An American Family History

Jacob Dwinnell


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


The French and Indian War lasted from 1754 to 1763 and was the North American phase of the Seven Years' War.

The New England Meetinghouse was the only municipal building in a town. Both worship and civil meetings were held there. It was customary for men and women to sit separately and the town chose a committee once a year to assign seats according to what was paid, age, and dignity.

Jacob Dwinnell was born on January 31, 1714/15 in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts. He was the son of Dr. Michael Dwinnell and his first wife, Hannah.

He married Kesiah (Kezia) Gould. Kesiah was born on May 10, 1739. Her parents were John Gould and Phebe Towne, the granddaughter of Jacob Towne and Catherine Symons.

They had nine children. Israel Dwinnell was born November 2, 1740 and died November 16, 1760. Israel,

“is set down as one of “those who died from home, killed in the army in the French and Indian War. Nov. 16, 1760."

The last letter to his father said “we march to-morrow to Crown Point;" and he was killed in that battle. (Dunnel, p. 21).

Ruth Dwinnell was born in 1743.

Jacob Dwinnell was born in 1744 and married Mrs. Joanna Clark on December 6, 1769.

John Dwinnell was born June 1747 and married Esther Richards (1736-1837) she was the daughter of Joseph Richards and lived with Aaron and Esther Estey.

Mehetable Dwinnell Balch Nelson was born in 1748 and married Cornelius Balch in 1771 and Amos Nelson.

Ruth Dwinnell Holt was born in 1750 and married David Holt in 1771.

Phebe Dwinnell Estey was born in 1755 and married William Estey and resided in Keene, New Hampshire. William also served in Captain Gould's Company.

Abigail Dwinnell was born in 1758.

In 1762 Jacob Dwinnell was seated in church in the third seat below the elders and Mr. Jacob Dwinnell’s wife was in the women’s third seat.

Jacob’s father left him five shillings.

He died on September 16, 1784 in Topsfield of dropsy and is buried with his wife Kezia in Pine Grove Cemetery.

Fort Crown Point was constructed by the French in the 1730s at the south end of Lake Champlain to protect the southern part of New France from British colonial expansion. By the mid-1740s it was an imposing stone fortress. During the French and Indian War, Crown Point was the target of five efforts by the British to wrest control of Lake Champlain from the French.

Mister ( Mr.) was derived from master and Mrs. and Miss were derived from mistress. They indicated people of superior social status in colonial America.
Chiildren of Dr. Michael
and Hannah Dwinnell
  • Thomas Dwinnell
  • Sarah Dwinnell Foster
  • Mary Dwinnell Gott Peabody
  • Michael Dwinnell
  • Stephen Dwinnell
  • Hannah Dwinnell Bowery Curtis
  • Jacob Dwinnell
  • Abigail Dwinnell Deering

  • of Dr. Michael and Elizabeth Fiske
  • Benjamin Dwinnell
  • Thomas Dwinnell
  • of Dr. Michael and
    Elizabeth Cave
  • Samuel Dwinnell
  • Elizabeth Dwinnell
  • Dropsy or edema, is an abnormal accumulation of body fluids that causes swelling. It is often caused by heart and kidney disease.

    The settlement of New Meadows was incorporated as the Town of Topsfield in 1650. The church "gathered" on November 4, 1663. The third Meeting House was built in 1703 with Rev. Joseph Capen as pastor.

    Lush forests in Colonial America allowed settlers to build wooden homes.





    Copy of Israel’s letter, from the original at Topsfield from Dunnel, p. 21.
    (on outside) Mr. To Jacob Donnall Living In Topsfield, N England. post paid.

    Camp at Albany June 1st 1760. Ever Honnered father & mother these few Lines Coms with my Duty to you & Love to my Brothers and Sisters. Hopeing through the goodness of god, it will find you all, in as good Health, as it Now Leaves me at this present time, for which I Blesse god. Sr. pray rite to me all opportunity’s you have we are a going to march forward to morrow for Crown point. Sr. I Have Nothing Strange to aquaint you with at present. But it is Very Healthy in the army. and this is all at present from your Dutifull Son,
    Israel Donnall


    In Memory of
    Mr Jacob Dwinell
    who Departed this
    Life Seprey 16th
    in the 70th year
    of his age

    Kezia Dwinell
    Relict of Mr. Jacob Dwinell
    died Dec. 29, 1798 ’t. 80.

    The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 colonies which became the newly formed United States.

    Smallpox is caused by of two viruses: Variola major and Variola minor. Symptoms include a rash and blisters. The mortality rate for V. major is 30–35% and for V. minor is about 1%. Long-term complications include scars, blindness, and limb deformities.

    from Genealogical and Personal Memoirs by William Richard Cutter

    Jacob Dwinell, son of Dr. Michael Dwinell. born January 31. 1715-16, died September 16. 1784. He resided in Topsfield in his father’s house. and was called husbandman. His will was dated September 2. 1784. and his son John was executor.

    He married, December. 1739. Kezia Gould, born May 10. 1718. died December 29. 1798. daughter of John and Phebe (Towne) Gould, of Topsfield.

    1. Israel. born March 2. 1740. died November 16, 1760. in the French and Indian war.
    2. Ruth, born 1743. died September 13. 1743.
    3. Jacob, born August 6, 1745. married. December 12, 1769. Joanna Clark, widow; was in the revolution.
    4. John. born June 15. 1747
    5. Mehitable. born April 30. 1748. married (first), April 4, 1771, Cornelius Balch; (second). November 7, 1799. Amos Nelson.
    6. Child, died September 2. 1749.
    7. Ruth. born February 8, 1751, married. December 13. 1781. David Holt.
    8. Child. died March 13. 1753.
    9. Phebe, born June 17. 1755. married William Estey.
    10.Abigail, baptized July 1. 1758. died June 6,1759

    John Dwinell, son of Jacob Dwinell, born in Topsfield, June 15, 1747, died in 1818 of a carbuncle on the shoulder, aged seventy-one years. He married, February 5, 1771, Esther Richards, daughter of Joseph and Mary Richards of Southborough. Her father died when she was an infant, and at the age of ten she was brought by her mother (in accordance with her father's wish) to live with his sister, Esther Estey, wife of Aaron Estey, of Topsfield.

    Her father was son of Crispus and Sarah (Collins) Richards of Lynn and grandson of John Richards, a soldier in King Philip's war. Esther attended the school which was held in the house in which her aunt lived on Witch hill, and the school-master's ferule [a flat stick or ruler used for punishing children] and tobacco box is still in the possession of the family.

    She was twenty-three years old when she was married to John Dwinell by Rev. John Emerson, who is said to have pronounced them the handsomest couple he ever married. Esther Estey's granddaughter Lydia held the light for her to put on her wedding cap. John Dwinell took his bride to the house built by his father Jacob of the oak trees from the hill in the rear. At that time the elm in front of the house was full grown.

    Esther Dwinell died October 31, 1857, aged one hundred and one years, eight months and ten days. Her Aunt Esther, with whom she lived, attained the age of over a hundred years, and her brother John was ninety-seven and her sister Hannah ninety-seven years old when they died.

    Two children of Mr. and Mrs. Dwinell died with smallpox.

    1. Infant son born December 24, 1771, died young
    2. Esther, baptized April 25, 1773, died August 11, 1777, of dysentery
    3. John born 1776 died of small pox. October 16, 1777
    4. Mehitable, born Mary 4, 1777, died October 18, 1777, of small pox.
    5. Esther, born April, 1779, married, 1802 Moses Wildes, Jr. of Topsfield.
    6. Infant, born 1780, died young.
    7. John born 1782.
    8. Jacob born 1786 baptized September 1787; died of dysentery 1788

    John Dwinnell was was in the revolution in Captain Joseph Gould's company. Colonel John Baker's regiment, and answered the Lexington alarm, April 19. 1775.

    Shays's Rebellion was an armed uprising in Massachusetts in 1786 and 1787. Daniel Shays led four thousand rebels (Shaysites) in rising up against perceived economic injustices.

    Daniel Shays and Job Shattuck
    from Bickerstaff's Boston Almanack


    King Philip’s War was a bloody and costly series of raids and skirmishes in 1675 and 1676 between the Native American people and the colonials. King Philip was the Native American leader Metacom.

    Dysentery is an infectious disease marked by inflammation and ulceration of the lower part of the bowels, with diarrhea that becomes mucous and hemorrhagic.

    Diseases have transformed history and the lives of our ancestors.

    Esther Richards Dwinel, the wife of Jacob Dwinell’s son John came to live in Topsfield with her aunt Esther Esty, the widow of Daniel Esty when she was ten years old. Esther Esty lived to be over 100 years old as did Esther Dwinel. Esther Dwinel told the story of Dr. Michail’s seven wives. (Dunnel, p. 31)


    Esther Dwinell
    wife of
    John Dwinell,
    Died October 31, 1847.
    t. 101 yrs. & 8 mos.
    For all flesh is grass, 
    and all the glory of man 
    as the flower of the grass;
    The grass withereth and the flower thereof falleth away


    John Dwinell,
    died July 17, 1818.
    ’t. 71.
    The time draws nigh, when from the clouds 
    Christ shall with shouts descend; 
    And the last trumpets awful voice 
    The heavens and earth shall rend. 
    [Revolutionary Soldier.] 

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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