An American Family History

Esther Dwinnell Metcalf

Various spellings of Dwinnell
Doenell, Donell, Donnall, Donnell, Duenell, Dunnel, Dunnell, Dwaniel, Dwaniell, Dwainel, Dwennel, Dwinel, Dwinell, Dwinnel, Dwinnill, Dwonill, Dwynel

Esther Dwinnell Metcalf was born in 1772 in Boxford, Essex County, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Benjamin Dwinnell and Mary Estey.  

She married Frederick Metcalf on May 12, 1791 in Keene. The Reverend Aaron Hall performed the ceremony. Frederick was born June 11, 1768. His parents were Abijah Metcalf and Mercy Ellis.

Their children listed in Keene Vital Statistics were:
Benjamin Metcalf (December 1, 1791),
Abijah Metcalf (October 9, 1795, married Caroline Eliza Sturtevant),
Betsey Gamage Metcalf (June 24, 1797, never married),
Abigail Metcalf Wilson (September 15, 1801, married Jehiel Wilson),
Edwin Gray Metcalf (December 29, 1804, married Eliza Dwinnell and Martha Sturtevant),
Frederick William Metcalf (December 11, 1806, married Amanda McCoy),
Mary E. Metcalf Kidder (May 31, 1811, married Arba Kidder),
Alvah Ellis Metcalf (October 30, 1813, married Harriet Maria Willis),
Sarah Colony Metcalf Foster (July 29, 1815, married Warren Foster), and
Thankful Stocker Metcalf (January 9, 1820, never married).

In August 27, 1792, the town of Keene set up a school district that included Timothy Colony, Frederick Metcalf, and Thomas Dwinell's families.

The family (Fradrick Medcalf) appeared in the 1800 census of Keene. The family consisted of 2 boys under ten, one man between 26 and 45, one girl under ten, and one woman between 26 and 45.

Esther died on February 27, 1847 at the age of 74 years in Keene. Frederick died September 16, 1849. They are buried together in the North Cemetery in Keene.

Some Puritans gave their children hortatory names (from the Latin for “encourage”) like Thankful, hoping that the children would live up to them. The names were used for several generations.

Three daughters of William Towne and Joanna Blessing were wrongly accused of practicing witchcraft in Salem. Rebecca Towne Nurse, Mary Towne Estey, and Sarah Towne Bridges Cloyes were persecuted in 1692. The children of people in the line below are all descendants of Mary Estey.

William Towne,
Mary Towne Estey,
Isaac Estey,
Aaron Estey
Mary Estey Dwinnell
Israel Dwinnell,
Isaac Davis Dwinnell, Sr.,
Isaac Davis Dwinnell, Jr.
Victoria Zellena Dwinnell
Robert Wilson Miller, Sr
Robert Wilson Miller, Jr.

Boxford, Essex County, Massachusetts is approximately 25 miles north of  Boston. Boxford was set apart from Rowley Village and incorporated in 1685.

Women played an essential role in American society as mothers and homemakers.





John Adams, Jr. (1735-1826) was the second President of the United States (1797–1801), the first Vice President (1789–1797).

Gazetteer of Cheshire County compiled by Hamilton Child published printed at the Journal office, 1885

Frederick Metcalf was born in Keene, June 11, 1769. He married Esther Dwinell and reared a family of eleven children—five sons and six daughters. Four of these, Alvah E., Edwin G., William and Mary E.. are living and reside in Keene. Mr. Metcalf died September 16, 1849. His wife died February 27, 1847.

Mary E. married Arba Kidder and is now a widow.
Alvah E. was born October 30, 1813, married Harriet Willis, of Alstead, and has had six children, only two of whom are living. Of these, Alice married C. H. Clark, and Hattie M. resides at home. Alvah E. Metcalf was engaged in the manufacture of pails at South Keene for twenty years and has carried on the lumber business and painting for many years.

Keene, Cheshire County, New Hampshire was settled after 1736 and was a fort protecting Massachusetts during the French and Indian Wars. It was called Upper Ashuelot. When New Hampshire separated from Massachusetts in 1741 it became Keene, New Hampshire. During King George's War, the village was attacked and burned.

Children of Benjamin Dwinnell
and Mary Estey

  • Jonathan Dwinnell
  • Thomas Dwinnell
  • Mary Dwinnell Pomeroy
  • Elizabeth Dwinnell Banks
  • Abigail Dwinnell Francis
  • Hannah Dwinnell Wheeler
  • Benjamin Dwinnell
  • Israel Dwinnell
  • Sarah Dwinnell Colony
  • Esther Dwinnell Metcalf