one-line descent to Ellingwood
one-line descent to Lovett
father index home

vital records sources

Benjamin's signature from his will

Benjamin is called a "shoreman" in his will. Like the term "coaster," it meant he took to the sea and traded along the East Coast. Mary was admitted to the First Church at Beverly on 7 February 1695, followed by Benjamin on 24 January 1700.1 The Ellingwood genealogy says that Mary may have been a Dodge, but I've found no evidence to support this.
     Settling on what became known as "Ellingwood's Point," Benjamin's share of his father's land there was west the Salem/Beverly ferry and extended north to a bend in the Bass River. His house was on what is now Cottage Street, then only an access way through the Ellinwood properties. Ellinwood was the preferred spelling of then name at the time. Either his house or one that was built to replace it stood as late as the 1920s, but I haven't found a photo of it. It stayed in the Ellinwood family up to the 1870s.2
     Benjamin wrote his will on New Year's Eve of 1730.3

In the Name of God amen, I, Benjamin Ellinwood of Beverly, in the County of Essex and Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, shoreman, calling to mind the uncertainty of life, do ordain this my last will and testament, hereby bequeathing my soul to God who gave it and my body to the ground to be decently buried at the discretion of my executor hereafter named, and as to the worldly goods wherewith it has pleased God to endow me, I dispose of them in the following manner, vizt

Imprimis, I give to my loving wife Mary Ellinwood the sum of ten pounds yearly and every year during her natural life, to be paid by my execr. hereafter named, and also the use and improvement of my dwelling house & well and so much of the land adjoining as I hereafter give unto my grandson David Ellinwood's son Benjamin to be unto her proper use & improvement during her natural life.

Item, my will is that my debts and funeral charges shall all be paid by my sd execr. out of my personal estate.

Item, I give and bequeath that part of my homestead which lies upon ye northern side of the way containing about twenty seven acres to be equally divided between my five oldest sons, viz: William, David, Samuel, Robert & Andrew, to be unto them and their heirs & assigns forever in equal proportion for quantity and quality.

Item, I give unto my youngest son Jonathan one hundred pounds in good bills of credit to be paid him by my sd execr. within twelve months after my decease.

Item, I give unto my son Samuel Ellinwood the eastern part of that part of my homestead which lies upon the southern side of the way, to extend so far as within six feet of the bodies of the first or nearest row of apple trees on the western side of it, and on the northern side to be bound on the way and upon the southern side on the sea, to be unto him and his heirs & assigns forever, & also all my common land lying in the sheep pasture in sd. Beverly to be unto him & his heirs & assigns forever.

Item, I give unto my grandson Benjamin, the son of my son David Ellinwood, & his heirs and assigns forever my now dwelling house and land adjoining vizt two rods wide upon the way from the west end of my house & two rods wide upon the way from the east end of my house and to extend (holding the same breadth) to the sea, & also my well and its priveleges.

Item, I give unto my son David Ellinwood & his heirs & assigns forever all the land which lies from the way to the sea between the land last bequeathed to my son Samuel Ellinwood & the land bequethed to my grandson Benjamin.

Item, I give unto my sons William, Robert & Andrew Ellinwood & their hiers and assigns forever all the land upon the southern side of the way which lies to the westward of the land herein given to my aforesd grandson.

Item, I give unto my son Andrew Ellinwood my common right in Snake Hill pasture & to his heirs & assigns forever.

and my will is that all the fencing, trees, buildings & other improvements & all other priveledges which are upon or appertain to the aforementioned pieces of land be & remain to those to whom the land is herein respectively given & bequeathed.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughters Eleanor Woodberry, Patience Morgan, Priscilla Woodberry, Mary Smith, Eunice Woodberry & Anna Leach to each of them fifteen pounds in good bills of public creditt to be paid by my aforesd execr. within six months after my decease.

I do hereby constitute & appoint my loving son in law Jonathan Woodberry to be the sole executor of this my last will & testament.

Item, my will is that all of my personal estate which shall be left after the debts, funeral charges & legacies aforesd are paid shall be equally divided among my children which shall then survive.

Item, I do hereby revoke and disannull all former wills & testaments by mee heretofore made.

and in witness hereof I hereunto set my hand & seal this thrty first day of December Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred & thirty & in the fourth year of his magesties reign.

signed sealed & declared to be his last will & testament in presence of

Ralph Ellinwood
Zebulon Allen
Willm. Tuck

[signed] Benjamin Ellinwood

The inventory of Benjamin's estate:

A true inventory of the estate, real & personal of Benja. Ellinwood late of Beverly in the County of Essex, shoreman, decd. as it was taken by ye subscribers apprizers appointed by the Hon. John Appleton, Esq., Judge of the probate of wills &c: for ye ounty aforesaid as follows vizt:

Two dwelling houses, out housing, wharfe & warehouse and about 30 acres of land near adjoyning, a common right in Snake Hill Pasture and part of a right in the Sheep Pasture, all in sd. Beverly £900

Benjamin only mentions one house in his will. It's likely the other house, assuming the inventory is correct, was on the lot to the west of his own house. His son William eventually bought the shares of his brothers in that lot and made it his homestead. Since he was the oldest son, Benjamin may have had a house built for him there when he married in 1712, but it's hard to reason why Benjamin wouldn't mention the house and simply give three sons equal shares in the land. Nevertheless, William and his family must have been living somewhere, and accumulating his brothers' shares in a property he is known to have owned and occupied after his father's death suggests the other house was his. This makes further sense in that he was the only son living in Beverly who wasn't a seaman. David and Samuel, the second and third sons, were given specific lots of land, squeezed inbetween Benjamin's house lot and cousin Ralph Ellinwood's land to the east. Samuel's had the wharf and warehouse mentioned in Benjamin's inventory. It's less likely Benjamin's second house was on one of those since subsequent deeds never mention one on either lot. Samuel, who apparently died at sea about the time his father died, never claimed his share, and David likely lived in his father's house since it was bequeathed to his 3 year-old son. Younger sons Robert and Andrew were married and had just started families when Benjamin died, and may have lived either with him or in William's hypothetical house (which he didn't yet own). Robert left the sea to move to New Hampshire by 1742. Andrew appears to have moved to the Beverly Farms area by 1750. Jonathan married in Boston (and was called a resident of Boston) nine months after his father died, which explains why he was given money in the will rather than real estate.

(inventory continued)
a cow and nine sheep £13"8 [shillings]
10 bushels barley 6/pr 10 barrels cyder 10/pr £8
a bed, 2 pillows, rag coverled & a pair oakum1a sheets £3
a trundle bed & cord 5
a bed, bedstead, cord, underbed, 2 bolsters & case, pillow, sheet, 3 blankets & coverild £10
a bed, underbed, sheet, coverlid, blanket, 2 bolsters, bedstead & cord £7"10
a clock £7, a looking glass 18/ an oval table 12/ pine box 1/6 chest 9/ £9"
[0]"6 [pence]
an old chest, churn & sieve 9/ halfe bushel 1/6 flax comb 4/6 old cask 10/ £1"5
2 great chairs, 10 small chairs & 2 leather ditto 24/6 a joynt stool2a 2/ £1"6"6
2 brass kettles £4"10 iron kettle 8/ 2 iron pots & hooks 8/ spit 2/ 6 £5"8"6
a frying pan 3/ a fireshovel & 2 pair tongs 8/ iron skillet 3/6 chafing dish 6/ £1"
grid iron 1/ skimmer 1/ 2 trammels3a 10/ pair of dog irons4a 8/ bellows 1/6 £1"
iron mortar 2/ spinning wheel 4/ stillyards 10/ 2 brushes /10d
tin tunnel5a & lamp 1/6 stone jugg 6/ earthern & stone ware & 2 bottles 5/
a drum & drum sticks 30/ some old books 8/ seales & weights 9/ £2"7
a pair hinges 2/ a chain & fetters 3/ hammer, handsaw & other small tools 11/ £
a quantity of old iron 8/ 2 old muskets 4/ some old steel 3/6
37 3/4 £ pewter 94/1 1/2 £28 wool 84/ £8"18"1 1/2
the wearing apparel, cane & muff of the deceased £6
a nut cyder mill, press, tub & vat 40/ a saddle 10/ cart 20/ £3"10
a spade 5/ ax 1/6 grindstone, scythe & fork 14/ £1"
plow share, coutter
[cotter] & span shackle6a 6/ shingles & clapboards 18/ £1"4
a fish scale beam & 2 LVI £ weights £7 £7
an old pair of smith's bellows & anvil £1
28 obligations, conditioned for the payment of £903"10

a silver spoon 20/ £1
£1899"14"11 1/2

in Province Bills: £40

errors excepted, Beverly April 30 1731

Peter Groves
Robert Hale
Zebulon Allen

sworn pr Jna. Appleton J. Prob.

Jonathan Woodbery Executor.

allowd. the widow for nessaries £15

Ipswich May 17 1731, then Jonathan Woodberry Execr. made oath to the truth of this inventory before John Appleton

The executor's account of the estate:

Jonathan Woodberry execr. of the testament of his father in law Benjamin Ellinwood late of Beverly decd. his acct. of admn. on said estate exhibited to the Honle. Thos. Berry, Esq. Judge of Probate of wills &c

Jany 31 1742, the estate of ye sd. decd. is

by real estate as pr. inventory £900
by personal estate as pr. inv £1039.14.11 1/2
by a barking iron7a not invd. 10
£1040.4.11 1/2

the estate of the decd. is dr.
[indebted] for which ye [?] prays allowance [an alternate version says "for which I pray ye Honds (Honored's) allowance]

to Robt. Hale Esq. £1"4
to Joshua Bisson 12/
to Hannah Woodberry £5
[not a direct relative, this was for "13 weaks servis"] to Sarah Allen £1
to John Leach £3"5"8
to Zebulon Allen £1"7
[for making the coffin and being on the committee to appraise the estate]
to John Tuck £3
[for making a fence around Benjamin's common land at Stake Hill Pasture] to Jos Morgan £1["0]"5
to David Larkcum
to Jothn Phelps £1"4"6
to Robt Woodberry
to Robt. Woodberry, Jr.
to Wm. Leach £1"7"6
David Ellingwood
to George Tuck
to Saml. Buttman
to Leonard Slewman
[0"]12 [for digging the grave]
to Joseph Morgan [0"]2"16
to Antho Wood £3"5

to funeral charges £87"15

This was an excessive amount of money for a funeral for someone like Benjamin at that time. About £59 of this was paid solely to Abigail Pickman, according to her receipt. About £5 went to Edward Kitchen and another to an unidentified "Woodbery." Kitchen was a Salem merchant. Pickman was the wife of a Salem ship's captain and Kitchen's sister's sister-in-law, but I've found nothing to explain her providing funeral goods. The reason for the expense is clearer when looking at receipts from the estate. Benjamin's sons Samuel, William and Jonathan were given about £4 "for morning." Daughters got less: Patience 21 shillings, Margaret 17. With about 10 children and a widow attending the funeral and each given money for clothes, as was customary, as well as possible tokens given to the others attending, which was also common practice, the bills added up to this. Widow Mary was given a "riding lew of a gown for morning" costing £4, 12 shillings, 3 pence. There are no receipts for David, Robert and Andrew getting mourning money, so they may have been at sea.

to ye wooll divided among ye heirs £4"

legacies paid viz

to Robert Woodberry, Jr. £15
[for his wife's share in the estate]
to Jothn. Ellinwood £100
[for his legacy in the will]
to Zebulon Woodberry £15 [for his wife's share in the estate]
to Moses Morgan £15
[for his wife's share in the estate]
to John Leach £15
[for his wife's share in the estate]
to Robert Smith £15
[for his wife's share in the estate]
to Jothn Woodberry £15
[for his wife's share in the estate]

to the admr for time, trouble & expence as by acct £64.10
to loss on sundry articles as pr. acct £9.11
[buying?] of ye [coffin?] 30[pence?]
sundry receipts 13
to stating, allowing & recording this acct £1.5

Jonathan Woodbery Essex Ipswich Jany 31 1742

then Jonathan Woodberry made oath to the foregoing account which being examined is allowed by Thomas Berry Jud. Prob."


Another account dated 23 May 1743 is very closely the same. There is an amount called "the futt of former acct" of £478"17"5, then a list of people the same as the 1742 account. The section of legacies and sundry fees is different:

to Robert Hale, Esq £3
[for writing documents pertaining to settling the estate]
to Ebenr Ellingwood £6
to Wm Ellingwood money £5
to ditto on acct £15"7
to Margarett Ellingwood
[0"]17 [for mourning]
to Robt Smith £5"11"7
to Mosses Morgain £9"2"4
to John Torndike Jr. £15"2
[John Thordike, his receipt, vaguely stated, was for expences of his "breath(r)en" when they agreed on the settlement of the estate]
to loss of a cow wch dyd £8
to Patience Morgain £3
[her receipt says £43 for a credit]
to Jotha Woodbery £18"17"1
[for a credit]
the admr fee for the truble stating allowing this acct £1"5



A portion of another account and invoice, surely by Woodberry:

My Hond fathers Mr. Benja. Ellinwoods estate is indepted to me for my time & expenc sinc the lst of Jenawary 1742 is as followeth

to one jorney to Ipswich to make up accounts & expenc together with one assistant £2=0=0
May to one jorney to Ipswich expenc 1=10=0
to one jorney to Haverhill to make up accounts with Brother Morgan 0=15=0
my time & expenc makeing up
[the rest of the page is missing]

John Leech's invoice:

Beverly June ye 8 day 1731 Mr Benyiman Elingwod

debt to 10 quarts and won piont of rum at 8s/ £1"1"0
to five pound of coten at 3s/4d par pound 0"16"0
to a pump
[bocks? maybe meaning "box"] and lethring 0"5"0
to work dun by my self 0"2"0
to work dun by my self 0"3"0
left to pay for shuger 0"3"0
to a jorney to Boston and expens 0"15"0

Jno Leech

On 24 December 1731 Leech says he was paid this debt.

Benjamin's gravestone in the Abbott Street or "Ancient" Burying Ground, Beverly. It was made in the shop of John Holliman, Salem, according to his receipt.

children of Benjamin Ellinwood and Mary:

i. Eleanor b. 7 July 1688
ii. Benjamin b. 27 January 1689/90
iii. William b. 1 November 1691
iv. Patience b. 19 June 1693
v. Mary b. 23 April 1695, died young
vi. Priscilla b. 3 March 1696/97
vii. David b. 11 December 1698
viii. Samuel b.21 November 1700
ix. Mary b. 9 October 1702
x. Robert b. 26 November 1704
xi. Andrew b. 22 October 1706
xii. Jonathan b. 19 October 1708
xiii. Eunice b. 18 November 1710
xiv. Anna b. 6 April 1714

vital records sources: his birth is in Vital Records of Salem, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849, vol. 1 (Salem:1916), 274, citing an Essex County Quarterly Court record that says the first of the second month, which on the Julian calendar used at the time means 1 April; his death is in Vital Records of Beverly, Massachusetts to the Year 1849, vol. 2 (Topsfield:1907), 428.

1. Records of the First Church in Beverly, Massachusetts, 1667-1772 (Topsfield: 1905),
2. Benjamin bequeathed it to his grandson Benjamin (son of David), who sold it to another grandson, William (son of William), and then to William (III) and William (IV). The latter William gave it to his niece Desire (Wellman) Porter and her son William Ellingwood Weber as a life lease. He and his parents lived there, and it then passed out of the family in the late 1800s.
3. Essex County Probate case file #8691. Commas and periods have been added and capitalization modernized for easier reading.

1a: although seemingly wrong in the context of other bedroom items, oakum is a rough fiber soaked in tar and used to seal joints.

2a: a stool with joined legs, with mortice and tenon joints.

3a: another form of funnel, to describe items more or less tubular (in this case as used with a lamp).

4a: hardware with sharp ends angled or able to be angled mostly for coupling or securing logs.

5a: an adjustable pothook.

6a: perhaps spanshackle; a bolt with shackle used on a ship's deck, or a kind of tackle.

7a: an alternate version of the account, also in the probate packet, seems to call it a "bick" iron, but a barking iron was used to debark trees.

all text and photographs © 1998-2020 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted