Showing posts with label Samuel Brocklebank. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Samuel Brocklebank. Show all posts

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Brocklebank-Nelson-Beecher house Georgetown, MA

The Brocklebank-Nelson-Beecher house is a First Period Colonial house located at 108 East Main Street (Route 133) in Georgetown. 
Great old article on the house from Boston Globe February 1, 1892
This ancient and historic landmark is situated on the corner of Main and Elm Sts., on the direct road to Salem. It was built by Lieut. Samuel Brocklebank (1628-1676) in 1660; he also owned a farm of 72 acres.
Although this house is 231 years old, a passer by would hardly take it to be a half century old, as it has always been kept in good repair.
It contains 10 rooms, with two stories and an attic in front. On either side of the front door, facing the south, arc two large rooms, used as sitting-room and parlor. They are very low studded. Each room contains a large open fireplace; the large oaken beams and posts nearly a foot square, stand out prominently.

Many improvements have recently been made on the old House, the windows have been taken out and the west side raised. But the antique roof still remains, a delight to the antiquarians. It was laid out across the Brocklebank farm near the residence of John Preston, through what is now known as Pentucket Sq.; then up Andover St., over Spofford's hill to connect with the Haverhill and Salem Road, near the house of Edward Poor.

In those colonial days it was the custom for the pioneers that lived for miles around to assemble at this house with their families every night for protection from the Indians. And more than once they returned in the morning to find their homes in ashes and their crops destroyed by the Indians.
Lieut. Brocklebank was appointed captain, and was killed in a fight with King Philip and his warriors in Sudbury on April 20, 1676.
(See Photo below by Beca Find A Grave

After Capt. Brocklebank's death the inventory of his estate was made and the record is found: Farm toward Bradford, 150 lbs.
In 1686 his eldest son Samuel, who was then 24 years old, lived on the farm.
A committee appointed Nov. 20, 1686, met at this house to consider a claim for damages caused by a highway opened through his farm. This was the Rowley and Haverhill road, opened years before by his father.
In 1720, this Samuel Brocklebank, then known as Deacon Samuel, of the Byfield church, deeded this house and the adjoining land to his youngest son, Francis, provided he would support himself and his wife through life.
Six years before, Deacon Samuel Brocklebank had given his eldest brother John a deed of all the land that now comprises Georgetown centre.

In 1745 Dudley Tyler came into possession of this farm bv marriage: as the house was large he opened an inn. This sign was about four feet square, and it used to hang on a pole in the front yard. Solomon Nelson who purchased the property in 1767.  The sign is still in good condition, and is the property of Mr. Humphrey Nelson.

In 1760, when a new meeting-house or the removal of the old one then standing near where the house of David Brocklebank now is, had caused a very sharp controversy, Caleb Cushing, Samuel Phillips and Thomas Lewis met here as an advisory committee to consider the matter.

After Mr. Tyler, the next owner was Solomon Nelson, the father of Nathaniel Jeremiah of Newburyport, who was a member of Congress from Essex North for 20 years or more.

The patriots of the Revolution assembled at this house before starting for Lexington, April 19, 1775. On seeing this sign of Gen. Wolfe they shot at it. The holes made by these bullets are still plainly seen.

A excerpt from letter sent by Capt. Samuel Brocklebank of Rowley, to John Leverett, Governor of Massachuesetts, in 1675:
To the Honored Governor and Counsel, This may certifie that we have impressed twelve men according to our warrant and have given them charge to fit themselves well with warm clothing, and we hope they will and doe endeavor to find themselves as well as they can; only some of them are men that are but latly come to town, and want arms, the which to provide for them we must press other men's arnica, which is very grievous.
In 1858 the house was purchased by Rev Charles Beecher (1815-1900) brother of Henry Ward Beecher. The home was parsonage for the Old South Church.

Monday, June 4, 1866 Lowell Daily Citizen and News (Lowell, MA)

From Standard History of Essex County by Cyrus Mason Tracy
The long condition of harmony in the Orthodox Church at length gave indications of being disturbed by a difference of opinion, in reference to certain fundamental theological questions, between a portion of the church and the Rev. Mr. Beecher. The theological eccentricities of Mr. Beecher—the leading one being the doctrine of pro-existence— became so prominent in the minds of those who dissented therefrom, that unity in the support of his ministry could no longer be maintained ; and Jan. 17, 1864, eighty-five members, by consent of a council convened for that purpose,withdrew, and organized themselves under the name of the First Orthodox Society, of Georgetown, establishing worship in the chapel occupied by the Ladies’ Benevolent Society.

In 1865, a sister of George Peabody, of London, observing the position of this society, conceived the idea of having a church built for their use, and suggested the idea to her brother of building a church there, which should stand as a memorial to their mother. The suggestion met with the prompt and cordial approval of Mr. Peabody, who at once signified his purpose to carry out the plan, and a site for the church was selected in 1866, upon which the structure was erected, and dedicated in 1868, at which time the new organization took the name of the "Memorial Church.” It is located on Main Street, and is built of brick. In the rear of the church, and upon the same lot, is located the Library Building and the Peabody Lecture Hall.

The portion of the old society remaining with Mr. Beecher rallied to his most cordial support, and was re-enforced by additions from the less conservative portion of the community, who saw in his position, made prominent by the action of the seceders, a new religious departure. Although there appeared a peculiarity and independence in Mr. Beeeher’s belief in certain things, his position was not regarded as decidedly unevangelical. He retained and still retains the leading evangelical views of the Congregationalists, blended with his own philosophy, forming a theory, probably, more harmonious to his own mind than it is to the judgment of many others. He is an independent, vigorous thinker and writer, whose suggestions, if followed to their legitimate results, would open into very broad fields.

The old meeting-house had become too dilapidated for agreeable occupancy; and directly after the erection of the Memorial Church, a new and very beautiful house of worship was erected for Mr. Beecher, on the corner of Andover and Middle streets, fronting on Monument Square.

The ministry of Mr. Beecher has been well sustained,—a large, flourishing, and intelligent congregation having been gathered about him. During some portion of his ministry of twenty-one years in this town, his health has been such as not to withstand the rigors of a northern climate, and he has passed some of his winters in Florida; but he has been the constant pastor of the society, and in his absence the pulpit has been supplied in such ways as the society devised.

For a time, the Rev. Thomas R. Beeber was settled as colleague with Mr. Beecher, but resigned his ofiice in March, 1875. He was succeeded in 1876 by the Rev. Alfred F. Marsh, who remained only one year. Mr. Beecher’s health is now quite improved.

Essay: The Beechers In Our Backyard   by Agnes Howard


According to legend a servant girl mysterious trunk Mary Harrod Northend the event took place in 1679 when Hannah, the housemaid lifted the lid of the wooden chest to take out the meal to sift it for biscuit. The chest "commenced to jump and down and jog along the floor two or three inches at a time." Hannah was frightened and sent the children next door to the neighbors so they could witness the haunting event. When all surrounded the possessed trunk it remained still, but when Hannah touched it--"it commenced its grytations, trotting all over the room and becoming so noisy that the minister was sent for." When the minister arrived he knelt and prayed with all his power as the trunk bounced around the room. By then there were over 20 witnesses and the minister requested one large lady to sit upon it, but "it kept on with its jigging." Hannah was released from her duties and the trunk has sat silent and still since. The “Haunted Meal Chest” can be examined today visit The Brocklebank Museum
Georgetown, Ma
Baldpate Hill  The highest Hill in Essex County is Baldpate Hill located on borders of Georgetown, MA and Boxford, MA
Check out  The Essex Antiquarian. Vol. II. Salem, Mass., July, 1898. No. 7.
The original house was extended several times in its early years, and is now a gambrel roofed, 5-bay, center chimney dwelling of early eighteenth century appearance. A number of items are exhibited within, including many of Capt. Brocklebank's journals. There are also many historically accurate pieces within as well as a display of a small back yard shoe shop.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

From A Grand Adventure Looking for Relatives Margaret on the Road

This is a great story and I encourage readers to visit her travel blog.
Margaret has a wealth of information and travels all over searching deep and wide, leaving no stone unturned! We have posted two days worth of her info on the Dole, Little, Dodge, and Brocklebank lines in Newbury, MA, as well as the Blackintons and Richardsons.
Please note we have included some additional pictures here.
Day 66 Today wasn't nearly as exciting as yesterday. Once again I was knee deep in microfilm, trying to read 17th century vernacular, 18th century handwriting and going cross-eyed peering through blurry 20th century scanning. Samuel Dole's will is one of the very pleasant ones to read. here are some inventory evaluations that you should enjoy. The spelling is theirs, not mine.)
  • funeral charges 83.45
  • soal leather and calfskin 4.25
  • one ox waggon 26.00
  • 2 ox sleds 7.00
  • chissels 2.20
  • 8 pair pillow cases 7.00
  • suit of curtains 3.00
  • 3 yards of low cloth .50
  • 32 table cloths 49.00
  • 34 chairs 21.86 (don't we wish we had a few of these now)
  • 2 pair brass headed fire shovel and tongs 1.75
  • 5 pair linen sheets 35.00
  • 51 plates 2.49
  • tar and barrel .59
  • spooling wheel, swift, shuttles, temples and blocks 2.00
  • payment of the bond and letter of guardianship for his minor child 1.10 (cheap lawyer) 
  • Plus 3 more pages of household goods, debts and real estate. Obviously Mr. Dole was well off. We also discover his wife's name is Hanna, he has a son James, and 3 daughters (including our Sarah who marries Wm Bradford Dodge), and the will is being probated on May 24, 1808.
A more difficult document to read is an agreement of Indenture. In this paper, Mathew Soley and Henry Phillips agree that Mathew will pay the value of $150 pounds to pay off a purchase of land. Henry's wife Mary is in agreement with this document. There is more than a page of great explanation about fields, bulls, pump yards, upper and lower parts of the chimney and a multitude of other contingencies that will take me a week to decipher. In addition, the two families agree to create a permanent path to Samuel Ward's Alley that they all can use for the carrying of wood and such without regard to which yard they have to cross. Each family will own half the arbor bordering the path. Date: 20 June 1675. Very interesting but a lot of wok to get one confirmation that Henry's wife's name is Mary.

More of such fun tomorrow!

Day 67

Yes - I made progress today. Of course it helped that I could actually read the documents and page numbers.

The house of Capt. Samuel Brocklebank in Georgetown,Massachusetts c. 1668
Deeds and quasi-probate information pushed the Dole lineage back 3 generations. Samuel Jr was tied to Samuel Sr., Samuel Sr to his widowed mother Mary and deceased father William plus Mary names her father in an additional document - Samuel Brocklebanks. Yea!!

On the Dodge side, I firmly nailed down the Phineas-John-Phineas-Wm Bradford lineage through probate records. There are lots of Phineases and Johns so to straighten them out and clearly identify who belongs to whom through a combination of records is very satisfying.

Tomorrow and Saturday will be more of the same. At least the 4 day monsoon is over so I walked to the train and library in sunshine before disappearing into the microfilm cave. Off to bed - I am tired.

Day 68

Today was a day for Blackintons and Richardsons. Both families were from the Attleborough area of Massachusetts - near Providence, RI. Probate records pushed the Blackintons into the 1600s adding three more generations and 100 years to what we knew a few weeks ago. In case you have forgotten - or face it, cared - Olive Blackinton married Henry Richardson. They are the great-grandparents of Abby Jane Richardson who married George Washington Coats. If you are more visual, Abby Jane is the lady who in photos from the 1890s looks like a dried apple woman.

Back to the Blackintons. Our first ancestor in the line is now Pentecost Blackinton, Sr. He was probably born in the mid-1600s. He died in 1715. His will plus a land deed nicely name is wife (Mary) and 3 children (Pentecost Jr, Benjamin, and Elizabeth).

His son, Pentecost Jr., must have been born in the latter quarter of the 17th century since he was married by 1717 and died in 1744. Upon his death, his wife Rebeccah is left with sons Pentecost III, George and John, daughters Rebeccah, Anne, and Mary and 3 sons under the age of 14 requiring a guardian - Othaniell, Peter and Oliver. There seems to be a fair amount of land amassed as there are a plethora of land transactions throughout Pentecost Jr's life and so the family survives.

Oliver overcomes a chaotic childhood and marries Mary Whipple in the 1750s. He dies in 1810. He leaves a generous will in which he names his beloved wife Mary, son Oliver, grandchildren Charlotte, Eliza, Esther, Caroline, Ellis and Samuel, and a daughter - yes! - Olive Richardson. It is so nice that he includes her married name. Now although he has provided handsomely for everyone, he is insolvent and can't pay his bills. Letters go out to creditors including 2 Richardsons - members of his daughter's family-in-law.

For the moment, the story ends here. since both Oliver and Olive were adults when Oliver Sr dies, I imagine they took care of their mother for the last 10 years of her life. Who knows if the grandchildren ever received any inheritance bu most of them would also have been adults by 1810. George Richardson (son of Henry R and Olive B) and wife Lovicy Robbins would likely have been in Maine at this point before making their way to Michigan in the 1830s.

One more day of research remains at the NEHGS before my visit to Boston ends Tuesday morning. I know I won't get everything finished. I will definitely need a return trip!

Day 70 Well it is official. I have been on the road for 10 weeks. The time is flying by and I can't believe that the journey is half over.
 I spent the morning straightening the Brocklebank-Dole mess. Turns out I had all the right players just not aligned correctly. Samuel Brocklebank (10th GG) came from England in 1638 as a child with his widowed mother Jane and brother John. He became a surveyor and married Hannah Rolfe in 1659. They had a number of children and in 1668 built a house in what is now Georgetown, MA. Samuel was killed with his entire company of men in Sudbury during King Philip's War (Indians vs Pilgrims). Hannah Rolfe married a widower from nearby - Richard Dole. He had 10 children from his first marriage and 5 of them married 5 of Hannah's children. This is what I didn't know yesterday and caused a stumbling block in sorting out the lines. Hannah's daughter Mary married William Dole. They begat Samuel Dole who begat Samuel Dole who begat Samuel Dole who married Hannah Little and who begat little Sarah who married Rev. Wm Bradford Dodge - whew!
On the way to this new information I found that the home Samuel Brocklebank built in 1668 still exists and is a museum. It is open 2 half days a month and of course today was NOT one of those days but the weather was fine and called for A ROAD TRIP! Off I went. The house is quite large and grants from local historical societies are refurbishing the exterior. Wish I could have gone inside but it was wonderful to walk around the old family homestead. FYI - in the 1750s the home became a tavern - owned by Solomen Nelson whose daughter Lucy married Phinneas Dodge. This means two lines of the family leading to Dodges had connections to this house. What it really shows is how close the communities and how interwoven the families were.
From Georgetown, I drove to W. Newbury and found Capt. Samuel Dole and Hannah Little Dole's gravestones. They are well preserved although Samuel's stone is difficult to read. They sit on a hill under a lovely oak tree. Hannah was born in 1757 and lived a long 86 years (see stone). Then it was on to First Burying Ground Cemetery in Newbury. I searched for several hours but no luck finding Richard Dole or Hannah Rolfe Brockelbank Dole's graves. Lots of other familiar surnames - just not the 2 I was looking for.

After a long day, I met Doug and Cynthia for a nice waterfront dinner in Essex. This was our last meal together as they are staying in Boston to work and I will be in Acton for 2 nights before moving to CT.