An American Family History

Joseph 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.

It was common for bequests to include wearing apparel.

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.

Joseph Estey was born February 5, 1657/58 in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts. His parents were Isaac Estey and Mary Towne.

He married Jane Stewart on June 2, 1682. Anne was born in November, 1654. Her parents were Duncan Stewart and Anne Winehurst.

Joseph a was surveyor of highways in 1683. 

Jane and Joseph's children were:
Isaac Estey (1683, died young),
Mary Estey (1684),
Joseph Estey (1688, married Experience Bennet), 
Jacob Estey (1690, married Mehitable Porter),
Samuel Estey (1691, married Rebecca Hawes),
Elizabeth Estey Jackson (1692, married Samuel Jackson),
Edward Estey (1693, married Elizabeth Stearns),
Lydia Estey (1695),
John Estey (1697), and
Benjamin Estey (1701, married Sarah Chandler). 

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

About 1705 the family moved to a new settlement in Dorchester, which is now known as Stoughton. He was one of the signers of the original covenant of the church where the Reverend John Davenport was minister. In 1706 he bought land from the indigenous people, some of which is now located in the town of Canton.

In 1712, when his father died, he only inherited half of his father's clothes because of

what I have already Done for him about building or in Cattle or in purchasing Land which hath been Considerable he shall have half of my wearing apparel at my Decease.

Joseph died on October 25, 1739 in Stoughton, Essex County, 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
  • 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.

    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.
    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."
    The town common (commons) was a small, open field at the center of the town which was jointly owned. It was used as a marketplace, a place for the militia to drill, or for grazing livestock.


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

    from Stewart Clan Magazine by George Thomas Edson, Clan Stewart Society in America, Inc. published by G.T. Edson, 1922

    Duncan Stewart appears first in Ipswich, Mass., where he married early in 1654 Anne Winehurst. Both were in the service of George Hadley [Essex Court files, 2:130]. They moved to Newbury in 1659, and for 30 years occupied a farm on that part of the Dummer estate now a portion of the Caldwell farm in the Byfield parish and near the Rowley line. No evidence has been found that he or any of his sons engaged in ship-building or ever owned a ship-yard as stated in Gage's History of Rowley. His name is on the Newbury taxlist of August, 1688; and in the Rowley list of 1691, when he was assessed £2.

    He deposed in 1698 that he was about 75 years old. By deed dated Feb. 20, 1698-9, "Dunckin Steward of Rowley, planter," sold to Capt. Stephen Greenleaf of Newhury the rate lot and right in undivided lands of Newbury belonging to 'my son Charles Steward, late of Newbury, deceased' [Essex Deeds, 16:17]. He was among those inhabitants of Rowley living northwest of Rye Plain bridge and Long Hill Mar. 16, 1702-3, whose minister's rates were abated. He was admitted Sep. 26, 1703, to full communion in the Rowley church and his widow was admitted to full communion Sep. 17, 1721,

    James,- John, Samuel and Ebenezer- Stewart signed an agreement Mar. 17,1713-4, for the maintenance of'our aged and honoured parents, Duncan and Ann Stewart, who since 1707 had resided with their son John [Suffolk court files, no. 19,265]. By deed dated Apr. 16, 1718, James Stewart of Boxford, John Stewart of Rowley, Samuel Stewart of Wells and Ebenezer Stewart of Rowley, "being ye only surviving brothers of Charles Stewart, late of Newbury, deceased," confirm to Capt. Stephen Greenleaf the land and rights in Newbury of said Charles which 'our hond father, Dunkin Stewart, late of Rowley, deceased, was pleased in his lifetime to sell.

    Duncan Stewart died in Rowley Aug. 30, 1717, "aged 'tis thought about 100 years." Anne died July 9, 1729. They had at least 12 children, of whom the two eldest were born in Ipswich; the others, in Newbury:

    1 Jane, June 2, 1682, Joseph Esty of Topsfield

    Planter is an archaic term for a settler. Plantation was a method of colonization where settlers were "planted" abroad. A plantation is also the kind of large farm that was the economical basis of many American Colonies and owners of these farms were also called planters.

    American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.

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


    Essex Institute Historical Collection, 1900

    Joseph [Estey] (Isaac Jeffrey1), born in Topsfield, Feb. 5, 1657/8, surveyor of highways in 1683. About 1705 he removed with his family to a new settlement in Dorchester, that part now known as Stoughton. His name appears with that of his brother Benjamin as one of the signers of the original covenant of the church of which Rev. John Davenport was minister. In 1706 he obtained land of the Indians, some of which is now located in the town of Canton. In 1712 he conveyed seventy acres to his son Joseph Esty, Jr. He died at Stoughton, Oct. 25, 1739. He married Jane Steward June 2, 1682.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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