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."
Lush forests in Colonial America allowed settlers to build wooden homes.
Estate inventories give us a glance into the home life of Colonial Americans.
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.
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.
Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.
from Essex Institute Historical Collections
John [Perkins] (Elisha, Thomas, John,) was born in Topsfield, Mass., August 12, 1685. He married Mary Easty, Sept. 10, 1713. She was the daughter of Isaac and Abigail (Kimball) Easty. He died June 22, 1750.
John Perkins, house carpenter, and Joseph Perkirut, husbandman, of Topsfield, sell one-third part of the estate of their father, Elisha Perkins, late deceased, to their brother Jacob.
Joseph Perkins had died when the deed was acknowledged, March 26, 1751.
Children of John and Mary (Easty) Perkins were:
73 Elisha, b. Dec 21, 1714; m. Lucy Tarbox.
74 Isaac, b. Sept. 17, 1717; m. Elizabeth Perkins.
75 John, b. Feb. 19,1719-20.
76 Thomas, b. Jan. 26, 1723-4.
77 Moses, b. Dec. 17, 1732.
from The Family of John Perkins of Ipswich, Mass: Complete in Three Parts by George Augustus Perkins
Thomas [Perkins] (John, Elisha, Thomas, John) was born in Topsfield, Mass., Jan. 26, 1723-4; baptized March 8, 1723-4. He married the widow Martha [Pierce] Williams of Ipswich; published Nov. 24, 1751.
He "died in ye war" 1757. He died intestate and his widow was appointed to administer on his estate; in her account rendered to the court, she mentions the bringing up of two young children, and calls herself Martha Bradstreet, late Perkins. She had married Elijah Bradstreet March 9, 1758. He died January 14, 1760. She married her fourth husband, Anthony Potter of Ipswich, Oct. 20, 1762. The time of her death is not ascertained.
Thomas Perkins was a farmer and very probably a weaver, as a weaver’s tools, etc., were among his effects at his death. He is mentioned in a private journal as being at "Cap Britten” in the army.
The children of Thomas and Martha ([Pierce] Williams) Perkins were:
Elisha, b. Feb. 6, 1753; m. Mercy Kimball.
Sarah, b. August 18, 1755.