An American Family History

Deacon Ebenezer Fiske

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.

In 1721, Boston had a terrible smallpox epidemic. Citizens fled the city and spread the disease to the other colonies. Inoculation was introduced during this epidemic by Zabdiel Boylston and Cotton Mather.

Deacon Ebenezer Fiske was born on March 22, 1679 in Wenham, Essex County, Massachusetts. He was the son of William Fiske and Sarah Kilham.

He was a farmer. He married Elizabeth Fuller on May 24, 1710 in Wenham. She was the daughter of Jacob Fuller and Mary Bacon of Salem. Elizabeth was born in 1686.

Their children included:
Sarah Fiske Moulton (1711, married Samuel Moulton),
Jonathan Fiske (1713, died aged 23),
Ebenezer Fiske (1716, married Dorcas Tyler),
Elizabeth Fiske Bradstreet (1718, married John Bradstreet),
Jacob Fiske (1721, married Elizabeth Lamson),
Mary Fiske (1723),
William Fiske (1726, married Susannah Batchelder),
Mercy Fiske Perkins (1728, married David Perkins son of Jonathan Perkins and Elizabeth Potter), and
Lucy Fiske White (1732, married Thomas White).

In 1728, he was his father’s principal heir and legatee.

Elizabeth died on August 25, 1732. He was elected deacon in 1739.

His second wife was Mrs. Martha Kimball. They married on December 1, 1733.

He died on September 30, 1771.

Deacons played a respected and important role in early New England churches. They sat in a raised pew near the pulpit and had special duties during communion.

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.

Children of
Deacon William Fiske
and Sarah Kilham
  • William Fiske
  • Sarah Fiske Cook
  • Ruth Fiske
  • Samuel Fiske
  • Martha Fiske
  • Joseph Fiske
  • Samuel Fiske
  • Joseph Fiske
  • Benjamin Fiske
  • Theophilus Fiske
  • Ebenezer Fiske
  • Deacon Ebenezer Fiske
  • Jonathan Fiske
  • Elizabeth Fiske Foster
  • 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.

    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.
    Understand the Puritans better:



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

    from The Fiske Family v by Albert Augustus Fisk, 1867

    The maternal ancestors of Hon. William Fiske, in the paternal line from William, the first, of Wenham, were Susannah Batchelder, Elizabeth Fuller, and Sarah Kilham,—the wives respectively, of his father William, of Amherst, his grandfather Dea. Ebenezer, and great grandfather, Dea. William, of Wenham...

    In 1638, Thomas Fuller, who belonged to a family of high social standing in England, came over to this country on a tour of observation, not intending to stay. While in Cambridge he became a convert to Puritanism, under the eloquent preaching of Rev. Thomas Shepard, a famous Colonial divine, and at once resolved to cast in his lot with his brethren of that faith in the New World. He purchased a large tract of land in New Salem (afterward Middleton) and having married Elizabeth Tidd, of Woburn, he settled upon his handsome estate and died in 1698, leaving sons Thomas, Benjamin and Jacob, and several daughters.

    His youngest son, Jacob Fuller, born in 1655, married Mary Bacon and settled on the paternal homestead. Their five children were named Mary, Elizabeth, Edward, Sarah and Jacob. Two of these, Elizabeth and Sarah, married Fiskes, (Ebenezer and Daniel of Wenham).

    Salem is in Essex County, Massachusetts and was a significant seaport in early America. John Endicott obtained a patent from England and arrived there in 1628. Salem originally included much of the North Shore, including Marblehead. Salem Village also included Peabody and parts of Beverly, Middleton, Topsfield, Wenham and Manchester-by-the-Sea.

    The town common (commons) was a small, open field at the center of the town which was jointly owned. It was used as a marketplace, a place for the militia to drill, or for grazing livestock.
    Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.

    His sixth son, Ebenezer Fiske, appointed executor of his will, was born in Wenham, March 22, 1679, elected deacon in his place 1739, and married in 1710 to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of Jacob Fuller, Esq., of Salem, among others of whose posterity figures the somewhat celebrated Margaret Fuller. Deacon Ebenezer Fiske died September 30, 1771, in his ninety third year — a venerable and venerated patriarch of his church and town. To him and wife Elizabeth were born the following nine children:

    Sarah, born July 15, 1711.
    Ebenezer, born July 2, 1716.
    Jonathan, born Dec. 11, 1713.
    Mary, born Jan. 27, 1723-4.
    Elizabeth, born Oct. 12, 1718.
    Jacob, born Dec. 26, 1721.
    William, born Nov. 30, 1726.
    Mercy, born Mar. 9, 1728-9.
    Lucy, born April 22, 1732.

    Of the daughters of this family,
    Sarah married Samuel Moulton of Ipswich, in 1788;
    Elizabeth married John Bradstreet, of Topsfleld, in 1742;
    Mary married Nathaniel Low, of Wenham (probably), in 1742;
    Mercy married David Perkins [Jonathan, Timothy, Thomas], of Topsfield in 1752; and Lucy married Thomas White, in 1757.

    All of the above sons daughters were legatees in their father's will, made 1765 and proved 1771, except Sarah, and of course were then living. A grandchild, Sarah Moulton, was also a legatee.

    The eldest of these sons died in his twenty fourth year, unmarried.
    The next in age, Ebenezer, married Dorcas Tyler, in Upton, about 1740, and ultimately settled in Shelburne, Mass., where, among his descendants bearing the name, were born seven who entered the Christian ministry, inclusive of Rev. Pliny Fisk, of the Syrian Mission, Rev. Dr. Ezra Fisk, of Goshen, New York, and Rev. Dr. D. T. Fiske, of Newburyport, Mass.

    A valuable cane, supposed to have been brought from England, and willed by the Deacon to his second son, has been inherited by a namesake in this family, in every generation since. . .

    William, the youngest son of Deacon Ebenezer Fiske, and executor of his last will and testament, was married, in November, 1749, to Susanna Batchelder, of Wenham, and resided on the ancient homestead . . .

    Historically an esquire (Esq. or Esqr.) was the title of a man who ranked below a knight in the English gentry. Later it designated a commoner with the status of gentleman and was used by attorneys.

    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.


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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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