THE THOMAS DEWEY FAMILY
A note about the numbers in parentheses: More of my ancestors are in the Dewey family, I believe, than any other family. This is my mother’s line; I have Deweys in my father’s line as well, and they crossed over in several generations. Same names were given in different generations making it very confusing. Therefore, I’ve included the numbers assigned by the Dewey genealogy against each person.
THOMAS DEWEY, the emigrant ancestor of the large and influential Dewey family, in early manhood seems to have become a dissenter and emigrated to America from Sandwich, Kent, England, as one of the early settlers, under Governor Winthrop and Rev. John Warham. He settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Dorchester received authority from the Massachusetts Court of Assistants to use that name on September 7th, 1630. The Massachusetts Bay Company had been primarily a trading company, and the original Charter was written such that the first settlers had no political rights. The Court immediately made arrangements for extending those rights to all suitable men. The first date freemanship was offered was October 19th, 1630. Of the 108 men who applied, 24 of them belonged to Dorchester, but Thomas Dewey’s name was not among them.
We know Thomas was in the Massachusetts Bay area some time before September 1633, for he was a witness in Court, on 3 September 1633, to the will of John Russell, merchant, at Dorchester, Massachusetts. He signed, "Tho. Deawy, O, his mark".
Thomas Dewey was not among those first 24 Dorchester freemen, but he was enrolled on 14 May 1634, by taking the Oath of a Freeman.
The first Dorchester Record-Book was begun 16 January 1633 and continued to 1720. A few pages are missing, so it’s impossible to know the first division of lands. There is no mention of payment by any individual to the plantation for lands.
The oldest allotment of land upon the Dorchester Records was made of salt marsh on 3 April 1633, among 21 persons, divided into four classes according to their interest in the stock. A £50 share entitled the holder to an immediate dividend of 200 acres and a town house-lot, and 50 acres for the head of the family, and such quantity of and as the Governor and Council shall see fit. I don't have a copy of that list.
In November 1634, it was ordered “no man shall sell his house or lot to any man without [or outside of] the plantation, whom they shall dislike of.”
The Dorchester Town Records list all the grantees of Dorchester lands prior to January 1636 and contains the names of all the first settlers. Ancestors of mine who are on the list are: Thomas Dewey, Mr. Pincheon, George Phelps, and Stephen Terry.
Below is a sampling from old Dorchester records of the way lands were granted and located at this early day:
Dec. 1st, 1634. It is ordered that Rodger Clapp, John Hulls, Geo. Phillips, William Hubbard, Stephen French, John Haydon, shall have 8 acres apiece in Roxbury bounds, betwixt the two market Trees, to begin at [the] end which they shall agree off; to go in 40 Rod from the bound of the fresh Marshes are to be excepted from these lots. Mr. Hathorne to have 12 acres, Nicholas Upsall to –, Thomas Duee to have 8 acres with them, Richard Callecott to have 14 acres. Mr. Richards, Richard Callecott, Thom. Holcomb, Thom. Duee are to cast their lotts together next to those above named.
Its ordered that all these shall fence in the lotts agaynst the next spring or to leave them to such as will so doe.
July 5th, 1635. It was granted that Thomas Duee shall have 2 acres of mowing ground, neere the Fresh Marsh, which he hath formerly mowen, in satisfaction for an acre of ground, which he left in common at his house.
DEWEY RELOCATES in CONNECTICUT
Dissatisfaction with the government of Massachusetts caused the removal in 1635 of the main body of Watertown to Wethersfield, that of Dorchester to Windsor, and in 1636 Newtown to Hartford. These three townships formed the nucleus of the Connecticut Colony and at the end of the year 1636 contained about 160 families and 800 persons. So many moved out of Newtown that only eleven families remained.
Thomas Dewey, along with many others, sold his lands and left Dorchester and relocated in Windsor, in the Connecticut Valley. On August 12th, 1635, it appears he sold those two acres in the Fresh Marsh just bought, along with other lands and his house:
I, Thomas Duee of Dorch; do likewise fully confirme vnto Richard Joanes of Dorch; and give him full possession of 4 acres of ground with my house and all thereto belonging, also 8 acres of ground of my great lott, also 10 acres of Medow on the side Napouset, and 4 acres of medow on the other, and 2 acres of medow in the Fresh Marsh. T. D. The mark of Thos. Duee.
Windsor had at that time, within its boundaries, ten different tribes of Indians; 20,000 in all Connecticut. As the infant settlements were so filled and surrounded “with savages”, the people conceived themselves in danger “when they lay down and when they rose up, when they went out and when they came in”.
The courts were held in each town by rotation: Wethersfield, Windsor, and Hartford. A couple of interesting records give an idea of the state of affairs at this early day in the Connecticut Colony.
At a special “Corte” meeting on 7 June 1636 at [Windsor]:
Every soldier in each plantation must have in his house, in readiness, before the end of August, “twoe pounde of powder” and 20 “bulletts”. These must be available for inspection by the Constable whenever he should come for an inspection, and if unable, a penalty shall be levied.
a watch should be constantly kept;
ammunition should be always on hand;
each inhabitant should be armed;
each man would train one day a month.
At “a Corte” at [Hartford] on 21 February 1637:
* Early American settlers often named their towns in honor of someone, or of someone’s place of origin; e.g., Charlestowne for King Charles. Dorchester, Mass., was named for English origin of Rev. White. When inhabitants moved on, they sometimes named the new settlement the same as the old, and later changed it.
The early “Boston” settlements in Massachusetts were basically six communities: New Towne (later called Cambridge), Roxbury, Dorchester, Charlestown, Watertown, and Boston. In time, and for many reasons*, they began to branch out. First, to the Connecticut River Valley which extends from the ocean in Connecticut, north through Massachusetts.
Mr. Pynchon, of Roxbury, took settlers to what became Springfield, Massachusetts. The Rev. Mr. Hooker, from Newtowne/Cambridge, Mass., took people to what he called New Towne in Connecticut (later named Hartford). The Dorchester people went to what they called Dorchester, Connecticut (soon Windsor). It can be very confusing.
A few “social engineering” proclamations went out:
No young man unmarried, or having no servant, and who was not a public officer, would be allowed to keep house by himself, without the consent of the Town where he lives, under pain of a 20s. per week fine.
No “Mr. of a Family” shall give habitation or entertainment to any young man to live among his family, unless allowed by the residents of the said town where he dwells, under the penalty of 20s. per week.
At a May 1637 Court, it was ordered that there would be “offensiue warr agt the Pequoitt” (offensive war against the Pequot), and that Windsor would furnish 30 men and provisions.
Thomas married at Windsor, Connecticut, on 22 March 1639, FRANCES (RANDALL) CLARK. She was born 1610 at Dorset, England, the daughter of Philip and Joane (Fush) Randall.* Frances was the widow of Joseph Clark, by whom she had two children: Joseph and Mary Clark. Mary Clark married on 26 November 1656, John Strong II. at the age of 25, she died on the 28th of April 1663. Nothing more is known of them.
* Philip Randall was born at Allington, Dorset, England, in 1574. Joan Fush was born there in 1578. They both came to America and died in Windsor, Connecticut; he on May 6th, 1662, and Joan in 1665.
The first division of lands in Windsor must have been very simple, undoubtedly a designation of lots by figures. In September of 1639, the General Court enacted a law that every town in the colony had to choose a town clerk or register who would, at the next General Court in April 1640, record every man's house and land already granted and measured out to him, describing the bounds and quantity of land. And that was to be done for all lands thereafter granted and measured to anyone, and all bargains or mortgages of lands would be accounted to be of no value until they were recorded.
That is why today we have the first volume of the Windsor Land Records (10 Oct 1640) and another, compiled in 1654, called a Book of Records of Town Ways in Windsor. Each man’s house-lot is located, and in that list of settlers of Windsor, my ancestors are the following: Thomas Dewey, Joseph Loomis, George Phelps, Isaac Sheldon, and Stephen Terry.
Thomas Dewey was granted land (or else it was recorded) on 28 Feb 1640:
Thomas Dewey hath Granted from the Plantation, a homelot, 7 acres, more or less; the breadth, by the meadow range, 23 rod, and from thence, up to the foot of the hill, it keeps the same breadth, but after by that it comes to the street, it is but 10 rod in breadth; the length from the street down to the meadow on the north side, 58 rod and a half; bounded north by Aaron Cook, south by a way that goes into the meadow.
In the Great Meadow, 4-1/4 acres, bound west by a highway.
Over the Great River (Connecticut) for a planting lot, from the river bank back east 3 miles; bounded north by George Phelps.
In the Northwest Field, 13-1/2 acres, bounded north by Stephen Terry.
Also one parcel of land, 16 acres, more or less, bounded south by George Phelps.
To these lots he added more by purchase and exchange. Dewey’s homelot was the first one north of the fort or palisade and extended from the main street of Windsor east to the Connecticut River.
The original boundaries of Windsor were very extensive, being about 46 miles in circumference, lying on both sides of the Connecticut River. Within the limits of the "town" there were ten distinct tribes or sovereignties. About the year 1670 it was estimated that there were in the town 19 Indians to one Englishman. The white men had a large fort a little N of the plat on which the first meeting house was erected.
CIVIL AND COURT ACTIVITY
Thomas Dewey served as a juror of the “Particular Court” in 1642-1645. It has been stated, erroneously, by both Stile's History of Ancient Windsor, and Savage's Genealogical Dictionary, and others, that Thomas Dewey of Windsor was a deputy and a cornet. He was never a deputy.
Thomas’s name appears as a plaintiff in a court action on March 5, 1644: “The arbitration upon the sute of Thomas Dewye pl. agt. (plaintiff against) Tho. Ford deft. is fownd. good and Tho. Ford is to pay the 36s. Awarded therein and charges of the Courte.”
CHILDREN OF THOMAS I & FRANCES DEWEY
(All Children Born at Windsor, Connecticut)
- THOMAS DEWEY II (#1), was born 16 February 1640; mar. Constant Hawes, the daughter of Richard and Ann Hawes.
- Josiah Dewey (#2), baptized 10 October 1641.
- Anna Dewey (#3), baptized 15 Octobet 1643.
- Israel Dewey (#4), born 25 September 1645.
- JEDEDIAH DEWEY (#5), born 15 December 1647; mar. Sarah Orton, the daughter of Thomas and Margaret (Pratt) Orton. The Dewey-Orton marriage connects to my father’s side.
DEATH and ESTATE of THOMAS DEWEY the SETTLER
Thomas Dewey I died before 19 May 1648. There is a Dewey tombstone at the Old Burying Ground in Westfield, Mass., which bears his name and year of death, but it is presumed he died and is buried at Windsor, Connecticut.
He left behind an estate totaling £213. There were four boys and two girls mentioned. Our ancestor, Thomas Dewey I (8 yrs.) received £30 and Jedediah Dewey (9 months) received £20. Various distributions of land were made in June 1650 and September 1663.
Inventory of Estate of Thomas Dewey I.
A very good site with perfect photos of the headstones in the Old Burying Ground at Westfield, Massachusets, is the Smugmug Gallery of Cyndy. The only problem is that you get locked in her frames and can’t “go back” to this page. To save this page up, I would recommend you open a new window from this page and just keep it there, then click on the link to see the photos.
Photo of burial stone honoring Thomas Dewey I.
Photo of The Old Burying Ground, Westfield, Massachusetts.
WIDOW FRANCES DEWEY
After his death, Thomas’s widow, Frances, married for a third husband (and as his second wife), George Phelps. He was the brother of my ancestor, William Phelps. She had by him several children and moved to Waranoak (now Westfield), Massachusetts, with the first settlers on the Fort Side in 1667.
Frances and George Phelps had the following children:
- Jacob Phelps (1649-1689); mar. 1672, Dorothy Ingersol; Joseph (b. 1686); and Jedadia (1688-1752; mar. Elizabeth Janes). All removed to Lebanon, Conn.
- John Phelps (b. 1651).
- Nathaniel Phelps (b. 1653).
Frances Clark Dewey Phelps, the mother of ten children by three husbands, herself died on 27 September 1690, at Westfield, Massachusetts.
THOMAS DEWEY II was born at Windsor, Connecticut, on 16 February 1640. He was a miller and a farmer in the Little River District.
Thomas was in Windsor, Connecticut as late as January 18, 1660, as he had then paid 6 shillings and was seated “in the long seats” in the meeting house.
MOVE to NORTHAMPTON, MASS.
Thomas Dewey moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, where, on 12 November 1662, he was granted a homelot of 4 acres upon the condition that he make improvement of the land within one year after the date it was granted, and he must possess the property for three years. He was also given 12 acres “in some place where it may not hinder homelots”.
Thomas evidently kept contact with people in Dorchester, for he met a girl from Dorchester and married her. His wife was CONSTANT HAWES, born at Dorchester on 17 July 1642 and baptized at the First Church of Dorchester on 22 November, same year. Her parents were Richard and Ann Hawes. Thomas married his 21-year-old bride at Dorchester on the 1st of June 1663.
In August 1666, he was connected with a mill at Northampton.
WARANOAK (WESTFIELD), MASS.
The Deweys moved moved next to Waranoak, which was then a part of Springfield and under the direction of a settling committee appointed in February of 1665.
Thomas was first mentioned there on 6 July 1666, as third on a list of twenty grantees of land. He was, for his part, granted 30 acres “on condition that they come there to dwell in their own persons by the last of May next (1667); to continue there for five years and endeavor to settle an able Minister”.
The lands (on the south side of the Westfield River) were laid out on 24 April 1667 and confirmed 9 January 1668. The following men were the first settlers on Main Street: George Phelps, Isaac Phelps, Capt. Aaron Cook, Mr. James Cornish, Moses Cook, Thomas Dewey, Thomas Noble, David Ashley, Mr. John Holyoke, John Osborn, John Ponder, John Ingersol and Hugh Dudley.
Thomas Dewey II became an influential citizen of the new town and filled positions of trust. The settling committee ordered that he, along with other original settlers, “shall view the land to be fenced and determine where the fence shall be set, what quantity there is and where each mans proportion shall be and this to be attended forthwith.” Fencing was definitely a priority in these new settlements.
At another meeting in Waranoco on 21 January 1669, he was appointed to the very important committee that would run the line between Springfield and the new community. Dewey, along with James Cornish, George Phelps, and Thomas Noble, would go to Springfield “the first Tuesday in February next at a town meeting to propound to the town for the settlement of our place and affairs; in particular to determine where the line shall run between Springfield and us, and to appoint persons to lay out the bounds granted us by the honored General Court and to allow us to be a township of ourselves and signify the same to the Honored Court, etc.”
The town of Springfield granted them an addition of six square miles for the town, and on 2 February 1669, Dewey, Mr. James Cornish, John Root, and John Sacket (or any three of them) were appointed to lay out the grant. The town of Westfield, then, was incorporated on 27 May 1669.
The only store in this neighborhood at this early period was that belonging to John Pynchon of Springfield, where Thomas Dewey, like most others, had an account. Pynchon kept voluminous records and from the original book dated 1658-1669 (at the Springfield Library) is the following record:
|£ sh. d.|
|1d powder||00 02 06|
|a flask and chaine||00 07 00|
|severalls, Sept. 21 (64)||00 17 00|
|6d of woole||00 07 00|
|1d of powder of John Taylor||00 03 09|
WARANOCO BECOMES WESTFIELD
The town of Westfield was incorporated on 28 May 1669.
Westfield’s minister, Mr. Moses Fisk, had preached there for three years. When he left them, Thomas Dewey was sent to the Bay for another. On 17 November 1671, he was directed to the Rev. Edward Taylor, who had been installed as a teacher at Harvard College only the day before. Rev. Taylor was advised “by those in authority”, and set out for Westfield on the 27th of November. He made the journey in four days, riding all the way on horseback over a trail guided by marked trees.
THE CORN AND SAW MILLS
Thomas Dewey and his younger brothers, Josiah and Jedediah, were setting up a saw mill on Two Mile Brook. Two Mile connects the Southwick ponds with the Westfield river, and all are in the Little River District.
A town meeting was held on 10 December 1672. On a motion of the mill owners, the town voted to allow them the toll of 1/12 part of the corn they powder (both English and Indian), to be granted till the town see cause to alter.
Then on the 30th of December, the town granted the brothers 40 acres of land about the mills. This land would encompass the water that was ponded, in part for the use of the Mills. The brothers were also granted 10 acres a piece, “whereas all is upon the account of making the mills.”
Joseph Whiting had earlier built a mill near John Sacket’s house, but owing to the sandy soil couldn’t keep the water ponded. When the Deweys were planning to build their mill, Whiting came to an agreement with them, part ownership in his mill, and he to share in their mill and give them the first right of refusal if at any time he wanted to sell his part. The mills were to stand twenty years.
This testifies an agreement betwixt Joseph Whiting, and Thomas Dewey, Josiah Dewey, and Jedediah Dewey, as followeth:
That is to say conserning the Saw Mill and Corn Mill that now stands upon Two Mile Brook, being fully finished as we are Mutely concerned do wholly discharge each other of all charges past about said mills * and we further agree from this time to bear equal charge in reparing and doing what may be necessary about the mills and to receive equal benefit; and if any should desire to sell his part, the rest of the owners are to have the refusal of it; we further agree that the mills shall stand where they now are for 20 years except we shall see cause to remove them sooner; and to the above said agreement we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns as witness our hands this __ day of December, 1672.
Signed: Joseph Whiting, Thomas Dewey, Josiah Dewey, Jedediah Dewey.
* Evidently there had been some dispute over an earlier mill.
But instead of keeping his bargain, he sold out to Capt. Aaron Cook and the Deweys entered a protest on 10 May 1676, and refused to recognize the captain's claim.
This may certify whom it may concern – That we whose names are here subscribed, being the copartners with Joseph Whiting, the owners of the Grist Mill and the Saw Mill in Westfield, do declare that there is agreement made between the four partners that if any are desirous to sell his part, the rest of the owners are to have the refusal of it; but understanding that Mr. Whiting hath made sale of his part of the mills to Capt. Aaron Cook as appears by his demands desiring our consent that he might enjoy Mr. Whiting’s part with us, We declare to all that we neither do nor shall at any time consent that the said Capt. Cook shall be any copartner or have any share with us in the said mills.”
What ensued was an extended litigation in the Court respecting their mills on Great Brook, then known as "Two Mile brook."
Dewey’s Litigation over the Mill
And still, Thomas was interested in building mills, and on 17 December 1680, the town “granted to Lieut. Mosely, Thomas Dewey, and ‘Sergeant’ (Josiah) Dewey to set up a Grist and Saw Mill at the mouth of Two Mile Brook and so long as they maintain a grist mill the town grants them liberty to improve the low land of this side the brook.”
INDIAN WAR 1675-77
The Indians of this region, at first peaceful, had invited the pale faces among them for the purpose of trade, and gave little trouble, aside from a few captures, petty thefts, and “spoil among the cattel and swine.”
The restless Metacomet, with unusual sagacity, foresaw the fall of his race, if the encroachments of the English were not stopped by annihilation, and began the war known in history as King Philip's War. The system that bound the redmen together was no stronger than a rope of wampum, but and the resources of the United Colonies were too strong to stop. The scions of this locality were known as Woronoco and Pochasuck Indians, and belonged, in speech, to the great Algonquin nation – Alquot and his son Wolump were the sachems.
A volume could be written about this war, but I’ll go into only those events that took place in this area, after the war had been underway for about four months.
After the conflicts at Northfield, Deerfield, etc., Major Treat (commander of the Connecticut troops sent here by the United Colonies) moved down to Westfield. On 4 October 1675, he had received notice via messengers sent up from Windsor of an intended attack on Springfield. He set out with his company and arrived at Springfield about the middle of the day. He was detained by the Indians on the west bank of the Connecticut and was unable to save the town. Major Pynchon, of Springfield, had left Springfield with his garrison of 45, on an expedition
up the river.
Rev. Edward Taylor, who described the events in detail, stated:
... but summer (1675) coming, opened a door unto yt desolating war, began by Philip Sachem of ye Pakaneket Indians, by which this handful was sorely pressed yet sovereignly preserved. But yet not so as that we should be wholly exempted from the fury of war, for our soil was moistened by the blood of three Springfield men, young Goodman (John) Dumbleton, who came to our mill and two sons of Goodman Brooks, who came here to look after ye iron on ye land he had lately bought of Mr. John Pyhchon Esqr. They fell in the way by the first assault ye enemy made upon us, at wch time they burn’d Mr. Cornish's house to ashes and also John Sacket’s, with his barn and what was in it, being ye first snowy day of winter (27 October). They also at this time lodged a bullet in George Granger’s leg, wch was, the next morning, taken out by Mr. Bulkly, and ye wound soon healed. It was judged that the enemy did receive some lose [loss] at this time, because, in the ashes of Mr. Cornish’s house were found pieces of ye boanes of a man, lying about ye length of a man in ye ashes.
Also in winter, some sculking Rascolds, upon a Lord’s day, in ye time of or [our] afternoon worship, fired Amb. Fowler’s house and barn, and in ye week after, Walter Lee’s barn.
But in ye latter end and giving up of winter, ye last snowy day we had thereof, we, discovering an end of Indians, did send out to make a full discovery of the same, designing onely three or four to go out, with order that they should not assalt them, but to or [our] woe and smart, there going 10 or 12, not as scouts, but as assailants, rid furiously upon ye enemy, from whom they received a
furious charge, whereby Moses Cook, an inhabitant, and Clemence Bates, a soldier, lost their lives; Clemence in ye place and Moses at night.
Besides wch, we lost none of the town, onely at ye Fall’s fight at Deerfield, there going nine from or [our] town, 3 Garison Souldiers fell.
The war had so impoverished the inhabitants that many times they were ready to leave the place, and many did. Winter 1675-76 was mile, and hostilities temporarily suspended. Nevertheless, the towns busied themselves fortifying their plantations and houses with sticks of wood set in the ground, which formed a rude fence. Leaving small garrisons in these forts the troops departed for
active service in the eastern part of the colony.
The General Court realized in the spring of 1676, that their frontier settlements were in exposed positions, and ordered a concentration at Springfield. The order was issued March 20th and ended with these most discouraging words: “If you people be avrse from our advice, we must be necessitated to draw off our forces from them, for we cannot spare them, nor supply them with
Thus, Westfield was left to take care of itself, but the men of that period were no cowards and successfully carried the town through the war. At a town meeting on 26 March 1676, men of the town drew up an agreement, which they sent on to the General Court, in which they agreed to fence the Northeast field. A certain number of the men would work in the field sowing seed and maintaining the land, while from day to day, others would tarry at home. Signers were: George Phelps, Thomas Gunn, Samuel Loomis, Isaac Phelps, David Ashley, Josiah Dewey, Nathaniel Weller, Thomas Dewey, John Sackett and Edward Neal.
On 26 September 1676, Thomas Dewey was licensed by the Court “to keep a Publique house of Entertainment.”
- At the March term 1675, Thomas Dewey was a juryman.
- Thomas Dewey was appointed Fence Viewer for the year starting 12 March 1677 for the South field of the river. It was also voted that he should maintain a sufficient gate on the county road on the south side of the river where it is or shall be ordered in lieu of fence for that piece of land in the Fort Meadow that he bought from John Root, which he expected and agreed to perform.
- He was a representative to Boston in 1677-79, and was a Selectman in 1677 and again in 1686.
- Constant Dewey joined Westfield Church on 24 March 1680. Thomas joined on 9 May 1680; after which, on 28 September 1680, he was eligible to, and did take, the Freeman's Oath.
- And on 30 March 1680, he was on a committee with Samuel Marshfield and Thomas Cooper of Springfield, and David Ashley of Westfield, to locate the county road to Windsor.
- At the same term, Thomas Noble petitioned that “the road for horses be laid without ye field for carts continueing as already it is.” The committee appointed (which included Thomas Dewey) reported that it was a small matter, only one place being bad and there Noble had made a bridge. He was instructed to finish the bridge and the town to pay him.
- At the fall term 1682, Lieut. Wm. Clark and Capt. Cook of Northampton were appointed to view the land Lieut. John Mosely claimed damages on, when the Order for Compact Dwelling was carried into effect. The town of Westfield was given liberty to dispose of lands southwest of the Country road against the dwelling of Thomas Dewey, and were to layout the said road six rods wide on firm ground.
- The town voted that Thomas Dewey should attend at the next General Court to manage its petition to the Court formally and that the town would give him reasonable satisfaction for his necessary charges about the same that is our former petition to the Court respecting taxing soldiers. He was again chosen on 10 March 1679, “to plead the towns interest at Court if need require.”
- On 5 March 1680, Dewey and Nathaniel Weller were chosen to appraise land.
- On 1 February 1681, he was chosen Constable.
- On 14 March 1683. The Committee of Militia and Selectmen did dispose of powder and lead to several persons. The wording is difficult to understand, but it seems they were expected to make bullets from the material and have them ready when “called for”, the material having been taken out of the town stock:
- Thomas Dewey – 3 lbs. powder, 5 lbs. lead
- Josiah Dewey – 3 lbs. powder, 11 lbs. lead
- Mr. Taylor – 3 lbs. powder
- Thomas Root – 3 lbs. powder, 4½ lbs. lead
- Widow Root – 3 lbs. powder
- Benjamin Mosely – 3 lbs. powder, 4½ lbs. lead
- Thomas Dewey was chosen “warden for the town ways” on 2 February 1686. And with John Sackett, Isaac Phelps, John and Samuel Root, on 7 March 1687, he was appointed “to measure the breadth of the town at the north end that we may have our bounds fully set at the south end. And lastly, he was on a committee, chosen 9 March 1688, with Capt. Mosely, his son Samuel Dewey, Mr. Sexton, John Sackett, and Nathaniel Williams “to settle the Common Fence.”
DOINGS ABOUT TOWN – GOOD FOR GOSSIP
- Two centuries ago it was considered “contrary to honeft and fober order and Demeanor, not becoming a wildernefs state; at Leaft ye Profefsion of Chrisftianity and Religion” to wear “silk in a slanting manner and long hair and other extravagances beyond ones means or station.” Hugh Dudley and wife, Elizabeth Cooke, and Mary Fowler of Westfield appeared before the Court for disobeying this law.
- At the March term 1675, Lieut. Thomas Cooper of Springfield requested the County to pay him for setting broken bones as he seems to have had hard work of getting anything from his patients.
- No Court was held in September 1675 on account of the war with the Indians.
- In Septemher 1681 Thomas Dewey of Westfield and Samuel Ely of Springfield were warned to renew their licenses to sell liquor.
- The law for the suppression of excessive apparel seems to have become a deadletter, as the Selectmen of Springfield, Northampton, Hadley, Hatfield, and Westfield were presented for not assessing persons that wore “silks and other forbidden apparel beyond their rank or what the l aw allows.” They were ordered to meet in their respective towns and see to the execution of the laws.
- At the March Court 1683, James Cornish obtained a verdict against George Sexton for “wrongfully taking and using hay without leave.” 40 sh. and costs of £1 7s. 6d. for plaintiff. In another matter, Saml. Ely of Springfield, Thomas Dewey of Westfield, and Thomas Huxley of Suffield, were allolwed to keep public houses and sell liquor if they keep good order. Thomas Dewey Sr. and Nathaniel Bancroft claimed a damage of £5 from James and Joseph Sexton for their taking away a parcel of hay made by Dewey and Bancroft. The jury found the damage less than 40s. and gave the case to the defendants and their bill of charge 2s. apiece (26 September 1683).
Thomas Dewey was appointed Cornet of Hampshire Troop at the General Court on 8 July 1685.
CHILDREN of THOMAS II & CONSTANT (HAWES) DEWEY
- Thomas Dewey III (#11), born 26 Mar 1664, at Northampton, Massachusetts; mar. Hannah Sackett; d. 8 Mar 1690 at Westfield. Widow remarried (2) Capt. Benjamin Newberry.
- Adijah Dewey (#12), born 5 Mar 1666 at Northampton; in 1688 mar. Sarah Root (b. 1670, the dtr. of John and Mary [Ashley] Root); 10 children. He was a captain and a man of influence. He died 24 Mar 1742.
- MARY DEWEY (#13), born 28 Jan 1668 at Northampton. She married David Ashley on 11 July 1688 at Westfield (the son of David and Hannah Glover Ashley). Mary’s younger sister, Abigail, married David’s brother, Joseph Ashley. Mary died 13 Dec 1757 at Westfield, Massachusetts. The Dewey-Ashley connection is on my father’s side. Mary & David’s daughter, Elizabeth Ashley, married James Dewey (#8009).
- Samuel Dewey (#14), born 25 June 1670; mar. (1) 1695 Sarah Weller; and (2) Rebecca Ashley. He d. 11 May 1734 at Sheffield, Massachusetts.
- HANNAH DEWEY (#15), born 21 Feb 1672; mar. 10 Dec 1690 at Westfield, Matthew Noble, born abt. 1668, the son of Thomas and Hannah (Warriner) Noble. Hannah and her younger sister Elizabeth married brothers. Hannah died after 9 July 1745. He d. at Sheffield, Mass., about 1744; aged about 76.
- Elizabeth Dewey (#16), born 10 Jan 1676/77 at Westfield; mar. 19 Dec 1695 at Westfield, Thomas Noble, born on 14 January 1666/67 at Springfield, Massachusetts, the son of Thomas and Hannah (Warriner) Noble. He died at Westfield on 29 July 1750; she died 2 Oct 1757.
- James Dewey, born 1678; died 1682.
- Abigail Dewey (#17), born 14 Feb 1681. In 1699 she married Joseph Ashley (born 1671), the son of David and Hannah (Glover) Ashley; he died on 25 Feb 1705. She mar. (2) Thomas Dewey (her 1st cousin), the son of Jedediah and Sarah (Orton) Dewey. She died in 1747.
- James Dewey, born 1683; died 1686.
- Isreal Dewey (#18), born on 9 July 1686; mar. Sarah Root. He died at Westfield on 26 Jan 1728.
THE END for THOMAS and CONSTANT
Thomas Dewey died at Westfield on 27 April 1690, age 50, but the grave record states, “in his 52d yr.” The monument marks the resting place of the first Dewey born on American soil.
Photo of Burial Stone of Cornet Thomas Dewey II
Inventory of Estate of Cornet Thomas Dewey II
Constant Dewey died in Westfield, Mass. and was buried at the Old Burying Ground. The town record gives the date of her death as 26 April 1703 but the grave record has 27 April 1702, age 58. If either date is correct, certainly the age is wrong.
Her burial stone was standing for ages, and there are pictures of it in genealogies; however the website photo gallery for Westfield’s Old Burying Ground doesn’t include a photograph of it so I’m not sure if it’s still standing. The wording on it was as follows:
ON APR THE
27 1702 AGED
58 YEAR CORT
JEDEDIAH DEWEY I was born 15 December 1647, at Windsor, Connecticut.
Jedediah’s lands at Windsor were sold in his 21st year to John Grant and Lieut. Fyler. In the same year he is mentioned at Westfield, Massachusetts, which was then being settled under the direction of a committee appointed by the town of Springfield for that purpose, the chairman of which was Capt. John Pynchon.
On 27 August 1668, the Westfield founding committee granted to Jedediah 15 or 16 acres of land, which was the remainder of Weller’s lot and a homelot.
About 1670, he received a grant of “a homelot of six acres on the fort side,” and it was probably then that he removed to Westfield, Massachusetts.
About 1670, Jedediah married SARAH ORTON, of Farmington, Connecticut. She was baptized in August of 1652 at Windsor, the daughter of Thomas and Margaret (Pratt) Orton. She joined the Westfield Church on 24 March 1680. This marriage unites my mom’s and dad’s genealogies in the 17th century, about 300 years earlier than my parents’ marriage!
The Dewey genealogy states that Sarah and Jedediah lived at Farmington a short while after their marriage. I wonder about that since he was mentioned in Windsor and Westfield both between 1668-70; then in Westfield in 1670 the same year he was getting married at Farmington.
Prior to the defeat and death of the Indian warrior, King Philip, the settlers stayed close to the “compact dwelling” that they had been ordered to form. When that war quieted things down, the settlers could move out a ways, and were making grants of land “two miles without the meeting house”; in other words, outside the stockade. The stockade enclosed an area about 2 miles in circumference around their fort, which stood near the confluence of the Westfield and Little rivers. And so in February of 1687, Jedediah Dewey, with other proprietors, received a grant of 20 acres “two miles without the meeting house.”
Whenever it was that streets were developed and named, Jedediah and Sarah lived on the east corner of Silver and South streets in Westfield.
Photo of the Dewey House.
Jedediah was a wheelwright, but he also was much occupied with the milling industry.
As a wheelwright, he surely must have bought supplies from John Pynchon’s stores. The one record of any store account I have for Jedediah, however, is for what appear to be sewing supplies for the home. “Searge” (serge) was the best and most popular fabric for work clothes. It could be made from flax or wool.
|Jedidiah Duee, Dr.|
|£ sh. d.|
|No. 8, ‘69|
|To 8 yds Searge @ 7d, 4s-8d,|
4 doz But. 4s 6d,
|05 00 06|
|£ 05 09 10|
Recd 1 - 19 - 10
Posted to H. Booke.
Jed. Duee, Cr.
By Goodin. Bascomb, 01 - 19 - 00
Discounted pr. Contra.
During the year 1672 (when he was 25 years old), Jedediah was in partnership with his older brothers, Thomas and Josiah, in the saw and corn mills on Two Mile brook. [Story is outlined above, under Thomas II.] There was a lot of trouble with these mills, especially between Joseph Whiting and Thomas Dewey.
Jedediah served in the various town offices of the period. He was a selectman in 1678, 1686, 1695, 1699. He was first mentioned as ensign in 1686. He was made a freeman in January of 1680 and joined the church on 28 September in the same year.
Sarah Orton Dewey died at Westfield on 20 November 1711. She is buried in the Old Burying Ground on Mechanic Street and her red sandstone slab, facing south, still stands.
Photo of Sarah Dewey’s tombstone
Jedediah Dewey I died in May 1718, at Westfield, Massachusetts. He was the only son of Thomas Dewey the Settler to make a will.
Will of Jedediah Dewey I
Photo of Jedediah Dewey’s burial stone
CHILDREN of JEDEDIAH I & SARAH (ORTON) DEWEY
- Sarah Dewey (#8001), born 28 March 1672. She mar. (1) Capt. John Ashley, son of David and Hannah (Glover) Ashley. After she died at Westfield on 30 March 1708 (age 36), he remarried, on 20 Jan 1709, Mrs. Mary (Whiting) Sheldon, the widow of Joseph Sheldon, Esq., of Suffield, Connecticut. He married a third time, Hannah Glover, dtr. of Peletiah and Hannah (Parsons) Glover. Sarah’s three children inherited from her father’s will.
- Margaret (#8002), born 10 January 1674. She mar. Daniel Bissell of Windsor; she died November 1712. Her five children inherited from her father.
- JEDEDIAH DEWEY II (#8003), born 14 June 1676. He married Rebecca Williams.
- Daniel Dewey (#8004), born 9 March 1680.
- Thomas Dewey (#8005), born 29 June 1682 at Westfield, Mass. He was a farmer in Little River District; owned 9 acres in General Field in 1723. He married 7 November 1706, his cousin, Abigail (Dewey) Ashley (#17) the widow of Joseph Ashley, the dtr. of Thomas Dewey II (#1) and Constant (Hawes) Dewey. She died at Westfield, 20 December 1747, and he remarried, on 29 December 1749, at Suffield, Conn., Elizabeth Harmon. Thomas died at Westfield, 15 March 1758.
- Joseph Dewey (#8006), born 10 May 1684.
- Hannah Dewey (#8007), born 14 March 1686. She married, about 1712, Samuel Ashley, son of Samuel and Sarah (Kellogg) Ashley. She delivered twins born on 7 February 1714.
Hannah died probably on the 14th of February 1714. The first twin died at 13 days of age; the other twin girl died on the 19th of April. Samuel died about 1717. What a tragedy!
- Mary Dewey (#8008), born 1 March 1689; died 19 June 1740.
- JAMES DEWEY (#8009), born 3 April 1692. He married Elizabeth Ashley.
- Abigail Dewey (#8010), born 17 November 1694. She married in 1715 her 1st cousin once removed, Joseph Noble, the son of Mathew and Hannah (Dewey) (#15) Noble. She d. 24 March 1758 at Great Barrington, Mass.
JEDEDIAH DEWEY II was born 14 June 1676, at Westfield, Massachusetts. He was a joiner by trade.
He married on 17 June 1703, REBECCA WILLIAMS, the daughter of Nathaniel and Mary Williams. She was born at Westfield, also, on 27 September 1685.
Rebecca joined the church on 8 October 1710. Jedediah joined the church on 30 March 1712.
Their home was on Elm Street, on land now between Arnold Street and Conner’s Bookstore (1898).
Jedediah Dewey II died at Westfield, “at evening,” on 26 January 1728, age 51.
Inventory of Estate of Jedediah Dewey II
THE WIDOW DEWEY
After Jedediah’s death, Widow Rebecca Dewey remarried, on 13 May 1731, as his second wife, Sergeant Consider Mosely, the son of John and Mary (Newberry) Moseley. He was born 21 November 1675 at Windsor, Connecticut. He earned the rank of lieutenant and was also a selectman at Westfield, and died on 12 September 1755, at age 79.
CHILDREN of JEDEDIAH and REBECCA (WILLIAMS) DEWEY
- Rebecca Dewey (#8012), born 11 June 1704.
- Margaret Dewey (#8013), born 12 February 1706.
- Zerviah Dewey (#8014), born 1 March 1708.
- Sarah Dewey (#8015), born 3 March 1710.
- Rhoda Dewey (#8016), born 10 July 1712.
- Jedediah Dewey III #8017), born 11 April 1714.
- MARTIN DEWEY (#8018), born 18 May 1716. He mar. 7 October 1740 at Westfield, Elizabeth Dewey (#8035), his cousin, the daughter of James & Elizabeth (Ashley) Dewey.
- Hannah Dewey (#8019), born 9 March 1718.
- Abner Dewey (#8020), born 19 August 1726.
LIEUT. MARTIN DEWEY was born on May 18th, 1716, at Westfield, Massachusetts. By trade, he was a blacksmith.
Martin married first, ELIZABETH DEWEY (#8035), his cousin, the daughter of James and Elizabeth (Ashley) Dewey. She was born on 29 September 1722, at Westfield.
Elizabeth died at Westfield on 12 October 1756, at 34 years of age (per her tombstone).
Martin married secondly, his widow’s sister, Anna Dewey (#8036), who was born 30 August 1724.
In 1740, Martin deeded to his brother, Jedediah Dewey (a joiner) of Westfield, his part of the homelot of their father, Medediah Dewey, late of Westfield, deceased, with his part of the dwelling house and barn (91 x 4 rods). The land was bounded south on Jedediah Dewey, east on Elm street, north on Abner Dewey, west on David Ashley. This would have increased substantially the holdings of Jedediah Dewey.
On 23 September 1743, he bought from Aaron Gunn, husbandman, for £90, 1-1/2 acres with a house in Westfield, formerly Daniel Gunn’s. This land was bounded south on Joseph Rood, east on David King, north on the highway, and west on Aaron Gunn.
After the death of his first wife and remarriage to her sister, they moved “to the oblong,” a gore of unincorporated land south of Sheffield, Massachusetts, “to escape the penalty”. The Dewey genealogy doesn’t explain what “the penalty” is that they were escaping. They had bought the land from Robert Watson of Sheffield on May 12th, 1757, 1/18th part of a grant of land called the Shawanon purchase, west of Sheffield.
CIVIL and MILITARY SERVICE
In 1755, Martin Dewey’s name appears on “a list of 151 men voluntarily inlisted in to his Majesty’s service for reinforcing the army destined for Crown Point, out of the Southern regiment in Hampshire county”.
In 1756, he served 13 weeks in Capt. Benjamin Day’s co. of Springfield, roll dated March 5th.
And he was credited with 26 days of service on an alarm in August, 1757, for the relief of the garrison at Fort William Henry, in Capt. David Mosely’s company.
Martin was a Selectman at Westfield in the years 1757-58.
Martin died on 10 June 1763, at age 47, near Amenia, Dutchess County, New York.
Martin died leaving Anna barely three months pregnant with their second child, Archibald. It must have been very difficult for her. Martin’s two eldest were 23 and 20 years old and possibly out on their own. Sixteen-year-old Rhoda would still be home to help with the four younger children, and then an infant as well.
CHILDREN by ELIZABETH (DEWEY) DEWEY
- Martin Dewey II (#8055) was born 26 December 1740. He was in the army, and appears as private in Lieut. John Shephard’s co., marched from Westfield on the Lexington Alarm, April 19, 1775. He enlisted on April 28th for eight mnonths in Capt. Warham Park’s co., Col. Danielson’s Regt., and died in service.
- Elizabeth Dewey (#8056) was born 12 July 1743.
- RHODA DEWEY (#8057) was born 23 March 1747. She married about 1766, Stephen Hopkins, the son of Capt. Stephen and Jemima (Bronson) Hopkins, of Harwinton, Connecticut. They were in Harwinton 1738 and in Nine Partners, NY in 1742. He was born about 1740, and died in Burlington Flats, Otsego Co., NY in 1813.
- Mercy Dewey (#8058) was born 26 September 1749.
- Lucretia Dewey (#8059) was born 27 March 1750; married (-) Harmon.
- Grace Dewey (#8060) was born in October 1753; married (-) Harmon.
CHILDREN by ANNA (DEWEY) DEWEY
(Recorded at Suffield, Conn., and Sheffield, Mass.)
- Anna Dewey (#8061) was born 17 June 1760.
- Archibald Dewey (#8062) was born 14 January 1764. He married in 1785, Jerusha Hopkins (b. 1766 at Nine Partners, NY, the dtr. of Benjamin and Zaresh (Rudd) Hopkins.
JAMES DEWEY II was born 3 April 1692, at Westfield, Massachusetts.
James was a wheelwright and lived near the east end of Silver Street at Westfield.
He was a Selectman, town treasurer, etc.
On 15 May 1718 at Westfield, James Dewey married ELIZABETH ASHLEY. She was the daughter of Deacon David & Mary (Dewey) (#13) Ashley and was born at Westfield on 3 March 1697/98. Mary Dewey is in the Thomas Dewey II line.
They both joined the church at Westfield on 30 April 1727.
Elizabeth died at Westfield on 25 September 1737, age 39.
On 30 December 1738, James remarried Joanna Taylor, widow of Samuel Taylor (the son of John and Mary (Sheldon) Taylor. She was born 12 June 1694 at Hadley, the daughter of John and Ruth Kellogg. She had six children by Taylor.
In 1741, James was chosen deacon in 1741.
On 22 November 1745, deeded most of his lands at Westfield, to Joseph Clark (cordwainer) of Westfield, for the sum of £320.
one acre and twenty rods in the townplot (15 rods north and south, 3 rods at the north end and 11 rods wide at the south end), bounded east and south by town streets (South and East Silver Streets), west by Joseph Rooth, north on David King.
JAMES REMOVES TO SHEFFIELD
On 9 November 1746, he resigned his church membership at Westfield and was dismissed to Sheffield. There, he once again was involved in the civil affairs of his town, i.e., moderator at town meetings, Selectman, etc.
One wonders if James bought property in Sheffield prior to his move there, or very soon after. From the Dewey genealogy, the land purchases are recorded as beginning in 1748.
- On 12 February 1748, James Dewey bought 30 acres there from Phineas Smith.
- On 16 February 1753, James Dewey bought 55 acres there from Samuel Churchill for £20.
Evidently James had kept ownership of some lands in Westfield, because on 31 October 1754, “James Dewey, yeoman, of Sheffield”, deeded all his claims to lands in Westfield to Samuel Fowler, yeoman, of Westfield, for the sum of £34.
James Dewey died at age 64, on 24 June 1756 at Sheffield, Massachusetts. Joanna died at Sheffield, on 1 December 1762, at 69 years of age.
CHILDREN of JAMES & ELIZABETH (ASHLEY) DEWEY
- Stephen Dewey (#8034), b. 13 March 1719.
- ELIZABETH DEWEY (#8035) was born 29 September 1722. She married on 7 October 1740, Martin Dewey (Gen. 4, #8018), her cousin, the son of Jedediah II (#8003) & Rebecca (Williams) Dewey (born 18 May 1716 at Westfield). Upon his wife’s death in 1724, Martin married his sister-in-law, Anna (just below).
- Anna Dewey (#8036) was born 30 August 1724. After her sister died in 1756, Anna married her brother-in-law, Martin Dewey.
- Keziah Dewey (#8037), was born 20 October 1726.
- Daniel Dewey (#8038) was born 10 March 1729.
- Lieut. James Dewey II (#8039) was born 14 August 1731; a blacksmith at Sheffield, Mass.; was lieut. In Capt. John Fellow’s co., Col. Richard Saltonstall’s Provincial regt., in 1761. He died at age 36, of smallpox, at Westfield, 28 August 1767.
- Josiah Dewey (#8040) was born 29 January 1733 and died two months later, on 17th of March.
- Mary Dewey (#8041) was born 6 April 1735.
- Serg. Josiah Dewey (#8042) was born 8 September 1737; lived at Stockbridge, Mass., on the Ministry Grant in 1767; was a sergeant in Capt. James Gray’s company, from Sheffield, in 1763.
Boston Commissioners’ Reports (re. Dorchester), Vol. IV.
Dewey, Louis M. Life of George Dewey, ... Dewey Family History (Westfield, Mass.: Dewey Publishing Co., 1898).
For the land distributions of Thomas Dewey I, see pp. 226-228.
Hawes, Frank Mortimer. Richard Hawes of Dorchester, Mass. and Some of His Descendants Hartford, CT, 1932.
Suffolk Probate General Register XI. (Boston, Mass. 1857) 342; 5:391.
For the probate matters of Richard Hawes, Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Book of Records of Town Ways in Windsor [Conn.]. Matthew Grant, comp. (1654).
Colonial Records of Connecticut, Vol. 1, pg. 23. Thomas Dewey as Plaintiff in court action.
Drake's History of Dorchester.
Fiske, John. The Dutch and Quaker Colonies, 1/153.
Glover, Anna. John Glover of Dorchester and his Descendants. (Boston, Mass: 1867).
Hawes, James W. Ancestors of Edmond Hawes. Mr. Hawes was the historian of the so-called Cape Cod Branch in this country.
Hawes, Frank Mortimer. New England Historical and Genealogical Register (July 1929 and July 1930).
Johnston, Alexander. "The Genesis of a New England State," Johns Hopkins University Studies, 11/5, 6.
Records of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay in New England.
Thistlewaite, Frank. Dorset Pilgrims. About Windsor, Connecticut.
Trowbridge, Frances B. The Ashley Genealogy (New Haven, Conn: 1896) 26.
Virkus, The Compendium of American Genealogy, various volumes.
Westfield Proprietors' Records (27 August 1668). Land grant to Jedediah Dewey.
Windsor Land Records (10 Oct 1640). (See Vol. I, pg. 80).
WEBSITES OF INTEREST
Cyndy’s SmugMug Gallery
This website features burial headstones of Deweys at Westfield’s Old Burying Ground, but has grown into a much larger collection. An excellent site. There is one problem, however; when you click one of my links to go there, and then hit the “back” button, you go back in Cyndy’s Gallery, not back to this page.
“Some Descendants of Thomas Orton of Farmington Connecticut”, ed. Raymond, E. Dale, in The Nebraska and Midwest Genealogical Record15/2 (Lincoln NB, April 1937).
Ancestors of John Dewey, Vermont History and Genealogy (20 Jan 2007). Visited online 11-27-07.
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