An American Family History

Sarah Bradstreet Wallis

The town of Ipswich was established on August 5, 1634, from common land called Agawam. On October 18, 1648, that portion called the "Village" at the New Meadows was set off as Topsfield. The boundary line between Ipswich and Topsfield was established, February 28, 1694.

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

Sarah Bradstreet Wallis was born in 1638 in Ipswich (now Rowley), Essex County, Massachusetts. Her parents were Humphrey and Bridget Bradstreet.

In 1655 she received 30 pounds from her father's will

She married Ensign Nicholas Wallis on April 13, 1657 in Ipswich.  He was born in 1633 in Ipswich to Robert and Rebecca Wallis. Robert was one of the first settlers in Ipswich who had land granted to him in 1639.

Their children included:
Sarah Wallis (1658),
Robert Wallis (1660),
Hannah Wallis (1662) and
Samuel Wallis (1664).

The History of Ipswich says that in 1687 “ Nicholas Wallis has leave for a mill."

Sarah died before 1691 when he married widow Rebekah Somerby of Newburyport on April 28, 1691. 

In 1697 Nicholas Wallis received permission to build a mill.

In 1701 Nicholas and his two sons were granted liberty

to build a shed for their horses next to one to be built by Corn’t Matthew Whipple and others, of forty feet in length and not exceeding ten foot wide, about twenty feet from ye Watch House, southerly towards ye old Meeting-house. (Tthe Hammatt Papers, p, 390)

Nicholas died on February 01, 1710/11.
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.

Children of Humphrey and Bridget Bradstreet
  • Hannah Bradstreet Rolfe Holt
  • John Bradstreet
  • Martha Bradstreet Beale
  • Mary Bradstreet Kimball
  • Captain Moses Bradstreet
  • Sarah Bradstreet Wallis
  • Rebecca Bradstreet Bonfield
  • ye is an archaic spelling of "the."
    Anne Dudley Bradstreet (1612-1672) was the first women poet published in America and England. She was the wife of Governor Simon Bradstreet.



    Fulling is the elimination oils and impurities in wool which makes it fuller. The process involved beating the cloth with wooden hammers. A water mill used to move the hammers was a fulling mill.

    Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony by Thomas Franklin Waters, Sarah Goodhue, John Wise, Ipswich Historical Society

    A little lower down, where the stream narrows in the beautiful gorge between the hills, a bridge, probably of logs, was built by the farmers, whose land abutted on the river on both sides, about 1667. In that year John Adams, Nathaniel Adams, Samuel Adams, Joseph Saiford, Nicholas Wallis and Thomas Staco were "freed from working in the common highway for 7 years to come," "upon consideration of there building a bridge over the river at there own expense."

    Sar. Nicholas Wallis, whose farm is now owned by the Brooks heirs, received permission in March, 1686-7

    to improve tho water by damming in the river against his own land not exceeding three foot for the building a fulling mill or mills, provided he do it within a year and a half.

    Sergeant Wallis did not improve his privilege and in March. 1696-7, John Adams, Sen., his son John, Jim. and Michael Farley Jun. petitioned the Town for permission to build a dam, and operate a grist mill and a fulling mill. After a little delay, they received the desired liberty, and built the dam, with a fulling mill on the north side and the grist mill on the south, in the year 1697

    A grist mill is a building where a miller grinds gain into flour.

    from The New England Historical Genealogical Register "Physicians of Ipswich"

    [Dr.] Samuel Wallis, son of Samuel by his first wife, Sarah Watson, was born September 23, 1691. The father Samuel, was son of Ensign Nicholas Wallis, son of Robert, one of the first settlers, who had land granted to him in 1639.

    The doctor had a wife named Sarah and lost an infant daughter, Sarah, October 4, 1715. He died October 16, 1728, in the thirty-eighth year of his age.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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