The town of Ipswich was established on August 5, 1634, from common land called Agawam. On October 18, 1648, that portion called the "Village" at the New Meadows was set off as Topsfield. The boundary line between Ipswich and Topsfield was established, February 28, 1694.
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."
Antiquarian Papers, Volumes 1-4 by Augustine Caldwell
John Harris and Bridget his wife, were among the first settlers of Rowley. He died there Feb. 15, 1695. Bу wife Bridget he had six children, of whom the third was John, born Oct. 8, 1649. This son John was the "Marshall Harris" of Ipswich, who died in 1714, aged 64, whose grave stone is yet to be seen in the old burying ground.
John Harris (1) of Rowley, in 1663, bought of Thomas Ayres 108 acres of land in Haverhill, which he gave to his son John, as he says in hie will, (dated Jan 8. 1692, proved March 27, 1605.) In 1685 this land was sold by John Harris (2.) This was the Marshall, and of him we have collected the following facts:
He is called locksmith and gunsmith. His wife was Esther or Hester. The records of the First Church in Ipswich show that John Harris took the covenant March 1, 1673, and that on April 1,1674, John Harris and his wife were admitted to full communion. He was a freeman in 1685; was called Marshall in 1696; called under-sheriff on his gravestone. He made his will July 16, 1714, and died "Sept. ye 15, 1714, & in ye 64 Year of his age." In his will he mentions his
wife Esther, sons Thomas, John and Samuel, and daughters. He is called "Marshall John Harris, late of Ipswich," in 1719. He had the following children, all born in Ipswich:
John born March 27, 1673
Abigail, born March 5, 1675, m. Job Burnam
Thomas, born June 12, 1677
Esther, born Nov. 8, 1679, m. Samuel Chapman, their intention of marriage was published Sept. 18,1703
Mary, born Dec. 20, 1681. m. Grindall Knight; published Aug. 7, 1714.
Margaret, born May 22, 1685, m. Antony Smith published Aug. 16, 1718
Samuel, born Nov 28, I687
Daniel, born August 25, 1691
Antony Smith, mentioned in the preceding article, was the son of Thomas Smith, wheelwright, and Esther his wife, and grandson of George and Mary Smith who were in Ipswich in 1648. Antony married (1) Elisabeth Damarell, in 1712; she died 1716. He married in 1718, Margaret Harris. He died 1730, Oct. 14, aged 42. She died December, 1744.
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.
ye is an archaic spelling of "the."
The New England Meetinghouse was the only municipal building in a town. Both worship and civil meetings were held there. It was customary for men and women to sit separately and the town chose a committee once a year to assign seats according to what was paid, age, and dignity.
Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts was first settled in 1639.