An American Family History

Mary Shaw Balch Dwinnell

A cooper makes wooden barrels and casks.


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

Mary Shaw Balch Dwinnell was born in 1684 in Beverly, Essex County, Massachusetts.

Mary's parents were Peter Shaw and Jane (Allison) Allanson. Peter was an early planter in Beverly. After Peter died, Jane married William Bradford and Robert Leach.

Mary married Cornelius Balch on November 29, 1711 in Beverly, Massachusetts. Cornelius was born on May 1, 1687 in Beverly. His parents were Samuel Balch and Martha Newmarch. Cornelius was a cooper.

Cornelius and Mary's children included:
Mary Balch (1714) and
Cornelius Balch, Jr. (1716).

The children were born in Boxford. She became a widow when Cornelius died in 1730.

She married Dr. Michael Dwinnell on February 5, 1753. She became a widow when Michael died in 1761.

In 1762, the widow Mary Dwinnell was in the women’s first seat with Mr. Aaron Esty’s wife.

She died on April 14, 1774 “a very aged woman upward of 90 years."

Planter is an archaic term for a settler. Plantation was a method of colonization where settlers were "planted" abroad. A plantation is also the kind of large farm that was the economical basis of many American Colonies and owners of these farms were also called planters.

Mister ( Mr.) was derived from master and Mrs. and Miss were derived from mistress. They indicated people of superior social status in colonial America.
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.



from Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis

Jane [Allanson], b. about 1650 in England; m (1) Peter Shaw of Scarborough before 1676; m. (2) after 1694 William Bradford of Beverly; m. (3) Robert Leach of Manchester March 13, 1717/8.

Peter Shaw was a planter at Spurwink and also owned lands at Blue Point, in partnership with Collins.

On July 9, 1730, Jane Leech, widow of Robert Leech, late of Manchester, carpenter, deeded to John Tuck of Beverly, coaster, all the right inteterest and inheritance which she had or ought to have in any lands in Scarborough "which late was part of the estate of my father Ralph Ellison." She d. in Beverly between July and Dec. 1734, "aged 96," a great exaggeration.

Colonial Maryland
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Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
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©Roberta Tuller 2023
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