An American Family History

Benjamin Estey


Various spellings of Estey
Easte, Este, Estee, Estes, Estey, Esty

Childbirth was was perilous. Around 1.5 percent of births ended in the mother's death. Since women gave birth to many children, chances of dying in childbirth were quite high.
The Salem witch trials were between February, 1692 and May, 1693.
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."

Benjamin Estey was born on April 29, 1669 in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts. His parents were Isaac Estey and Mary Towne. He was a bricklayer.

In 1692, his mother, Mary Towne Estey, became a victim of the Salem hysteria and was executed for witchcraft.

He married Elizabeth Goodhue on April 9, 1702. Elizabeth was born about 1675 in Ipswich. Her parents were Joseph Goodhue and Sarah Whipple. Elizabeth's sister, Sarah Goodhue married John Kimball.

Benjamin and Elizabeth's children included:
Benjamin Estey (1703),
Ebenezer Estey (1705),
Elizabeth Estey Howard (1708), and
Sarah Estey (1713).

In 1705 they moved to Dorchester/Stoughton where he purchased land from the indigenous people. Elizabeth died following the birth of her last child on July 18, 1713.

In 1712 he inherited the proceeds from the sale of the house and land that had been meant for Joshua and two cows that he already had. Joshua did not inherit because his father had had to pay some debts for him.

He married Mary Holland on December 13, 1716.

In 1727 he settled in Sharon.

He died on March 28, 1750 in Sharon, Massachusetts.
Children of Isaac Estey
and Mary Towne
  • Isaac Estey, Jr.
  • Joseph Estey
  • Sarah Estey Gill Ireland
  • John Estey
  • Hannah Estey Abbott
  • Benjamin Estey
  • Samuel Estey
  • Jacob Estey
  • Joshua Estey
  • 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.

    Three daughters of William Towne and Joanna Blessing were wrongly accused of practicing witchcraft in Salem. Rebecca Towne Nurse, Mary Towne Estey, and Sarah Towne Bridges Cloyes were persecuted in 1692. The children of people in the line below are all descendants of Mary Estey.

    William Towne,
    Mary Towne Estey,
    Isaac Estey,
    Aaron Estey
    Mary Estey Dwinnell
    Israel Dwinnell,
    Isaac Davis Dwinnell, Sr.,
    Isaac Davis Dwinnell, Jr.
    Victoria Zellena Dwinnell
    Robert Wilson Miller, Sr
    Robert Wilson Miller, Jr.

    The settlement of New Meadows was incorporated as the Town of Topsfield by authority of the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1650. The church "gathered" on November 4, 1663 with the Rev. Thomas Gilbert. The third Meeting House was built on the Common in 1703 with Rev. Joseph Capen as pastor.

    Many factors led to the witchcraft accusations in Salem.



    ye is an archaic spelling of "the."

    As for my son Benjamin my will is yt he and his heirs forever have ye house & land adjacent, which I formerly designed for my son Joshua. My meaning is yt he have ye value of ye said house and land yt is what was sold for to my neighboor John Robinson togather with the two cows which he hath had of me already which money for said House and Land he hath had already.

    Mary White Rowlandson,Talcot
    was captured by Native Americans
    during King Philip's War (1675-1676).



    Essex Institute Historical Collection

    Benjamin, born in Topsfield, Apr. 29, 1669, where he resided until about 1705, when he removed to Dorchester and purchased land of the Indians. In 1727, he settled in what is now Sharon, where he died March 28, 1750. His will mentions wife Mary, daughter Elizabeth Howard, and sons Benjamin and Ebenezer. He was a bricklayer by trade.

    He married, first, Apr. 9, 1702, Elizabeth, daughter of Wm. Goodhue of Ipswich. She died in Dorchester, July 18, 1713. He married, second, Dec. 13, 1716, Mary Holland.

    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.



    Cutter's work is available on CD
    Salt marshes which are between the ocean mud flats and grassy uplands, were desired by colonial farmers because salt marsh hay is more nutritious for cattle.

    New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial by William Richard Cutter

    Joseph Goodhue, son of William Goodhue, was born in 1639 in Ipswich. He married (first) July 13, 1661, Sarah Whipple, daughter of Elder John Whipple. She was born in 1641, and was a woman of great piety. In an instrument executed on the day of marriage by William Goodhue Sr. and Margery, his wife, by John Whipple and Sarah, his wife, according to an agreement made previously Joseph Goodhue enters into possession of his father's farm and is declared to be entitled to his father's house and lot after the death of him and his wife, and twenty-two acres of salt marsh which had been bought with ten pounds of the twenty-five pounds sent by Joseph's grandfather, Watson, from England in 1646.

    Sarah (Whipple) Goodhue died at Ipswich, July 23, 1681. She left a farewell address to her husband, children and friends written in very pious and affectionate terms, mentioning her parents as still living, evidently meaning her husband's parents.

    Joseph Goodhue married (second) October 15, 1684, Rachel Todd, widow, who died in Ipswich in 1691.

    He married (third) July 4, 1692, Mercy Clarke. He died at Ipswich, September 21, 1697, aged fifty-eight. He served the town as moderator, selectman, assessor, deputy to the general court and was deacon of the Ipswich church.

    Children of first wife:
    Joseph, born May 13, 1662, died young;
    William, 1666;
    Sarah [Kimball];
    Susannah [Kimball]
    Elizabeth [Estey]
    John, born 1679;
    Hannah, July 20, 1681.

    Children of second wife:
    Ebenezer, July 25, 1685;
    Joseph, 1687;
    Benjamin, January 25, 1690, died December 3, 1697.

    Child by third wife:

    In early New England towns policy was set by a board of 3 to 5 selectmen. They oversaw public responsibilities such as the policing, roads, and fences.

    Mary Towne Estey was a victim of the Salem witch delusion on September 22, 1692.