m.1. c.1634 ALICE (2) FRENCH (bpt. 9 Apr. 1610 Assington, Suffolk, d. 6 June 1666 Ipswich)
2. Rebecca ______ (m.1. Thomas Smith, d. 1 Nov. 1680 Newbury)
d. 22 Dec. 1677 Topsfield
Thomas came to New England on one of the ships of the Winthrop fleet in 1630 in the "Hopewell". Along with the other colonists he settled in Boston where he was a member of the first church on 27 Aug. 1630.(1) Before April 1633 he had gone with John Winthrop Jr. to Agawam (Ipswich) where he was made a freeman on 4 Mar. 1633.(2) From the records of the church in Boston 10 Sept. 1643 "Our brethren John Gage and Thomas Howlett having now for sundry years inhabited at Ipswich and desiring letters of dismission to the church there have the same granted unto them with the church's consent by their silence" And on 16 June 1644: "Our sister Alice French the wife of Thomas Howlett of Ipswich and lately dismissed from us unto the church at Ipswich at her own desire hath letters of dismission granted her unto that church with the consent of our church by their silence." (21)
In 1634 Thomas was granted, by the town of Ipswich, two acres of meadow and two and a half acres of marsh between the town river and the lands of William Sergeant and John Newman, as well as six acres in partnership with John Manning and others on the neck of land on which the town stood. In 1635 he was granted 30 acres of upland and 10 acres of meadow at the head of Chebacco creek, 10 acres north of the town toward the Reedy marsh and a house lot in the town. In 1637 Thomas purchased 40 acres from John Perkins Sr.(3) At the court held in Sept. 1666 Thomas Howlett Sr. and John Gage Sr. deposed that at the first planting of the town there was an order made by the town that there should be two rods left free on the river for the benefit of the inhabitants above high water mark from the town to the neck and also above. Further, that lots were always so laid out 32 years since.(16)
Thomas was a representative to the General Court from Ipswich in 1635. He was on the Essex County jury in 1645, 1657, and 1665 and on the grand jury in 1650, 1654, 1659, 1666, and 1667.(4)
In 1640 Thomas was a sergeant in the Ipswich Company and later was its ensign under Capt. Daniel Dennison and Col. John Endicott: "Thomas Howlet is confirmed ensign at Ipswich according to their choice".(24) In 1643 Sergeant Howlett and ten soldiers were out three days in defense of the Agawam Indians against their tribal enemies, and were voted compensation by the town.(5)
Thomas was a surveyor and was appointed to the expedition to survey the Merrimack 6 June 1639.(22) Thomas was on a committee to settle the Salem/ Ipswich boundary 27 Mar. 1643.(6) He also was a member of the committee to determine the bounds between Ipswich and Wenham in 1669, the bounds between Haverhill and Salisbury in 1650, and the bound between Hampton and Salisbury in 1656. He was on the committee to lay out 500 acres at Rowley in 1653, 600 acres to Major Daniel Dennison in 1654, and the committee to lay out land to Gov. John Endicott in 1656.(23) In his will of 1 Mar. 1643/4 Robert Andrews commended his son John Andrews into the guardianship of Thomas Howlett after his death.(15) He made the inventory of the estate of Mrs. Dillingham in Oct. 1645.(7) On 29 Mar. 1652 "Sergeant Howlett" was sued by Mr. Bradstreet concerning herds of cows.(13) At the June court in 1662 Ensign Howlet told Abraham Redington that he would have to testify against him in the matter of a trespass because he knew that Mr. Bradstreet was granted a piece of land in the area under discussion.(14) Thomas accompanied one of the committee that laid out land in Rowley Oct. 1659 and was mentioned in a description of land laid out near Rowley by John Gage for Zaccheus Gould according to an order dated 18 May 1664- 7 June 1666.(8) In his will of 27 Feb. 1657/8 John Robinson, wheelwright of Ipswich, left £10 to Alice, wife of Thomas Howlett, his chest and tools to Thomas Howlett Jr., and the rest of his estate to Thomas Howlett Sr.(18)
Thomas moved to Topsfield where he was a selectman in 1661 and became a deacon in the church in 1672 and contributed £ 5 towards the salary of Rev. Jeremiah Hubbard.(9) "Ensign Howlett" was included in the list of commoners of Topsfield who were assessed in 1664 and was assessed 4/10 on 18 Nov. 1668 and 16/6 on 27 Jan. 1668/9.(19) He was one of those who shared in the common lands in March 1673.(20) On 28 Mar. 1671 "Thomas Smith came into court and chose his father-in-law, Ens. Tho Howlett for his guardian, which was allowed."(25)
Thomas made his will 4 Nov. 1677 and it was proved 24 Sept. 1678.
"To Rebeka, my wife, one cow and two heifers that are called hers, my little gray mare and an annuity of £ 5 a year, to be 50s in corn and 50s in cattle, the corn part to be half in wheat and malt and half in Indian corn. Also my wife's goods are to be returned to her.
To my son Samuel Howlit, fifty acres of land which I formerly intended for my son John, two twenty acre lots in the thick wooods in Topsfield and four acres of meadow.
To my daughter Sarah Cummings, four acres of the hasakey meadow lying at the mouth.
To my son Samuel, the rest of the Hasakey meadow at the bridge. My son Samuel shall pay 50s of the annuity of £ 5 that I have given to my wife in specie according to my will.
To my wife, a kettle instead of a bed-tick I promised.
To my daughter Sarah Comings, £ 4 to be paid within four years after my decease, if she be living, else to her heirs.
To Allis Comins, 20s at her marriage or at eighteen years of age.
I have given my daughter Mary Perley £ 23 which my will is should be made up to £ 50, one half of it within a year after my decease and the other half within three years.
To Mary Howlett, my son John Howlett's daughter, £ 45 to be paid to her at eighteen years of age or at the day of her marriage. If she live not to receive it, there shall be £ 10 paid to my son John Howlits wife.
Executor: my son William Howlit, to whom, my debts being paid, I give all the rest of my estate, housing, lands, goods and cattle, utensils of all sorts and debts from whomsoever due.
Overseers: my loving friends Capt. John Applton, Major Samull Applton and John Whippl Senior, and I do give them power to determine any difference that may arise between my executor and any of the legatees.
My son Thomas Howlett's wife shall enjoy that hundred acres of land I possessed him of until his eldest daughter be at the age of eighteen years or at her day of marriage when she shall enjoy one quarter of the hundred acres. After their mother's decease, they shall enjoy the other fifty acres, equally divided between them. If one of my son Thomas Howlett's daughters die before she is possessed of her portion, it shall go to her sister, and if the two daughters die before they are eighteen years of age or married, then my daughter-in-law, my son Thomas Howlett's wife, shall enjoy all the hundred acres for her life, and at her decease shall pay out of it to my children then living £ 100 which shall be equally divided among them.
Witnessed: John Appleton, Samuel Appleton, John Whipple."(10)
John Gould and Abraham Reddington took the inventory of "Deacon Thomas Howlett" 10 Sept. 1678 which amounted to £ 452 11s 4d of which "the farm with housing, barn, orchard, upland and meadow with one parcel of marsh at Ipswich" was valued at £ 200, "some other parcels of land" £100. The assets were offset by £34 7s in debts.(17)
Rebecca sued the executor in Sept. 1680 to recover geese and turkeys which she claimed as her own. Thomas Dorman testified that Ensign Howlett had said "No, I meddle not with the geese nor turkeys, for they are hers, for she hath been and is a good wife to me". Isaac Cummings Jr., and Samuel Kingsbury who lived with the Howletts also testified.(11)
Administration on Rebecca's estate was granted to James Smith 28 Mar. 1681. Her sons James and John Smith having agreed to pay the debts and to divide her property to their mutual satisfaction, the court allowed their agreement as a full settlement of the estate. Her wardrobe contained four gowns, a hood and a cloak, four waistcoats, nine petticoats, two sea-aprons, two silk scarfs, two silk hoods, two whisks, a muff, two pairs of gloves, a calico neck-handkerchief, three pocket handkerchiefs, four pairs of sleeves, three linen whisks, three stock neck-cloths, two fillets, four coifs, a head-band, a pair of knit cotton gloves, a white hood and a hat. Quite a large wardrobe for the 17th century! The inventory amounted to £64 8s 6d and included no real estate.(12)
(1) "The Ancestry of Dudley Wildes"- p.53
(6) Mass. Archives- Vol.112, p.6a
(7) Ibid- Vol.15b, p.65
(8) Ibid- Vol.39, p.77; Vol.45, pp.148-48a
(9) "The Ancestry of Dudley Wildes"- p.54
(10) Essex Probate- No.14093
(11) Essex Co. Records and Files- Vol.VIII, pp.10-1
(12) Essex Probate- No.14090
(13) Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Salem, 1911- Vol. 1. p. 41
(14) Ibid- Vol. II, p. 407
(15) Ibid- Vol.III, p. 163
(16) Ibid- p. 346
(17) Essex County Probate- Vol. III, pp. 250-2
(18) Ibid- Vol. I, p. 267; Essex Quarterly Courts- Vol. II, p. 70
(19) Essex Quarterly Courts- Vol. IV, pp. 106, 148; Vol. V, p. 133
(20) Ibid- p.133
(21) The Records of the First Church in Boston, 1630-1868- Richard Pierce, Ed., Colonial Soc. of MA, Boston, 1961- pp. 39, 42
(22) Massachusetts Bay Court Records- Vol. I, p. 261
(23) Ibid- Vol. III, p. 186; IV, pt. 1, p. 134, 188, 249, 260, 264; Essex Quarterly Courts- Vol. IV, pp. 224, 258-9; VIII, p. 158
(24) Massachusetts Bay Court Records- Vol. II, p. 100; III, p. 27
(25) Essex Quarterly Courts- Vol. IV, p. 345
b. 1 Jan. 1645/6 Ipswich
m. 3 Jan. 1669/0 Topsfield, MA, SARAH (2) CLARKE (b. 1651, d. 26 Mar. 1717 Topsfield)
d. 11 Mar. 1719/0 Topsfield
Samuel was invited by the town of Topsfield to settle there and practice the trade of blacksmith and four acres on the common hill were offered to him as an inducement. He was made a commoner of the town in 1675/6. He was constable in 1678, selectman in 1681, 1683, 1685, 1687, 1688, 1690, 1693, 1696, 1700, 1707, 1711, 1713, 1715, and 1716, tythingman in 1698, assessor in 1694, 1696, 1697, grand juror in 1702, 1706, 1714, 1718, and juror in 1704 and 1709, moderator of the town meeting in 1708, 1710, 1713, and 1716, representative to the General Court in 1717 and 1718, and overseer of the poor in 1720.(1)
Samuel was a sergeant in the militia company in 1687 and was made an ensign in 1700.(2)
Samuel was mentioned in the evidence in 1689/0 against Sir Edmund Andros, former governor of the colony: "Samuel Howlet: abt Sending him to prison wthout ( ) & great charges."(3) He was listed as a selectman on the freeman's list for Topsfield 8 Mar. 1689/0.(4) As the town clerk for Topsfield he signed a petition to the governor from the Committee of Militia requesting that the soldiers that had been ordered elsewhere be allowed to return to Topsfield for duty, 5 June 1693.(5)
In 1701 Samuel was a member of a committee to deal with the Indians "as lays Claime to our Lands". In 1703 he shared in the job of seating people in the meetinghouse and was made a deacon that year.(6)
Samuel made his will on 24 Jan. 1714/5 and directed that his wife should have one "fire room" (a room with a fireplace) and a cellar room in his house and all necessary supplies. His son John received all the upland, meadow and houses on the land where John lived. Samuel received the homestead, shop and tools, the wainscot bedstead, great table and joined form. All the rest of his personal property was to be divided between his daughters Mary Wild, Sarah Averill, Martha Dorman, Susanna Sherwin and Miriam Stanley after their mother's death. "All my Bibles and Sermon books" to be equally divided between his sons and daughters. John and Samuel were the executors and the will was witnessed by Humphrey Clarke, John Curtis and Joseph Capen.(7)
Issue- all children born in Topsfield
Ref:(1) "The Ancestry of Dudley Wildes"- p.57
"The Wildes Genealogy"- N.P. Apr. 1984, p.7
"New England Marriages Prior to 1700"- Torrey, p.315
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