An American Family History

Sergeant Edmund Towne

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

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.

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."

Sergeant Edmund Towne was born in 1628. He was christened on June 28, 1628 in St. Nicholas Parish, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk County, England. His parents were William Towne and Joanna Blessing.

He married Mary Browning in 1652 in Great Yarmouth. Mary was born in 1629 and was the daughter of Thomas Browning.

Edmund and Mary's children were born in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts.
Mary Towne,
Thomas Towne (1655, married Sarah French)
Sarah Towne Pritchett (1657),
William Towne (1659),
Joseph Towne (1661, married Amy Smith)
Abigail Towne Peabody (1664),
Benjamin Towne (1666),
Rebecca Towne Knight (1668),
Elizabeth Towne Wilkins (1669) and
Samuel Towne (1673, married Elizabeth Knight).

In 1666, Edmund was made a corporal in the Topsfield militia.

In 1675 Edmund was part of Topsfield committee that presented a petition to the General Court asking for permission to form military companies to protect the inhabitants while they worked in the fields from raids.

He died in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts before May 3, 1678 when his estate was inventoried.

In 1684, the widow Mary Towne appeared on the list of Topsfield Church members.

Mary made her will on February 1, 1710 and it was proved December 16, 1717.
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.
Children of William Towne
and Joanna Blessing
  • Rebecca Towne Nurse
  • John Towne
  • Susannah Towne
  • Sergeant Edmund Towne
  • Jacob Towne
  • Mary Towne Estey
  • Joseph Towne
  • Sarah Towne Bridges Cloyes
  • 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.

    Learn more about the Towne family.
    Europeans who made the voyage to America faced a difficult journey of several months.
    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.




    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 New England Historical & Genealogical Register, published by New England Historic-Genealogical Society, 1867

    Edmund Towne, eldest son of William and Joanna Towne, was baptized at Yarmouth, Norfolk Co., England, June 28, 1628; m. Mary, dau. of Thomas Browning;

    was a member of a committee from the town of Topsfield, who, in 1675, presented a petition to the General Court for leave to form military companies to protect the inhabitants from the Indians while at work,

    and d. between the date of the presentation of the petition and May 3, 1678, the date of the inventory of his estate.

    The will of his widow is dated Feb. 1, 1710, and in it she is said to be aged. It was proved Dec. 16, 1717. Joseph was named as administrator, but he d. before his mother, and Thomas and William were appointed.

    9. Mary.
    10. Thomas b. 1655,
    11. Sarah, b. April 26, 1657 ; m. Pritchett.
    12. William b. March 13, 1659,
    13. Joseph b. Sept. 2, 1661,
    14. Abigail b. Aug 6, 1664 m. Jacob Peabody, Jan. 12 1686,
    15. Benjamin, b. May 26 1666.
    16. Rebecca, b. Feb. 2, 1668 m. Knight,
    17. Elizabeth, b. Nov. 2 1669 m. Thomas Wilkins of Salem Dec. 19, 1694.
    18. Samuel, b. Feb. 11, 1673. [m. Elizabeth Knight]

    European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.
    Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.

    Genealogical Dictionary of New England Settlers, Volume 4, Page 318.

    ...Thomas [Towne], Topsfield, s. of Edmund of the same, in early youth was in the flower of Essex under capt. [Thomas] Lothrop, on Conn. riv. in 1675, but perhaps not present at Bloody Brook, m. 1685, Sarah French, perhaps d. of John of Ipswich, had Edmund, Thomas, Richard, Experience, Sarah, Ednah, and Mercy; and d. a. 1720...

    The Battle of Bloody Brook was on September 12, 1675 between the colonial militia led by Captain Thomas Lothrop and Native Americans. A wagon train carrying the harvest from Deerfield to Hadley was ambushed and about 60 colonists massacred.
    Mary Towne Estey was a victim of the Salem witch delusion on September 22, 1692.
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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