An American Family History

Martha Kimball Fowler

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Rattlesden is a village in Suffolk in eastern England. St. Nicholas church dates from the 13th century. The village was a center of Puritanism in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Boston was founded in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England.

Alcohol played a significant role in the daily lives of colonists; even children. They feared polluted water and believed in alcohol's nourishing and medicinal properties.

Martha Kimball Fowler was born in 1629 in Rattlesden, Suffolk County, England. Her parents were Richard Kimball and Ursula Scott. He was called husbandman.

She came to America with her parents on the ship Elizabeth when she was about five years old.

She married Joseph Fowler in Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts and they settled there. Joseph was born about 1629 in England. His parents were Philip and Mary Fowler.

Their children included:
Joseph Fowler (1647, married Elizabeth Hutton),
Philip Fowler (1648, married Elizabeth Herrick),
John Fowler (1655, married Hannah Scott), and
Mary Fowler Breen (married John Breen or Briars).

In 1647, Philip and his father manned the Ipswich watch house for two days. The town paid him three shillings.

In 1649 Joseph was admonished for drinking in woods with his cousin and Martha's brothers. The court record says that some of their wives had to go after them.

In 1650 they sold land and cattle to Martha's father.

In 1651 Joseph's father, Philip, adopted their son Philip. In March of that year he was again presented at court with other young men. That same year Joseph testified in the Ipswich Court in the case of Bradstreet vs Muzzy he said

You have been whipt once allredy for saying [that] the fellow in the silver buttons came and said he swore hime befor the gret saggamore the deputy Gouernar and he would doe the best he could to bring hime to it againe and tould him he would haile hime out by the hares and yt he was good for nothing but to rune rouging about the Cuntry. That he heard this latly deceased John Cross say that he formarly loved John brodftret well untell that Joseph Muzi had railed such reports on hime which caused him to procscecut against him which he feaied now seing he was a lying fellow had don him rong for the said John cross: said he was such a lying felow thar was noe beleving of him he was a nose to set a hole town and cuntrary togeather by the years.

In 1670 Joseph Fowler from Ipswich was a settler in Wenham.

Joseph was killed by indigenous warriors on May 19, 1676 near Deerfield, Massachusetts on his return from the the Battle of Turner's Falls. 

The ship Elizabeth sailed from Ipswich, England in April, 1634 with William Andrews, Master. On board were Richard and Ursula Kimball and their children, Ursula’s mother Martha Whatlock Scott and her brothers Roger and Thomas Scott. Humphrey and Bridget Bradstreet sailed on the same ship. They arrived in July at Boston.

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.
The Battle of Turner's Falls, also known as the Peskeompscut massacre, was on May 19, 1676. Colonists under Captain William Turner attacked the village of Peskeompscut and killed many of the inhabitants. Some villagers regrouped and attacked the returning colonists.
Children of Richard Kimball, Sr.
and Ursula Scott
  • Henry Kimball
  • Abigail Kimball Severens
  • Elizabeth Kimball
  • Richard Kimball, Jr.
  • Mary Kimball Dutch
  • Martha Kimball Fowler
  • John Kimball
  • Thomas Kimball
  • Sarah Kimball Allen
  • Cornet Benjamin Kimball
  • Caleb Kimball
  • To be presented to the court meant to be charged or indited.
    Various spellings of Kimball:
    Kemball, Kembolde, Kembold
    Europeans who made the voyage to America faced a difficult journey of several months.




    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.

    Goodman was a courtesy title before the surname of a man not of noble and Goodwife or Goody was the courtesy title for a married woman not of noble birth.

    ye is an archaic spelling of "the."

    Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts was first settled in 1639.

    The Fowler Family: A Genealogical Memoir of the Descendants of Philip and Mary Fowler, of Ipswich, Massachusetts: Ten Generations, 1590-1882, by Matthew Adams Stickney, published by Higginson Book Co., 1883

    Joseph [Fowler] (Philip1) was born in England, probably about 1629, came with his parents in the ship Mary and John, in 1634, to Ipswich, Mass.; married there Martha Kimball, who came over from Ipswich, England, in 1634, in the ship Elizabeth, with her parents, when she is called five years of age.

    Her father, Richard Kimball, settled in Ipswich, Mass., and was the ancestor of nearly all of those now living of the name of Kimball. Her mother, Ursula (Scott) Kimball, his wife, was the daughter of the widow Martha Scott, who came in the same ship with him, then aged sixty years. She was perhaps the widow of Hon. John Scott, of Scott's Hall, County of Kent, England, and daughter of Sir George Wortup.

    In 1647, he worked with his father, Philip Fowler, for two days, at the watch house in Ipswich, for which he received three shillings of the town.

    In 1649 (7th mo.) in Essex Court records is the following:

    We present Joseph Fowler, Thomas Cooke, Thomas Scott, and two of ye sons of Richard Kimball, for goeing into ye woods, shouting and singing, taking fire and liquors with them, all being at unseasonable time in ye night, ocasioning yr. wives and some other to go out to them. Joseph Fowler, Thomas Scott, John Kemball and Thomas Kemball for their presentment, had a legal admonition.

    These young men probably met to celebrate the twenty-first birthday of Thomas Scott, who was Joseph Fowler's cousin...

    In 1650 (10th, 10th mo.) he gave in his testimony in case of Joseph Fowler, plaintiff, vs. Sirnonds, defendant.

    In 1650 is found the following deed :

    Know all men by these presents, that I, Joseph Fowler of Ipswich, in the county of Essex, in New England, husbandman, doe sell unto Richard Kemball, sen'r of ye same towne, wheelwright, my father-in-law, such land & cattell as followeth,
    viz. one cow & one yearling,
    40 acres of ground joyning to Richard Jacob, on ye one side, & Thomas Byshop & Jobe Byshop, on the other, 34 acres of it I enjoyne myselfe to fence in, of upland & meadow, which the said Richard is to have of the said Joseph, for such goods as I have received of him for satisfaction thereof.
    In wittnesse whereof, I have hereunto sett my hand, the 12th of January, 1650.
    Witnesses. Joseph Fowler. William Chaundler (his brother-in-law) & witness John Kimball (his wife's brother) & William Smith.
    This writing & deed was acknowledged 21: 11th mo: 1651, before me. Samuel Symonds.

    In 1651

    Phillip Fowler the elder, of Ipswich, did come before me, and in the presence of Joseph his sonne & Martha. his wife, & with their full & free consent, did adopt as his sonne Phillip, the sonne of the s'd Joseph & Martha, to be as his soune. Samuel Symonds.

    There is no date to the above paper, but it is recorded between papers dated 18 day of 6th month, 1651, and Feb., 1651. It is probable that after this period he resided with his father-in-law, Richard Kimball.

    In 1651 (25th, 1st mo.) when at Goodman Cross' house, gave in his testimony in case of Bradstreet & Muzzy, at Ipswich Court.

    In 1651 (3d, 4th mo.) John Broadstreet, Joseph Fowler, Thomas Scott and Richard Belts, were presented to court and discharged.

    In 1653

    Richard Kemball, sen'r, & Joseph Fowler, both of Ipswich, wheelwright & husbandman, in the county of Essex, in New England, do bind ourselves, heirs & executors, to Humphry Bradstreete of Rowley, in the same county, in the full & just sume of fifty pounds, for to secure the said Humphrey, his heires, executors & administrators, from all charges & incumbrances touching the horse that the s'd Humphry Bradstreete, hath sould me, and recovered from Zacheus Gould, in December, 1649,
    witness our hand. Richard Kimball (the marke of).
    Joseph Fowler. Signed,
    sealed & del'd in the presence of these,
    3 of the 01 month, dat. 1653,
    witnes Martha Willoms. John Bradstreete.

    In 1658-9 (14 March) he witnessed an agreement of George Norton and Roger Preston.

    In 1660 (27 Nov.) he witnessed the will of Robert Garrett of Boston, and he deposed in regard to it, 1 Aug., 1668.

    In 1669-70 (7 March) he witnessed a receipt of Andrew Peeters and John Browne, to Goodman Caldwell, for rent of land.

    Joseph Fowler was killed by the Indians, near Deerfield, 19 May, 1676, on his return from the Falls fight.

    The children of Joseph and Martha (Kimball) Fowler, were:
    28. Joseph, b. about 1647; m. Elizabeth Hutton.
    29. Philip, b. 25 Dec., 1648; m. Elizabeth Herrlck.
    30. John,m. Sarah ; Hannah Scott.
    31. Mary, m. John Briers 20 Jan., 1678-1.

    Cattle were vital to a household and an important legacy.
    Unweaned cattle are calves.
    Female cattle are heifers and cows (had a calf).
    Male cattle are steers (castrated) and bulls.
    are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.

    Anne Dudley Bradstreet (1612-1672) was the first women poet published in America and England. She was the wife of Governor Simon Bradstreet.

    A plaintiff (plt, plte, plt) or orator is the person who brings a case against another.
    A defendant (def tf) is a person accused of a crime or someone challenged in a civil case.

    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."
    European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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