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 in 1650. The church "gathered" on November 4, 1663. The third Meeting House was built 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 [Estey], 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.



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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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