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Elizabeth's signature on one of her husband's estate papers

There were two Ellinwood widows named Elizabeth after 1771 and are often not differentiated in town records. Some tax and town records and a death record refer to Elizabeth Corning as "2nd," surely because she was the younger of the two. The elder Elizabeth, a Woodbery who married Ebenezer's brother William, may have been the one who was paid by the Town of Beverly for clothes, probably for Revolutionary soldiers. It appears that her husband left her with a smaller estate than that of Ebenezer's and she may have wanted to supplement her income. However, since this may have been Elizabeth Corning, an outline of the town's account is included here. She was paid 58 shilling, 10 pence for 2 cotton linen shirts and three pairs of stockings in 1780,1 £21 for 4 shirts and one pair of stockings in 1781? and £1, 1 shilling for another pair of stockings in 1782.2 It was also probably the elder widow Elizabeth whose tax was abated for a son (probably Samuel) who was in captivity in 1778 and long absent. Samuel probably served on a privateer and was being held in England. No mention of him has been found after 1778, suggesting he didn't survive the harsh conditions to which American prisoners were subjected. The younger Elizabeth also had a captive son whose fate was much better.
     Beverly town records have the following entry on 1 December 1778, part of which concerns the Elizabeth (Corning's) son John's captivity in Fort Washington, Manhattan, during the Revolution, but the rest is open to interpretation:

Ordered the Treasurer to pay widow Elizabeth Ellinwood 2nd thirty one shillings and nine pence, twenty four shillings and 2 pence of said sum for the abatement of her son John's poll in 1777 in captivity and 7 [shillings]/9 [pence] together with a note of hand given up to her of 49/1 that she owed to John Martin a person under the care of the Overseers is in full for 13 months and twenty days house rent for Wm. Hales family in her house which expired on the 1st of May 1777.3

     This run-on description of her payment is cryptic. It appears she was given 7 lbs, 9 pence and a £49, 1 penny promissory note for housing the Hale family, but the reference to her owing the money to John Martin, who was one of the town's poor, doesn't make sense. Perhaps "she owed" should be "they owed," but that would make nearly as little sense. It was probably Elizabeth (Corning) who was paid £2, 2 shillings for house rent for Miss Lovis in 1779.4 Her house, assuming she continued to live in the one that Ebenezer had used as a tavern and inn, would have accommodated such boarders. Elizabeth died of a stroke and is buried in the Ancient Burying Ground by her husband and probably four of her children.5

children of Elizabeth Corning and Ebenezer Ellinwood:6

i. Ebenezer b. 17 February 1744/45
ii. Sarah b. 28 February 1746/47
iii. Eunice b. 14 January 1747/48, died young
iv. Hannah b. 10 May 1749
v. Ezra b. 30 May 1751
vi. Benjamin b. 16 August 1753
vii. John b. 1 October 1756
viii. Lois b. 28 June 1759, (prob. the infant child of Ebenezer who died in 1761)
ix. Lois bap. 25 October 1761
x. Elizabeth b. 17 October 1763, d. 1 March 1782
xi. Eunice bap. 17 November 1765, died young
xii. Eunice b. 9 June 1768

vital records sources: Her birth is in Vital Records of Beverly, Massachusetts to the year 1849, vol. 1 (Topsfield:1906), 88. Her marriage is in Vital Records of Beverly, Massachusetts to the year 1849, vol. 2 (Topsfield:1907), 72. For her death see note 5.

1. Beverly town records, 2 November 1780, p. 347.
2. Ibid, 31 October 1782, 452.
3. Ibid, 236.
4. Ibid, 5 March 1779, 251.
5. Vital Records of Beverly, Massachusetts to the year 1849 vol. 2 (Topsfield:1906), 429-30. She is called Elizabeth 2nd, aged about 72, and include a First Parish Unitarian Church record that gives the cause of death as "paralysis."
6. Ibid, vol. 1 (Topsfield:1907), 120-22.

all text and photographs © 1998-2021 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted