An American Family History

Mary Dwinnell Hovey

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

Mary Dwinnell Hovey was born on January 21, 1668/69 in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts. Her parents were Michael and Mary Dwinnell.

She married John Hovey on January 11, 1691/92. He was born in December, 1666 and was the son of John Hovey and Dorcas Ivory of Topsfield. He was a farmer.

Their children included:
Dorcas Hovey (1693, married Jacob Estey),
John Hovey (1659, died at 17 days)
Mary Hovey Hale (1696, married Joseph Hale),
John Hovey (1699),
Joseph Hovey (1707), and
Susannah Hovey Scales (1710, married James Scales).

Her father provided for her in his will “John shall pay Five pounds to my Daughter Mary Hovey."

She died in Topsfield on May 7, 1737, at the age of sixty-eight. After her death, John married, Mary Abbot of Ipswich on March 8, 1737/38.

According to The Hovey Book, p. 46, John died in Topsfield May 31, 1751.

Children of Michael and Mary Dwinnell
  • Mary Dwinell Hovey
  • Dr. Michael Dwinnell
  • Thomas Dwinnell
  • John Dwinnell
  • Elizabeth Dwinnell
  • Magdalen Dwinnell Holgate Clough
  • Joseph Dwinnell
  • Joannah Dwinnell Hood
  • Susannah Dwinnell Devenish Kilham
  • Essex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643 by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when it ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires."




    Wenham was first settled by English Puritans. The church was formed in 1644 with John Fiske as pastor.
    ye is an archaic spelling of "the."

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

    A Dower is a provision for a wife's support should her husband die before her. Her dower right was the use of ⅓ of her husband's estate. The dower was settled on the bride at the time of the wedding. A drowry was the property a bride brought to her marriage.

    Seals were used to authenticate documents and men were expected to have a personal die. Records in deed books are copies and signatures are usually in the clerk’s handwriting. The clerk drew a circle around the word “seal” to indicate that the original document was sealed.

    The Hovey Book: Describing the English Ancestry and American Descendants of Daniel Hovey of Ipswich, Massachusetts by Daniel Hovey Association, Daniel Hovey Association, published by Press of L.R. Hovey, 1914

    John Hovey, born in Topsfield Dec. —, 1666. He lived in Topsfield, except for a few years beginning with 1711, when he lived in Boxford. He bought ten acres of land in Boxford on the Rowley town line June 29, 1706. He also bought, of his father, forty-nine acres of land in Boxford, on the Andover town line, adjoining Philistine hill, and also a part of Maple meadow, March 7, 1706-7. He also bought of his father five acres of land in Boxford Nov. 22, 1708. With his brother Luke Hovey, he also bought of his father a part of Maple meadow in Boxford, on the Andover town line, Jan. 13, 1709-10 and, for seven pounds and ten shillings, he sold one-third of the meadow Jan. 21, 1718. He sold three acres of marsh in Ipswich, near Hovey's island, with Ivory Hovey of Topsfield, July 17, I718.

    His father conveyed to him, for love and

    ye Severall Duties that he Shall doe towards my maintainance if need Shall hereafter require & ye payment of his part of Severall portions to his Sisters & Cousens as he is bound or he is with his brethren to me sd John Hovey Senr as appeareth more at large in a bond from him & his bretheren to me ye sd John Hovey Senr bearing Equall date with these presents,

    fifty acres, being the remainder of a lot lying all the way from Andover line to the top of Philistine hill and to Walker's hill and Walker's meadow, part of which he formerly conveyed to John (March 7, 1706-7);

    also, twenty acres extending from the Bradford line over Philistine hill to Walker's hill;

    also, the grantor's share in ash swamp;

    also, fifteen acres grantor bought of Col. John Wainwright, lying on the northwesterly side of the highway leading from Rowley to Boxford; also, one-half of a portion of great meadow in Rowley;

    also, one-half of the grantor's interest in Mr. Nelson's farm of two thousand acres;

    also, one-third of grantor's marsh by Hovey's island in Ipswich;

    also, grantor's land in Topsfield next Baker's pond; etc., March 14, 1717-84.

    For one hundred pounds, he bought thirty acres of land on Pie brook, July 22, I718.
    With Ivory Hovey of Topsfield he conveyed one and one-half acres of land in Topsfield, near Wenham meadows, Feb. 11, 1722/3.
    For twenty-one pounds, he bought sixteen acres of upland, swamp and meadow in Rowley and Boxford Feb. 26, 1710-1,
    and he bought some common land in Topsfield June 29, 1722.
    He, also, bought, for ten pounds, three acres of swamp and meadow in Topsfield, on Pye brook, Feb. 8, 1724-5, and,
    also, for forty pounds and ten shillings, five acres of meadow, in two lots, in Poplar meadow in Topsfield Aug. 5, 1725.
    For twenty pounds, he sold four acres in Satchwell's meadow in Topsfield July 21, I718.
    For sixteen pounds and five shillings, he sold ten acres of land in Boxford July 18, I718.
    Aug. 8, 1733, he joined with Luke Hovey and others in three deeds, conveying in each eleven acres of land in Boxford, part of Nelson's farm.
    He bought two or three acres of land in Ipswich, at Baker's pond, March 8, 1734-5-
    For thirty-seven pounds, he sold fifteen acres of upland in Boxford and two acres in Rowley great meadows, which his father bought of John Parley, July 9, 1718.
    For love, he conveyed to his son John Hovey of Boxford about seventeen acres of land in Boxford June 14, 1743.
    For eleven pounds, he bought two and three-quarters acres of land in Topsfield, being the first lot of the second division, "at or near the place called Wintrops Hills," and bounded on the northeast by the Ipswich line, Dec. 2, 1724.
    For six pounds, two shillings and six pence, he bought one and three-quarters acres, being the second lot in the above-mentioned division, May 1, 1724.

    Mr. Hovey was a husbandman all his life. He married, first, Mary, daughter of Michael and Mary Dwinnell of Topsfield Jan. 11, 1691-2. She was born in Topsfield Jan. 21, 1668-9. She died there May 7, 1737, at the age of sixty-eight. He married, second, Mary Abbot of Ipswich March 8, 1737-8; and she was living in 1743. He died in Topsfield May 31, 1751.

    The following is a copy of his will:
    In the Name of God Amen: The ninth Day of February: 1739/40
    I John Hovey of Topsfield in the County of Essex in ye Province of Maffachusets Bay in New England: being Sickly and weak of body But of Perfect mind and memory: thanks be Given to God: Therefore Calling to mind the mortallity of my body, knowing that it is appointed for all men once to Die Do make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament:

    that is to say Principally and firft of all I Give and Recommend my soul into the hands of God that Gave it, any my body I recommend to the Earth to be buried in Decent Chriftian burial at the Discretion of my Executor: nothing Doubting but I shall Receive the same again, at the General Resurection by the mighty Power of God and as for such worldly Eftate as it hath pleased God to bless me with in this Life I Give Demise and Dispose of the same in the following manner and form

    Imprimis I Give and bequeath to my well beloved wife Mary one full third part of all my Real Estate as fully as if there were no will made and I Give to my said wife the use and benefit of one thirds of my Parsonal Estate During her natural Life and such Goods and Estate as my said wife brought with her which shall fall into her third she may Dispose of them as she shall see meet but the rest of my parsonal Estate that shall fall into her thirds shall return to my children at her Decease.

    Item I Give to my Son John all the Land which he now Lives on: viz all my Land in the farm former called mr Nelsons farm of Two thousand acres being in Boxford and also that piece of salt marish which I bought of Samuel Perley Lying in Ipswich hundreds so called and I Give to my Son John all my saws, and files, and setts belonging to them and my corn fan a sythe & a Gun: both which he shall chuse, and also my Great Bible.

    Item I Give to my son Joseph all my Lands and buildings in Tops- field Lying on the North Eastwardly Side of Pie Brook so called and all my Lands Lying in Rowly and Boxford, Excepting what is above Given to my son John and I Give to my son Joseph my Book of Lives so called, and also a sythe & a Gun both which he shall chuse after his brother John has chosen his sythe & Gun. and I Give to my son Joseph all my Quick stock after his mothers third is taken out and all that shall be Left of her third of the stock at her Deceafe: and I Give to my said son all my instruments of Husbandry not other ways Given in this Will.

    Item I Give to my Daughter Mary Hale the sum of one hundred pounds to be paid by my Son Joseph Either in stock or money or other good pay Equevilent to bills of Publick Creditt of the old form and Tenor and to be paid as hereafter mentioned: namely Ten pound thereof within one year after my Decease and then fifteen pounds a year Every year after till whole be paid. and I give to my said Daughter my Book of Dr Prestons Entitled Gods Alsoficiency. I Give to my son Joseph Hale a sithe [scythe] after my sons John and Joseph Hovey have had their choice.

    Item I Give to my Daughter Susanna Scales all my Land in Topsfield Lying on the west of Southwesterly Side of Pie Brook so called. if she shall see Caufe to Live upon it. but if not then my son Joseph shall have said Land. and pay one hundred pounds to my said Daughter in manner and form as abovementioned to my Daughter Mary and my will is that my son Joseph shall allow a convenient way from the abovesaid Land to the country Road on pine Plain if my said Daughter Susanna shall come and Dwell on sd Land. and I Give to my said Daughter my Book of the London Ministers farewell Sermons and my will is that all my Books not above Given away shall be Equally Divided amongst all my Children.

    And my Will is that my household Goods that shall be Left after my wifes thirds are taken out shall be Equelly Divided between my two Daughters. And I Give to my son in Law James Scales a Gun.

    And I Do hereby Constitute make and ordain my Son Joseph Hovey to be the Sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testament Ratifying and confirming this to be my Last will and Testament and none other. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the Day and year above written

    Signed Sealed Published & Declared
    by the said John Hovey as his
    Last Will and Testament

    In presence of us ye subscribers
    Ivory Hovey
    Jacob Dorman [seal]
    Aaron Hovey
    Jacob Peabody.
    The will was proved July 1, 1751.

    Old Style Calendar
    Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

    A yeoman was a man who owned and cultivated a small farm. He belonged to the class below the gentry or land owners. A husbandman was a free tenant farmer. The social status of a husbandman was below that of a yeoman.

    Wenham, Essex County, Massachusetts was settled in 1636. The first settlers called it Enon or Salem Village. It was officially set off from the Town of Salem on May 10, 1643.

    American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
    Imprimus or imprimis means "in the first place."
    Salt marshes which are between the ocean mud flats and grassy uplands, were desired by colonial farmers because salt marsh hay is more nutritious for cattle.

    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.

    Estate inventories give us a glance into the home life of Colonial Americans.

    Stilyards are weighing scales.


    Indian Corn (or flint corn) is the type of maize that Native Americans taught colonists to cultivate. The kernels come in a range of colors and are less prone to spoiling.

    A True Inuentory of all and singular the goods chattles and Estate Both Real and personal of mr John Hovey of Topsfield Late decd [ in the county of Esex] priesed at Topsfield ye 25th day of July anno Domini 1751.
    By Jacob Dorman Joseph Robinson & Aron Hovey as folloeth
    all His Land in Topsfield with his Buildings theireon & all his Lands in Boxford: and his Land & marsh in Ipswich and his Land Rowly at ye sume of 666 12 00
    to his fire armes 01 01 04
    to wareing aparil 06 18 08
    to Hats 00 04 08
    to shirts 00 10 00
    to botes sohues stocking & buckiles 01 02 08
    to Beads & beading 09 02 06
    to chestes and other wooden wares 02 02 00
    to Books 01 01 04
    to a Came 00 08 00
    to mony scailes and waites, 00 13 04
    to shoue Leather, 00 07 04
    to a steele trape oo 10 08
    to 4 old ougurs 00 03 00
    to Brase wares 01 09 04
    to old puter 01 04 04
    to ioron pots & cittles 00 06 09
    to tramels and oirrons Slice & tongs & frying pan 00 08 00
    to indian Corn 10 buchels 00 16 00
    to sheps wool 00 07 06
    to sider and caske 01 04 00
    to Chains & plou iorns 00 04 08
    to a paire of stilyards 00 04 08
    to a brase watch 00 08 00
    to a brase inckcn & a dial . , 00 02 08
    to a pasel of old iron ; , 01 12 00
    to glase hotels 00 02 08
    to knifes & forcks 00 01 05
    to 2 woolings wheles 00 02 08
    to a pare of specttles 00 02 00
    to chares 00 06 00
    to a to Come or Hekel 00 04 08
    to 2 pails & a pigen 00 01 10
    to a plain jron shue mackers alls & shu heels and a tap boner
    & one busel of malt 00 03 04
    to two bushels & a half of rye 1 bushel of otes oo 09 08
    to a sadel & pilyon 00 18 08
    to half a Bariel of porke 01 17 08
    to 2 Horses 04 02 08
    to one ox 02 13 04
    to 3 Coues 06 18 08
    to 2 yarlings & a Calf 02 08 00
    to sheepe & Lambs 03 03 04
    to seuen swine j 03 06 08
    to files & a raspe 00 02 00
    730 09 10
    By ous as abuf sd v' Day & Date abov written
    Jacob Dorman
    Aaron Hovey
    Joseph Robinson
    Joseph Hovey Ex

    Tools were an important legacy because they were essential part of daily life.
    A trammel an arrangement of links and a hook in a fireplace for raising and lowering a kettle.
    It was common for bequests to include wearing apparel.
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