An American Family History

Mary Kitchen Robinson Hanson

Estate inventories give us a glance into the home life of Colonial Americans.
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."

Mary Kitchen Robinson was born in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts. Her parents were John and Elizabeth Kitchen.

She married Timothy Robinson. Timothy was born on April 28, 1644 and was the son of William Robinson.

Mary and Timothy had a son, Timothy Robinson.

She was left a widow when Timothy died when he was only 23 in 1668 in Salem. Since married women could not own any property, everything he owned, including food on hand, was inventoried and she was allowed a little more than 2/3. The rest went to her son when he was of age.

After his death, Mary married Thomas Hanson. He was born about 1643 in Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire and was the son of Thomas Hanson and Mary Paul.

Mary and Thomas' children probably included:

Mercy Hanson Church (1670, married John Church, Jr. son of John Church),
Thomas Hanson (about 1680)
John Hanson (about 1681, married Elizabeth Meader),
Elizabeth Hanson (1686, possibly married Ebenezer Downes),
Nathaniel Hanson (1692, married Martha Bickford),
Abigail Hanson Young (1693, married Jonathan Young),
Isaac Hanson (died 1706), and
James Hanson, (married Ruth).

In 1675 Thomas was on the tax list of Dover Neck.

In 1689, Thomas' mother, Mary Paul Hanson, was killed at Waldron's Garrison in the Cocheco massacre during King William's war.

Thomas wrote his will on April 24, 1710 and added a codicil on May 6, 1710.

Thomas died in 1711 in Dover, New Hampshire.

His estate was inventoried on November 8, 1711 and his will was proved on December 5, 1711. 

Mary White Rowlandson,Talcot
was captured by Native Americans
during King Philip's War (1675-1676).

Salem is in Essex County, Massachusetts and was a significant seaport in early America. John Endicott obtained a patent from England and arrived there in 1628. Salem originally included much of the North Shore, including Marblehead. Salem Village also included Peabody and parts of Beverly, Middleton, Topsfield, Wenham and Manchester-by-the-Sea.

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.

King William's War (1688–97) was also known as the Second Indian War, Father Baudoin's War, or Castin's War. It was the North American theater of the Nine Years' War.

A blockhouse or garrison house is a small, isolated fort. The typical blockhouse was two stories with the second story overhanging the first. It had small openings to allow residents to shoot attackers without being exposed.
European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.


It was common for bequests to include wearing apparel.

from The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts: 1665-1674 by Massachusetts. Probate Court (Essex County), George Francis Dow, Essex Institute

Estate Of Timothy Robinson Of Salem.
Inventory of the estate of Timothy Robinson, amounting to 114li. 4s., clear estate, was allowed Jan. 26, 1668, and Mary, the widow, was appointed administratrix. She was ordered to pay to Timothy, the child of deceased, 30li. at the age of twenty-one years, and the rest of the estate to be for the use of the widow, the house and grounds to be security for the payment of the child's portion. Salem Quarterly Court Records, vol. 5, leaf 21.

Inventory of the estate of Tymothy Robbinson, "Jo. Kitchins son in law," appraised June 29, 1668, by Thomas Robbins and Richard Croade:

Wareing apparrell, 10 li ;
1 feather bed, bedsteed & furniture, 16 li;
sheets, pillowbeers [pillowcase] & other lyning, 12 li ;
1 Cubbard, 1 box & a chest, 3li ;
1 Small Table, 6 chaires & a little forme, 16 ;
pewter ware, platters, dishes, spoones, &c, 1li 10s.;
1 cubbard cloth, cushen & other things thereon, 1li ;
1 warmeing pan, 1 brass kettle & skillett, 1li ;
1 Iron pott, pott hangers, fire shovell & tongs & bellows, 1li ;
4 bush. of Indian [corn] & 2 bush. of barly, 18s ;
1 grindstone & tooles belonging to his trade, 2li ;
1 Cowe & a pigg, 5li ;
his dwelling howse, shop & ground whereon it stands, 80li;
total, 134li 4s.
Debts owing, 20li.

Indian Corn (or flint corn) is the type of maize that Native Americans taught colonists to cultivate. The kernels come in a range of colors and are less prone to spoiling.


from Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs ..., Volume 4  edited by William Richard Cutter

William Robinson, one of the several early immigrants of the same name, was born in England and settled in Salem. He was admitted a freeman May 18, 1642, and was a proprietor as early as 1637. He and his son had another grant of land at Salem in 1649 and sold land in 1660. He was a tailor by trade. John Robinson, probably his brother, settled about the same time in the same town; died 1653, leaving his property to his wife Eleanor during life; then to the "first one of his kindred that shall come to seek it;" bequeathing also to Elder Samuel Sharpe and John Jackson, of Boston.

William Robinson died at Salem in 1678. His will was dated February 9, 1676-77, and was proved November 29, 1678, mentioning his son Joseph at Barbadoes; sons Samuel and Timothy, executors; daughter Sarah Newbury; grandchild Timothy Robinson. His wife Isabelle joined the church in 1637.

i. Ann, born 1637, baptized December 3, 1637.
2. Samuel, born January 2, 1640, died 1678.
3. Mary, born March 12, 1643.
4. Timothy, born April 28, 1644, died 1668.
5. Mark, born and died 1645.
6. Esther, born May 2, 1646. 7.
Martha, born February 2, 1647. Also mentioned in the will:
8. Joseph, eldest, "then in Barbadoes" -evidently a mariner or trader.
9. Samuel, an executor.
10. John
11. Sarah, married Newbury.

Boston was founded in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England.

from Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of ..., Volume 4  edited by William Richard Cutte

Thomas Hanson, immigrant, was born in England, came thence to New England, and was at Dover, New Hampshire, in 1639. In 1658-9 he had a grant of a hundred acres of land near Salmon Falls, was made freeman in 1661, lived at Cochecho in 1664-5, and died in 1666.

"Old widow Hanson," as the record reads, was killed by Indians, June 28, 1689. The baptismal name of his wife was Mary, but her family name does not appear.

Children being Thomas, born about 1643; Tobias, about 1640: Isaac, .born at Dover; and Timothy.

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.

When a mark is used for a signature, the person was probably illiterate, but may not have been able to sign because of age or infirmity.

Seals were used to authenticate documents and men were expected to have a personal die. Records in deed books are copies and signatures are usually in the clerk’s handwriting. The clerk drew a circle around the word “seal” to indicate that the original document was sealed.

In ye Name of god amen ye 24 day of ye 2 month 1710

I Thomas Hanson of Cochecha in ye Towne of Dover in ye provence of Newhampshere planter being sick and weak of bodey…
Item  I give an bequeath to Marey my well beloved wife halfe ye purduce of my homesteed to be raised and levyed oute of ye Estate.

Item  I give and bequeath unto my well bloved sun Nathanuall yt trackt or parcall of land lying and being betwene Rainers brooke and ye Indion widgwom broock.

Item  I give and bequeth unto my well be loved daughter maray a suffishent Maintaince oute of my Etate or homested to gether with her mothers fether bead Duiering her Life time if shee sees scose but if other wise I give unto her twentey powne lawful money to be raised and levyed oute of my homesteede and ye fether bed to be parte of ye twentey pownd.

Item  I give and bequeth unto my well beloved sun James Hanson home I lickewise Constitute make and ordaine my onley an sole Executor of this my laste will an testament all and singuler all ye lands of my home steed onley

I macke my wife duering her life time Joyntly Executerecks with him and to have half ye purduse of ye place duiering her life time and After her deces to be ye onley and sole Executor of all my lands of my homested of this my laste will and testament by him freely to be possesed an Injoyd and

I doe heare by uterly disallow revok and disannul al and Every other formor testements wills and legacies be fore this time named willed and bequethed ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be my laste will and testament in witnise whereof I heare unto sete my hand and seale ye daye and yeare above writen and

furder it is my will yt my sun James shall have a yoake of oxen and all tacklan an geare belongen theare unto an also yt after I and my wifes decese all ye moveabels goods shall be Equaley devided amongst all my Children.

Signed sealed published pronounced and Declared by ye sd Thomas X [his mark] Hanson  (seal)

Thomas Hanson as his last will and testament in ye presentce of us ye subscribrs
Jonathan watson
Richard Scamon
John Bampton 

Be it known to all men by these presents yt whereas I Thomas Hanson of Cocheca of ye Towne of Dover and province of Newhampshere planter have made and declared my laste will and testamente in wrighteing bearing date ye 24 day of ye 2th month 1710 I ye sd Thomas Hanson doe by this present Codicil Confirm an ratfie my sd laste will and testemente.

I give and bequeath unto my well beloved suns Thomas and John ye parsall of land yt I purchesed of henerey Nock Comonly Coled an known by ye name of Nocks mash and allso I have gave: ye have allreadey had Ethe of them a yoake of oxen an tacklan and geears beloning thear unto and

my will and meaning is yt this Codicil schedule be and be a Judged to be a parte an parcel of my sd last will and testement and yt all things theare in Contained an mentioned by faithfully an truly performed and as fully an amply in my laste respect as if ye same ware soe declared an set down in Every will an testement.

And allso I have given unto my well beloved Daughters marrey an Abagall and theay have allreadey had Eashe of them a Cowe and a feathear bead a pece this is to put an End to diferance yt may arise after my decese an to sartifi all whome it may Consarne yt these heare mentioned have had theare parts and porshens yt I have gave them with ye reste of my Children

in witnes wheare of I have heare unto sete my hand and seale this sixth day of ye 3 month 1710.

Signed sealed published and                                             
Declared by ye sd Thomas Hanson
Thomas  X  Hanson  (his seal and mark)
As parte of his laste will
Testament in ye presents of us ye Subscribers
John Bampton
Richard Scamon
Jonathn Watson

ye is an archaic spelling of "the."

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.

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.

Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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