An American Family History

John Estey


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


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.

In 1688, during the Glorious Revolution, the Protestant king and queen,William and Mary, took the English throne from Catholic King James II. The bloodless revolution profoundly impacted the American colonies.

John Estey was born on January 2, 1662/63 in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts. His parents were Isaac Estey and Mary Towne.

He married Mary Dorman on May 31, 1688. Mary was born December 18, 1667 in Topsfield. Her parents were Thomas Dorman and Judith Wood

John and Mary's children included:
Mary Estey (1692) and
Hannah Estey Russell (1693, married Jonathan Russell).

Mary died in 1693.

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

His second wife was named Hannah. Their children included:
Susannah Estey (1695),
Jemimah Estey (1696),
Nathaniel Estey (1701),
David Estey (1707),
Jonathan Estey (1707), and
Kezia Estey (1707). 

They moved to Will's Hill from Topsfield in 1698. It was part of Salem Village that became Middleton.

When his father died in 1712, he did not inherit

he hath already what I intended for him in full & hath signified the same by writing under his hand.

He died in 1720 in Topsfield.

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.
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
  • 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.

    Many factors led to the witchcraft accusations in Salem.

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



    Jonathan Russell was born at Salem, Massachusetts and was the second son of William and Elizabeth (Nurse) Russell. In 1718 he married Hannah Estey and they lived in Salem Village, now Danvers.

    Jonathan was a husbandman. He was also elected the Surveyors of Highways for the Second Parish at a Salem Village meeting.

    Jonathan died at Salem between 19 Oct 1729 and 12 Jan 1730. He was 47 and left 3 small children and his wife was pregnant with their fouth child. The total value of his real estate was £350. Hannah Russell was appointed the guardian of her minor children Susannah (10), Hannah (9), Jonathan (5) and John born posthumously after his father's death.

    By a separate agreement at Salem 28 Feb 1733, the widow Hannah Russell and her brother-in-law Benjamin Russell agreed to support his mother Elizabeth for the remainder of her life in exchange for her dower rights and real estate inherited from William Russell, Sr.

    During the 17th and 18th centuries an adult unmarried woman was considered to have the legal status of feme sole, while a married woman had the status of feme covert. A feme sole could own property and sign contracts. A feme covert was not recognized as having legal rights and obligations distinct from those of her husband and could not own any property. When a woman became a widow she became a feme sole again.

    A Dower is a provision for a wife's support should her husband die before her. Her dower right was the use of ⅓ of her husband's estate. The dower was settled on the bride at the time of the wedding. A drowry was the property a bride brought to her marriage.

    The Essex Antiquarian, Volume 12 edited by Sidney Perley

    Thomas Dorman, of Topsfield, who married Judith Wood Nov. 6, 1662, was son of Thomas Dorman of Topsfield. The father bought of Samuel Symonds of Ipswich, gentleman, for thirty pounds, a farm of one hundred acres of upland and meadow in Ipswich and Topsfield 1: 3 mo: 1651 (Essex Registry of Deeds (Ipswich series) book 2, page 250). Mr. Dorman, the father, died in Topsfield April 25, 1670, at the age of seventy, having in his will bequeathed to " my son Thomas" "my bigiste dinne pot."

    The son Thomas, living in Topsfield, yeoman, and his wife Judith, conveyed to "my son Jesse Dorman half of that farm that my father bought of Mr. Symonds," March 14, 1706-7 (Essex Registry of Deeds, book 19, leaf 152)..
    A gentleman had no title, but descended from an aristocratic family, was of the landed gentry, and had a coat of arms.


    My Children's Ancestors by Roselle Theodore Cross

    Thomas Dorman, b. 1640 or before; mem. of Cong'l chh. at Topsfield; m. March 16 or Nov. 6, 1662, Judith Wood, perhaps dau. of Daniel and Mary (Foster) Wood of Ipswich. In the Vital Records of Topsfield (or Boxford) I find the following list of children ascribed to Thomas, or Thomas and Judith, and one, Judith, to Thomas Jr. Probably not all are children of Thomas and Judith, but Nos. 6, 12, 13, 14 and 15 are so given. From the same records I give the marriages.

    1. Timothy, b. 1663; m. 1688, Elizabeth Knowlton.
    2. John, b. Mar. 20, 1665.
    3. Damaris, b. Aug. 3, 1666; m. 1689, Daniel Clark.
    4. Mary, b. Dec. 18, 1667.
    5. Judith, b. Feb. 23, 1669; m. 1696, Samuel Porter.
    6. Thomas, b. Aug. 14, 1670; m. 1702, Deborah Moulton.
    7. Amos, b. Mar. 14, 1672; m. 1702, Dorothee Robinson.
    8. Hannah, b. Dec. 2, 1674; m. 1695, Thomas Robinson.
    9. Sarah, b. June 1, 1676.
    10. Ellen, b. Sept. 25, 1677.
    11. Jabez, b Nov. 9, 1678; m. 1709, Hephzibah Perley.
    12. Seth, b. May 8, 1682.
    13. Jesse, b. Aug. 22, 1684; m. 1707, Ruth Porter.
    14. Dorcas, b. Apr. 17, 1686; m. 1706, Joseph Robinson.
    15. Philemon, b. June 13, 1687.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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