler (older brother of Hannah (Chandler) Abbot) before 1673. His daughter, Hannah, and her husband, Captain Daniel Bixsby, continued to occupy it after the death of her parents. The sixty-acre farm extended to the Shawsheen River." "Three generations of Bixsbys have occupied the house. Other occupants were William Abbott, who married a Bixsby, Jeduthan Abbott, and Amos Abbott (1786-1868), a member of the House of Representatives from 1840-1849 (member of the Whig political party). Compiled by Ernest James Abbott

Chandler-Bigsby-Abbott House, 88 Lowell Street.
William Chandler born May 28, 1659 son of Thomas Chandler and Hannah Brewer Chandler
Eleanor Phelps born daughter of Edward Phelps and Elizabeth Adams
Married  Apr 21,1687
William Chandler born July 20 1689 married Susanna Burge
Eleanor Chandler born January 23 1688 married Seth Walker
Benjamin Chandler  married Hannah Dutton
Moses Chandler married Anne Sanborn
The church record of Westford, Massachusetts, has this entry: "Admitted 10 Nov. 1728, Eleanor Chandler, widow."
William Chandler served in the town as constable, grand jury man, town office officer south part and a record here "William Ballard and William Chandler are chosen surveyers for the south end of the town and Serjent ffarntted (?) Dudley Bradstreet for the north end of the town, who have full power to call forth the inhabitants of the town two days this year at any time the sur-veyers shall think fit"

January 1678 John Frie Jr, Richard Barker Sr, William Chandler, John Barker and Christopher Osgood was chosen selectmen for the year ensuing.

Now I found some records that involve both William Chandler, Sr and his son William Chandler, Jr. relating to an inn or ordinary. There was some disputes and showdowns between the families on this and here are the details from Court Records and from Historical Sketches of Andover. Now this is a long document, but as the author Sarah Loring Bailey points out "William Chandler's license is an interesting document, and curiously illustrative of the customs of the time and of the aspect of things in Andover. It will be noticed that the sign of his house was the horse-shoe, chosen, doubtless, from the occupation of the Chandlers — blacksmiths. It was the custom then to designate shops, public houses, and places of resort, not by numbers, but by hanging out a sign. A large town had a great variety of signs (as was the custom in England), the " anchor," the " bel!," the " horse-shoe," etc. The only mention found of any such sign at Andover is this of the horse-shoe :

In 1689, Lieut. John Osgood was innholder. The following is a petition 2 made by him to the County Court, to renew his license for keeping a public house : — " To THE Honored County Corte now sitting at Salem : — " I move to your Honers to renewing license ffor keeping a Pub-lick house, & I would have waited upon the corte personally but a bizness of a publick nature hinders me : that is the comitee off molitiah are this day to make up the account about our soldiers & I have sent here-with my sone to pay the ffees : the granting of which will serve him who is yours to serve in whatsoever he may John Osgood. " Andover 27 : 9. 89 " [Granted]
A rival innkeeper was William Chandler. Capt. John Osgood made complaint to the Court against him, that he " did retail & sell sider or strong drinke without License at his owne dwelUng." Chandler produced evidence that he had a license and was acceptable to many of his townsmen, if not to all. The proofs of his license was as follows : — 1 A name used afterwards for the seller of all kinds of merchandise. 2 Court Papers, vol. xlviii., p. 74. 8 County Court Papers, vol. xlvii. " William Chandler Senior is recommended to y^ next County Court at Ipswich as a ffit man to keep a publick house of entertainment in the town of Andover and until the foresaid Court is licensed to sel Sider, bear, wine and strong liquor by me one of his Majesty's Council of his territory for New England ffebruary y' 2, 1686. JoNA Tyng." The proofs of his townsmen's good-will, and their wish for the success of his inn, is as follows : — " The humble petition of William Chandler to his Majesty's honoured Court of Sessions for the County of Essex now Sitting in Ipswich this 14 day of September i68j humbly sheweth : — '' That whereas your petitioner some time since obtained liberty from one of the Councill to keep a publick house of entertainment and that falling short I mayd my address to his Excellence by some friends who understanding my case induced these gentlemen to wright to the honoured Mr. Gedney and frome him to be communicated to the honered justices of Salem wherein he did expect they should grant me my License which accordingly they did while this Sessions; for the which I Render them hearty thanks and now I having in some measure fited myself for that worke and agreed with Captain Radford what customs to pay for the yeare, and it being the desier of many of my neighbors I should keep a publick house of entertainment as will appear by their subscriptions under their hands and the great complaynt of strangers that there is no house of entertainment upon that rode leading from Ipswich to Balrica and also my own necessity arising in regard of that money I was fined at Salem which I borrow'ed and have not pay'', all which considerations move to renew my License for this yeare : which will oblige your petitioner for ever as in duty bound to pray. William Chandler." Wee w-hose names are hereunder Righten : doe testifye : that we live upon the Rode at Andover that leadeth from Ipswich and the Townes that way to Baliraca and have often heard strangers much complain that there was no publick house of entertainment upon that Rode, but they must goe a mile and a elfe out of there way or goe without refreshing or else intrude upon privit houses which that neighborhood have found very burdensome. And we doe 1 County Court Papers, vol. xlvii., p. 56. humbly pray that WilUam Chandler Senr. whose house stands convenient may be allowed for that worke John + Lovejoy, his marke. Joseph Wilson Thomas Johnson Thomas Chandler William Johnson," Another petition for Chandler has the signatures of thirty-five citizens of Andover ; but in 1690 some of his opponents sent in the following petition/ rather discreditable to their townsman : — " From Andover ye 28 : i, 1690. " To the honered Court now sitting at Ipswich ^i off this instant March i6qo. " Wee your most humble petitioners in the name of many more, if not of most of the town do make our address to your honors to exert so much of your power and authority as may release us of the matter of our greivance wch is grown so much an epidemicall evill that overspreads and is like to corrupt the greater part of our towne if not speedily prevented by your help : viz to put a stopp to William Chandler's license of selling of drink, that had been licensed formerly by authority: he had indeed y^approbation of the selectmen that were pickt out for that etid in his first setting up : y^ were men spirited to give him their approbation to such a thing, and indeed at his first setting up he seemed to have some tendernesse upon his conscience not to admit of excess nor disorder in his house ; but custom in his way of dealing and the earnest desire of money hath proved an evil root to him actively and effectively to others, for through his over forwardness to promote his own gaine he hath been apt to animate and to entice persons to spend their money & time to y* great wrong of themselves and family they belong to ; and to that end will encourage all sorts of persons both old and young to spend upon trust, if they have not money, & to some he will proffer to lend them money to spend rather than that they should be discouraged from such a notion ; ser\'ants & children are allowed by him in his house at all times "^ unseasonable by night and day, sometimes till midnight and past & till break of day, till they know not their way to their 1 County Court Papers, vol. 1., 74. 2 William Chandler was not alone in being complained of for this offence. Thomas Johnson, a constable, was charged with " allowing a barrel of cider to be drunke in his house at unseasonable hours by young people." One of the habitations, and gaming is freely allowed in his house by which means the looser must call for drink w*^*^ is one thing y' will uphold his calling : Many such pertiklers might be instanced and easily proved, but we be willing for brevity's sake to omitt much of what might be said of the like nater, but be
sure if he be not restrained from the selling of drink our town will be for the greatest part of our young generation so corrupted thereby that wee can expect little else but a cours of drunkenness of them ; and what comfort will that be to parents to see such a posterity coming on upon the stage after them ? To this wee whose names are underwritten as your humble petitioners doe attest by our hands hereto. Christopher Osgood James Frie John Frie sen Joseph Lovejoy John Frie jun Samuel Frie Samuel Blanchard Benjamin Frye Ephraim Foster Samuel Rowell Joseph Robinson Thos Osgood " But the friends of William Chandler had got the start in the matter of petitioning, as appears from a record
appended to this petition : " This petition came not to the vicwe of the Court tnitill after another was approved of" The " other " referred to was doubtless the following certificate to the good order of Chandler's house : — " William Chandler senr of Andover hath kept a house of pub-lick entertainment for some considerable time past & hath kept good order in s** house (soe far as wee are informed) & being an infirm man & not capable of hard Labour & deserving of approbation for his continuance in that employment we cannot but judge him a meet p'son for it & his house convenient for travellers. " Dated Andover ye 21^' March 1689-90

Another source that has more info and the Will of William Chandler The Chandler Family: The Descendants of William and Annis Chandler who Settled in Roxbury, Mass., 1637 by George ChandlerThe Andover Townmen recently published an article by Bill Dalton Dalton-column-Innkeepers-dispute

Taken from The Andover Preservation site Historic Preservation
Original owner: William Ballard
Used as a boy's school 1796-1815 - Master Porter's School for Boys
Themes: agricultural, architectural, community development, education

This house is made up of three parts, of different periods and ownership. William Ballard owned house on this site in 1635, although oldest part of present structure dates from ca. 1660. First period architecture - 2 rooms and loft, chimney on outside/west side; later 4 small rooms - 2 upstairs, 2 downstairs added north end.

In 1696, William Foster purchased westerly end of south part of house form William & Eleanor Phelps Chandler - house then on Reservation Rd. 1750, moved across Shawsheen on causeway (No. bridge then) and attached to William Ballard House here. Thus, original house enlarged 1750. Two large rooms and loft brought from old Foster home (latter Shattuck Farm) - chimney enlarged.

For 22 years, William Foster Jr. kept school for boys not wishing Phillips Academy's classical course or to qualify boys to enter P.A. 25 boys lived here. In 1800, north end added to house for more dormitory and classroom space; 6 rooms and loft plus 2 small rooms on west (one is present kitchen) and 4 large square rooms.

LATER: 1) Homer Foster's farmhouse. 2) then owned by Francis Foster, assessor's rec. 1951. 3) William Phillips Foster and John Franklin Foster, owners. Students' names have been scratched on some of the windows. House has chimney 14 feet square. William Foster was secretary of Friendly Fire Society, 1829, and his initialed, personalized fire bucket is still to be seen.
Below from Find A Grave added by Donna and Bill Contact

Here lyes ye Body
of Mr. William
Chandler; who
Decd. Octobr 27th
1727, in ye 67th
Year of his Age.

From Andover Ma Town Meetings Records 1656-1709

The particular grants of land and meadows granted to William Chandler. granted to him ten acres of land on the hill on the south side of his house, five acres whereof was granted to William Ballard, for a house lot and four acres to himself for his house lot and one acre for his new field division bounded on the west with the house lot of Andrew Allen, on the southwest with a great red oak on the southeast with a white oak and on the east with the land of Mr. Dane, on the northeast corner with a stump. Granted to him seventeen acres of land for his division land above little Hope bridge bounded on the north with a brook and a high red oak stump, on the west with a hill, on the south with a great clump of rocks, close by the river and on the east with Shawshin river. Granted to him two acres and a half of meadow: on the south side of Shawshin river a.ainst Bilrekay meddows, between the meadow which was John Remington's and the meadow of George Abbot Senior. Granted to him all the meadow between George Abbot Sen. and the brook which runs out of the meadow of Andrew Foster in the east of Shawshin River, with all the meadow on the south side of that brook from the river to a clump of asps, where the brook and the.upland meet, with the meadow on the north side of that brook from the river to the •here the brook and the upland meet with a bit of meadow on the east side of Shawshin iver against Pole Hill. All these parcels are granted for three acres and a half be it irore or less.

Sold to William Chandler 3 times, a parcell of land which is a lane between two parcells of land that was his fathers to pay the town thirty shillings per acre for what it appears to be according to usually manner.

At a lawful town meeting the 11 of February 1663, granted to William Chandler a gore of land on the east (?) side of Shawsheen River, by the old clay pit, whereof two acres is granted him for public charges and if there be above two acres, he is to allow the town for it what they shall so meet and in case, the town shall afterward see occasion to build a mill there, he shall resign to them so much of the convenience of it as shall be judged convenient to set a mill thereon, and allow him so much land elsewhere for it.

Granted and laid out to Andrew Allen five acres of swamp land adjoining to his houselot and the swamp land of William Chandler bounded on the northwest corner with a white oak, on the southwest corner with a white oak, on the northeast corner with a stake.

For More Info

Andover Historical Society 
North Andover Historical Society 
Historical Homes in Andover 

Artist unknown, 1896 Oil on canvas 57" x 77" Collection of the Andover Historical Society

Monday, September 9, 2013

Surname Wilson of Salem and Danvers, Massachusetts

A Great Share from Heather Wilkinson Rojo and her blog, Nutfield Genealogy

Robert Wilson was born about 1630, and lived in Salem, Massachusetts.  It is unknown where he came from before he arrived in New England, and it is unknown when he arrived.  However, he left some very interesting, yet sad and sorrowful, records during his life. 

His first wife was Deborah Buffum, daughter of Robert Buffum and Tamosen Ward.  In 1662, as the mother of two infant children she professed to being a Quaker, which was dangerous in Puritan Salem, Massachusetts.  Not only that, she went naked to the Puritan meetinghouse to protest the “spiritual nakedness”.  She was sentenced to be tied to a cart and whipped until she came to her own house.
Daniel Rumball, the constable “was loathe to do it, but was ordered to do his duty.  Robert Wilson (it may be presumed in collusion with Rumball, though neither was a Quaker) followed after, clapping his hat sometimes between the whip and his wife’s back.”   (from the book The Peabody Story by John A. Wells, 1973, Essex Institute, Salem, MA, pages 136 -7)

Although kind hearted Robert Wilson helped his wife, she died soon after in 1668.  Robert remarried to Anna Trask, the widow of Joseph Perry Foster, in 1674. They had one child together before he was called to join the Essex County militia with Captain Thomas Lothrop to protect Deerfield, Massachusetts.  Seventy men, along with Robert Wilson, were killed at in a massacre at a brook near Deerfield on 18 September 1675.  Only seven or eight men escaped this massacre.  The brook was renamed “Bloody Brook”.

Bloody Brook Monument

From the Essex Quarterly Court Records, volume 6, leaf 19

Administration upon the estate of Robert Wilson, intestate, was granted 28, 4m, 1681 unto Ann, the relict, who brought in an inventory amounting to about 150 pounds, and whereas there is some legacy or something of an estate of Tamosen Buffum's which of right is to belong to Robert and Deborah, children of the deceased, the court ordered that Ann should pay out of this estate into the inventory, to Robert the eldest son 14 pounds, and to Deborah aforesaid, children by his first wife, and to Anna, John, Mary and Elizabeth children by Ann, 7 pounds each, at age or marriage, the house and land to stand bound by security.

If you look at the genealogy below, you will notice a lot of Robert Wilsons, and the Essex County records are full of even more Robert Wilsons.  How did I manage to figure out which Roberts belonged to what lines?  Not without help! I was at the New England Historic Genealogical Society library one day, and when I had trouble finding a book on the shelves the librarian, David Dearborn, asked me which surname I was researching.  When he heard I was looking for Salem, Massachusetts Wilsons he introduced me to a series of books written by researcher Ken Stevens of Walpole, New Hampshire.  Ken Stevens wrote all his books about Wilsons from all over New England.  I wrote to Mr. Stevens (it was before email) and he sent me all his research notes on the Salem Wilsons.  He had not included these particular Wilsons in a book yet.   He confirmed my line, too!   The NEHGS library has his papers on Wilson research in their manuscript collection.  Kenneth C. Stevens passed away in 2010.

My Wilson lineage (note the five Robert Wilsons and one Robert Wilson Wilkinson in the first eight generations!):

Generation 1:  Robert Wilson, born about 1630, died on 18 September 1675 in Deerfield, Massachusetts at the Bloody Brook Massacre; married first to Deborah Buffum, daughter of Robert Buffum and Tamosen Ward, on 12 August 1658 in Marblehead, Massachusetts.  She was born about 1639 and died about 1668 and had two children including Robert Wilson, Jr. (see below).  He married second to Anna Trask, daughter of Henry Trask and Mary Southwick, widow of Joseph Perry Foster, and had one child.

Generation 2: Robert Wilson, born about 1662, and died before 17 January 1717; married about 1685 to Elizabeth Cook, daughter of Isaac Cook and Elizabeth Buxton. Four children.  He is listed in his grandmother’s will (Tamosine Buffum, Essex County Probate #30139).  He was the first Wilson to own property near the Wilson Square area of what is now Peabody, Massachusetts.

Generation 3: Isaac Wilson, born about 1691; married Mary Stone, daughter of Samuel Stone and Mary Treadwell, on 9 January 1718 in Salem, Massachusetts. Six children. He was a carpenter.

Generation 4: Robert Wilson, born about 1724, died before 10 July 1782 in Danvers, Massachusetts (now Peabody); married to Elizabeth Southwick, daughter of John Southwick and Mary Trask on 26 May 1744 in Salem, Massachusetts. Four children.  He was a prominent potter who lived where Route 114 now crosses Route 128 in Peabody.  The Wilson family burial ground still exists there behind the Kappy’s Liquor Store.  The Wilsons were known for black pottery that can be seen on exhibit at the Peabody Historical Society.

Generation 5: Robert Wilson born about 1746 and died 4 June 1797 in Danvers (now Peabody); married on 23 March 1775 in Danvers to Sarah Felton, daughter of Malachi Felton and Abigail Jacobs.  Nine children.  He is buried at the Wilson burial ground, and Sarah was buried in 1836, forty years later, across the street at the Felton burial ground.

Generation 6: Robert Wilson, born 5 September 1776 in Danvers, died on 9 November 1803 in Danvers; married on 8 May 1800 to Mary Southwick, daughter of George Southwick and Sarah Platts.   Two children. Robert and Mary Wilson are buried at the Wilson burial ground.

Generation 7: Mercy F. Wilson, born 17 June 1803 in Peabody, died on 9 October 1883 in Peabody; married on 23 June 1829 in Danvers to Aaron Wilkinson, son of William Wilkinson and Mercy Nason, born in South Berwick, Maine on 22 February 1802, and died on 25 November 1879 in Peabody, Massachusetts. Eleven children.

Generation 8: Robert Wilson Wilkinson m. Phebe Cross Munroe

Generation 9: Albert Munroe Wilkinson m. Isabella Lyons Bill

Generation 10:  Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)
This Wilson family has not been written up in any compiled genealogy or articles in any genealogical journals.  Ken Stevens had notes on this lineage, but had not finished his research on the other lines of the Salem/Danvers/Peabody Wilsons for a book or article.   Most of what I put together here was gleaned from vital records and probate.  There is a bit of information on the Wilson potters to be found in books on the subject, such as this excerpt fromEarly New England Potters and Their Wares by Lura Woodside Watkins, Harvard University Press, 1950, pages 65-66.

"The Wilsons were a prominent family of artisans.  Their homestead included the land near 141 Andover Street and eastward where 128 now crosses it.  The first two potting Wilsons were sons of Robert, a farmer.  They were Robert, known as Robert, Jr. who remained in Danvers, and Joseph, who went to Dedham and thence to Providence, Rhode Island.  When Robert, Jr., died in 1782, he left property worth 627 pounds, including six lots of land, his house, barn, potter's shop, and cornhouse, a riding chair, and a large personal estate.  He seems to have done well in his trade.  His son Robert, known as Robert 2d, and a younger son Job were potters.  By an order of the court, Robert 3d, as administrator of his father's estate, was obliged to sell a large part of the elder Robert's property to pay certain debts.  This was not done until April 9, 1793, when two thirds of the land and buildings, and an interest in the business was aquired by Isaac Wilson 3d.  He, too, was a craftsman in clay.  The three Wilsons ran the shop together for a time, but Robert 3d, and Job both passed away before 1800, while Robert's son Robert, who had worked but a short time as a potter, died three years later at the age of twenty-seven.  Upon Isaac's decease in 1809, this early pottery must have come to an end." 
For more information on the Wilson Burial Ground in Peabody, see this link:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Vernon Howard Bates 1932 Murders

A share from Kyle Bradley from FB Ancestry Page:

Vernon Howard Bates, his wife Louise M., and kids, including my grandmother, Eleanore Louise Bates Bradley, lived in this house. Vernon was shot and killed on the front porch during a nighttime robbery while his daughter Edith slept in the back room. The front half of the house in 1932 was a grocery store, they lived in the back.

This is the only known photograph of my great grandfather, Vernon Howard Bates. he was born in Foster, Seneca co. Ohio in 1885, married Louise Marie Orlowski in 1906, had nine children, one of them my grandma Eleanor, and was murdered in 1932 near the porch of his own grocery store in a botched robbery attempt. The grocery was located a mile north of Leavenworth Rd. at 63rd St. The porch the burglars stood on while shooting him and the house that his grocery occupied is still standing. Pictured with him is his son, Willis Charles Bates. This picture was taken in 1930, about two years before Vernon's murder.