An American Family History

Sarah Estey Cummings

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.

Women played an essential role in American society as mothers and homemakers.

Sarah Estey Cummings was born on October 4, 1694 in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts. Her parents were Isaac Estey, Jr. and Abigail Kimball

She married Captain Joseph Cummings on December 1, 1714.  Joseph was born on September 1, 1692 in Topsfield.  He was the son of Abraham Cummings and Sarah Wright.

Their children included:
Thomas Cummings (1716) and
Sarah Cummings Lamson (1720, married Benjamin Lamson). 

Captain Cummings bought and sold real estate. Between 1719 and 1763 as many as twenty-three deeds were recorded for his transactions.

When her Sarah's sister, Abigail Estey Cummings, died on January 10, 1729/30, she became the guardian of her nephew Moses Cummings.

Sarah died in 1750. Joseph married Priscilla Lamson on November 10, 1751. Priscilla was born February 25, 1713/14 in Ipswich. Her father was John Lamson, son of John Lamson and Martha Perkins.

Priscilla died August 19, 1780. Joseph lived to be over 100 years old. Mrs. Susanna Randall said that

the day he was a hundred years old, he put his foot in the stirrup from the ground, seated himself in the saddle, rode to Andover on a cold wintry day to visit his grandson, Stephen, my father, and about that time Stephen had a son born whom he named Joseph for his grand-sire." (The Cummings Memorial, p. 32)

Joseph died on April 22, 1794.

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 Abigail Kimball
  • Mary Estey Perkins
  • Abigail Estey Cummings
  • Sarah Estey Cummings
  • Isaac Estey
  • Aaron Estey
  • Jacob Estey
  • Hannah Estey Cummings
  • Richard Estey
  • Rebecca Estey Tucker Puffer
  • Moses Estey
  • Guardianship is when a court gives an adult custody of a child and/or the responsibility of managing the child's property. Before women could own property, guardians were appointed for their minor children if their husband died.
    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."


    European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.

    From the Obituary of Captain Joseph Cummings
    Salem Gazette, May 13
    In early life he made a public profession of religion, and, by a uniform piety, integrity, temperance, cheerfulness and benevolence, he supported an amiable and unblemished character.

    He was not favored with the advantages of education; but strong mental powers, inquisitive turn of mind, and a tenacious memory had enabled him to acquire and retain a good knowledge of the principal events and public transactions of the last hundred years. 

    Possessed of a rich fund of interesting and entertaining anecdotes, he was a living history of nearly a century. Within his memory the people in his neighborhood were in fear of the Indians, and he had himself stood sentry at a small fortress in the town.

    Employed from his youth in cultivating a valuable farm, not with excessive labor, but steady industry--living in a plentiful, but plain and simple manner--and enjoying a uniform cheerfulness--the powers of his body and mind continued in great vigor to a very advanced age. When nearly a hundred, he would readily mount his horse from the ground; and his reason continued to his last moments.

    Satisfied with living, and with little appearance of any other disease than senility, he closed this mortal scene, in the cheering hope of a blessed immortality.

    His descendants were 2 children, 23 grandchildren, 116 great-grandchildren, and 32 great-great-grandchildren, total, 173.

    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."
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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