An American Family History

Thomas Dwinnell

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

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.

Thomas Dwinnell was born in November, 1672 or January 20, 1672 in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts. His parents were Michael and Mary Dwinnell. He was a yeoman.

According to the Topsfield marriage records he married Dinah Brimsdell (Brimsden) on May 23, 1701 in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts. She was probably daughter of Robert Brimsden & Bathsheba Richards.

Thomas and Dinah's children were recorded in the Topsfield birth records.

Jonathan Dwinnell (June, 1702-1782, married Mehitable Kennay),

Mary Dwinnell Holmes (January, 1704, married John Holmes on November 23, 1726),

Ruth Dwinnell (January 1706),

David Dwinnell (1709, married Kesiah Ramsdell on November 9, 1732),

Thomas Dwinnell (1711, married Hannah Towne on June 25, 1775, Hannah was the granddaughter of Joseph Towne),

Susannah Dwinnell (1715, married her cousin John Dwinnell the son of John Dwinnell),

Abigail Dwinnell (1717),

Jacob Dwinnell (1719), and

Dr. Amos Dwinnell (1722, married Anna Perkins, daughter of Tobjiah Perkins, Jr.).

At a Lawfull meeting of ye Town of Topsfield the 2 day march 1702/8 . . . Thomas Dwaniel [was] Chosen Haward for the year Insuing.

in 1708/9 he was again Haward or field driver. (Topsfield Historical Collections, Volume 11)

He inherited from his father

all the Land he is possessed of about his house & from Town’s Land, as he is bounded on ye West Side on both corners of his house Lott, running Easterly till It meets with Salem Line; being a Triangle piece of about Two Acres, be it more or less as it is bounded. Also his parcel of ye Swamp, as it is divided with his brothers. Also Three Acres and a halfe of ye River Meadows, bounded by Michaells Meadow & ye East End Two Acres, and a halfe, and by the Westerly angle bounded from the Southerly side of ye Ford & so To joyne upon ye Town acres & halfe of Upland as afore mentioned.

Thomas died in Topsfield on October 5, 1747
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
  • 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.

    ye is an archaic spelling of "the."


    English colonists from Salem were the first settlers in Lynn.

    New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation by William Richard Cutter

    Thomas [Dwinnell], second son of Michael and Mary (Read) Dwinnell, was born January 20, 1672, in Topsfield, and died there in 1747.

    His will made in June of that year, mentions his wife and sons Jonathan, David and Thomas, and grandson Archelaus. He married, May 23, 1701, in Lynn, Dinah Brinsdell, of that town.

    Jonathan, born June 27, 1702;
    Mary, January 30, 1704;
    Ruth, January 12, 1706;
    David, mentioned below;
    Thomas, December 3, 1711;
    Susanna, August 12, 1715;
    Abigail, baptized November 12, 1717;
    Jacob, September 11, 1719;
    Amos, March 19, 1727.

    Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts was first settled by English Puritans in 1629 and was first incorporated in 1631 as Saugus.
    The Essex Antiquarian, Volume 12, edited by Sidney Perley

    Robert Brimsden (or, Brimsdell) of Lynn, married Bathsheba Richards April 15, 1667, was of Boston, 1672, merchant; and possibly married Ann, daughter of Thomas Barnes for his second wife.


    The Connecticut Nutmegger, Volume 14, p. 285, Connecticut Society of Genealogists,1981

    Dinah/Diana/Desire poss dau of Robert & Bathsheba (Richards) Brimsdell/Brimsden m Lynn 23May 1701Thomas Dwinnell/ Dunnell b 1672 d Topsfield MA by 1747 s of Michael & Mary


    from Essex Institute Historical Collections, Volume 28

    T. Dwinnell Cellar. — Quite a little distance east of the house of Mrs. Eunice Howe (No. 121) was the residence of Thomas Dunnell, the father of Jacob Dunnell who lived in No. 179.

    Thomas Dunnell was a son of Thomas and Dinah (Brimsdell) Dwinnell of Topsfield, where he was born in 1711. He married Hannah Towne [grand-daughter of Joseph Towne] there in 1738, came to Boxford about 1762, and settled on this place.

    He stole something from a neighbor, and to emphasize his denial of the theft said, "If I stole it, I hope to rot alive," and the tradition is that such a judgment came upon him, and he died of slow mortification. We believe his death occurred about 1778.


    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."
    from The Historical Collections of the Topsfield Historical Society

    The second physician in Topsfield was Amos Dwinell, the ninth child of Thomas, who was a brother to Doctor Michael. He was born Mar. 19, 1721/2, the son of Thomas and Dinah (Brimsdill) Dwinell. She was of Lynn, they having married May 23, 1701.

    Amos was admitted to a full communion in the Topsfield church on Aug. 29, 1742. He married, May 26, 1749, Anna Perkins, at Rowley. There is no record of any children.

    Under date of April 16, 1748, in a deed of eight acres of land to Uzziel Rea, he styles himself "Amos Dwinell of Topsfield, Physitian."
    He witnessed a deed in Topsfield in 1746, and is called "physician and doctor."

    In the assessors' records for the years 1747-8-9, he is styled "Doctor." Just where he received his education is not known. His uncle, Doctor "Michaill," died Dec. 24, 1761, and it is quite probable that the nephew may have been taught by him. Where he practiced after he left Topsfield is not known, but in a letter written by John Adams, dated Oct. 21, 1798, and printed in Gage's History of Rowley, an Amos Dunnell is mentioned, but he is not listed with the regular physicians of Rowley.

    After his marriage, in 1749, he seems to have disappeared from this vicinity, and it is not known where he died. His father's will was dated June 21, 1747, and in it he bequeathed to Amos all his estate, "both Real and Personal in Topsfield, or anywhere else.

    Surgeons in colonial America were often barbers who used their cutting tools to perform surgery.
    Physicians were university trained.
    Midwives assisted women in childbirth.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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