Jewett Family - The First Six Generations

The Jewett family traces its origins in the New World to the immigrant, Joseph Jewett, who came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1639. Joseph was the son of Edward and Mary Taylor Jewett of Bradford, West Riding in Yorkshire, England. He was baptized on December 31, 1609, and married in Bradford on October 1, 1634 to Mary Mallinson. Joseph and his older brother, Maximilian, became leading citizens of the town of Rowley, Massachusetts.

The Great Migration from England occurred during the years 1629 to 1640. These were the years when Charles I governed without a parliament. The people who immigrated in these years were mostly from the middle class, and they wanted freedom to worship for themselves, according to their own interpretation of the Bible.

In the summer of 1638, the ship "John" of London, sailed from Hull with about twenty families, nearly all of whom were from Yorkshire and under the leadership of Reverend Ezekiel Rogers, formerly the pastor of the church of Rowley in Yorkshire. In Roger's will he states: "for refusing to read the accursed book which allowed sports on God's Holy Sabbath or Lord's Day, I was suspended and by it and many other sad signs of the times driven, with many of my hearers into New England."

Among the passengers was another of our ancestors, Robert Hazeltine. The group probably stayed in Boston with Mr. Wilson's group during the first winter. "After consulting with the ministers" he requested of the General Court a tract of land between Ipswich and Newbury, which was granted. The settlement, called originally "New Plantation" was begun in the spring of 1639. "13 March, 1638-9, Mr. Ezechiel Rogers, Mr. John Phillips, & their company had granted them 8 miles every way into the country, where it may not trench upon other plantations already settled."

Part of this land had been already pre-empted by Ipswich and Newbury, and so the newcomers had to purchase the land at a cost of 800 pounds. The purchase money was contributed by those who could afford it, and the size of their house lots was determined by how much they had paid. "This distinction becomes more apparent when the rule of assignment of "rights" called "gates" in the commons is known. A one-and-one-half acre lot was entitled to one and one-half gates; a two-acre lot to four and one-half gates; a three-acre lot to thirteen and one-half gates; a four-acre lot to twenty-two and one-half gates and a six-acre lot to forty five gates. A gate, or ox-gate or ox-gang in early English tenures was as much land as an ox could till; it might contain meadow, pasture and wood necessary for such tillage and varied in different counties and also according to quality, being from twelve to fifteen acres. In the old law Latin an ox-gang was 'una bovata terrae.' We find in early English books that eight ox-gangs made a plow-gang or plow-land called 'carucata terrae,' and eight plow-gangs made a 'knight's fee', or about a thousand acres. In Rowley, the rights in the commons, or land not laid out, were always expressed by the term 'gates.'

Those who were unable to pay were given lots of an acre and a half. The company consisted of fifty-nine families, having increased during the winter by another forty families. Most of them soon became freemen, which meant that they had taken the Freeman's Oath, were members of the Congregational Church, and were thereby entitled to vote.

The first church in Rowley and the sixteenth in the Bay Colony was organized December 3, 1639, with Mr. Rogers as pastor. The training field and the cemetery were set out at the same time. In 1640 a grist mill and a saw mill were built by Mr. Thomas Nelson. In 1643, John Pearson, another of our ancestors, built a fulling or clothier's mill, the first in the English colonies.

The first town meeting of which there is record was on November 20, 1648. The Chosen Constable was another of our ancestors, Thomas Dickinson.
Joseph Jewett's wife, Mary, died in 1652. The following year Joseph married Ann Allen, the widow of Captain Bozoan Allen of Boston. She was buried February 8, 1660; he was buried on February 26, 1660. In his will which was proved on March 26, 1661, he divided his estate among his seven surviving children, "allwayes provided my Eldest sonne Jeremiah shall have a doubell portion..."

Our line from Joseph is as follows: Jeremiah 2 (1637-1714), Jeremiah 3 (1662-1731), Aaron 4 (1699-1732), James 5 (1721-1745), James 6 (1739-1811), Moses 7 (1795-1869), Rebecca Heagan 8 (1831-1909)..


Jeremiah, the eldest son of Joseph and Mary Mallinson Jewett was born about 1637 in Bradford, England, and travelled to New England as a baby. He married Sarah Dickinson, the daughter of Thomas and Jennet Dickinson, on May 1, 1661. His home was in Ipswich Village, near the Rowley line, on the farm his father gave him on the "Norwest side of Egipt River." He was a member of the Rowley Church, and he served in King Philip's War. He and Sarah had nine children: Jeremiah, Joseph, Thomas, Eleaser, Sarah, Mary, Nehemiah, Ephraim, and Caleb, all of whom lived to adulthood.

Jeremiah died May 20, 1714, at the advanced age of 77 years. His will was dated December 1, 1713, and mentions his wife, Sarah, and several sons and daughters. Sarah died January 30, 1723.


Jeremiah, the eldest son of Jeremiah and Sarah Dickinson Jewett was born in Ipswich Village on December 30, 1662. He married Elizabeth Kimball, the daughter of Caleb and Anna Hazeltine Kimball in Topsfield, Massachusetts on January 4, 1687. Jeremiah and Elizabeth had eight children: Elizabeth, Hannah, Aaron, Moses, Aaron, Aaron, Mary and Mercy. (The first two Aarons died in infancy). We are descended from both Hannah and the third Aaron, since their children, Mary Pearson and James Jewett married in the next generation.

Elizabeth died in August of 1728. On January 21, 1729, Jeremiah married Elizabeth Bugg of Ipswich. He died February 15, 1731. His will, dated February 4, 1731, mentions his wife, Elizabeth, "my only and well beloved son," Aaron Jewett; "my four daughters," Elizabeth, Hannah, Mary, Mercy; and grandson, Moses, son of Aaron Jewett.


Aaron Jewett was born in Ipswich Village on June 13, 1699. He married Abigail, the daughter of Samuel and Abigail Cummings Perley. He lived for a short time in Scarboro, Maine, and was the town clerk there. He died in Ipswich on June 19, 1732. His will, dated June 10, 1732, mentions himself as of Scarboro, in the County of York "but now of Ipswich" his wife (unnamed) to be executrix; eldest son, James, to have all his lands in York County; son, Moses; daughter, Abigail. another daughter, Rebecca, evidently died before he did.


James Jewett was born on April 30, 1721 in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, the eldest child of the four born to Aaron and Abigail Perley Jewett. He married his first cousin, Mary Pearson, the daughter of Lieutenant Stephen and Hannah Jewett Pearson. They had one child, James Jewett, born on June 1, 1739 in Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts.

At the age of 24, James and his brother, Moses joined Lieutenant General Pepperell's Royal Battery and was a part of the Louisburg Expedition to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. This was a phase of the War of Austrian Succession, called King George's War in the American Colonies, which ran from 1744 to 1748. The decisive battle of the war was the Siege of Louisburg.

Samuel Waldo, second in command, reported to Lieutenant General Pepperall in a letter dated May 13, 1745 - Royal Battery, 4 o'clock:
"In the action one of our gunners was mortally wounded by a langrage, a piece of which taken out of his back I send by bearer; another larger piece remains in. His name is James Jewett and he is an Ipswich man. The man is now expiring."

James' brother Moses later became Captain of a Troop of Horse from Rowley, Massachusetts in the Revolutionary War, which responded to the Alarm of April 19, 1775 and went to meet General Gage. Four of the nine members of the Jewett family who took part in the Revolution were members of this troop.


After James's death, his son, James, was placed under the guardianship of his maternal grandfather, Stephen Pearson. Mary Pearson Jewett married two more times, first to a Mr. Duty and then to a Mr. Jeffries.

James served in the Revolutionary War, as a private in Captain Low's Company of Volunteers, 3rd Essex Company. The regiment enlisted on September 30, 1777, marched on October 2, and was discharged on November 7 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The forty days service was in a regiment commanded by Major Charles Smith under General Gates in the Northern Department.

James was first married to Elizabeth Shepherd of Boston. A divorce action was taken against him in June of 1789 with a charge of adulterery. James seems to have put Elizabeth out of their house, and taken up with another woman. He fathered three illegitimate children, before he married her on October 16, 1789. This was Alice Cothren, the daughter of John Cothren of Newcastle, Maine. In a court document of 1792, Elizabeth, his first wife, is referred to as non compas, and is appointed a guardian.

James bought land on Jeremy Squam Island (also called Squam Island or Westport Island) from Nathaniel Mayhew on December 24, 1767. He continued to add to this holding, and at the time of his death, was able to leave each of his sons a good sized farm.

James and Alice had eight children: James, born in 1783, Mary, called Polly, born in 1785, Hannah, born in 1787, Ruth Riggs, born in 1790, John, born in 1792, Stephen, born in 1794, Moses, born in 1795, and William, born in 1797. All the children lived to adulthood and were married.

James was a seaman for many years, and later became a merchant. He died on December 5, 1811, and is buried in the Jewett Cemetery on Westport Island, with many of his descendants.

James Jewett's second wife, Alice Cothren was born on August 1, 1765, the daughter of John Cochran, of Newcastle County, Maine. John was the son of Robert Cochran, one of the original settlers of Newcastle and probably the immigrant ancestor of this family. John Cochran served in the Revolution, and his widow, Agnes, received bounty land for his service. She was most probably a second wife, since her tombstone indicates that she died in 1838 at the age of eighty-four, indicating a birthdate of 1754, only eleven years older than Alice..

There are wonderful descriptions of Alice, who is also referred to as Ellis, Nellie or Aunt Nellie. She seems to have been quite a celebrity around Squam Island (Westport) where she kept a seaman's inn at Jewett's Cove.

She was said to have been a "giantess," over six feet tall "and of immense weight and rotundity." She was noted for her "amphibious" qualities, being able to "swim like a fish," handle a boat and catch a cod in water and cook it on land. She could raise a barrel of cider to her mouth and drink directly from the bung hole. She was known for her hospitality, pleasant disposition, and philanthropy, but woe unto the sailor who failed to give her the respect "which she commanded both by her own deportment and her pugilistic powers."

In a description of her house, Fannie Chase wrote in 1941: "The large kitchen, with its huge fire-place containing crane and pot hooks, its brick oven built after the ancient fashion of massive masonry, was the rendezvous alike for the weather-beaten wayfarer and the storm-bound mariner. The other rooms built around it were small and not unlike the cosy cabins of a ship. Her wide dressers were adorned with trencher green and pewter bright, snow-white plates, pewter platters, kettles, cups and utensils, all of which were scrupulously clean and in perfect the Widow Jewett's there was pork in the barrel and potatoes in the bin, a hogshead of molasses, a puncheon of Jamaica rum and a locker of choice liquors."

Jeremy Squam, or Squam Island, or Westport Island was a busy port, sending forth its men to fish on the Grand Banks, spear whales, or catch bait for cod fishers. There was also a thriving ice trade where blocks of ice cut in the winter months were shipped to the southern states. Westport was one of the wealthiest communities in Maine in the middle of the nineteenth century.

Sign for Rowley Burial Ground View of Rowley Burial Ground Jewett Cemetery, Westport Island ME
Sign for Rowley Burial Ground View of Rowley Burial Ground Jewett Cemetery, Westport Island ME
The Fort at Louisburg, Nova Scotia Map in "Early Settlers of Rowley, Massachusetts" Gwen and Guil at Main St Cemetery
The Fort at Louisburg, Nova Scotia Map in "Early Settlers of Rowley, Massachusetts" Gwen and Guil at Main St Cemetery

(To see pictures of tombstones, click links below)

                         ┌── Edward JEWETT, b. circa 1580, d. 1614
                     ┌── Joseph JEWETT (Immigrant), b. 1609, d. 1661
                     │   └── Mary TAYLOR
                 ┌── Jeremiah JEWETT (Immigrant), b. 1637, d. 1714
                 │   └── Mary MALLINSON (Immigrant), d. 1652
             ┌── Jeremiah JEWETT, b. 1662, d. 1732
             │   │   ┌── Thomas DICKINSON (Immigrant), d. 1662
             │   └── Sarah DICKINSON (Immigrant), b. 1640, d. 1688
             │       └── Jennet (__________) (Immigrant), d. 1686
         ┌── Aaron JEWETT, b. 1699, d. 1732
         │   │       ┌── Richard KIMBALL (Immigrant 1623)
         │   │   ┌── Caleb KIMBALL, b. 1639, d. 1682
         │   │   │   │   ┌── Henry SCOTT, b. 1560, d. 1624
         │   │   │   └── Ursula SCOTT (Immigrant), b. 1597
         │   │   │       └── Martha WHATLOCK, b. 1568
         │   └── Elizabeth KIMBALL, b. 1662, d. 1731
         │       │   ┌── Robert HAZELTINE (Immigrant), d. 1674
         │       └── Anna HAZELTINE, b. 1640, d. 1688
         │           └── Anna HUNT
     ┌── James JEWETT, b. 1721, d. 1745
     │   │           ┌── Allen PERLEY (Immigrant), b. 1608, d. 1676
     │   │       ┌── Samuel PERLEY, b. circa 1640
     │   │       │   └── Susanna BOKESON (Immigrant), d. 1692
     │   │   ┌── Samuel PERLEY, b. 1667, d. 1746
     │   │   │   │   ┌── John TRUMBLE (Immigrant), d. 1657
     │   │   │   └── Ruth TRUMBLE, b. 1643
     │   │   │       └── Ellen CHANDLER, d. 1648
     │   └── Abigail PERLEY, b. 1700, d. 1768
     │       │       ┌── Isaac CUMMINGS (Immigrant), b. 1601, d. 1667
     │       │   ┌── Isaac CUMMINGS (Immigrant), b. 1632, d. 1721
     │       │   │   └── Anne (__________) (Immigrant)
     │       └── Abigail CUMMINGS
     │           │   ┌── Robert ANDREWS (Immigrant), d. 1668
     │           └── Mary ANDREWS, b. 1638, d. 1712
     │               └── Grace MELBURN
James JEWETT (DAR Patriot), b. 1739, d. 1811
     │           ┌── John PEARSON (Immigrant), b. circa 1616, d. 1693
     │       ┌── Stephen PEARSON, d. 1705
     │       │   └── Dorcas (__________), d. 1702
     │   ┌── Stephen PEARSON, b. 1687, d. 1772
     │   │   │       ┌── Thomas FRENCH, b. 1585, d. 1639
     │   │   │   ┌── John FRENCH, b. circa 1637, d. 1707
     │   │   │   │   └── Mary SCUDMORE
     │   │   └── Mary FRENCH, d. 1730
     │   │       │   ┌── Robert KEYES (Immigrant), d. 1647
     │   │       └── Phebe KEYES, d. 1701
     │   │           └── Sarah (__________) (Immigrant), b. 1605, d. 1681
     └── Mary PEARSON, b. 1720
         │   ┌── Jeremiah JEWETT (see above)
         └── Hannah JEWETT, b. 1690, d. 1773
             └── Elizabeth KIMBALL (see above)

     ┌── John COTHRAN
Alice "Elienor" COTHRAN, b. 1765, d. 1825
     └── Isabella SMITH